Know Your Swimmer: Water Safety vs Stroke Technique
It is important to know your swimmer’s strengths and weaknesses before signing up for swim lessons.
If it’s a child’s first time in the water then instructors will focus on water safety. If a child can swim for a short period of time but has to stop on a wall often, then the teacher will work on stroke technique.
Understanding the differences between water safety and stroke technique can help swim lessons go by more efficiently as instructors will know what to improve on or teach on the first day.
Not only is this helpful for everyone in the water but it will also help parents get a better understanding of where their child is at when it comes to swimming on their own. Steve Wallen Swim School is located in El Dorado Hills and Roseville, and has been teaching swim lessons and water safety for over 40 years!
Water safety involves skills that will remain with a swimmer for the rest of their life.
These involve being able to float, roll from front to back, roll from back to front, learning how to enter and exit the water, how to properly develop breath control, etc. Similar to mastering riding a bicycle, once a person learns how to swim safely, they will never forget.
Although it is very important to practice routinely in order to retain developed skills. Some instructors teach water safety skills during the introduction of strokes while others teach safety skills before.
It all depends on how comfortable the teachers are with their swimmers, and vice versa, but regardless water safety is always a #1 priority.
Once water safety is developed, our highly trained swim instructors will progress to learning all four competitive strokes, starts, turns, other racing strategies, as well as focus on stroke technique and efficiency.
Stroke technique is primarily for swimmers who are already comfortable in the water.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they already know how to swim on their own, but these people may be familiar with some of the strokes and are looking to improve their technique. Stroke technique can be taught for beginner, intermediate, and competitive swimmers.
Our swim instructors can tailor our programs to meet every swimmer’s individual need.
Like water safety skills, stroke technique can be implemented during or after learning water safety skills. Depending on how comfortable our swim instructors are with the progress of the swimmer, they can potentially work on stroke technique sooner than expected.
Stroke technique can include skills such as proper breathing for a stroke, ensuring straight kicks in the water, and fixing other tendencies might be preventing one from swimming faster.
Our goal at Steve Wallen Swim School is to initially help every swimmer become water safe and develop the life skill of swimming. Once a swimmer has developed water safety, we can progress to teaching stroke technique and efficiency as no one can ever be too good at swimming. Michael Phelps, the best swimmer in the world, still works on his stroke technique and efficiency.
For some, it takes a while to get comfortable with the water and for others, they take to it right away. Whatever the case is, we are prepared to help our swimmers learn to swim in the quickest most efficient way possible.
Our state-of-the-art, indoor facilities are open year round and offer the best swimming lessons in the area for baby swimming lessons, kids swimming lessons, and adult swimming lessons of all skill levels.
By: Julian Tack, Swim Instructor