Swimming is a skill that can be learned at any age and it’s a great way to stay healthy. It burns lots of calories, tones the body and stokes the metabolism without placing too much stress on the joints. It’s also an impressive sport to master, especially if you’re competing. But, like any other skill, swimming takes time and practice to master. For beginners, it can be intimidating to get into the water, but with consistency and patience the process can be speeded up significantly.
The first thing beginners must learn to do is swim on their backs and kick. This is often a big fear barrier that can be overcome with proper training and the help of an experienced swimmer. Beginners should always wear a proper swim cap to avoid tangling in hair and it is recommended that they start with a shallow end of the pool to get accustomed to holding their breath underwater.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to work on the strokes. The most difficult is freestyle, as it involves moving the legs in a certain motion and linking them to the arm movement. However, once you’ve mastered the freestyle stroke, backstroke is fairly easy and breaststroke comes next. Butterfly usually takes the longest to learn as it’s a more technical stroke and requires more coordination in the water.
A common mistake that swimmers make is overexerting themselves, which can result in cramping and exhaustion. A good swimmer will recognize when they’ve pushed themselves too hard and take a rest to recover before the next set. Taking regular swim lessons helps beginners to stay consistent in the water which speeds up the learning process because skills build on each other.
Another important thing for beginners to remember is to always follow pool etiquette, including staying right to the edge of the lane and not splashing or making waves in the water. This will ensure that swimmers aren’t in the way of other swimmers and it will keep the lane clear for everyone.
Lastly, the most important tip for beginners is to never be afraid of the water. Almost everyone has some fear of the water, whether it’s from a traumatic experience as a child or an irrational fear of drowning. However, by getting over this fear and sticking with it, you’ll soon realize that swimming is a fun and rewarding form of exercise.
Floating, breathing, and kicking are the most basic skills that beginner swimmers must master before they can begin to develop their own style and technique. For beginners, the best way to learn these fundamentals is with a certified swimming instructor. So, be sure to find one near you and mark their dates in your calendar to keep your swimming routine consistent. With patience, perseverance and the help of an experienced swimmer, anyone can learn to swim! For more tips and tricks, visit U.S. Masters Swimming for a database of local pools by zip code.