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Improving/Learning to swim

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  • #2


    Not sure if this is the right thread but I just wanted advice on improving my swimming.
    I've recently taken it up again after many years. Now I'd say my technique is OK but I'm struggling trying to get the breathing right. Basically having to stop because I'm not getting the inhalation right.
    I'm aware of the theory.
    Breathe out underwater and continue while turning the head then inhale; one goggle in the water; inhale bilaterally ideally; turn body and head; keep the hips up so the head is level; etc.
    Gleaned mostly from expert swimmers on YouTube.
    But I'm having difficulty putting it into practice.
    Is it normal when starting out to have difficulty with breathing.

    Any drills I could do.
    I have wondered about "quietening" down my arm movement for now and just concentrating on getting my hips up and practising turning my body and head.
    Any advice.


  • #2
    Hi all,

    I'm interested in adult swimming lessons in Dublin City Centre. I can already do backstroke, front crawl and tread water. I want to learn freestyle, but don't currently put my head under the water (scared). Can somebody recommend a swim instructor for 1:1? I'd be grateful. I'm thinking of the Markievich pool.

    Thanks a lot.


  • #2


    Not sure if this is the right thread but I just wanted advice on improving my swimming.
    I've recently taken it up again after many years. Now I'd say my technique is OK but I'm struggling trying to get the breathing right. Basically having to stop because I'm not getting the inhalation right.
    I'm aware of the theory.
    Breathe out underwater and continue while turning the head then inhale; one goggle in the water; inhale bilaterally ideally; turn body and head; keep the hips up so the head is level; etc.
    Gleaned mostly from expert swimmers on YouTube.
    But I'm having difficulty putting it into practice.
    Is it normal when starting out to have difficulty with breathing.

    Any drills I could do.
    I have wondered about "quietening" down my arm movement for now and just concentrating on getting my hips up and practising turning my body and head.
    Any advice.

    I'm in the same boat - I am fairly fit and my general stroke is OK, however my breathing is terrible. I usually end up swallowing a bit of water and then my stroke goes off and I end up flapping everywhere and have to give up.


  • #2


    hadoken13 wrote: »
    I'm in the same boat - I am fairly fit and my general stroke is OK, however my breathing is terrible. I usually end up swallowing a bit of water and then my stroke goes off and I end up flapping everywhere and have to give up.

    I was in the same boat too and still am when I don't swim for a while. What worked for me is to slow down. I used to just swim hell for leather but like that couldn't breathe enough. So I just slowed down and built up speed. Find a speed that you can breathe properly and it will all come together!


  • #2


    breadbin wrote: »
    I was in the same boat too and still am when I don't swim for a while. What worked for me is to slow down. I used to just swim hell for leather but like that couldn't breathe enough. So I just slowed down and built up speed. Find a speed that you can breathe properly and it will all come together!

    Ye I'll do that next time I'm out - I do try to take it slow, but I don't swim that often so maybe I need to just keep at it.


  • #2


    Well I've finally got the ball rolling. Had my first one-to-one lesson in the Mespil pool on Wednesday evening. I wasn't sure how I did at the time but thinking back, I got my head under and was able to lunge forward and float. Couldn't really move much and the instructor was telling me I was breathing through my nose.

    I tried again today on my own in my gym, first time I ever used the pool there. I could see that the breathing was an issue because I couldn't stay under again. If I plugged my nose, I could go under just fine though. When I got home I looked online for breathing techniques and I think I might have found something that works for me, so I'll try again in my next lesson on Tuesday.

    I think I'm doing okay, considering that I hadn't been in a pool at all for 20 years, and then only once after that.


  • #2


    Great thread. I start swimming lessons on Friday, I'm terrified.


  • #2


    Where you learning littlebuddy? Im looking for a place close to Blanchardstown


  • #2


    Murphyj7 in the whitford hotel in wexford.


  • #2


    Murphj7 wrote: »
    Where you learning littlebuddy? Im looking for a place close to Blanchardstown

    National Aquatic Centre?


  • #2


    Lots of useful information in that article.

    You need to find a teacher with experience and a good reputation! Find out their
    experience and if possible watch a lesson given by the teacher, you will have a better
    idea of what is involved. Sometimes a teacher can put someone off by not being
    the right fit for the individual. There is more at stake than learning to swim! Personal development, confidence building and a personal challenge for some necessary on medical advice.

    It is important to give the teacher relevant information about past experiences, good and bad so that a personal plan can be designed to suit each individual, we are all different and learn in different ways, at a different pace, different levels of fear, and a good working relationship is also important.

