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Learning To Swim

Common questions and essential basics

Learning to swim can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating experience.  You have your good days and you have your not so good days and as a swimming teacher, I am constantly being asked questions.

The most common questions that I get asked are listed below with links to some detailed answers, along with some encouragement that I have given to some of the beginners that have contacted me.

How Do I Float?

Floating is a characteristic of your body. Either you float well or you do not.  In general lean muscular people tend to sink and people with a higher body fat percentage will tend to float. That does not mean that if you do not float well then you cannot learn to swim.  Here are my tips for floating when learning to swim.

Learning To Swim At This Age. Am I Too Old?

Never!  Anyone can learn to swim at any age.  Where you start will depend on how comfortable or uncomfortable you are in the water. Here is a detailed answer I gave to a 65 year old lady asking the very same question.

Learning to Swim and Need Some Help?

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How Can I Conquer My Fear Of Deep Water?

Become confident with submerging underwater first.  Practice in water of standing depth with your feet standing on the pool floor and also with your feet lifted off of the pool floor.  Keep in mind that the water is trying to support you, not pull you down.  Here are some simple exercises for conquering a fear of deep water.

The Complete Beginners Guide

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The Complete Beginners Guide

"This book has taught me so much. I'm a relaxed, confident and happy swimmer. Thank you!"

$11.99

Click for more info

How Do I Stop And Stand Up When Swimming?

A simultaneous movement of the arms and legs is needed here. 

 The arms pull down through the water and the knees bend forward before the feet are placed on the pool floor.  A common mistake is to arch the back and lift the head without moving the arms or legs.  Here is a detailed explanation with a simple diagram showing how to stand up in the pool after swimming.

Can I Learn To Swim With My Head Above The Water?

Yes certainly. It is preferable to learn how to submerge and breath when learning to swim as this enhances confidence in all areas of swimming. However a recreational type of breaststroke where the head remains above the water surface can be used.  Technically this type of breaststroke is not very efficient but it is commonly swum.  Here is my detailed answer when asked this question.

Why Do I Sink When I Try To Swim?

Relax!  The more you relax, the more your body will be inclined to float.  Even if your body composition makes you a poor floater, if you relax as you swim you will find it easier to remain at or near the water surface.  Click here for a more detailed answer.

How Can I Swim Without Getting Tired?

This depends firstly on your fitness level and secondly on the swimming stroke you swim because some swimming strokes are physically more demanding than others.  For example front crawl is more intense than breaststroke, but whatever the stroke, correct swimming technique will ensure you swim through the water with maximum efficiency, using the minimum of energy.  Click here for a detailed explanation.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Out of Breath After Swimming Only 2 Lengths 
I find myself out of breath after swimming only 2 lengths at a time hard. I think my breathing is not to bad but not sure my stroke technique is correct. …

Water Up My Nose When I Swim Not rated yet
My friend is teaching me how to swim the strokes. I can swim them fine but I have a problem when water gets up my nose. I can dive in perfectly. But …

Going Underwater Without Holding Your Nose Not rated yet
My question is about going underwater without holding your nose. My 4 year old twins took swimming lessons last summer and can jump into the pool without …

How To Swim In A Straight Line Not rated yet
I am learning to swim at the age of 62. After 7 lessons I can now float front and back, but when I practise kicking my legs, I can't seem to go forward …

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I am a 35 year old lady learning to swim for the first time. I have been to two lessons and feel like giving up..as whenever I try to float I sink..my …

Swim To Survive Not rated yet
To me, it's very important to learn to swim under water. I almost drowned in Coney Island in Brooklyn at the age of 6. I was playing in the water on …

I Want To Learn To Swim Not rated yet
I want to learn to swim. I grew up where there were no pools to learn that are safe and now I'm old (29) but I still think I'm missing out. Will you please …

I cannot get my legs straight behind me Not rated yet
I have been trying to learn to swim for a while but I cannot get my legs straight behind me. Can you help? The main reason people find it hard to …

How Long Will it Take Me to Learn To Swim? Not rated yet
I joined swimming and learnt to float within 4 days...suddenly I discontinued for 16 days as I was having fever related problems. Other people in my group …

Learn to Swim Quickly Not rated yet
I'm a beginner and would like to learn to swim quickly. Could you please give some helpful swimming tips? The speed at which you learn to swim will …

Swimming Confidence Not rated yet
I badly need some help to regain my swimming confidence. I used to swim a lot but cannot do so now. I have lost my confidence. A return to the swimming …

How Can I Swim With My Head Always Over Water? Not rated yet
It's difficult for me to take a breath. How can i swim with my head always over water? The easiest way to swim with your head out of the water is …

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