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Learn to swim the fun way

Tips from a professional athlete

Fewer and fewer children are able to swim properly

These shortcomings cannot, however, simply be remedied with a few courses. “The most important thing is to get used to the water in a fun way,” says physical education teacher and triathlete Rebekka Ott. “As early as possible.”

The sooner children start coming into contact with water, the better. This is why Rebekka Ott is calling for parents to change their mind-set: “Don’t fret about when the best time to enrol your children in a swimming course is. It’s much better to take regular trips to the swimming pool or lake to show your children how much fun you can have in the water.“

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Playing games to overcome a fear of water

Many parents, however, do not know how to do this. That is why the swimming coach is sharing a few very simple tricks to make swimming more enjoyable for children. “The best way to accomplish this is by playing water games, which you can find in many sports shops, department stores or online.” These include, for example, a waterproof memory game that is placed at the bottom of a shallow swimming pool. The children have to submerge themselves a little to reach the cards, which feature fun designs. Or the salt water ball – a popular game from Rebekka Ott’s swimming classes: this involves letting the air out of a water ball and refilling it with salt water. “Children have a lot of fun with this, because the ball behaves very strangely under water. You can dribble it and pass it around.”

Waterproof card games or boards for drawing under water are also great sources of entertainment. The other players then have to swim to it, read the board and swim back again.

Children best learn the movements intuitively

For Rebekka Ott, having fun while learning to swim is very much in the foreground. “That’s why I don’t tell my students just to do a big push-off so that they will be able to reach the ball. I just throw the ball a little further away. The children then figure out how to get there on their own.” The enthusiastic triathlete believes that it is important for very young children to explore the water with their parents in an equally intuitive and playful way.

Fins are a good tool

Once the child has learned to submerge and stay afloat by paddling, they are ready for the next steps: arm and leg movements. Rebekka Ott has a great tip for this too: “I always give my non-swimmers fins and a kickboard. I then have them do the crawl kick, which is very intuitive. The fins further amplify the leg movements. For the kids, it creates a great sense of speed – it makes them feel strong and keeps them excited for the next swimming lesson.”

BINDER counter-current systems inspire you to swim

It’s not just fins and boards that make splashing around in the water fun. BINDER’s turbine-powered counter-current systems also transform swimming exercises into a fun pastime, as they change the pool into a small bathing paradise with their unique current. Getting used to the water feels almost like a holiday by the sea. The remote control and app also make it easy to control the flow strength, allowing you to adjust it to the children’s individual preferences at all times.

Experience in the water is more important than swimming style

You don’t become a safe swimmer by mastering a technique perfectly. It is far more about getting in the water often and having some fun with it, thereby gaining more experience.

Further tips and information on the topic are available, for example, from the German Life Saving Association (DLRG)

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