    Group lessons are not for everyone, if you have little or no fear, it can be fun and you
    will learn to swim, but if you have real fear, give yourself a chance and have a one-two-lesson or with a friend.


  • #2


    Lots of useful information in that article.

    You need to find a teacher with experience and a good reputation! Find out their
    experience and if possible watch a lesson given by the teacher, you will have a better
    idea of what is involved. Sometimes a teacher can put someone off by not being
    the right fit for the individual. There is more at stake than learning to swim! Personal development, confidence building and a personal challenge for some, swimming is advised for medical reasons.

    It is important to give the teacher relevant information about past experiences, good and bad so that a personal plan can be designed to suit each individual,
    we are all different and learn in different ways, at a different pace, different levels of fear, and a good working relationship is also important.

    Group lessons are not for everyone, if you have little or no fear, it can be fun and you
    will learn to swim, but if you have real fear, give yourself a chance and have a one-two-one lesson or with a friend.


  • #2


    To be successful you need to find a teacher with experience and a good reputation. Do a little research and make sure the person is properly qualified and experienced so that you improve quickly and gain lots of water skills in a shorter time. Find out their experience and if possible watch a lesson given by the teacher. You will have a better idea of what is involved. Sometimes a teacher can put someone off by not being the “right fit” for the individual. Most times there is more at stake than learning to swim! There are other considerations at play, e.g. personal development, confidence building, personal challenge for some, getting over a lifelong fear of water, or because swimming is now the only option, for medical reasons.
    It is important to give the teacher relevant information about past experiences, good and bad so that a personal plan can be designed to suit you personally, ask about this before you decide on the teacher.
    We are all different and learn in different ways, have different styles of learning and we do not all learn at the same pace. There are also different levels of fear so you may want to have the teacher in the water with you when you are having your lessons, make sure this is an option.
    Group lessons are not for everyone, if you have little or no fear, it can be fun and you will improve and learn to swim, but if you have real fear, give yourself a chance and have a one-two-one lesson or with a friend.


  • #2


    For those returning to swimming I just want to share my experience.

    It took me 6 - 8 weeks to make a breakthrough and the breakthrough was to STOP KICKING, that's what worked for me.

    I started about 12 weeks ago, not from scratch, I swam as a kid and am now 40, I took group lessons 3 years ago too but found little improvement, breathing was always my problem.

    Anyway I went back to the pool 12 weeks ago with a goal of 20 lengths. I struggled to get there for 6 weeks and then made a breakthrough, I STOPPED KICKING.
    At 8 weeks I could do 20 lengths.

    Every day I focussed on something different, slow down, which side to breath, arm movement.
    I'm still focussing on these but at least I'm over the hurdle, I think I can do 50 lengths and am gonna try it this week.

    Use youtube and swimsmooth.com to find swim techniques.


  • #2


    Can anyone recommend someone in Dublin for private lessons? I am currently doing group lessons and have progressed as much as I am going to at the moment due to nerves. I really feel having an instructor in the water will help me over come my fears.


  • #2


    Hi, apologies for not reading this entire thread.
    I'm in my late thirties wanting to learn to swim. I'm not afraid of the water (learnt how to surf and row so have fallen into water many a time!) I'm just a little apprehensive about putting my entire face into the water but nothing that would cause any fear.

    I'm looking for an 8-10 week program and my question is this - if you have one lesson per week and it's advisable to practise a few times a week independently, do you have to join a gym (with swimming pool) as well as take the lessons?

    I'm really trying to keep costs down and am not a gym-goer so would only be using the pool for the practice.
    Do hotel pools do a deal where if you join, they will throw in swimming lessons?
    Sorry to sound ignorant about this!


  • #2


    Firstly, great thread, thanks one & all.

    I'm in a similar situation to many on here, always had a fear of the water & never thought I'd get to the stage where I could put my face & head under, managed to conquer that particular fear last year (other than still managing to get some water up my nose which admittedly freaked me out slightly) on holidays with our 3 yo twins & decided to bite the bullet & take lessons...

    Starting my first ever swimming lesson tonight in the NAC & am both excited & nervous at the same time, my wife thinks I'll be fine as she reckons I look far from nervous when standing in the water & messing with the kids in water but I still have that fear of letting go & trying to float or lift my feet... I'm determined to do my best to get over this & genuinely feel if I can get over that I'll love the whole experience... so fingers crossed it goes well & I manage to make some progress. I just hope I'm not the only lame duck so to speak starting tonight as I'd hate to feel like I was the only one starting out from scratch.

