Terrified of Swimming
I am terrified of swimming because I am scared to lift my feet off of the pool floor. I am learning to swim in this school program that goes for a week, (I am 13) and by the end of the week we must be able to swim, float on back and front. Most of the people in my group can do these things and are now just practising but I CANT! I get terrified to let my feet off the floor and up. I ended up crying today because I get so scared! PLEASE help me!?? What can I do?
This is a very common feeling and you are absolutely not alone. Please do not compare yourself with the others in your class. You will learn to swim but must progress at your own pace and try things out only when you are happy to do so. We all learn things at different speeds and comparing yourself to others that progress quicker only adds to your anxiety and pressure.
The first area you need to concentrate on is holding your breath and putting your face in the water. You can practice this without lifting your feet off of the pool floor. Remain standing in water of about shoulder or chest depth, take a deep breath and place your face down into the water.
Wearing swim goggles can sometimes help make this experience more comfortable as they will prevent water getting into your eyes and allow you to see where you are and what you are doing.
Once you are able to confidently keep your face down in the water for
between 5 and 10 seconds, try doing the same but holding the poolside with both hands and lifting your feet off of the pool floor. Keep holding the poolside and then gently lower your feet to the floor again as you lift your face out.
Once you are able to do this confidently then try the same but letting go of the poolside. Letting go of the poolside can mean completely letting go, or it can mean moving your hands away slightly so that only your fingertips are touching the side. It all depends how brave you are feeling!
Eventually you will be able to float with your feet off of the floor and with your face down in the water without fear.
However, keep in mind that not everyone naturally floats. It is all down to our relative density (and I will leave you to look that up!). Basically some of us float well in a static position and some of us do not. That does not mean that if we cannot float, we cannot swim. Not at all. The very action of swimming and the propulsion and momentum we get from swimming, keeps our bodies up near the water surface.
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