Swimming and fear of water
Fear of deep water and how to overcome it
Here are a few quick tips on how to overcome the fear of deep water.
Gradually enter the shallow water, gently splashing your body, then take a deep breath and hold the air. Dive your head into the water next and stay under the water as long as you can. This is the ice breaker and the first fear is overcome.
A relaxed body in horizontal position always comes up to the surface. This fact should be the key for non-swimmers to feel safe. If you are an experienced swimmer and in company of someone who has a fear of water, and you wish to help them, you can do the following: turn them on their back and let them float over your arm. When the person you’re holding is properly holding their body and is relaxed, slowly move your arm away, but don’t tell them that until later. This success will completely encourage non-swimmers.
It is important to start solving the problem of fear of water at an early stage, as your chances of success are greater. Adults who remain non-swimmers will not fight with this fear only, but also with frustration. There is also limitation and inhibition in life that will set you apart from sports such as swimming, windsurfing and rafting, but you must try them sooner or later.
Footwork should be trained in conjunction with the floating on the stomach. For this step it is necessary that a non swimmer holds onto someone or something, like the fence or something similar. In order to practice the arms’ movement, the depth should be slightly higher (up to the chest), and someone should be very near to help and support a person choking or breathing irregularly and panicking (usually after three or four armswings).
It is also not a good thing to suddenly throw a person who cannot swim and who is afraid of water into the shallow water. Although you know that nothing bad is going to happen, doing something like this will create mistrust towards you and in general, whilst the fear of water may even increase. In any case, after this gesture, the fear of water will certainly not disappear. It is necessary to show understanding and try to talk about the causes of the fear.
Remember that the best way to solve the problem with phobias is to expose yourself to the cause of the particular phobia; certainly, gradually and in accordance with certain rules advised by the experts.
Water has an anti-stress and relaxing effect on human body and swimming is one of the healthiest and the most complete of sports. Do not be afraid of water, learn how to swim and enjoy! Don’t forget, the biggest trick of proper breathing when swimming is in exhaling with your head in the water and in learning how to be relaxed while doing it.