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Swimming Ideas Podast

A closer look at swimming lessons, swim team practices, swimming games, and why coaches and swimmers do the things they do.
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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 29, 2016

https://www.facebook.com/swimrichmond/

 

 

 

 

Swim RVA http://www.swimrichmond.org/

 

 

Fitness and swimming pool in Richmond VA

 

I follow them on Facebook and Twitter and their "ring the bell" concept is amazing.

 

Loud, physical, tangible thing to do announcing to everyone and yourself that someone has succeeded in something.

 

We don't do anything similar. I want to install something like this.

 

They follow Swim America and thus, use the stations to progress. There are 10 so there are regular intervals of success built in if participants show up.

 

Makes success prominent, gives participants something to do outside of the pool. Works very well for younger swimmers.

 

 

 

 

May 15, 2016

USA Swimming has this article linked to their Learn To Swim page at www.usaswimming.org

 

 

 

We're going to look specifically at this portion:

 

"

  Moving and Learning

Recent neurological research links movement to learning and memory.  Since neurologists now agree that active movement is scientifically linked to intellectual development, how early should movement training begin?   

 

Babies are born with most of their neurons, billions.  But they have few interconnections (synapses) between the neurons.  As a baby moves and interacts with his world, the impulses flowing through his neurons stimulate the cell fibers to grow more branches and twigs reaching out to other neurons. When neurons are stimulated through movement, they develop interconnections (synapses). The more interconnections, the more capable the child is of learning (Whitehead).   

 

Interaction or communication between the neurons is necessary for learning to take place. Neuroscientists at University of California at Irvine discovered that active movement activates the release of BDNF, a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Kinoshita 1999). BDNF is a protein that acts on certain neurons in the brain; it supports the growth, function, and survival of these neurons and synapses in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and the basal forebrain.  These are areas of vital learning, memory, and higher reasoning (Whitehead).  

 

Every time a synapse is used, it becomes stronger and easier to send messages in the future. Every time a movement is repeated, less energy is used to repeat it in the future. As an infant repeats movements, the brain groups those movements together in a neural memory. A newborn has very few memories stored in his synapses. As he moves and interacts with his world, his nervous system accumulates more neural memories (Ayers 1991).   

 

A child has neural memories for everything he can do. These sensory/motor memories create an internal picture of the body. This body image is stored in the child's nervous system. The child's brain refers to this internal picture to plan his movements. The more accurate the internal body image, the better able a child is to navigate unfamiliar movements (Ayers 1991). By giving a child many varied sensory experiences like the active movement in swimming, his movement experiences become more plentiful and diverse, resulting in a more developed internal body picture. However without this information, the child would not know where the parts of his body are or how to spontaneously move from one place to another without conscious planning.

"

 

Varied movement in swimming produces automatic responses later. If we practice repetitive motions in different and varied ways, when we go to move through the water that motion will be done quicker, better, and automatically without thought: automatic response when under duress, or a "fight or flight mode."

 

We use progressions of increasing difficulty so when we go to do the activity it is done well without conscious thought.

 

Free play

Kicking motions

Position 11

Front glides supports

Back glide

 

#1 take-away from the article? Loving, slow, fun environment is significantly better than "life or death situation" training.  DO NOT TOSS YOUR CHILD IN THE WATER AND SEE IF THEY CAN SURVIVE! Even with supervision, even with repeated steps.

 

Instead, teach "using gentle, nurturing lessons that are taught based on building skills upon skills until the movement is learned."

 

May 10, 2016

You're likely getting ready for your summer lifeguard trainings this month. You have returning staff and new hires eager or reluctantly attending your mandatory trainings.

 

These are critical hours you have a captive audience. Here are 3 things you can do as an instructor or facilitator to make sure your participants aren't leaving after your two day session saying, "well that could have been done in 2 hours."

 

With these three cures you'll have effective and efficient trainings where your participants will learn, be active, and be engaged.

 

What democracy doesn't have 2 presidents? What company doesn't have 2 CEOs? Ditch the Co-instructor format and have one lead instructor and multiple aides.

  • You must have a clear lead instructor.
  • If you have aides teaching, do not interrupt them or "add" to their discussion in front of the group.
  • Lead instructor is responsible for being prompt and clear with what is next, avoiding unnecessary downtime, and keeping everything moving.

 

 

Utilize small groups whenever possible. At some point working with a lot of people turns into just herding sheep.

  • Randomize the groups, switch up the groups regularly
    • Don't use silly names for groups. Simple 1, 2, 3 is most effective than trying to remember random animals or colors.
  • Rotate aides and instructors for each group and topic so participants get different styles and interaction with each manager/instructor
  • Small groups are more effective at discussion, getting things moving, and speed up the process.
  • Use a large group debrief to share what small groups talked about and to swap stories.

 

Have a specific agenda before you start teaching.

  • Know what you are teaching, how much time you'll spend teaching it, and what you are going to do next in as much exact detail as possible.
    • Avoid forcing people to sit and wait for you to figure out who is going to decide what to do next, when, and where.
  • Write it out and distribute it to all participants. At this time we're doing this, at that time we're doing that. Be clear, be specific, and pad things with a little extra time.
    • Participants will appreciate early release over excessive time. 
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