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14-01-2008, 22:38   #1
lisajane
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Learning to swim as an adult

Is it easy? Iv seen people swim and they make it look so easy. Im 25 and dont know how to swim. Iv got my first swimming lesson booked. Im not nervous (yet) but what can i expect? Would they teach me to float on my first lesson. Would they give me those kiddie floats? How long would it take to learn to swim?
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15-01-2008, 00:07   #2
zardette
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Hi there,

I took it up last autumn as my knees were in a bad way. I went with a friend and with mutual encouragement and support and a few lessons I could swim the front crawl (not very well) in a week. With dedication and and love for the pool I went every day for an hour and I could swim all the strokes in a few months.

I would defo say it possible (if you put in the effort) and and very well worth it!

In the first lesson they taught me how to not fear the water.

After that the lessons just really gave me the motivation to practice.

The best way for me was getting my buddy to watch my stroke and to help me find my balance in the water.


So go for it

Z
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15-01-2008, 01:27   #3
BossArky
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I taught my girlfriend to swim over the past few years, on hols once or twice a year. If you put your mind to it you should be splashing around confidently in a few months.

Here are some things you should aim to learn you progress:
  • thread water
  • swim across the pool
  • swim arcross and back
  • swim up
  • swim up and back
  • swim up and back multiple times (each stroke)
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15-01-2008, 09:49   #4
hunnymonster
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Lisajane, As the others have said it;s not difficult. If you're not scared of water I would go so far as to say, yes it is easy. I only learned in August 2005 when I was well into my thirties! The teacher will base your lesson on how you are. If you are scared of the water the first thing will be to get you comfortable, if you are ok then getting used to the feeling of moving in the water and then of course they will have to teach you the strokes. Don't worry about it, it should be fun. enjoy it and do come back and tell us how you got on.
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15-01-2008, 10:49   #5
JG1
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Zardette, where did you go for lessons? I have gone to different classes in Dublin over the past 3 years and have been disappointed. Would love to give it another go.
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15-01-2008, 11:46   #6
hunnymonster
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JG1, have you gone to group classes or one on one?
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15-01-2008, 14:30   #7
JG1
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They were always group lessons. I'm thinking one on one might be better for me. I have a fear of the deep end and I think overcoming this would go a long way to helping me improve as a swimmer.

Someone told me that the Markiewicz pool does one on one lessons. Do you know of anywhere else?
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15-01-2008, 19:41   #8
zardette
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hi JG1,

The lessons where in a group and they were not based in Dublin and even though there were good I wouldn't recommend traveling 3hrs for lessons

What I found good was:
1. Reading and watching the DVD on total immersion
http://www.totalimmersion.net/
2. Getting someone with me to build up my confidence in the water as I was very nervous. Being with someone that you are comfortable with was a key step in gaining confidence in the water.
3. Getting them to help me with the drills that are on this video and to watch my stroke was key to improving. Often it is difficult to see what you are doing wrong yourself.

The one thing I found hard was breathing in the water and I found that learning good body rotation was hard but well worth it once you get it right..

I think the one on one is very good advice and I suppose I got it from my buddy for free (well almost, I did have to make it a few dinners)
Z
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16-01-2008, 11:37   #9
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When starting from scratch with adults, confidence in the water is biggest thing to overcome. Once you master that, you'll progress very quickly. Adults are a lot more aware of the dangers with water as opposed to kids which you can just throw into the pool (Not literally but close enough to)

I had a young girl once (mid 20's), in a 4ft pool who was terrified of letting go of the wall as she thought she would be swept away?? We got over that fear quite quickly.

For t he OP: It really depends on the class level/size, how good your teacher is and what your level is. When teaching adults I never ask them to wear armbands (kiddie float??) or are you talking about the kick boards? Kick boards are a vital tool and are used by all levels up to professional level. Personally, for stability, I’d start brand new beginners on woggles first and work up from there.

http://www.gb-sports.co.uk/water_woggles.jpg

How long it will take varies from person to person but if you try everything as best you can and take your time to get it right in the beginning then it shouldn’t take too long. People can progress in as fast as one lesson. My current group are on lengths after 6-8 weeks.

