Dock Bridge & Noodle Fountain
Why: Conditioning for Breath Control. Conditioning is used to teach the student to hold their breath in response to the water being poured over their head. Use this skill to train parents to pour the water gently over their child. Proper conditioning is a crucial step to preparing a student for their first underwater experience. Students can practice this skill on the front or back, but be careful to not pour large amounts of water on the face when students are on the back as they are more likely to get water up their noses in that position.
How: Set up the bridge by placing a dock close to the wall and creating a “bridge” for parents and student to travel under, once in place, hold the noodle up against the jet to create a fountain for them to pass through while getting their head wet. Train parents to walk slowly through the bridge and under the fountain and look for the natural reaction of the child when the water pours over their face. After a few cycles you should notice that the student is prepared and simply closes their eyes and mouth when under the water. Always practice pouring the water from the back of the child’s head to the front so it is less intimidating.
FOR MORE ADVANCED STUDENTS; Encourage parents to submerge their child while moving under the bridge, and / or the fountain. NOTE; A dock is not always available, this skill can still be accomplished by holding a yellow mat as a bridge and sprinkling the water from above (students can travel through on belly and / or back).