Have fun, learn faster!
Wouldn’t that be nice? To learn and have fun? Well… actually while this sounds too good to be true, many scientific studies show a remarkable connection between the students ability to learn, and the amount of pleasure and comfort experienced in the learning process.
1 Learn faster and better
Engaged students simply learn faster and better. Neuroimaging studies and chemical measurements of transmitters in the brain show that the students’ comfort level can have an impact on how information is processed and stored in the brain. Moreover, students who are engaged and motivated and don’t feel stress, can let information flow freely and achieve higher levels of cognition. They are better in making connections and experience more ‘aha’ moments.
2 Take away fear
Fun can take away the anxiety most beginners experience when being in the water. Just playing a simple but funny game is the perfect recipe to let a child forget its initial fears. in our swimming lessons we will never force a student to do something. Forcing a young learner to go under water, while not feeling comfortable can even be counterproductive in the learning process. Taking away fear, building trust and helping the students feel safe and confident, are the basic fundaments of our teaching. Funny activities and games are the perfect tools to accomplish just that.
3 Challenge me!
Playing is not just funny and make the students feel better. Doing these activities in small groups or with a team can also provide just a bit more competitive elements. Games can challenge the students to go one step further every time. The students who play along get stronger, faster and learn the aquatic skills in a natural way.
4 Swimming is a healthy hobby
Swimming is so much more then just a life-skill. Of course, for young children it is very important to be safe in and around the water. But apart from that, swimming is also a great workout for the whole body. It helps you build endurance, muscle strengths and cardiovascular fitness. Students who learn to have fun in the water, are more likely to adopt swimming as a healthy hobby for the rest of their life.
5 Be more safe
Just teaching young kids the strokes won’t make them strong and safe swimmers. To become confident and safe in the water, the students must be prepared for unexpected events as well. Many of the games we play will challenge the student to respond to unpredictable situations. During a game the swimmer might suddenly have to dive down and swim under water, come to the surface just to grasp a quick breath and go down again. These kind of experiences in the pool will not only make them more natural swimmers, but also prepare them better to respond to emergency situations.
Rescued 50 cm from the pool side
A 14 year old boy almost drowned while I was relaxing at a pool on a hot day. He could swim, he was just swimming pool lengths and it happened about half a meter from the side. I had to come in and rescue him though. So, what happened? He panicked. The pool was deeper than he thought and he was not prepared for this unexpected situation. This is just an example to underline the importance of making the students feel safe and confident, also if something happens they didn’t expect.
Conclusion: Swimming lessons should be fun!
The conclusion is simple, in order to be a successful swim instructor, you need to make your classes as fun and engaging as possible. The students will progress faster and become confident swimmers when they learn in a joyful environment with a game-led approach. They will be better prepared for emergency situations and more likely to have a healthy hobby later on in their life. And last but not least, it makes the lessons also more exciting for the swimming teacher. After all, who doesn’t want to have fun in the swimming pool?