1. Move Like a Monkey and Crocodile Climb
Why: To ensure that all students are able to enter and exit the pool safely.
How: Encourage students sit on the edge of the pool, roll to their bellies and slide in. When exiting encourage students to climb out using the elbow, elbow, belly and knee technique.
Why: To increase breath control and prepare students to submerge.
How: Use a cup to gently pour water over the student’s heads. Use a que such as 1 – 2 – 3 or ready set go 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.
3. Kick, Kick, Kick with Barbells
Why: To practice encourage independent movement through kicking.
How: Using equipment to help with buoyancy and balance encourage the students to kick toward you, the dock, stairs or wall.
4. Back Float with Teacher
Why: To achieve buoyancy, balance and relaxation in the water.
How: Encourage the students to lie back and relax while submerging their ears and looking up. Equipment can be used to practice this skill as well.
5. Front 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, facing you. Encourage them to put their face in the water step by step. Starting with submerging their chin, lips, nose and then eyes. Release your hold when the student is relaxed and has breath control.
6. Glide or Swim to the Teacher
Why: For students who are comfortable with breath control, buoyancy and balance.
How: Position yourself so that you are facing the class and have the swimmers push off the dock or stairs and swim to you. At first you may have to hold under the shoulder or hold their hands to guide them off the dock and into water. Lessen the support as the student gains confidence.
7. Underwater Exploration
Why: To practice breath control and develop confidence with the water closer to the face.
How: Place the sinking shells or eggs in your hand and at arms reach of your swimmers. Encourage them to submerge slow ( an as far as comfortable) to reach under and grab a toy. Have them guess what is inside and shuffle things up for another round!
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 mouth 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. Fall Turn and Climb
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 front or 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.