Swimmers often have a difficult time sharing the sport that they love with others. People who don’t swim regularly are not as quick to jump in the water and swim a few laps. Swimming is not basketball, football, baseball, or soccer, in that people are not as easily convinced to participate. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise a human can possibly do, so not only are we attempting to share a sport that is a big part of our lives, but what also could be a lifetime of physical health and well-being. How do we convince a loved one to take a dip with us? We have a couple of suggestions.
First, people need to feel comfortable to get into the water. There seem to be a million different variables that make someone feel at home, but you may have control over a few of them. People are often concerned with the way their suit fits and makes them feel. They may be quick to jump ship if their suit does not fit them comfortably or if it is unflattering in appearance. Making sure someone is comfortable in what they are wearing is a great start to also ensure that they have a great time.
Less experienced swimmers also worry about their safety in the water. Pools that have both a shallow and deep end are more desirable to new swimmers. Whether you are swimming laps or simply enjoying the pool, everyone likes to feel in control during their time in the water. Although you may be an Olympic-caliber swimmer, do not assume that everyone will be as comfortable during their first few times in the pool.
Once you have addressed these or other initial concerns, your new swim partner will probably take some time to get into the groove of trekking to the pool on a regular basis. The ultimate goal of creating a new partner is to expose them to the amazing health benefits that the sport of swimming has to offer. Keep in mind that swimming is a sport that you can do for your entire life; the sport includes none of the impact that running and walking do.
When the time is right, make the suggestion to swim a couple of laps. It can be a game at first, and can slowly evolve into something more regular. Once you have reached a level that is comfortable, it may be time to start helping this new swimmer improve. Another large contributor to the success of a relationship with swimming is the improvement or perceived gain from the sport. Although the health benefits are surely there at any level of efficiency, it is good to encourage a swimmer to train with proper technique.
Although it is possible to become a good swimmer without gear, most coaches would argue that using equipment and drills to emphasize certain aspects of the stroke can accelerate a swimmer’s learning curve dramatically. At FINIS, we carry products that are very simple to use and are beneficial to athletes of all experience levels.
First and foremost, a pair of fins is extremely useful when teaching someone how to swim. Rather than swimming uphill, a good pair of FINIS Floating Fins or Zoomers Gold can create enough lift to bring the hips up towards the surface. From that point, the amount of energy exerted to move forward through the water is decreased dramatically, allowing for a new swimmer to spend more time in the water and complete more laps.
Another critical piece of equipment is the FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel. FINIS patented this product almost 17 years ago, as the first front-mounted snorkel on the market. When beginning to swim, many people have a hard time timing a breath into their stroke cycle. The snorkel takes that hassle away, as you have a constant supply of oxygen and can maintain proper body alignment. The center-mount design allows for balance throughout the swimming motion, as well as the ability to do turns without losing the snorkel.
In summary, we always wish to share the things that are important to us with the people we care about. It is extremely rewarding to help someone do something that they have never been able to do before. Next time you are headed to the pool, bring somebody that’s close to you along. With the right tactics and technique, anyone can learn to make swimming a healthy and enjoyable pastime.
Your friend in swimming,
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Be sociable. Share the gift of swimming, share the gift of good health.