View Full Version : She sinks!!!
Any advice on what I can do here or how to solve the problem?
Theres a girl in one of my lessons, think she's about 6. She has perfectly good technique (well legs anyway) but when she tries to swim without a float, she just sinks! Especially on back.
She's as thin as anything, and her heads right back; hips up, but she just can't stay above the water. I've tried holding her back and gently easing off. I get down to one finger resting on her back giving a little supporrt, but as soon as I let go she's gone.
She's fine with a float, and even with a little cut down woggle giving her then minimum support she can stay up, but sinks if she doesn't have anything!
Is it something to do with her body composition, will it improve as she gorws/gets stronger? Is there anything else I can be tryinmg?
Problem is, her technique is fine; would expect her definatly to be able to swim 5m unaided, if not 10 or more, but she can't because she just sinks. With a minimum amount of support she's fine, but just can't float alone! So she can't get anything higher than L1, even though you'd expect her to be able to.
Any ideas anyone? :confused:
12-03-2006, 01:50 AM
Twig = very little water resistance. Very good for swimming speed. Although im sure the displacement of water compared to her mass could have somthing to do with bouyancy ease.
As for backstroke if she can swim freestyle or breaststroke then her body composition has very little to do with staying up. If she can swim fly shes amazing...
Anyhow back to a possible solution. Now body position in backstroke imo seams to come from kick/body position. If I were in your situation If she knows streamline I would start by getting her into streamline standing possibly. Followed by holding her hands(Streamlined) and one under her back to get her into the correct body position. Also make sure she doesn't tense up and want to contract her abs to(in her mind) lift her head out to breathe. If thats fine then move onto getting her kicking on her back and when she starts kicking toe her for a bit and then try easing your hand off her back and get her a little extra force by slightly pulling on her hands in streamline. If you can get her to kick on her back w/o a board then backstroke will be easier to work with. All youd have to do is practice that and get the feeling into her muscles and then just get her to throw some arm pushes in there.
Unless thats not at allt he case and she sinks when she brings her arm outa the water thats a harder issue to solve. As the weight of her arm could be more than her kick can hold up. If this is the case I wuold make sure her kick is very effective as in great wavelike motion in the kick and body at surface and maybe teach her to let her shoulders sink down in the water and poke her head forward kinda like a chicken(that could entertain her too since shes 6 :flash: ). And you should probably help her balance with this at first and work like I said before or with one of your methods on teaching her to press the bouyant part of her body(lungs/shoulder area/upper back) down into the water and she'll have more leverage to hold her legs up with and have an effective kick to keep her moving forward and on toppa the water.
And maybe teach her about how bouyancy works when she holds her breath and which part of her body floats up first! Unless shes not used to that yet :rolleyes: .
Well sorry for the length but I'm not very good at simply explaining things. Good luck with her! Teaching how to swim takes quite the teaching skills. But it is fun!
12-03-2006, 11:28 AM
If she has good technique and looking at the prerequisites for level 1, and the 5m bit is with a float, then she has surely achieved this I would move her to level 2. I also have a similar young girl with seemingly negative bouyancy (lower half sinks worse than the boys) but has still managed to reach level 4, mainly because of her ability not to panic when her face is underwater so is able to maintain floating position for the required time albeit just below the surface, this is where she will stay for a while until she gets stronger. In answer to your question will it get better then I would say yes as I beleive there is a point at which a certain speed is required to overcome the "negative bouyancy" and when she reaches this point she will progess. I have noticed that in my case the kick when she gets it right brings her body up to the surface beautifully but has yet not got the knack to keep this applied. I hasten to add the kick doesn't look wrong but works better on some days than others. She is tiny though and about six.
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