Yes children can learn to swim in the sea

What is old is new again and there’s nothing older than kids learning to swim in the open water. For generations parents have taken their kids to the local pool for swimming lessons. Now the outside open air, the space, social distance and the healthy salt water are appealing to parents looking for swim lessons for their kids.

And the kids are loving it.

Children who learn to swim in the sea are not fazed by the smallest wave, seaweed or jellyfish. They learn to love the outdoors and be a just a bit more resilient to the challenges of the natural environment. Very soon, after just a few lessons, the kids are asking when can we go back to the beach for swimming?

Learning swim skills in the open water

Relaxing and enjoying yourself is the number one item on the learn to swim agenda. Swimming only really works when you aren’t freaking out, scared or panicking. So learning to love the beach and all the flora and fauna is important.

Human bodies float just a bit easier in the salt water so getting that all-important high horizontal body position is just a bit quicker for the children swimming in the sea. You have to be able to float before you can swim so this step is achieved faster in the ocean than in a pool.

Blowing bubbles under the water is the next step and this means learning to live with a bit of water occasionally getting in the nose and mouth. For kids who are sensitive to chemicals like chlorine this can be an issue. But the salt water is healthy and getting used to sea water in and around your face is important for water safety. If you fall off a boat or jetty, you want to be confident of being able to swim back, not in shock from the strange feeling of water on your face.

At Williamstown Beach we set up floating marker buoys for the kids to swim around, so we can do ‘laps’ just like at the pool.

In addition to freestyle we teach breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, survival backstroke, sidestroke, swimming under the water and treading water.

But more than that – in the sea we can teach straight swimming and group swimming more easily from the beginning, while kids are still developing their stroke technique. We also teach sighting, surfing, diving under waves and dealing with the chop and rough water. Kids learn about currents, rips, tides and sea creatures.

In just a few classes kids who have never before been comfortable in the open water are loving the whole experience and they are already showing signs of more resilience.

Even small kids learning the basics can do it in the sea. We are teaching kids as young as 6 in groups at the beach. These kids will enjoy the water for a lifetime. They are learning to love the great outdoors and be safe at the beach.

If you are interested in your kids learning to swim at the beach, follow this link to our booking page for information about our Junior Dolphins for under 10s and Junior Dolphins LEVEL UP for Over 10s groups.

Learn to swim easy, relaxed freestyle with coaching and stroke correction

Anyone can learn to swim, at any age and starting from any level of ability. You can’t do it by yourself however. plenty have tried and this is a sure-fire way to to fail and feel like you can’t do it. You need an experienced teacher or coach to guide you through the steps to easy, relaxed swimming.

Swimmers who can swim freestyle easily and in a relaxed way for many laps, even many kilometres in the ocean or pool, have not achieved this by themselves. They have been taught, probably from a young age, by coaches and teachers. They have trained to achieve a good feel for the water, an high body position and an efficient stroke.

Good swimmers are not necessarily the fittest people in the world, but swimming can make you very fit indeed. A person who has learnt how to swim properly can keep that knowledge and skill for life and swim easy, relaxed freestyle whenever they jump in the water.

Step One is learning to breathe like a swimmer. This is very different to how runners, cyclists or other athletes manage their intake of oxygen. A quick deep breath in, followed by a long slow exhale. You need to practice this skill and be shown how it is done and learnt. Many children learn this skill at children’s swim lessons without even knowing they are learning to breathe like a swimmer.

Step Two is learning how to manage your body position and keep afloat in the water. Not everyone can simply lie on top of the water without effort. It depends on your body, for example, most women find floating easier than most men. You need guidance how to do it and maintain your floating body near or at the top of the water.

Step Three is kicking. Your legs can be like anchors, weighing you down and slowing you down. Good kicking is not exhausting, but some kicking keeps your legs high and behind you as you travel through the water. If you are not doing it properly, you can sink and get tired very quickly.

Step Four is efficient strokes that catch the water and pull through in long straight lines that push you forward easily and allow you to breathe regularly and effectively.

If you are interested in learning to swim, improving your freestyle (and/or other strokes) and achieving an easy, relaxed technique, get in touch with Coach Jason or book in to swim lessons, squads or stroke improvement groups here.