In the Netherlands, many people think that children, after obtaining their swimming certificates as children, 'can swim'… And even if they later go to the swimming pool weekly as a sport, they continue to swim in the way they learned as a child; often the breaststroke with the head above water. At Swim in Balance we see this differently. After getting your swimming diplomas you can save yourself if you accidentally fall into the water and you can more or less get ahead if you want to swim somewhere afterwards. You can also chill in a swimming pool on holiday. However, if you want to swim laps to enjoy sports or to work on your health, a swimming certificate is not enough and you need good swimming technique.
Better swimming technique for adults
For the breast stroke this means diving underwater every stroke, to relieve your neck and move more streamlined. This is much better for your neck and back than if you always keep your head above water, as taught in the children's lessons. For the crawl, this means that you understand the coordination of your arm movement well and don't just go 'mill wings'.
Swimming the front crawl is a complex skill that you can't just teach yourself by copying the swimmers on YouTube. If you want to swim crawl for a longer period of time, it is important that you lie horizontally in the water, rotate enough with your torso, do not work too hard with your legs and so on. This is very different from the front crawl sprinting technique. At Swim in Balance we therefore find it very important that a distinction is made between these.
Swimming 'the front crawl' does not exist: the question is which style front crawl you use and for what purpose. More and more adults are realizing this and realizing that they actually need better swimming technique. That is also the most common reason that adults follow swimming courses at Swim in Balance.
Adults who have never learned to swim
Another good reason to take swimming lessons as an adult is if you never learned to swim as a child. Now that more and more expats and immigrants live in the Netherlands, it is more common that parents take their children to swimming lessons, but have never learned to swim themselves. This can lead to dangerous situations if you want to go to a swimming pool with your children, but you are not 'water-free' yourself. Moreover, that is not fun during holidays, for example.
Our swimming courses are very suitable for these adults, because we really start with the basics and then build up the relevant swimming stroke step by step in 6 weeks. So you don't have to be able to swim yet. Sometimes this is even an advantage, because you don't have to unlearn or change a previous swimming technique. You learn it in one go.
Adults with fear of water
Some adults can swim, but have a traumatic experience fear of water incurred. For example, you may have almost drowned in a boating accident or have been pulled under water by friends in the past. These kinds of experiences are stored in your memory and it is difficult to feel really relaxed in the water. The result is often that adults have not swum for years and do not dare to enter the water.
The method we use is based on the Alexander Technique. This technique works very well for different types of fear, such as fear of flying, fear of spiders and fear of heights. By paying attention to the tension in your neck and giving yourself certain mental assignments, you can overcome your fear of water within 6 weeks in the 'Water Confidence' course. In this course you learn to float on your stomach and on your back, turn around, go under water with your head without getting water in your nose and so on.
Only when you feel completely safe in the water are you able to absorb information to learn a nice swimming stroke. We therefore recommend that adults who find water scary first take this course before taking a 6-week course in breaststroke, front crawl or butterfly with us.