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Swimming lessons where beginners wear armbands

(15 Posts)
RedKites Thu 25-Jun-15 17:04:35

Does anyone have experience of swim schools where the beginners wear armbands? There's one near us where they make a big thing of having the children out of their depth, wearing armbands so they swim more. I thought it was normal to teach children without, in a pool where they can stand. However my DSs do wear armbands when they swim with me, so I'm not absolutely against them, was just a bit surprised. I'm considering lessons, so I am interested in which works better. Thanks.

ReallyTired Thu 25-Jun-15 20:43:43

My daughter wore rubber disks on her arms when she went to a pre school
class similar to these:

The children quickly graduated to a noodle and floats instead of armbands.

I think that swimming lessons where children are in their depth are better. Ultimately a child needs to learn to float without any aids if they are going to swim.

RedKites Fri 26-Jun-15 22:25:12

Thanks, that is kind of what I thought.

mamabluestar Sun 28-Jun-15 10:37:31

my DS is in pre stage 1 so a lot of it is about gaining confidence in the water. They use foam woggles snd they seam fine as an alternative to armbands. You can pick them up in the poundshop if you wanted to see how he would manage.

Im not sure if that answers your question

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 28-Jun-15 10:43:09

Armbands restrict arm movements and hold the body in an unnatural swimming position in my experience so I would be looking for a swim school that does not promote the use of them.

Bunbaker Sun 28-Jun-15 10:43:17

DD started off wearing armbands, but she could put her feet down. They didn't graduate to the big pool until they could swim without armbands, and certainly not out of their depth until they could swim with confidence.

PerspicaciaTick Sun 28-Jun-15 10:48:08

The tinies class at my DCs swim school start each lessons in armbands but are encouraged to try taking them off for the end of each session. The pool is 70cm deep at that point. TBH the tinies class appears to be more about water confidence, getting face wet, jumping in etc. The next class up is a little more formal.

dylsmimi Sun 28-Jun-15 10:48:47

Ds swimming lessons have the disks which they reduce the amount and then remove for part of the lesson. I think they use them for several reasons - building confidence, helping technique with their stroke and because all of the pool would be out of depth so when they are working with one child the others are able to float hiding onto the side rather than relying on them to hold on safely themselves
They have a couple of teachers in the water
Ds is improving and happy so so am I smile there are probably several ways so I guess it is which suits your child/ what your closest pool uses

bruffin Sun 28-Jun-15 10:56:28

My dcs classes used the disc in the ASA ducklings classes. It helps with confidence and the discs can be reduced gradually .
Both dc have beautiful strokes, think Hells post is nonsense.

iseenodust Sun 28-Jun-15 12:19:59

I asked at DS's first classes and the instructor said they were a bit like dummies - work for a short time but then you spend ages longer on strategies to wean them off them later. They felt there were better ways to instil confidence & didn't use them for any age of beginner.

bruffin Sun 28-Jun-15 12:37:46

The ASA do recommend using the disc but not until they become over reliant

sunnydaylucy Sun 28-Jun-15 22:27:40

IME DD3 has learnt to swim faster and is more confident out of her depth by learning with 'muscles' (discs). They start off with 3 on each arm and are encouraged to remove them as soon as possible, they start in the deep end (3m).
I think it very much depends on the child. DD2 would have hated it (but then it took her 10 lessons to get in the pool without me!!).

specialmagiclady Sun 28-Jun-15 22:54:54

I teach a lot of beginners and I use those arm disks. There are various reasons to do it:

1 - Children who can't touch the bottom need to feel confident (and teachers need to know they are safe)
2- Children who CAN touch the bottom need to have enough flotation to get their feet off the bottom.
3- Children need to learn to stretch their bodies into the correct position and do the long-legged front crawl/back crawl kick sometimes they need to support to do it. The arm disks offer the chance to reduce that support gradually.

However, IMO it is really really important that they have a chance to move in shallow water without armbands. It's a different skill to moving with flotation help. In all my classes, we spend a certain amount of time docking about with armbands, frankly. Popping them on and off to check progress, taking them off to allow children to fuck up learn how to move about in the water, letting them see how it feels to jump in and go under water.

I love teaching using them, but I would never use only armbands.

Purplehulk Sun 28-Jun-15 23:02:22

DD1 learnt with discs and was swimming without them very early.
Unfortunately we then moved house and DD2 went to a pool with no floatation devices allowed, it took her months and months and she still struggled with her confidence in the water.
Definitely go with the discs, they can be gradually reduced in number and thickness until they're fully confident.

RedKites Mon 29-Jun-15 14:21:03

Thanks for all the extra replies. I will have more of a look to see if it is discs, which can gradually be removed, or armbands. The discs certainly don't sound like they're an issue. I am still not sure about learning in a pool where he can't reach the bottom. I am leaning towards the nearby leisure centre, even if the times are a bit less convenient.

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