Tag: kids

Brush Up on Your Pool Talk With This Handy Swimming Glossary

By Alex Kostich

On the bottom, we’re going to descend 5 x 200 at 3:00, even split, 3:1 with full gear.

If the above sentence makes no sense, it may be time for you to brush up on your swimming vocabulary. Regardless of whether you are a Masters swimmer or a weekend warrior who trains alone, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with swimming lingo should you come across a situation that requires it (you know, cocktail parties, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or simply using Active’s Swimming page).

What follows is a brief list of terms that can handily be printed, posted, or memorized should you venture onto a pool deck and feel the need to blend in!

50: generally refers to 50 yards or meters, a common repeat distance for sprinters and endurance athletes alike.

100: twice the length of a 50, and a common pace distance.

500: 500 yards or meters, this is a longer distance common in many endurance workouts (equivalent to 0.33 of a mile).

Short course: a 25-meter/yard pool where four lengths (or two laps) equal 100 meters/yards.

Long course: a 50-meter pool where two lengths or one lap equals 100 meters. Also referred to as Olympic distance. Nonexistent in yard format.

Length: distance swum in one direction in any given pool.

Lap: distance swum up and back in any given pool.

Set: a grouping of distances composing part of a workout or drill; 5 x 100 is a set that is 500 meters long; 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 is a set that is 1,500 meters long.

Interval: the time given to complete a certain drill. A 2:00 interval for 100 meters means that if you can swim 100 meters in 1:40 minutes, you will have 20 seconds of rest before repeating the next one.

Repeats: the components of a set; 5 x 100 is a set of 100 repeats.

Threshold: the maximum time you can hold, or repeat, for a given distance during a highly aerobic set.

Pace: the time per repeat you can hold consistently during a set, and ideally the time (per 100 meters, for instance) that you can hold during a race.

Negative splitting: the act of completing the second half of a set distance faster than the first half.

Even splitting: the act of completing both the first half and last half of a set distance at equal speeds.

Descending: increasing one’s speed incrementally during a set distance (She is descending her one-mile race by 100 meters).

On the top: starting a set on the 12 o’clock (or 60-second) mark on a poolside pace clock.

On the bottom: starting a set on the 6 o’clock (or 30-second) mark on a pace clock.

Tapering: the act of paring down your workouts (in length and intensity) for the weeks or days leading up to a specific race.

Full gear: all pulling equipment (buoy, tube, paddles) worn simultaneously during a pull set. The best way to get an upper-body swim workout.

Buoy: flotation device used to stabilize the legs and correct body position in the water.

Tube: a basic inner-tube from a small wheel used to bind your ankles while wearing a pull buoy; prevents kicking and helps keep legs together (and buoy from slipping).

Paddles: plastic hand-disks used to maximize an upper-body pulling workout. Available in several shapes and sizes, depending on your skill and preference.

Dragsuit: a baggy, nylon unisex swimsuit, worn over a regular practice suit to add resistance to everyday training.

Band training: dry-land workout using rubber stretch cords to strengthen muscles used in all four strokes.

Hypoxic training: any type of set where a breathing pattern is the focal point of the drill.

3:1: Breathing pattern where you take one breath for every three strokes; this is a bilateral breathing pattern (you breathe on both left and right sides).

2:1: Breathing pattern where you breathe once for every two strokes (you only breathe on one side, your left or right).

Circle swimming: swimming in a lane in a standard counter-clockwise direction, up the right side and back down the left. Preferable when more than one person is sharing your lane.

Catch-up stroke: special drill where basic crawl (freestyle) is altered so that each arm catches up with the other before completing the next stroke (one arm is stationary above your head, in beginning-stroke position, while the other completes a full stroke rotation).

Sculling: special drill using only your hands (not your arms) to scull your way through the water; arms at your sides, with your wrists whipping back and forth in a waving motion (designed to develop feel for the water). Good workout when lap swimming is not an option (hotel pools, crowded slow lanes).

