If you suffer from water phobia you probably fall into at least one of the following categories
- You’ve had a bad experience in the past
- You were never taught to swim
- You avoid swimming for fear of drowning
Water Phobia can make you feel nervous for many reasons, you might be scared of the water in general, or worried about going under. You might have already tried swimming in the past and failed, or maybe you think it’s too late for you to learn.
If you want to overcome water phobia and want to feel more confident, have a quick read of our tips to getting started, put together by our team of experienced swimming teachers.
Here’s some common misconceptions to considering before you start.
- The first trip to the pool is literally sink or swim, the water will be very deep
- Everybody will be looking at me because I can’t swim
- I have to get in and swim straight away
- Some people just simply aren’t meant to swim
The Right Pool
Here’s 3 key points to consider when choosing a suitable pool.
Step 1 – Find a quiet swimming pool that’s not going to be too busy or noisy
Step 2 – Find out the depth of the pool, 1.25m is perfect (just below chest height for most adults)
Step 3 – Safety, make sure you are with somebody who can swim or at a pool with a lifeguard
So you’ve’ found a suitable swimming pool.
The most important factor is acclimatisation, the first couple of visits to the swimming pool should be spent getting accustomed to the pool and building water confidence. Not necessarily swimming.
Pick a day when you have plenty of time, it’s important to be fully relaxed. No rushing!
Arrive to the pool and take some time to and observe your surroundings, if there’s a lounger or a Jacuzzi that’s great just sit and relax for 15minutes. It’s very important not to rush the initial stages.
When you feel completely ready to enter the pool. Get in by the steps and hold onto the side. Take deep breaths, stay relaxed.
Walking through the water
Hold onto the side of the pool with one hand and walk around the edge, feel the resistance of the water against your body as you walk up and down. Bend your knees a little and submerge your shoulders under the surface. Take long strides through the water with balance and control.
“Keep breathing slowly to stay relaxed”
Practice floating (whilst holding the side)
Learning to float first is essential. By holding the side of the pool you can help support your body whilst learning to balance. Your first few attempts will probably result in legs sinking, however after some practice you should be able to lie on your front with your legs stretched out behind you.
“Try to imagine yourself floating on top of the water surface”
Putting your face in
This is an unusual feeling the first time, after a few attempts a really enjoyable experience.
Take a deep breath, close your mouth, submerge your head under the water, count to 5, come up for air.
Help stay relaxed by breathing small bubbles out of your mouth. When confident with this exercise try and extend the amount of time spent with your head under.
All three exercises will involve a little trial and error, it’s completely normal. It might be 15-20 attempts before a certain exercise feels natural. Learning to swim is essentially lots of trial, error and repetition. Specific exercises like the ones highlighted above can be practiced over and over again to improve confidence, coordination and balance.
For more information on learning to swim, check out our step by step guide to Mastering the basics