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Fear of water, or How to not be afraid to swim

It is easiest for children to learn to swim when they play catch-up next to each other. Catching up on the water, when you need to swim away from the chase in any way – the game is quite aggressive, but it helps. When a child forgets about his fears, he simply floats. And then he discovers that he is swimming, and if he does not have the benefit of supporting his fear, he realizes that his fear is not terrible, and he knows how to swim well.

A vivid version of the return of bold swimming is given in the story of B. Raevsky “Shock”, see →

On the other hand, remember: “Smart children are not afraid of anything, but they are careful and listen to their parents.” Sure!

Most often, children who are not afraid of anything and think of nothing drown on the water, and children who are afraid of everything. Grandmothers scare the child with their stories, like “one naughty child did not obey the elders, went swimming alone and drowned,” mothers scare the children with their anxiety, and fathers scare them into deep water.

Do not scare the baby!
Fear of water on water can lead to death in a seemingly absolutely safe (for those who are not afraid) places. To avoid such fears, do not scare children, but teach them to swim well and learn to think where to dive and where not to swim.

If you or your child are afraid to swim, start with the Float exercise. You go into the water from the chest, preferably in a shallow pool – so that it’s not at all scary, you inhale the air, hold your breath, bend down and raise your legs from the bottom. And … you are not drowning.

The trick is that a person alone does not drown in water. A person drowns when he starts to swallow water and begins to panic from this. Unlike speed sailing, water retention alone does not require virtually any physical effort. Exception: those who are afraid of drinking water quickly get tired in the water, don’t lower their heads into the water and, on the contrary, try to keep it above the water as high as possible …

Therefore, in order not to get tired and afraid of water in the water, learn to dive. And after that – learn to swim underwater, holding your breath. It is very simple, it is obtained even in children under one year old. Try it – you will succeed as well.

If you teach children to have fun and take small steps, without any fear, almost any child over 4 years old can be taught swimming in half an hour at most. Steps (all in shallow water):

Holding your breath and crouching, briefly diving headlong into the water. Repeatedly.
The same thing – staying longer with your head under water.
Inhale, immerse yourself in water and exhale in water.
Exercise “Float”. Compete for how long you can make a “Float”.
Make a “Float” and exhale into the water.
Dive under water and swim under water. Swim longer under water.
Inhale, swim a little longer under water to exhale everything into the water.
As if to dive and swim with your head immersed in water, although in reality, swim along the surface of the water.
In such a superficial swimming, follow the arms and legs to swim like a frog (future breaststroke).
In such a superficial swimming, teach yourself the movements of the arms and legs, as with a rabbit, but the head is always under water.
When the movements of the arms and legs are worked out, as in a breaststroke, start raising your head for inspiration – and exhale into the water.
When the movements of the arms and legs are worked out, as in a rabbit, start turning your head for inspiration – and exhale into the water.
Well, that’s it. Take time!
Yes, and no inflatable sleeves, circles and fins: this will interfere with future training for already competent swimming. You taught your child to swim and not be afraid of water, but only a competent trainer can teach your child how to swim.

My student, Tatyana Vandysheva, writes:
We went into the pool with my daughter’s girlfriends, one of them had a panic fear of water, it was very surprising and interesting, I haven’t seen this before. As a child, I trained my skills acquired in the SCP. As a result, the second girl learned to dive headlong and even swim deep in a life jacket. She would have sailed a little more. It is interesting that it was not tuning that helped; I tuned several times and brought it to the depths, but the result was still horror in the eyes and “I’m afraid.” As a result, at some point, I calmly said to her “I’m afraid”, “Well, be afraid, but swim.” There was a misunderstanding on her face, and in amazement she was afraid and swam. And I repeated – fear and swim, you can be afraid, but be sure to swim. And she encouraged – you see, it turns out that you can be afraid and swim. At some point, she forgot to be afraid and simply swam. In general, in 2 hours I did with her what I could not do with her for 7 years.

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