The Ultimate Swimming Kit Check List for Kids

So, you’re going swimming! Have you packed your kit yet?

In all that excitement to jump in and start blowing bubbles, perfect your front crawl or smash your personal best, don’t forget your swimming essentials!

The Ultimate Swimming Kit Check List has been designed especially for you and your parents, so you know exactly what to pack for your swimming lessons.

See you in the pool!

Hugs and high fives,

Speedy Ray

P.S. Feeling like a real swimming super star? Pack your bag by yourself for extra brownie points from Mum and Dad!

  1. Swim suit – you’d be pretty bummed if you forgot this one!
  2. Swim hat – get all that hair safely out of the way – hats help the nice pool people keep the water clean, too.
  3. Googles – give you the magical ability to see underwater!
  4. Shampoo and soap – chlorine keeps the water safe but it doesn’t smell all that nice. Bring your favourite shampoo and soap to wash it all away!
  5. Your Swimming Nature towel – after all that hard work, snuggle up and get dry quick!
  6. Comb or brush – so you can sort out your hair and smarten up.
  7. Progression book – now you’re clean and dry, remember to put the stickers in your book to see how far you’ve come!
  8. Energy snack – phew! You must be exhausted! Be sure to top up those energy levels with a healthy snack like a banana or a nutty biscuit.
  9. Water – being in water doesn’t mean you don’t need it! And all that exercise will make you super thirsty. Bring along a nice drink of water to top you up!
  10. Your Swimming Nature backpack – to carry it all in, of course!

And that’s it! Everything you need to go swimming. Have I left anything off? Tell me in the comments and I’ll make sure I update the list.

Thanks again,

Speedy Ray

Amateur Swimming Association says fifth of Adults in England can’t swim

9 million adults in England can’t swim but 2.13 million are keen to learn! Are you one of them?

Recently reported across the media and on Metro, the Amateur Swimming Association has published a new report that found 20% of men and 22% of women over the age of 14 in England can’t swim.

The article goes on to mention 2.6 million adults are doing 30 minutes in the pool at least once a week and that 2.13 million adults are keen to learn.

And if you’re reading this article on our Swimming Nature blog you are probably one them – perhaps you’re seeking the right instructor or location right now.

If you’re keen to learn, improve or perfect your swimming this Spring, here’s what makes Swimming Nature a great choice for your swimming development.

Our instructors train you in the water

They’re right there beside you, demonstrating the correct mechanics of the strokes, enabling you to truly grasp the right technique. You’ll learn how, why and what you should be doing which helps develop confidence and precisely improves your technique.

Rapid progress, bespoke lesson plans

Your bespoke lesson plan is tailored just to you. It’s modular, allowing you to see great results, fast. As an adult, we know you’ll like to progress quickly so we’ll work over short distances to maximise your sense of achievement. We’ll also show you how you can continue your training independently for best results.

Multiple class options

Swimming Nature offers a range of class options so you can choose what suits you best:

We offer one-to-one tuition – we’re like personal trainers for the pool!

We also offer coaching for novice triathletes through to elite PB-hungry performers.

And our Mark Foster Programme is perfect for advance swimmers looking to move to the next level. Yes, that’s right. We’re…

Endorsed by Mark Foster

Six-times Olympic World Champion Mark Foster has put his name to the Swimming Nature style of swimming and is our very own Ambassador. He’s put his stamp of approval on our teaching technique and adult swimming programme exclusive to Swimming Nature, so you can draw on the trade secrets of a world-class athlete.

Locations across London and beyond

Our exclusive partnership with Fitness First is taking us beyond London as we expand into Dorset and the Home Counties. To find a Swimming Nature location near you, type your postcode into our venue finder.

Are you one of the 2.13 million Brits determined to learn or improve their swimming this year? Contact Swimming Nature today and book your first lesson!

 

Swimming Nature Wins Innovative Concept of the Year!

Swimming Nature is delighted to announce that we have won at the Active Training Awards for the category of ‘Innovative Concept of the Year’. With the recent statistics from the ASA showing that 45% of 7-11 year olds cannot swim a length of an average pool, this award comes as validation of the hard work we have been undertaking here to motivate more students to swim longer. Additionally, with the strong industry competition in this category, this award has meant that we can start to bring swimming to the forefront of getting more people engaged.

Our innovative concept is based around our great teaching programmes which we undertake for our instructors, coupled with the data we gather from student assessments on poolside. This important data is used in order to develop our programmes further, as well as target students who require additional training in order to achieve more.

Swimming Nature 2We have also created our innovative teacher lesson plans which we are currently rolling out within the company. These digital lesson plans have been developed in a way that creates a bespoke lesson plan for the students who are swimming in the lesson – personalised to where their progression is at.

We look forward now to developing further, and releasing some of the great new projects to motivate our students further.

More information on the training award winners can be found here.