Vertical kicking: special drill executed in deep water (diving wells and deep ends of hotel pools when lap swimming is not an option) where one kicks in a vertical position with arms crossed over chest, or extended above head for various intervals/sets.

Swimming Schools in the Morningside, Rivonia and Sandton area

Name Address Area Contact
Slipstream Swim School 25 Glenian Road Sandton 0828455355
Aqua turtles Swim School 21 Van Riebeeck Street Norscot Manor 0114655662
Lonehill Swim School 35 Morgenster Crescent Lonehill 0837937887
Active Academy Swim School 1 Centre Road Morningside 0840322157
Sandown Swim School 10 Etosha Crescent Sandown 0112622461
Wahoo Swim School 516 Maxwell Drive Sunninghill 0118075118
Little Seahorses Swimming School 13-15 Ashton Road Lonehill 0846901267
Little Lifeguards 43 Darter Avenue Norscot 0625094601
Goof Swimming School Corner of Rivonia Road and North Road Rivonia 0844109242
Sleek Swim 9 Sutherland Avenue Craighall Park 0117882548
Swim Tots Rivonia Sports Centre Morningside 0825724809

The 6 Stages of Childhood Swimming Lessons

by: Premier Aquatic Services

Image result for child swimming lessons

Each child learns to swim at his or her own pace, and in order to develop a lifelong love of the water, that natural pace should be respected and nurtured. Therefore, we developed a six-stage program for our childhood swim lessons, built around skill-oriented goals.

Simply put, each little swimmer must master specific skills before progressing on to the next level, regardless of the child’s age.

Level 1 – Jellyfish

Developed for those who are brand new to swimming, the first level of swim lessons are perfect for those who have no prior experience. In this class, children learn to hold their breath and put their faces in the water. They also develop a bond with and trust for their instructor, as they build the courage to jump from the stairs to their instructor.

Level 2 – Tadpole

Progressing from the Jellyfish stage, children in this level are already proficient in holding their breath and putting their faces in the water. Now, they begin to learn how to float, fetch toys underwater, and perform basic strokes with the help of their instructor. In this stage, they grasp rhythmic breathing and explore the freestyle stroke.

Level 3 – Minnow

To advance into the Minnow stage, children are able to float unassisted for up to five seconds, retrieve toys in four feet of water, and perform assisted back floats. Level 3 classes teach them how to float on their back without assistance, move independently from the front floating position to a back float position, and kick in streamline for 15 feet. Additionally, children further develop their freestyle stroke by beginning to learn how to side breath with assistance from the instructor.

Level 4 – Guppy

Already able to float on their backs, transition from front floats to back floats, and perform assisted side breathing, Level 4 classes progress children’s strength and technique. Here, children begin to kick in streamline on their front and back. They develop their backstroke and learn to swim freestyle with unassisted side breathing. Additionally, they start developing diving skills by performing sit dives.

Level 5 – Lionfish

Students entering the Lionfish classes are moving through the water unassisted with skill. Now, they begin to learn new techniques, including the breaststroke and butterfly kick. They also graduate from sit dives to knee dives.

Level 6 – Dolphin

The final stage before “Pre Team” levels, children finalize the development of their core swimming skills. In the Level 6 class, they become proficient at all four competitive strokes – freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Additionally, they learn to become comfortable with deck dives

7 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe on the Beach This Summer

THINKSTOCK IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES

Allow me to tell you about the angriest I’ve ever been in my life. I was a lifeguard in Long Beach, NY and the ocean was particularly rough on this day. (I know you’re thinking, But it’s NY! How rough can the ocean really get there?? Well, click on this link to have a look. http://youtu.be/PiPNAeo-174 That’s about 100 yards from the spot I worked, so lesson one is don’t underestimate any body of water you plan on entering.)

