Learning how to tread water can be a massive confidence booster. It is an essential swimming skill that can help conquer fears and anxieties in beginners and enhance and grow strength in both children and adults.
Treading water is a very useful water skill that serves as a safe and controlled way of remaining at the surface whilst in deep water, with the head above the water.
It is an effective way of building confidence in deep water and can enhance basic skills such as changing direction and avoiding collisions in the pool. It is also a very necessary skill that is needed for lifesaving and survival skills.
As treading water is a skill that is performed in one place (in other words, not swimming around), the body position should be as upright and vertical as possible.
There are many variations of leg action when it comes to treading water. Children tend to find it easier to 'cycle' in the water as the action is similar to that of riding a bicycle or running.
Different leg kicks include:
The main aim of the arm action when treading water is to help keep the body in a vertical position and keep the head above the water surface.
The movements of the arms should be underwater and relaxed at all times to help preserve energy. Techniques that can be used include:
Breathing should be regular and steady, with the mouth and nose out of the water at all times. Which ever combination of arm and leg actions are used, all movements should be slow and relaxed.
When it comes to actually learning how to tread water, all practices should take place in either shallow water or water of chest depth. Only move into deeper water when you are absolutely confident, staying close to the side or having some additional support in the form of a suitable adult, on stand-by.
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