    Reading this thread has given me a whole new perspective on breathing & how important it is (well obviously, but you know what I mean) & I think if i can control that rather than panicking I'll be half way there.... at least I hope so.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • #2


    DvB wrote:
    Starting my first ever swimming lesson tonight in the NAC & am both excited & nervous at the same time, my wife thinks I'll be fine as she reckons I look far from nervous when standing in the water & messing with the kids in water but I still have that fear of letting go & trying to float or lift my feet... I'm determined to do my best to get over this & genuinely feel if I can get over that I'll love the whole experience... so fingers crossed it goes well & I manage to make some progress. I just hope I'm not the only lame duck so to speak starting tonight as I'd hate to feel like I was the only one starting out from scratch.

    How did the lesson go? I started doing lessons in December and was nervous going to the first one, I thought I'd be the only absolute novice and would make a show of myself. It was fine, most of us were at the same level. I'm still at it now and it's going well but I haven't fully lost my fear of the water yet. Progress has been slow enough for me but I'm up to doing 25 or so lengths of the pool each lesson now with either front crawl or back crawl.


  • #2


    RonanP77 wrote: »
    How did the lesson go? I started doing lessons in December and was nervous going to the first one, I thought I'd be the only absolute novice and would make a show of myself. It was fine, most of us were at the same level. I'm still at it now and it's going well but I haven't fully lost my fear of the water yet. Progress has been slow enough for me but I'm up to doing 25 or so lengths of the pool each lesson now with either front crawl or back crawl.

    Had two lessons now, the first one started off at a pace I wasn't expecting though in hindsight that wasn't a bad thing, in 45 minutes the instructor had me doing stuff I never imagined I'd be able to do. Namely gliding across the pool with my legs up, kicking all the time with my face under water & exhaling at a nice steady rhythm. Struggled at the end of the first lesson with the standing up from a face down position, instructor said I was trying to do it too fast & for was not getting the coordination right. Second lesson started slowly as I got a tad nervous with the breathing exercises in the warm up but soon got a bit of confidence back, still struggled a bit with the standing up from face down position but fine with it from the dead man's float which I got the knack of quicker than I ever thought possible.

    I'm still nervous, & I don't see that changing in this first course of lessons if I'm honest, but I'm seeing progress & that's encouraging. If I can comfortable with the standing up I reckon It'll give me the confidence to push on. I'm easily the biggest novice in the class, the rest could already do the basics if not more & seem to be progressing at a far greater pace, they can do full widths for example where I'd have to stand up (badly) a couple of times & have yet to start using my arms (am just gliding & kicking for now) but to be fair the instructor is great & gives equal time to us all despite being at varying levels of competency. I'll be sticking with it though, thats for sure.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • #2


    Quick update on my lessons (or lack thereof) managed to make it to my third lesson after a gap of a week to allow for the national championships in the NAC, the extra week break seemed to have a big impact on me though as my nerves came back badly, to the extent that I was unable to repeat the exercises I'd been able to do two weeks previously... this I must admit left me very frustrated & disheartened as I'd really felt I was doing well after the first 2 lessons. The thing is, I've been away on holidays & missed my next 2 lessons and am wondering if going back to complete the last three (of 8 in total) is worthwhile or whether I'd be better waiting for the next round of lessons & start from scratch again?
    Whilst away on holidays I did manage to get into a pool 3 or 4 times (which was bloody cold!!) but never managed to get much of a chance to do even the basic stuff (other than controlling my breathing/exhalation under the water) so its really 4 weeks now since I had my last (unsuccessful) lesson & am wondering if I'm a lost cause?

    Anyone else ever been in this position or experienced something similar? I felt determined & excited at the outset but seem to have been unable to control my nerves (not helped by the timing admittedly) to the extent now I'm wondering if I need a fresh start or if I should give up & accept the fact I'll never be able to swim...

    Any instructors here who've had beginners as pathetic as myself? & betetr still ones that managed to conqueor their fears?
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • #2


    DvB wrote:
    Anyone else ever been in this position or experienced something similar? I felt determined & excited at the outset but seem to have been unable to control my nerves (not helped by the timing admittedly) to the extent now I'm wondering if I need a fresh start or if I should give up & accept the fact I'll never be able to swim...

    Go back for the last few lessons and when you get there, relax. Everyone doing lessons has bad days. I certainly had a few lessons where I felt I took a big step backwards. I've been doing lessons for 6 months now and I'm still afraid of the water but I'm doing alright.

    The thing I notice with most people is that if they think about it too much they'll tense up and it'll go badly. Take your time, keep trying, don't put so much pressure on yourself and you'll be grand.


  • #2


    RonanP77 wrote: »
    The thing I notice with most people is that if they think about it too much they'll tense up and it'll go badly. Take your time, keep trying, don't put so much pressure on yourself and you'll be grand.

