Their is a discussion going on, on what to teach our children first when it comes to swimming.
It is about, what is best or fastest to learn. What age should we start.
Here in the Netherlands it used to be very normal for children to have swimming lessons at school starting at the age of 6.
After some time that stopped due to some money issues or so they said. Was that the right thing to do for a country that has been and is still fighting of the water. Yes we know how to deal with water so we think children should learn how to swim. A sort of a ‘just in case’ scenario kind of thinking.
So we, since school does not provide swimming lessons we still have our children start at the age of 4 with swimming lessons. Would you call that to soon or even to late. What age is appropriate. This hot summer we had news of children drowning at the age of 2 and 3. And all it takes is a second of not looking after. A story I know is a child who drowned in 3 inches of water. So how soon should we start. And the next question is, what should they learn. Thus starts the discussion.
What stroke is the first the children should learn. A fight between two. The Dutch swimming association who has always decided that he first should be the breast stroke. Now a new player, a pool who gives swimming lessons says it should be the front crawl or freestyle.
So let us decide based on the pros or cons of each of the styles. Or even flip a coin for a third option.
Freestyle; The easiest to learn and the fastest to learn. Knowing, kids can do a dogpaddle style soon as they hit the water to keep themselves afloat. In short is just kicking your legs and circling your arms using your shoulder joint So the pro is it is easy and fast to learn.
The con on the other hand is that starting with this style is that kids have to little stamina to keep it up for a long period of time. Something that can be considered dangerous if they get tired in the middle of a pool. We sure do not want that.
Breast stroke;; Is considered a difficult style thanks to its complex order the strokes are performed. So not that easy to master. The sweeping of the arm under water followed by the frog kick of the legs while extending the arms. But the pro on this style it is easy to maintain for along period of time. The strokes done right do not take up a lot of energy.
Now thinking of safety the freestyle is a first choice, because kids can learn it quicker. But the con isn’t a nice thought.
Should something like this be mandatory around the world. And I mean in every country. It is a smart, safe and healthy on top of that, knowing our new generation need the exercise.
Did we make a choice? I think we did.
Well how does this then sound. If the freestyle is so easy to learn it does not need much time to teach. An hour swimming could then easily be split uneven to have lots of time for the breast stroke and a little time for the freestyle. And as they progress and know the breaststroke we can than teach them to refine the freestyle as their stamina grows as well. Tipping the time balance in what is taught. Maybe the parents can help to stop a dumb fight over what is best. We are talking of the safety of our children when in water. Something we should not take lightly
What is important? Should children know how to swim, what age should we start and with what do we start?
A question that is easy to answer if you ask me. I am Dutch, so my answer is a big yes, and soon as possible. World wide with more and more floods happening, I as well would say yes. Give them a chance to survive. And at least a day a week to exercise.