5 Tips to get your baby Swimming

All too often we hear stories about children and adult who are afraid of the water. Usually, these people never learned how to swim. While this is a perfectly good reason to fear the water,it is a sad situation for these people. Learning to swim should be something everyone does, because swimming is one of the true joys of life. When it comes to swimming, the best thing to do is to start teaching children while they are still babies. In many cases, the youngest age that children can start to learn swimming skills is at four months old.


Success for Young Swimmers

Yes, four months of age does seem young, but parents who start their children at this age are usually surprised by their children’s successes. Technically, babies were swimming before they were born, so they are rather comfortable in the water. When they start at young ages (before age one), they do not develop a fear of the water. In fact, they learn how to be safe and how easy it actually is to get their heads above water. Babies will not learn fancy strokes, but when they become toddlers, they can learn how to get to the edge of a pool for safety’s sake. As children get older, they begin to fear putting their faces in the water – but not if they are exposed to this at young ages.


Bathtub Time Turns Fun

Another good reason to get babies into the water at young ages is that it makes time in the bathtub incredibly fun for parents and children. As children age, they tend to fight bath time. Many do this because they do not like to have water on their faces. They do not like to have shampoo washed from their hair because water gets into their eyes. When babies and toddlers are taught how to swim, they enjoy the water in the tub so much more. They don’t mind having water on their faces or having shampoo washed from their hair. In fact, many children will ask to have water poured over their heads and they will actually stick their faces in the water – just because they can.


Showers Become Convenient

Along with joy in the bathtub, kids will also love to take showers. It is no secret that a shower is the fastest way to get ready and to get a child clean. But, when kids are afraid of the water, the shower is a no-go. Many parents will actually skip showers because they cannot leave their children alone to take one (which is understandable), but when kids love the water, parents can take a shower with their babies. Clean kids, clean parents, and fun – what more can you ask for?


Take Your Babies to the Beach

Travelling with children gets easier when they love to swim. These days, it is easy to find a hotel with a swimming pool and many parents love to take vacations to the beach. When a child hates the water, taking kids on vacation is a downer. Babies become toddlers who become older children and when they love the water, so many fun vacation opportunities arise. It is still important to always keep your eyes on your children when you are at the beach or at a pool, but it is so much easier to vacation with babies who love the water. You get to enjoy it with them, rather than figure out ways to keep them occupied while you soak in the vitamin D and healthy beach air.


Enjoy the Pool Together

The same goes for vacations and everyday living when there is a pool around. It is easy to tell which parents have spent time in the water with their children and those who haven’t. Parents of children who haven’t learned to swim always look nervous and so do their children. The children look like they want to get in the water, but they just do not know what to do. But, parents who have taught their children to love the water get right in the pool with their children and they enjoy the experience together.

Why you should practice bilateral breathing.

Bilateral breathing is a swimming technique that involves breathing on the left and right side. If you swim competitively or just for exercise, you should use this technique. When swimmers only breathe on one side of their bodies, their strokes become lopsided and so do their bodies. Breathing only on one side also causes the body to roll to that side more often and that can stress the body. When swimmers use bilateral breathing, they have more even strokes and their “weak” side actually performs well.


Over training One Side

This about what happens when you breathe to the same side with every stroke. Imagine how many times you do that in one practice session. The muscles get trained to work a certain way on one side and a different way on the other. As that single-side breathing stroke is practised, your body will develop the habit and a different shape on each side. This can leave permanent effects on the body long after you have stopped swimming competitively.


Improve the Weak Side

When you practice bilateral breathing, your “weak” side will actually improve. When you breathe to the left and right, you get to see the people who are on either side of you. While this is not extremely useful when you are simply exercising in a pool, it is helpful in races and when swimming in open water. Your strokes will even out as your muscles do, too. Your balance improves in the water, so you actually can because you rotate less.


Helps With Open Water Swimming

If you like to swim in the open water, bilateral breathing is a useful technique to develop. This type of breathing actually calms swimmers who are in choppy lakes. There might be times when one side has bigger waves, so it can be challenging to take deep breaths. Instead, you will have to breathe on the other side and since you have practised bilateral breathing, you can breathe on either side at any time.


Take the Time to Learn

Learning to bilateral breathe is easier than it seems. It will feel awkward at first, just like trying to brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, but once you practice it a few times, you will get better at it. To prepare yourself before you start swimming, it is a good idea to stretch out your non-dominant side. Most people have tightness on the non-dominant side, which can make swimming with bilateral breathing extremely uncomfortable. Once you start swimming, you should breathe sooner than you normally would on the weak side. You will get a good deep breath and stay relaxed. It is important that you do not lift your head, you should just rotate it enough to get a breath. Your stroke will help keep you from inhaling water.


Watch Your Stroke Adjustments

Another common issue with weak-side breathing is with the underwater pull. Do not straighten your arm when you are breathing. This will create issues with your stroke and make the breath more difficult to take. If you straighten your arm, you will suck in water rather than oxygen. You can avoid the straight arm problem by being sure to over-exaggerate the high elbow on the catch.


Mix Up the Strokes

Bilateral breathing does not have to be done on every single stroke. Once you understand how it works and you can breathe on both sides evenly, you can alternate the way that you breathe. Some swimmers will breathe every three strokes. Some will breathe on one side all the way down the pool and then the other side on the return. For many swimmers, they actually need to do more breathing on their non-dominant side so they can begin to realign their bodies and become more comfortable with the .


Even though it is awkward at first, bilateral breathing is an excellent way to make the body feel better in the pool. It makes your more even and your enter body benefits from using both sides of the body.

Kelsi Worrell – Watch out world!

