Overcoming Fear of Water
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Fear of water isn’t something only children face. People of all ages and levels, even competitive athletes can struggle with a fear of water—often stemming from a negative childhood experience. “Whether child or adult, overcoming fear of water is two-fold,” said Marni Kerner Cooper Fitness Center Swim Professional. “It’s about instilling confidence while building swimming skills.”
The two must go hand-in-hand.
Simply learning to swim doesn’t give someone who is afraid of water the confidence to jump into a swimming pool. But by teaching someone to swim while focusing on water safety skills, someone who is afraid of the water can learn to overcome that fear.
Overcoming a fear of water takes an experienced swim instructor who is able to teach not only the skill of swimming, but confidence in and around the water. The process can be slow. Forcing someone who is afraid of the water to swim can trigger and may even increase his or her fear. Every swimmer develops at his or her own pace and has their own set of fears to overcome.
Where to Begin
It’s best that someone who is afraid of the water begin in a warm, shallow pool. Private swimming pools are ideal because there is little activity in the water. Goggles are also important for someone who is learning to overcome a fear of water.
One of the first things to teach someone who is new to water is how to get to the side of a swimming pool or swim environment and climb out, so they know they are safe.
Learning to swim from a qualified instructor is one of the top ways to prevent drowning. Even infants can learn to swim. At Cooper Fitness Center, Kerner and other swim instructors teach children as young as 18 months swim lessons, during which they will learn Infant Swim Rescue (ISR) skills. ISR teaches babies to roll onto their backs and float, should they ever end up in the water alone.
“It’s never too early, and it’s never too late to learn to swim and enjoy the water,” said Kerner. “Although safety is essential, being in and around the water should be a fun experience for everyone.”
Benefits of Swimming
Swimming is a life skill; those who are comfortable and confident around the water are less likely to experience a water-related incident. “Fear of water is a healthy fear, it keeps you safe,” said Kerner. “At some point in time, you will encounter water, but without education—learning to swimming and safety skills—you may never truly be able to enjoy the water.”
To learn about private swim lessons and swim programs at Cooper Fitness Center click here or call 972.233.4832, ext. 4380.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.