I would like to learn how to dive without holding my nose. I'm in third grade, and I have problems with swimming because I am used to holding my nose, and they are teaching me how to dive. How do I do it?
The first thing you need to do is learn to submerge without holding your nose. Step back from diving and swimming altogether and start standing in the pool with the water about chest depth.
Practice breathing out into the water, or blowing bubbles, depending on how you want to describe it. The act of exhaling into the water will get you used to the sensation of having water moving around under your nose.
You do not have to submerge to do this completely. Lower yourself slightly to allow your mouth and nose to be near or under the water's surface. If, of course, you have the confidence to submerge and breathe out, then go for it completely.
When you have practised this exercise and have become comfortable with it try exactly the same thing but without exhaling into the water. In other words, hold your breath. Mouth only at first, then mouth and nose and then complete submersion if you are happy to do so.
It is essential to understand some of the science of what is going on here. When you hold your breath and submerge, the air in your nasal cavity is trapped there, unable to go anywhere. It makes no difference if you hold your nose or not.
The trapped air will prevent water from entering your nose; the only sensation you may feel is water moving around your nostrils. This sensation can be mistaken for water entering the nose, but if you are holding your breath, the water is much less likely to enter.
The more you practice the exercises detailed above, the more you will get used to the feeling of water moving around your nose. The quicker you will be comfortable with swimming, diving and jumping in the water without needing to hold your nose.
You may think that blowing bubbles and holding your breath is all baby stuff, but I am guessing that you have always held your nose when diving or jumping into the water. It is essential, therefore, to teach your body how to deal with submersion, and you can always practice holding your breath and submerging your face in the comfort of your bathroom.
My best-selling book The Complete Beginners Guide To Swimming contains aspects of learning to swim plus over 80 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of basic swimming, including submersion. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click here for more information or check ou the details below.