If you're an avid swimmer who has always found joy in the sport, you might naturally gravitate toward enrolling your child in a swim club. While the club's instructors will be highly qualified, you'll also be able to help your child work on the sport's fundamentals on your own time. Whether you attend public swims at your local aquatic center or borrow a neighbor's backyard pool for some practice, your sessions together can make your young swimmer more accustomed to the water, which will help him or her succeed in the swim club. Here are some particular things to work on.
A strong ability to tread water will help your child succeed in the swim club. Treading water isn't the most exciting swimming-related fundamental; children will prefer jumping off the diving board and swimming laps. However, it's a necessary skill that the instructors will emphasize. Work with your child on keeping his or her head above water and pumping the arms and legs to remain in a vertical position. Some kids will attempt to partially float on their backs, but this is poor mechanics, so encourage your child to move his or her limbs instead of trying to float.
Many children find swimming the back crawl to be a challenge because, unlike the front crawl, they no longer have their eyes fixed in their direction of travel. Practicing the back crawl is ideal in an indoor aquatic center. Teach your child to pick a point on the ceiling and follow it with his or her eyes. In many indoor pools, the ceiling will be made of up beams that run in the same direction as the lanes. This will allow your young swimmer to move in a straight line, rather than veer off into another lane. Practicing this skill will help the child excel with this stroke in the swim club's meets.
Staying Under Water
For young swimmers, trusting their ability to hold their breath and swim under water can take a lot of practice. The natural inclination will often be to panic and swim to the surface, but practicing with your child can make him or her more calm with this fundamental. You can stand in the shallow end several yards from your child and set small goals, such as having the child swim to you while remaining underwater. Continue to expand the distance of the swim, and pretty soon the young swimmer will feel perfectly comfortable while submerged.