1. Safe Entry and Travel to the Dock
Why: To ensure that all students enter the pool and monkey walk to the dock safely. It is our goal to begin each class within three minutes. Although this takes time at the beginning, developing this routine will make it easier each week.
How: Students may walk from the stairs to the wall, grab on and monkey walk to the dock, or students sit on the edge of the pool, roll to their bellies and slide in. You may practice this all at once or one at a time depending on the comfort of the class. Once they are all hanging onto the wall they can monkey walk as a group to the dock.
2. Little Green Frog
Why: To introduce students to the class in a fun and friendly way.
How : Once students are safe on the dock, take the time to get them acclimated to the water by singing a fun song. Encourage them submerge their chins along with you or pop your bubbles!
Why: To develop breath control and prepare students to submerge.
How: Use a cup to gently pour water over the student’s heads. Use the que of 1 – 2 – 3 and then gently pour the water from the back of the student’s head to the front. Let the water wash over their face and encourage them to close their eyes and mouths to practice breath control. Using the same que each time will be helpful in allowing your student to prepare for the water washing over their faces.
4. Kick, Kick, Kick with Small Blue Barbells
Why: To encourage independent movement through kicking.
How: The small blue barbells provide enough balance for a non swimmer to feel comfortable. When students feel buoyant and balanced they will feel more confident with independent movement. Encourage the students to kick toward you, the dock, stairs or wall.
5. Back Float with Teacher
Why: To achieve buoyancy, balance and relaxation in the water.
How: Position the student with their head resting on one shoulder and support them at or near their waist. Encourage them to relax on their back while submerging their ears and looking up.
6. Belly Float with Teacher
Why: To achieve buoyancy, balance, breath control and relaxation in the water.
How: Support the students one at a time by holding them under the shoulders and facing you. Encourage them to put their face in the water step by step. Starting with submerging their chin, lips, nose and then eyes.
7. Glide or Swim to the Teacher
Why: For the student who is comfortable with breath control, buoyancy and balance.
How: For a student who is comfortable with breath control, buoyancy and balance to initiate independent gliding and swimming. Position yourself so that you are facing the class and have the swimmers push off the dock or stairs and swim to you. You may need to hold their hands and gently glide them into the water and toward you before they build to confidence to jump off on their own.
8.Independent Waterfall and Submerge
Why: To allow the student to practice breath control and gain comfort and confidence with water poured over their head.
How: Give each student a cup and allow them to explore breath control by pouring the water over their heads. Encourage them to close their eyes and mouths to practice breath control. If they are really comfortable encourage them to submerge step by step. Beginning with their chin, lips, nose, eyes and whole head.
9. Fishes in the Ocean
Why: To prepare students for how to react if they were to fall into the pool.
How: Have students monkey walk to a designated area and climb out of the pool. Once there have them sit on the edge of the pool. Position yourself to the side of the student and one at a time assist them with falling in, submerging, swimming to safety and climbing out.
In a Corner – 1 dock for continuous movement. Kick to the Wall, Monkey Walk Around the Corner and walk across the dock.
At the Stairs – 1 dock for continuous movement. Kick to the dock, walk across the dock and monkey walk back to the stairs (or move in reverse).
In a Lane – 2 docks for continuous movement. Kick to the wall, monkey walk to the dock, walk across one dock then slide to the next and walk across again.