I’ve said many times that I’ve despaired over N’s swimming. He’s been having lessons since he was 3 months old, so nearly 6 years later he should really be able to swim reasonable well by now. But he still can’t swim on his back without a float aid, and even on his front it’s hard going.
With a float belt (at the minimal level) he’s great. He’s fast with a float, his legs are strong, and he does everything he gets taught in his lessons on his front. It’s taken him 5 years and 9 months to do a width with no swim belt. But he’s done it.
On his back, he’s nowhere near. On his back with a float belt, and holding a float he’s fine. But if they add in arms, he sinks, his bottom goes down. As for trying to get him to float on his back without a float belt…no chance. My son is definitely a sinker and not a floater.
I’ve debated private lessons focussing on swimming on his back. But he’s turned down that idea flat.
Speaking to a friend who has 3 children club swimming, the way they got their son floating and swimming on his back was just a lot of swimming. Of course that’s harder said than done when you only have weekends – one day of which already has swimming lessons on. And when you don’t do 1 or 2 week summer holidays in places with a pool you can swim in every day.
In Jersey we did swim every day, but for someone like N where I’m trying to get his confidence up, I want him to enjoy swimming rather than it all just being about lessons.
I can see how far he’s come in the last few years. From massive water wobbles for a year, he now loves being in the pool. He’ll jump in. ‘Dive’ down to get things from the bottom of the pool. And he will try the different strokes they are learning. But it is demoralising to see how easy other children find it with half in the level below him (all younger as well) able to swim front and back with no float aid.
Thankfully he doesn’t seem too worried about it, and he’s not concerned about being the only child in the class swimming with a float belt.
My plan is that at Easter we’ll need to try and go swimming every day for the week I’m off to try and progress on his back.
And all the while, I’ll be shouting at him ‘tummy to the ceiling’.
Here’s helpful things to support your children in learning how to swim, from my affiliate links.
How long did it take for your children to learn to swim?
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