If you’ve never learned to swim because you’re afraid to be in or around water, don’t give up hope. Most people, even those who are extremely nervous, can learn to overcome their fears and become competent swimmers. Realistically, you have much less to fear from the water if you know how to swim.
Most people who fear the water feel that way because of childhood trauma. This could be because of an accidental near-drowning, or even a cruel act by someone who should have known better. More than a few children have been put off the idea of learning to swim because of a parent or grandparent who decided that the best way for the child to learn was for him or her to be thrown in the water and left to literally sink or swim.
Overcoming the Fear
In order for a person to overcome their fear of the water, they need to first understand what exactly it is that they fear. It’s probably not just a general fear of drowning, because everyone knows that if you can swim, the chances of you drowning are dramatically reduced. More often, it’s a fear of having nothing to hold onto if you let your feet come off the bottom of the pool – in effect, what the person fears is not having control.
Some Techniques for Overcoming Fear of Swimming
Set goals - Think of the reasons why you want to learn to swim. Is it because you think swimming would be a good way to get more exercise? Is it because your kids know how to swim and you feel left out? Think about how much better life is going to be when you’re able to be in the pool with your kids! Set your mind on achieving that goal and then work toward it.
Remember that you don’t have to do this alone -If you’re taking swimming lessons from an instructor, that person has the knowledge to help you learn the right techniques, and the ability to help you if you get into trouble in the water.
Give yourself permission to be a “slow learner.” You didn’t build up your fear overnight, so don’t expect to let go of it quickly. Feel free to begin at the shallow end, and take it easy.
Try learning with a friend who’s just beginning, or who shares your fear of the water. It’s a lot easier and less frightening when you can motivate one another.
Reward yourself when you reach a milestone - Putting your face in the water gets you a relaxing cup of tea and some soft music for half an hour. Learn how to float, and you get to treat yourself to a manicure. And once you actually attain the “holy grail” – i.e. you’ve actually made it into the deep end – well, we can only begin to imagine the reward you will have earned.
Don’t wait any longer
Fear of the water can be overcome. You can learn how to swim. Sunsational swim instructors teach swimming lessons year round. We come to your pool and work around your schedule, and taylor each lesson exactly to you. Learn more about our adult swimming lessons or request a private instructor today!