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My ds just doesn,t appear to be mastering swimming at all

(13 Posts)
ifeelsleepy Sat 30-Aug-08 22:04:24

Hi
I sent him to swimming lesson for about a year and a half but he just didn,t appear to make the progress I would have expected after that long and barely progressed imo.
I mentioned it to the instructor who simply said some take longer than others.
Anyway I decided to start taking him myself as I was also finding the cost of lessons alot being on a low income.
He may have made a slight bit of progress with me but he mostly likes to just mess around playing than to actually do some swimming.
He is a very weak swimmer and does a clumsy like doggy sort of paddle which he only seems to manage for a few seconds and then he has to stop as he seems to struggle a bit.
I would have thought that after all of those swimming lessons and me taking him that he would of been swimming properly by now.
Has anybody else found that their dc seems realy slow at learning to swim.
When he was attending lessons I noticed that alot of his group were eventually moving up into a more advanced class after a while but never my ds.
He is 7.

piratecat Sat 30-Aug-08 22:08:07

m aybe he just isn't interested yet. Di di his teacher give you any progress reports, or mention things he might be finding difficult?
Maybe you shuold listen to what the instructor said to you??
I would leave it tbh. Don't let it become a thing he dreads, let him play.

brimfull Sat 30-Aug-08 22:12:25

I think some people find swimming a lot harder than others,my dh being one of them.

He reckons he just doesn't float as well.

I reckon it's because he can't relax in the water,tenses up and panics.

But I would presevere,only because dh really really regrets being a crap swimmer becasue he never learnt properly when he was oung

Doodle2U Sat 30-Aug-08 22:17:24

Did the swimming lesson place let him wear goggles? If not (and it's quite common for them not to) get him some goggles.

Next, forget his stroke for now. Get him to lie on his back with just one of your hands touching the base of his spine. Get him to spread his arms and legs out like a star and just float - nothing else...just float. He has to completely relax to do this and it takes a few goes.

Next, work on his arms. Breast stroke arms. Even walking along the bottom of the pool but doing the right arm movements.

Next, breast stroke arms but swimming.

Progress in little bits like this.

Also, tell him the first 10 minutes in the pool are dedicated to 'proper' swimming. If he works hard, you'll let him play but ONLY if he works first.

Buy him a float, so he can work on his leags.

Hope this helps.

DumbledoresGirl Sat 30-Aug-08 22:17:53

All of my children were slow to start swimming. Ds3 is going through the phase now. He has had lessons for a year and can just about splash some water on his face and kick a tiny bit with a woggle, but nothing more. Persevere with it. I know ds3 will get there eventually and then suddenly make very rpaid progress, because my other 3 children were all the same.

It is such an important life skill, you should not give up with it IMO.

Waswondering Sat 30-Aug-08 22:19:22

FWIW I think I was 9 when I learned to swim.

I have a badge for swimming 200m, but that's about it!!

PavlovtheCat Sat 30-Aug-08 22:20:59

get him a noodle/woggle to play with, lots of fun and helps with floating without being too obvious that he is 'learning'.

nell12 Sat 30-Aug-08 22:21:32

My ds was the same... lots of lessons as part of a group and no progress... lots of lessons 1-1 with an instructor and no progress.

Then we went on holiday (just before ds turned 8) and he spent ages in the pool and just "got it"

Now he can swim fine, with a reasonable front crawl and good breast stroke.

Try not to worry; he will do it on his terms, when he is good and ready

serin Sat 30-Aug-08 22:28:15

It's harder if they are really skinny.

climbanymountain Sat 30-Aug-08 22:41:07

I agree. My DS is little,skinny and hyper mobile too. Has been in swimming lessons for nearly two years and still not progressed into next class. Went this morning and kids nearly two years younger were bombing across the pool and he was going round in circles (with his arm bands on). I can see teachers despairing of him. But I don't want/plan to throw in the towel......yet.

colie Sat 30-Aug-08 22:57:30

serin-why do you say it is harder if child is skinny. My dd is skinny and most other kids have progressed much faster. never thougt her build was holding her back. Good to know she is not like her mum, totally rubbish at sports wink it is her build that is to blame.

Kbear Sat 30-Aug-08 23:06:27

Keep taking him, every week. It's about confidence and fun before ability and style and swimming lessons aren't for everyone. DD hated it and I ended up teaching her myself and DS. He went from arm bands to swimming with dolphins in 6 months!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming (copyright "Dory"!!)

snorkle Sat 30-Aug-08 23:24:02

Skinny kids, especially boys have less natural bouyancy than the others so it is harder and often does take longer. Do keep persisting and he will get it eventually. Doodles suggestion of 10 mins trying hard before the fun time is a good one (he can still learn while having fun too, but it will help to focus a bit too). Trying breaststoke isn't a bad idea if he takes to it, but if he's already doing dog paddle, front crawl will be a more natural progression. The first thing to get right is body position - head should be face down in the water, this will help his bottom & legs to be higher and body streamlined and long (stretched out like a pencil). Next do lots of kicking which also helps the less bouyant keep a good body position (pointed toes, loose ankles, kicking from the hips rather than knees).

Improving these two things will go a long way to strengthening his swimming.

Arms, then, breathing and finally timing are what teachers look at next. They tend to work on all 5 points in that order in a lesson once a child can swim a little - until he can keep going for further than he can hold his breath for you don't really have to worry about breathing while he's actually swimming, but it's nver too early to practice rolling head to the side, rather than lifting it right out and blowing bubbles out first as a seperate exercise.

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