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How to Fight Fear in the Pool

Halloween is right around the corner, and while Halloween is scary, swimming doesn't have to be! Many people have a fear of swimming. Sometimes these fears develop because an individual has never learned how to swim. Other times, these fears develop because of a frightening experience in the water. Regardless of why someone fears swimming, that fear can prevent them from enjoying the health benefits and social benefits that swimming has to offer, such as days at the pool with friends and improving cardiovascular health. At Jim Montgomery Swim School, we have a passion for helping people overcome their fear of swimming and reap the benefits of the sport we love!

Here are a few tips that can help:

1. Enroll in Swim Lessons

Fear of swimming often stems from a real or perceived feeling of helplessness when in the water, and swim lessons can help address this. In swim lessons, students work with a knowledgeable instructor that they can count on for help. Especially when first starting lessons, having someone by your side can help alleviate the feeling of helplessness and give you the confidence you need to get in the water. Trust in the instructor is vital, which is why it is important to take lessons at a reputable swim school. In kids lessons, trust in the instructor may take more time, so be patient while watching your swimmer and reassure your swimmer that they are in a safe environment before lessons. 

2. Take Small Steps

Swimming is a process, and if you try to do too much at once, you can end up discouraged at your lack of progress. At this point, the feeling of helplessness and mistrust towards water can sink in. Focus on learning the basics one step at a time. By focusing on one simple technique, you will learn the skill better and faster. Doing so will build your confidence and lay a better foundation for more complex skills down the road. 

3. Turn Mistakes into Opportunities

You might get water up your nose or sink a little because you are bending your knees too much when you kick, but these are learning opportunities, not an indication that you cannot learn to swim. Take the mistake and learn how to correct them. As you do so, you will grow to be less helpless in the water and become a more competent and confident swimmer. Just remember tip #1 and make the mistakes with an instructor present to help. 

4. Have Fun!

Fun is a great fear deterrent. Whether you are going down a small slide or looking for rings underwater, these fun activities distract from fear, build confidence, and teach valuable skills along the way. Additionally, having fun helps swimmers of all ages loosen up, which makes floating a lot easier!

We hope these tips can help you or your little swimmer overcome fear of swimming and enjoy all that the sport has to offer. We have lessons for swimmers of all ages and would love to help you take the next step! 

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