My dd(7) has been going to lessons for a while now...4 terms I think and shes got the basics, but she is so concerned with getting to the other side of the pool before anyone else she is half drowning herself and exhausting herself too.
None of the other children seem concerned with how fast they or anyone else is going but she hates losing so that streak in her is coming out in the pool.
She is never going to learn to swim properly(only thrash and push her feet off the bottom to get a bit further) if she doesnt stop it. Have any of you been here and got through it?
I have visions of the rest of the class moving up to the next class and her being kept back forever because of this...argh!
FWIW charliecat - I think her competitive streak is a good thing!! In fact, ds's swimming teacher told me that they really need to have that competitive edge, desire to keep up with others or do better, to really succeed and get on. DS is only 3.10 and is doing really well, like your dd, mainly because he wants to be the fastest and it's working!!!
Can you make it a competition (in her head) to "look" the best rather than be the fastest? Might make her concentrate on style rather than speed. A few subtle "Well, you were the fastest but X's swimming strokes were nicer" type coments. Tricky though as you don't want to make her paranoid about looking good too...
Teacher whispered in her ear that they would be practising the front crawl more next week and said to me she was trying really hard...which I can see...but I can also think shes channelling her energy in the wrong thing.
Glad its working for your ds! How long has he been swimming for?
He started when he was 3 and it's amazing how quickly he's come on as he's almost out of armbands and can swim a little way without them now. I think it helps that he is totally fearless and has no problem going under the water or the water splashing in his face - I think that's the main thing that holds some kids back, that they don't like the water in their face rather than an inability to swim.
Sounds like your dd is enjoying it though so good on her!!
She loves it...I think its the highlight of her week actually, id just like her to love it and learn to do it properly!
It is tricky soupy, I dont want to rattle her confidence you know....!!!!!!!!! argh again!
Its excellent seeing the children so confident in water isnt it?!
How about pointing out that she's already clearly the fastest and none of the others are going to be faster than her so there's no compatition that and how about trying to do the most beautiful strokes or be the most graceful instead?
Do you go to the pool just to mess about? I can remember going with my brother or friends and playing games like swimming in the style of characters off TV (not ones who we saw swimming on TV, but sort of like "if Hong Kong Phooey was swimming this is how he'd do it") and we used to pretend to do synchronised swimming, and (my mum's favourite) we used to pretend to drown. All of these would help her develop her coordination and style.
BTW, this reminds me of when me & db were 8 & 9 ish and we went on a family holiday to Yugoslavia! It was our first and only ever package holiday, the type with a hotel and pool. We all hated most of it, especially the sun and sitting around a pool doing nothing bit. So on the last day when there was a kids swimming comp, we put ourselves forwards. Imagine two white as a sheet weedy kids standing there waiting to be picked in a team. We were, of course, picked last - all the bronzed muscular German and French kids got picked first. My Mum & Dad said it was hilarious as the crowd watched us dive in for our lengths, ready to make sympathetic noises, but we were both like your dd - manically fast swimmers - so instead all around people's jaws were dropping with amazement as we overtook all the brown muscly kids! I think they were dead proud - cos they still go on about it over 20 years later!