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How to overcome your fear of the water

Have you had a bad experience in the water? Are you scared of putting your face in the pool? Do you feel like you just sink? Would you like to enjoy the water with your kids?

Sometimes our fears can block what we know we must be capable of physically. Learning to swim, save your own life and enjoy the water are in my view essential life skills. I’ve helped hundreds of water phobics over the last fifteen years of swimming coaching. Here are a couple of my tips to help you start becoming friends with the water.

1. Relax

Often what can happen if you find it difficult to relax in the water is you hold your breath, which will cause you to store CO2 and make you feel more anxious. It's a vicious cycle that the simplest skill of learning to blow bubbles into the water can really improve dramatically.

I suggest trying with your face in the shower or bath and progress to holding the poolside in the shallow end of a pool you feel comfortable in. Get used to doing a full inhale and a full exhale blowing lots of bubbles- even say the word bubbles out loud if you have to- trust me it works!

2. Learn how buoyancy works

Try floating in a star shape on your back. Then have a go on your front. Notice how the water holds you up? All swimming is, is floating, getting streamlined and pushing water in the right direction.

3. Basic physics lesson!

In swimming, you push the water the opposite way to the way you want to go: backwards to go forwards; forwards to go backwards; left to go right; right to go left. Have a go standing pushing the water in these different directions, let you feet come off the floor and notice how you float and turn your body with small movements of your hands.

4. Positive mental attitude

If you’ve had a bad experience you might have a lot of negative self talk going on in your head such as ‘I can’t do this, I’m going to drown etc’. Try to keep your internal dialogue positive at all times, believe in yourself! Say things like ‘I’ve got this, everyone’s got to start somewhere, this water is lovely’ etc.

One coaching session might be all you need to give you some tools to help manage your fears, start relaxing and trusting the water and allow you to progress further with your swimming. We have a small group three session evening course starting on Wednesday 3rd March, designed for complete non-swimmers called Level 1: Swim Confidence. Come along and crack this once and for all with our expert, friendly support.

Here’s what our clients say:

“Annie is an incredible teacher who is super knowledgeable and kind, making you feel comfortable and safe in the water. I have been scared of water since I was a child after a drowning experience, so I was very nervous. But I ended up having my confidence built right up and in the end having a lot of fun. I can now officially save myself and start swimming. It's even impacted my little girl's enthusiasm towards swimming! I'm learning to swim at the same level as her (she's in the children's beginner class with Tri Swim School ) and it's helped both of us to thrive. The fee is really fair for 3 hours of very small groups and an really good standard of teaching, I can't recommend Tri Swim Coaching for adults and Tri Swim School for kids enough!! Thank you for teaching me and my daughter.”

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