On this particular day I had a rescue when a riptide eroded a sandbar that a large group of people had gathered on. Almost everyone made it to the shore on their own except for the two small children I pulled out. They were brother and sister. He was 8 or 9 and she was maybe 11. When I returned them to land, I had expected to see mom or dad waiting to hug them; relieved that their children were safe. They weren’t there. As a matter of fact, I had the kids take me all the way to the back of the beach where I found the mom sleeping… with headphones on! She was completely oblivious to the fact that she had almost lost both of her children while she worked on her tan. Please don’t think I’m exaggerating. Her kids were at the very end of their struggle to stay afloat when I got to them. They were going to die. I was furious at this person for being so careless when it came to the safety of her kids and I made sure that she knew it.

When you go to the beach (or anywhere) with your kids, YOU are the first and most important line of defense when it comes to their safety. Gone are the days when the beach meant that you can sit in a chair and read a book, or take a nice nap in the sun. You now have to be constantly on guard. If your child is near the water, you need to be near the water too. If your child is in the water, you should be ankle-deep right behind them at the absolute minimum. You’d be shocked at how quickly a small child can go from wetting his or her toes to being knocked over and washed out with a surprise wave. A 10-second glance away could be all it takes. Consider the lifeguards a final option when all you have done to keep them safe has failed. Do not rely on them or anyone else when it comes to the safety of your kiddos.

Here is a list of things to run through before you head to big blue with the kids:

1. Know your swimming limitations

Please take note that I’m not saying “DISCOVER your limitations.” If you think the water might be too rough for you, then I assure you that you are right. Err on the side of caution always. Don’t put yourself into a dangerous situation, especially when you are with your kids.

2. Be especially cautious in unfamiliar waters

By most standards, I am an excellent swimmer. However, new bodies of water present new challenges that I might not know about and don’t want to discover when I’m in it. Always investigate the place you’re entering first. Ask locals, scope out potential problems and stay out if you’re unsure. If it’s a hot day and you see a delightful-looking area of water that is free of other swimmers, assume there is a reason for it. There might be a riptide, polluted waters or it might be off-limits for some other reason you are not aware of.

3. Recognize a Riptide

Riptides (sometimes called “undertows”) are channels of water that flow from the beach out to sea. You have all of these waves coming in and they have to go back out to sea somewhere. The water is pushed to the side by the waves that are behind it until it finds an exit. This is usually in a spot that’s deeper than the surrounding areas and when the water rushes out, it forms a channel and makes it even deeper. Take a second to watch the water before you go in. Is there a section of the beach where the waves just aren’t breaking? Does the whitewater that’s rolling in mysteriously disappear in a section? That is the deeper water. Waves break where the water gets shallow. If they aren’t breaking, it’s deeper there and you should move your kids somewhere well away from it because chances are, that’s the spot that’s pulling out to sea. What looks to you like the most serene patch of water can very well be the most dangerous. Also, don’t swim very close to jetties or piers. Riptides often form next to them as water is forced out to sea.

4. Know how to get out of a riptide

Riptides can be very scary if you’re in one. You swim and swim and swim towards shore, but either make no progress, or get farther and farther away. If you’ve never been in a riptide, imagine swimming to the end riptide-diagramof your pool, only you’re swimming uphill and the water is pushing you back. There is a very simple solution to this. Swim parallel to the shore, not towards it. The riptide might only be a few yards wide. Once you’re out of it, getting to shore will be relatively easy again.

5. Talk to the lifeguards before you go in

This is a surprisingly simple thing to do that most people overlook. You might be looking at the lifeguard and think to yourself, Pffff… That kid is 19 years old, tops. What can he/she tell me that I don’t already know… Well, when it comes to the ocean, I guarantee you that they know more than you might ever know. In one summer, it’s very likely that those “kids” will spend more time on the beach and in the ocean than most people will in their entire lives. They are the experts and you should respect that. Ask them where the safest place is for you and the kids. Have them point out dangerous spots (they’ll know where they are and where they form with changing tides). If you’re not a strong swimmer, let them know and ask them to keep a particular eye out for your children. I promise you that if you show them that you are making an effort, they will make an effort for you as well.

6. Recognize when someone is in trouble

I strongly recommend that everyone read this article and share it with everyone you know. “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning”http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/. It gives you a very real description of what to look for and recognize when someone is in desperate need of help. They cannot call out, they cannot scream. They simply go under. I’ll leave this quote from it here: “Children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.”