Kelsi Worrell holds a unique honour in the world of swimming: she is first woman to finish the 100-butterfly with a time under 50 seconds. Her strength and speed in the pool has earned her several NCAA All-American awards and a National Championship. The butterfly sprinter and freestyler was raised in Westampton, New Jersey, attended the University of Louisville, and swam in the Rio Olympics in the summer of 2016.


High School Highlights

As a high school student in New Jersey, Worrell won a handful of awards and earned serious recognition. During each of her four years in high school, she was named the Burlington County Swimmer of the Year. She won the state champion in the 100-yard fly three times and she was named an All-American in several strokes with the exception of the breaststroke. Prior to entering college, she did quality for the Olympic Trials in her best event, the 100-meter butterfly. She graduated from high school in 2011.


Collegiate Highlights

Her years in college were just as noteworthy, from the moment she entered school. She dominated in the Big East Conference, qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The same success followed her through the rest of her collegiate swimming career. She set a school record in 200-yard fly during her sophomore year. During her junior year, she swam in several events, including the 50-yard free and the 200-yard free relay. She also swam the 200-yard medley in the butterfly leg. She also swam the 100-yard fly in 49.81 – the fast that any woman had ever finished that race in the US record books. Her senior year of swimming was also successfully. She broke another time, but in the 200-yard butterfly. She swam 1:50:61 in the prelims in the NCAA Championship. She also bested her own 100-yard fly with a time of 49.43.


Competitions in 2015

In 2015, Worrell proved herself a competitor in more than just the butterfly. She swam in the 100-meter backstroke. Her time in that race was the 9th fastest in the US in 2015 and she was the 14th fastest American backstroke swimmer ever. Her performance in that race and in the others she swam earned her a nomination as the USA Swimming Breakout Performer of the Year award with two other swimmers. That same year, she also swam in the international races of the Pan American Games. There she earned a medal in the 4×100 free relay and she won gold swimming in the 100-meter fly. She also set a World Record in the 400 meter medley short course relay with a split time of 55:01 in the butterfly. It seemed like everywhere she went, she won medals.


Her First Olympics

Then came the Olympics in Rio. First, Worrell had to qualify and she did by beating Dana Vollmer with a 56.48 in the 100-meter butterfly. In Rio, she won one medal in the 4×100 medley relay where she swam butterfly. She did not medal individually; she finished 9th in the 100-meter butterfly.


Dominating in the Pool in December

Worrell is continuing her dominance in the pool. Just this month, she set three records for American swimmers in the Short Course Worlds in Windsor, Ontario. She dropped her own time in the 100-fly to 55.22. She set a record in the 200-fly, 2:02.89 and she swam the 50-fly in under 25 seconds – she is first American woman to do so. Along with these three records, she picked up a handful of medals in individual and relays, too. She will also graduate from college at the end of the month.


As a college graduate, she will become a professional swimmer who has already signed on with lucrative sponsorship. TYR signed her as soon as she was finished with her NCAA eligibility. The handbag company Vera Bradley has also given her some work to do. She also has a handful of sponsorship from local companies in New Jersey where she grew up.

It is safe to say that Worrell is not finished setting records and earning medals as she prepares for the next step in the world of professional swimming.


5 Tips to be great swim parents!

Parents who have their children in competitive sports have a bad reputation. They are often described as being overbearing and obsessed. If you are a parent of a competitive swimmer, it is easy to get caught up in the drama of the races and the competition between teammates. Everyone wants their own children to succeed, but at what cost? It is possible to be a swim parent who contributes to the success of your child without being overbearing to the coach and the other parents.


Swim parents are extremely dedicated to their children and their love of the pool. But, like parents of all young athletes, swim parents can be difficult for coaches to handle. In most cases, youth swimming coaches are volunteers and the do the job because they love the sport and they love working with kids. When parents become unruly, it makes it difficult for even the best coaches to keep doing the job. To help their children keep swimming and the coaches keep coaching, here are a few tips for parents to be the best swim parents possible:


Great swimming parents are encouraging.

And not just for their own children. They encourage the entire team. They listen to their children and their coach. They do not get involved in drama, even if it does arise. The most encouraging swim parents will share their children’s progress and listen when other parents do the same. They cheer on their own children and the other swimmers on their child’s team.


Great swimming parents are dedicate to the sport and the team.

They continue to learn about the best practices for improving in the sport. They also work hard to help the team succeed financially by participating in fundraisers and recruiting events. They make sure their children get to practices and they bring teammates to practices if their parents have difficulties with transportation.


Great swim parents share their knowledge with teammates.

When swimmers are getting ready to apply to college and for scholarships, the parents who have experience will help other parents who do not. They will share information about the best places to buy inexpensive, but high quality gear. Sharing knowledge does not mean overstepping the coach, however. It means bringing your expertise to the whole team with things that help the coach, too. Parents who have knowledge about complementary exercises like yoga or weight training can be helpful to the team, too – but only after asking the coach first.


Great swim parents are also generous.

This does not mean that they have to be financially generous, but they do what they can to help the team. This spirit of generosity can involve helping the coach with timing during practices or volunteering to drive children to meets. It could involve sharing delicious and nutritious recipes that satisfy a hungry swimmer. Generous parents do not complain about doing what they can to help the team be a team.


Finally, a great swim parent is a nice person.

Some parents can be judgemental and harsh to their own children and this can scare other children. There is a right way and a wrong way to cheer on a child; being nice is the key. Friendly swim parents are not just nice to their children, but to all of the children and their parents. As seasons change, families will come and go, but the veteran families should always be nice and welcoming to the newest ones. This makes the whole team cohesive and it helps new families know where to go for questions and answers. Friendly swim parents can set a positive tone for the entire season and for an entire club.