    Funnily enough, my instructor said that exact thing to me, that I was over thinking it & making too big a deal of it, tensing up & then making it so much harder... to be fair she's great & very encouraging, I just seem to be obsessing about it & mixing that in with my nerves is a real stumbling block.

    Thanks for the feedback though, at least I know I'm not the only one that hasn't managed to get over a fear of the water in a few lessons.
    "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year" - Charles Dickens




  • #2


    Does anybody know if the prices for group lessons are the same now?


  • #2


    Don't want to start a thread for this question & have tried searching. I'm planning on starting to swim more often at Seapoint in Dublin, what do people do with their car keys when they go swimming on their own? I'd just be conscious of leaving them with my towel/bag if I'm in the water for an extended period of time.


  • #2


    Don't want to start a thread for this question & have tried searching. I'm planning on starting to swim more often at Seapoint in Dublin, what do people do with their car keys when they go swimming on their own? I'd just be conscious of leaving them with my towel/bag if I'm in the water for an extended period of time.

    I put mine in a tow float and bring them with me. Although I have never had my bag interfered with there


  • #2


    Hi folks,

    I've been doing group lessons down the local pool since May. I've progressed really well from not being able to swim at all, to be able to swim a 25m length of the pool.

    I'm still very weak on the front crawl, to the point I'm completely out of breath when I finally get to the end of the pool (when I make it on that stroke).

    I work near the NAC & I was thinking about jacking the group lessons and joining NAC. I think time in the water would really benefit me & was thinking I might do a couple of private one to one lessons.

    What is the NAC like for a novice swimmer? I'd be keen to stay within my depth if I could, or at least swim in a lane with a rail.

    Thanks


  • #2


    I've been doing one to one lessons for a few weeks now. Progress is really slow but I've lost my fear of water and no longer tense up. Being shown how to push up from under the water and stand was huge for me as I'd always have panicked before.
    My problem now is floating. No matter what I just can't do it. I'm thin with strong legs from running and I'm short. Not a huge deal of fat on me, so I think this is my problem. From reading up it seems unlikely my body will float naturally so maybe I just need to focus on my stroke and kick and the movement will come.
    Anybody similar stature have any advice?


  • #2


    Hi

    Only started swimming after a many years so not an expert, and not totally sure what you are asking, but regarding floating do you take a good breath - hold it and lay on your back in the water? have a look at these links www.google.com/search?q=how+to+float+in+water+for+beginners


  • #2


    Family got me swimming lessons for Xmas.

    Never swam. Always had a fear of water as a youngster, can't explain why. Always got a note to get me out of swimming at school.

    Only since I started Sun holidays with kids in the last handful of years have I got over the fear and will now get into pools ok. I don't mind walking up to my chin but can't keep my head under water or hold my breath. I'm am embarrassment !!

    So a bit apprehensive about starting the lessons. Think they are 1 to 1, and don't want to appear like a big baby. Hopefully it will work out as id love to be able to jump into a pool in the heat and have a swim, like my young kids!


  • #2


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Family got me swimming lessons for Xmas.

    Never swam. Always had a fear of water as a youngster, can't explain why. Always got a note to get me out of swimming at school.

    Only since I started Sun holidays with kids in the last handful of years have I got over the fear and will now get into pools ok. I don't mind walking up to my chin but can't keep my head under water or hold my breath. I'm am embarrassment !!

    So a bit apprehensive about starting the lessons. Think they are 1 to 1, and don't want to appear like a big baby. Hopefully it will work out as id love to be able to jump into a pool in the heat and have a swim, like my young kids!

    I was the same - never learnt to swim and just stayed away from water.

    It was only watching my kids learn, and seeing their fearlessness that made me decide I finally work up the courage to try. So I did swimming lessons for like a year. I'm still a terrible swimmer, can't go out of my depth but now at least I can enjoy being in the pool with my kids.

    When we went to France on holidays spent the entire holiday in the pool, either playing shark or giving them water taxis. It was the best craic. So delighted I did the lessons. Even though I've now stopped, with coaching the kids GAA team, work & college, I haven't got the time for them at the moment. But plan to go back to it, learn how to swim properly. Would love to do a triathlon one day.

    It's hard at first, feels like you're getting nowhere. But bit by bit, your confidence will improve, till eventually, even before you would call yourself a 'swimmer' you lose that nervousness in the water.

    Don't worry bout looking looking silly, everyone starts somewhere. If they're 1 on 1 that even better, the swim coaches are well used to people being nervous in water.

    Enjoy the lessons, they'll be the best present you ever got.


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