IMPORTANT Read this page BEFORE going to the pool!
The following exercises are designed to make you feel at ease and should be more fun than difficult.
AT THE SHALLOW END:
1--Hold onto side with both hands.
2--Bending knee, lift up one leg and return.
3--Lift up other leg and return.
4--Alternately lift and return each leg at least five times (5 X).
5--Still holding side with both hands, lift one leg straight out from side (see illustration below) and slowly bring it down. Repeat 5 X.
6--Repeat with other leg 5 X.
7--Holding onto side with both hands, slide hands along while sidestepping across width at shallow end.
8--Return to where you started by sidestepping in opposite direction sliding hands along pool side.
9--Sidestep back and forth across shallow end of pool at least 4 X.
If any of these tasks cause you to feel uneasy or anxious, slowly repeat each until you are relaxed while performing them.
It may take more than one trip to the pool before you feel comfortable with all the exercises. Take your time and when you are no longer tense continue with the following set. REMEMBER, DO NOT CONTINUE WITH A NEW TASK UNTIL YOU ARE AT EASE WITH THE PREVIOUS ONE!
1--Rest your back against the pool side and scoop some water into hands. lift hands to neck. At least 3 X .
2--Scoop water in one hand and dribble it over shoulder. 5 X.
3--Repeat with other hand and opposite shoulder.
4--Scoop water up with both hands and splash over chest at least 5 X.
5--Turn and face pool side holding onto it with both hands.
6--Holding onto side, bend knees until water covers your shoulders. Stand straight. Repeat Ten X or until you are at ease with it.
7--Turn, and resting your back against side of pool, scoop water into both hands and lift to face. At least 3 X.
8--Scoop water into hands at chest level and then bring face down into hands. Repeat at least 3 X.
9--Scoop water into hands laying them atop water palms up, bend over and put face into hands. 5 x or until at ease.
10-Take a deep breath and perform same task, this time blowing into hands making bubbles. (see illustration.) Repeat at least 5 X.
11-Spreading feet slightly more than shoulder width apart, place cupped hands barely under water. Bend over until face touches them. Stand erect. Repeat 5 X or until at ease.
12.-Take a deep breath and repeat # 11, this time blowing air into cupped hands. 5 X
13.-Continue with # 12 until you are able to blow bubbles for at least ten consecutive seconds each time. Repeat until at ease.
14-Facing pool wall, feet and hands shoulder width apart and holding onto side, bend over and put face down into water. Either blow bubbles or simply hold breath while face is in water. Stand erect and continue task until you are relaxed while performing it.
REMEMBER TO FIRST PRACTICE THESE TASKS AT HOME OUT OF THE WATER TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THEM.
Suggestion: If you print these instructions, place copies in a clear zip-locked plastic or waterproof folder to read while at the pool.
This is the end of "Individual" water orientation exercises. You may not feel at ease with these tasks until you've gone through them many times and have made several visits to the pool. DO NOT FEEL DISCOURAGED AND DO NOT GIVE UP. There's no hurry. Do not set time limits on yourself! You will eventually feel perfectly at ease with these exercises. For an instructor, convincing pupils that they can perform the above tasks without feeling tense, is the hardest part of the job, but more frequently than not, the most discouraged and fearful pupils will be those who end up loving the water more than anyone else.
If any or all of the above tasks are so easy for you that you perform them without feeling nervous or uneasy, DO NOT SKIP THEM. Perform them anyway, at least once. You need to continue gradually through the entire sequences in order to build confidence for more difficult progressions.