Go for it and push yourself to try everything.
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16-01-2008, 14:10   #10
JG1
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Thanks. Managed a length in a 25m pool last night even though it was only 5ft in depth! Next, it's a full length in a proper shallow/deep end pool. Just need to overcome my fear. If anyone knows someone who offers one on one lessons in Dublin, please let me know.
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28-10-2010, 20:02   #11
liam100
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Learning to swim as an adult

Despite what the the previous posters say learning to swim for the first time as an adult is NOT easy. I've been having one to one lessons for the past 3 months from a swimming instructor in Dublin and am still not able to swim one length of the pool. Mastering the freestyle which is the first stroke you have to learn takes a LOT of practice which you need to do between your lessons. Maintaining correct streamline position with correct coordination of breathing, arm strokes with a good leg kick is very difficult but eventually comes with constant practice. People who say learning to swim as an adult is easy are lying. It takes a lot of work.
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29-10-2010, 13:10   #12
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I agree that it’s not the same for all adults learning to swim. Some defiantly take longer than others and also depends on their expectations: is it to be confident to do a few widths? Maybe a whole length? Or do they intend to do a triathlon?

The advantage of adults is their real willingness to learn, a much better focus and normally more strength than kids. But as pointed out earlier, there are downsides in that adults can be more wary and need more confidence boasting.

Liam100: Where you starting from scratch at the beginning of the 3 months? What’s stopping you doing a whole length?

Frontcrawl is not the only way to get to that first length. Try some backcrawl to build stamina and work on the kick and reach that hurdle.

I agree that it’s not easy but extremely rewarding none the less.
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29-10-2010, 22:30   #13
Burkatron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liam100 View Post
Despite what the the previous posters say learning to swim for the first time as an adult is NOT easy. I've been having one to one lessons for the past 3 months from a swimming instructor in Dublin and am still not able to swim one length of the pool. Mastering the freestyle which is the first stroke you have to learn takes a LOT of practice which you need to do between your lessons. Maintaining correct streamline position with correct coordination of breathing, arm strokes with a good leg kick is very difficult but eventually comes with constant practice. People who say learning to swim as an adult is easy are lying. It takes a lot of work.
Liam100, everything Clseeper has said is quality advice & you should defo take note of it. The 1 question I'd have for you before I'd give my opinion is how often do you practice outside of your swimming lessons?
If you're going for lessons once a week you will progress very slowly! You need to get in the water at minimum once a week & practice what you're instructor is showing you for yourself. You'll progress alot quicker & get the satisfaction of teaching yourself! This works extremely well with my students!

If you're getting more then 1 lesson a week & progressing slowly I'd consider changing instructors as a different approach might work for you!(providing you dont have any fears of the water you're overcoming or other factors you haven't mentioned)
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31-10-2010, 23:13   #14
liam100
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Learning to swim as an adult

Yes, I started swimming from scratch and didn't have any fear of water. Also I do make a point of always practicing between my once weekly lessons - usually for 1-2 sessions. My problem is the breathing on the frontcrawl which I'm having severe difficulty with. I maintain a streamline position and trickle breathe i.e blow bubbles continuously under water. Usually after the 3rd head turn to the side I'm completely out of breath which stops me swimming in my tracks usually at about 10m approximately. Then I have to start again. What I think may be happening is that my leg kick may be faltering slightly which causes me to sink. Obviously the frontcrawl is the most difficult for breathing because the face is continuously in the water. My instructor has told me that I should master the frontcrawl before attempting backcrawl or breaststroke. Should I change instructors or carry on and hope for the best? I'm stuck on a plateau at the moment. Thanks.
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01-11-2010, 00:32   #15
Burkatron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liam100 View Post
Yes, I started swimming from scratch and didn't have any fear of water. Also I do make a point of always practicing between my once weekly lessons - usually for 1-2 sessions. My problem is the breathing on the frontcrawl which I'm having severe difficulty with. I maintain a streamline position and trickle breathe i.e blow bubbles continuously under water. Usually after the 3rd head turn to the side I'm completely out of breath which stops me swimming in my tracks usually at about 10m approximately. Then I have to start again. What I think may be happening is that my leg kick may be faltering slightly which causes me to sink. Obviously the frontcrawl is the most difficult for breathing because the face is continuously in the water. My instructor has told me that I should master the frontcrawl before attempting backcrawl or breaststroke. Should I change instructors or carry on and hope for the best? I'm stuck on a plateau at the moment. Thanks.
It's late so this is post is a bit all over the place, but anyway!

Are you breathing every 2nd stroke?

Are you breathing to your dominant side? i.e if you're right handed do you roll
to your right?


If you're struggling with your legs how is your instructor rectifying this?


If the answer to the 3rd question is not enough there's a couple of options.
Option 1 - Get a kickboard & start swimming leg sets till your legs get stronger/technique gets better.

Option 2 - Start training with swim fins. They'll help correct your leg kick & will strengthen your legs & also have the pay off of improving propulsion which in turn should hopefully help with your breathing technique.

TBH thats pretty standard to teach front crawl 1st, then backstroke then Breast stroke. Learn the more efficient strokes 1st! Where are you based & someone might be able to recommend an instructor! As I said before, a different instructor will have slightly different methods that might suit you better.
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