How to teach someone to swim

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When beginning to swim, the most important thing to learn is how to float and trust in your buoyancy to carry you. Once you get that, you can start to work on your strokes.

Things You'll Need

  • Swimming pool
  • Kickboard
  • Start off in the shallow end of a pool, or in a shallow part of a lake.

  • Hold your hands out, palms up, slightly underwater.

  • Have the swimmer lie down on his back on top of your hands. Instruct him to hold his back, arms and legs relaxed, but straight. Support him as he floats on his back.

  • Gradually, relax your hands and let his buoyancy hold more and more of his weight. If he starts to sink, gently remind him to straighten his back, arms and legs.

  • Have the swimmer stand again and watch you. Swim around, showing him how to scissor kick.

  • Have him repeat the movement while supporting him.

  • Have the swimmer try the scissor kick with only a paddle board.

  • Show the swimmer how to do the frog kick as in Step 5. Then, repeat Steps 6 and 7 with the frog kick.

  • Teach him the arm movements for the breast stroke.

  • Have him try the breast stroke. By this point, he should be comfortable enough to swim a short distance without any help. If he still needs you to, support him while he swims.

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