7. Assign a guardian when you are away

There are obviously going to be times that you can’t watch the kids. You might have to go to the bathroom or feed a parking meter. A mistake that many people (especially those in groups) make is assuming someone else is watching the kids. They are there with eight other adults, so someone is looking out while you’re away, right?? The problem that arises is that every other parent is also assuming someone else has their eyes on your kids. When you need to leave, assign someone specific to watch your children. Tell them “You are in charge of them until I come back. DO NOT STOP WATCHING THEM UNTIL THEN.” Be firm about it. If you don’t give someone this responsibility, you can’t assume that someone is going to just naturally take over.

So please take caution this summer. Watch your kids at the beach, at the pool, heck, even near the mall fountain. Once you know what to look for and what to look out for, you can spend time on the beach passing that knowledge on to your children. They will be safe while you’re with them and armed with the lessons you give them, they’ll be safe in the future when they are on their own.

The benefits of swimming lessons

Taking your child to swimming lessons should not involve fuss or trauma if you find a good swimming school and a loving teacher.

In South Africa there are so many children who drown every year that every child must learn to swim as early as possible. Getting your child waterborne is a priority as it can save his life. Swimming also offers great physical and psychological rewards for all children and adults.

Water is a gentle, soothing, relaxing medium and the benefits gained from swimming improve mood, fitness and overall health and well-being. Other benefits of swimming include:

  • Swimming strengthens muscles and joints
  • It builds lung capacity – especially good for asthma sufferers
  • Increases fitness
  • Swimming encourages babies to start to cross their midline and to develop other physical skills
  • It improves co-ordination
  • Swimming builds tone in children – particularly good for those with low muscle tone
  • It improves balance
  • Swimming helps to heal Injuries – a soothing and weightless weight to work damaged or unused muscles
  • It allows children with disabilities to enjoy physical activity
  • It improves spatial awareness

Teach your child to swim without a fuss

  • Choose a swimming school or teacher with a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
  • Make sure your child isn’t cold or uncomfortable in the water.
  • Try to ensure that the teacher and your child are well matched.
  • Try not to miss lessons as each lesson builds on the previous one and gives continuity.
  • Don’t push your child or permit a teacher to force your child to do things he doesn’t feel happy doing.
  • Get the whole family to paddle, swim and splash about in the water so your child gets to swim without the constraints of a swimming ‘lesson’.
  • Don’t stop lessons if your child becomes afraid of swimming. Rather, build his confidence by working through the fear and proving to him that he can overcome it.

How to choose a school
It’s often a good idea to ask other parents where they are taking their children to swimming lessons. You can also ask for recommendations at your child’s school or at your local gym. But you must be happy that there’s a caring and nurturing atmosphere at the school. If the general vibe is positive and other children are happy to swim there, it’s a good sign. Nevertheless, there are more formal and serious things that you must look for in a trustworthy swimming school:

  • The school must be accredited by Swimming South Africa (SSA).
  • The water must be clean and warm. There must also be signs up saying which end is deep and which shallow, unless it is a teaching pool of one depth only.
  • Children must have a way of supporting themselves around the edge of the pool. This also helps them move around the pool safely when they first learn to swim.
  • There must be nothing hazardous around the pool, such as pool chemicals within reach of children.
  • There must be clean, well-kept toilets and changing facilities at the pool.
  • When you register your child with the school, they must ask for all your relevant contact numbers.
  • If your child has any medical conditions, you must inform the school.
  • Above all, you and your child must feel relaxed and comfortable at the swimming school.

If you don’t have a swimming school in your area, you can now meet online with swimming teachers and other parents to discuss various aspects of your child’s swimming journey through www.swimsavvy.co.za

Swim Savvy also recently published their first in a series of interactive journals to support young children through their swimming journey. The Swim Savvy ‘I can swim’ Progress Journal for Beginner Swimmers is a great interactive book that includes water-safety guidelines. You can buy your copy for only R55 via their website.