Where is your head these days?

Some of us have bigger heads than others, but the average human head weighs 10-11 pounds.  Now what does this have to do with swimming?  Picture this:  I come to the pool with a bowling ball and ask you to hold it up as you swim.  How difficult would that be?  Yet many swimmers do exactly that; instead of using the water's density to support the weight of the head, they carry the extra burden by holding their heads up. The difference in load bearing is about 8% of body weight.  Imagine the energy wasted, energy that instead should be devoted to moving forward.

Even if your face is in the water, you may be swimming with your head too high.  Here are some simple clues to look for:  

1.  You are looking forward instead of down.

2.  Your hips and/or legs are sinking.

3.  Most of your cap or hair remains dry.

4.  Your neck hurts after you swim.

Proper head position should be the #1 priority of swimmers and their coaches.  Where is your head these days?

 

                                                                                                 --Coach Beth

Who Invented the Swim Fin?

Did you know that one of the founding fathers of our country also invented the swim fin?  It's true!  As a child, Benjamin Franklin loved to swim, and by age 11, he was looking for ways to get faster.  So Ben carved two pieces of wood into oval shapes and attached sandal straps to each one.  He first tried the paddles on his hands, but when he discovered that they hurt his wrists, he transferred them to his feet.  For his love of swimming and his invention of swim fins, Franklin was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.  If you're ever in Ft. Lauderdale, you can check it out!

Benjamin Franklin was also the first to map the gulf stream.  Because he was endlessly curious, he noticed during his frequent ocean voyages that the eastbound currents were much faster than the westbound.  Legend says that he loved to swim in the noticeably warmer waters of the gulf stream.  No wet suit needed; it hadn't been invented yet!  You can see a copy of Franklin's chart below, which was printed in 1786, ten years after he originally drew it. 

Why are Swim Caps Required for Liquid Bubbles Lessons?

This question is often asked of coaches by parents and guardians.  While putting on a swim cap may seem daunting and unnecessary, it is important that all children wear one when enrolled in our programs.  Here is why:

For children with long hair, it keeps hair out of their eyes.  Children who are constantly seeing hair in their line of sight will have trouble concentrating on their technique, as seeing underwater is critical to aquatic comfort.

For children with shorter hair, the cap keeps their goggles from slipping off their head.  No one likes to be swimming without goggles, so the cap is necessary to maintain comfort and ensure focus on the coach and the lesson’s curriculum.

Mindset.  At Liquid Lifestyles, we consider ourselves a provider of a premier service to promote a life-long love of swimming.  As such, we want to create a fun, yet disciplined, learning environment.  Teaching water safety is a life-saving skill and having a high standard in the training and appearance of our Liquid Bubbles swimmers is paramount.

Safety.  Something about being able to quickly be able to identify kids in our program

If you or your child are struggling with a swim cap, please practice putting it on at home.  This habit will increase familiarity with the cap and decrease any associated anxiety in a short period of time.  In case you aren’t sure how to put on your child’s cap, there are some “how to” photos for your reference:

Preparing for Your Child’s First Swim Lesson

Enrolling your child in Liquid Bubbles swimming lessons is a critical step in developing your child’s comfort in and awareness of aquatic environments.  Whether your child is enrolled in private lessons or a group class, Liquid Lifestyles’ highly-trained coaches, through the use of intuitive curriculum, will teach your child important life-saving skills in a comfortable, safe pool environment.  Learning is fun and easy when it’s “Swimming Simplified!”

Here is what you need to know about preparing for your first lesson: 

Set expectations with your child beforehand.

Some of our facilities require parents to remain in a waiting area while your child is taking their lesson.  This policy is in place to ensure safety of all pool patrons, as some facilities have space constraints.  Talk to your child about the idea of you being in the waiting room during the lesson so he or she is not surprised when they cannot see you during the lesson.

You will be given the opportunity to speak with the coach at the end of the lesson when your coach will review your child’s progress at the end the lesson.  You can also use this opportunity to ask questions of your coach.

Arrive early.

Liquid Lifestyles requires all children in Liquid Bubbles 1 and beyond to wear swim caps and goggles.  For more information about why we have this requirement, click here (link to other article).  Liquid Lifestyles provides a Liquid Bubbles swim cap for all participants, but it is the customer’s responsibility to purchase goggles.  Goggles are available for purchase on the pool deck.  Just ask your coach for a pair!

The coach will show you how to put on the swim cap and goggles properly.  The purchase process and demonstration may take a few minutes, so it be best to arrive early for your lesson to ensure a prompt start time.

Your child may become uneasy before or during the lesson.

Oftentimes, a young child will become uneasy at some point before or during the lesson.  This is understandable, as the pool environment can be new, different or a bit overwhelming to a small child.  Our coaches are trained to help ease your child’s concerns.  Tactics include distraction, fun, singing, etc., but please know the lesson will continue even if your child sheds some tears. 

If you are located at a pool that allows parents on deck, it is possible that the coach may ask you to leave the area in the event your client is upset.  Why?  Your child looks to you as their parent or guardian for love and support at all times.  By being able to see their parent, a distraught child loses interest in the lesson and focuses solely on the parent.  Your Liquid Bubbles coach wants the opportunity to bond with your child and be viewed as a trustworthy adult.  This process is made easier when the child’s focus remains with the coach. 

Usually once the parent leaves the area, the child realizes the lesson will continue and their objections cease by the end of the 30-minute period. 

Afterwards

Strong-willed children may continue to fret through the first couple of lessons.  This is normal, and we ask that parents please continue to bring their child to lessons several more times, as it is not advisable to validate the child’s protests by ending swim lessons.  Swimming is a necessary and life-saving skill all caregivers want their child to master.  We at Liquid Lifestyles can work through the tears as long as the parent allows us!

Talk to your child about the lesson, the importance of swimming and about how much fun they can have in the water.  Most parents notice an increase in confidence and appreciation for the water after several lessons.  Our goal is to have every Liquid Bubbles participant develop a life-long love of swimming, and we will work with you and your child to ensure we met this goal.

Happy Swimming!

The Importance of Head Position to Master Body Balance

The Importance of Head Position to Master Body Balance

Maintaining proper head position is the key to achieving proper balance while swimming.

Maintaining proper head position is the key to achieving proper balance while swimming.

Your head is a 12-pound weight and in order for you to travel efficiently in the water and push through as small of a column of water as possible you have to get your head down in order to get your hips to come up. Your fulcrum, or balance point, of your body while attempting to be horizontal in the water is not at your belly button, it is directly under your lungs. You have more distance behind the fulcrum that in front of it. Therefore a 1-2" change in front of the fulcrum can make a 3-5" change behind the fulcrum.

Once proper head position is achieved, the second most important factor in improving your balance in the water is to get your lead arm into a position that is several inces below the water rather than at the surface. At first this might seem counter-intuitive, however the trade off here is what is important. Yes, you will have a small amount of added drag to get your arm lower, but by doing so your hips and legs go up. That is a good trade.