The statistics are in on how consistency with lesson attendance boosts progression

As the weather starts to take a dive and the busy festive period approaches, we all feel the struggle to keep on top of all of the different commitments in our social calendars. Activities such as the life skill of swimming may sometimes take a backseat, though inevitably taking time out will make an impact on how fast students can learn skills.

In fact, when looking at all of our students in the past two years who have learnt to kick on their back for 10 meters unaided, we have seen a direct correlation between progression rates and attendance. For students who missed no lessons, they in fact learn twice as fast than students who missed one or more lessons. Additionally, students who missed less than 3 lessons progressed on average 40% fast than those that didn’t.

Of course there will be times when attending swimming lessons is impossible through reasons outside of your control, though as we can see, staying on track with your lesson attendance is hugely important.

The more you attend, the faster you’ll see the results!

Swimming Nature makes waves to set new standards for swimming tuition across the UK

Swimming Nature, the largest independent provider of swimming tuition in the UK, has developed a unique program of tuition for pool operators and private tutors to help deliver excellence in tuition and improve the level of swimming ability across the country.

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), says that over 45% of children aged seven to eleven cannot swim the length of a standard swimming pool (25 metres) unaided. This means that 1 in 5 children enter adult life unable to swim, which contributes to approximately 400 UK deaths from drowning each year in the UK[1]. As a result of these figures, parents have become increasingly concerned about the standards of swimming teaching in schools, and are now looking outside of the school system to find lessons that can help support and enhance their children’s personal development.

newsletter-markNow, with the support of multiple World champion swimmer Mark Foster, Swimming Nature, who first pioneered the ‘in-water’ method of teaching in 1993, and have taught thousands of children and adults how to perfect their swimming technique, are looking to tackle this issue, by working with pool operators, local authorities, schools and private tutors across the UK to deliver an approved program of swimming tuition, to help meet demand and improve tuition standards throughout the country.

“Swimming is an essential life skill as well as being a fun activity for all the family. Swimming allows people to stay fit as well as being a vital skill required for safety, yet the provision for teaching children in the UK is inadequate” said Founder and Managing Director, Eduardo Ferré.  

 

The 2013 National School Swimming census found that 51% of children aged 7 to 11 could not swim 25 metres unaided. The method used also tends to be the “multi-stroke” method.

 

“This is a fast and effective way of teaching beginners to swim in a group” Eduardo explains, “but it also has disadvantages that can affect your confidence, skill and ability, which can result in a lifetime of trying to reverse bad habits, and is also the reason many adults in the UK cannot swim and may never learn.”

 

Eduardo continues: “Because of this and the sheer scale of the problem, Swimming Nature strongly believes that only in partnership with pool operators, start-up businesses, and independent swimming instructors across the UK, can we really tackle the problem”.

Swimming Nature are now looking to expand their business and offer our proven programs and processes to more sites and more private tutors across the country. Their aim is to help increase the number of classes available across the UK, as well as set better standards for swimming tuition in the UK.

The Swimming Nature program offers pool operators, entrepreneurs looking to start their own swim schools, and individual swimming instructors, training and coaching on their unique methodology, believed to be the most advanced swimming tuition method in the world.  The modular training programme builds on teacher’s skills, covering all four of the main types of swimmers: babies, children, adults and advanced ‘triathlon’ swimmers, and provides a range of personalised teaching programs and lesson plans, based on pioneering scientific research, observation, and an understanding of cognitive development.

For pool operators, and entrepreneurs looking build or grow their swim schools, Swimming Nature also provides access to a suite of software and business management tools that cover every element of running a successful tuition programme. From setting up as a company to day-to-day scheduling, budget controls, and bookings, to communicating with staff, customers, clients and colleagues, each program provides detailed business and monitoring systems to easily control and manage the teaching operations across individual or multiple sites, as well as marketing and PR support, helping businesses maximise revenue opportunities, and the greatest possible ROI.

Unlike any other system available in the market, Swimming Nature’s central management system offers ongoing support to all of its partners and regular assessment and monitoring, ensuring the highest possible standards of teaching are employed across all sites.

“Swimming Nature is dedicated to excellence in business. Our technology significantly improves efficiency, making the pool operators’ and instructors’ lives as easy as possible, whilst providing them with maximum control of the tuition activities, and setting better standards for swimming tuition across the UK” says Eduardo.

World champion swimmer and GB Olympian Mark Foster comments: “Swimming has a unique role in society today, providing a great deal of enjoyment for all the family making people safer near water, In addition to helping to deliver the Government’s health agenda”.

“But as evidence shows, because of the lack of teaching, more and more children in the UK unable to meet the national standards in swimming before they leave school, the consequences of which are worrying” he adds. “It is encouraging that Swimming Nature are leading the way in developing a network of well-run swimming schools and excellent tutors who will teach our children how to swim properly, and I am thrilled to be a part of their program.”

Swimming Nature is appealing to entrepreneurs and instructors across the UK to get involved and help deliver excellence in swimming tuition for our children and adults by adopting their unique programs.

Swim yourself off the sofa as the temperature takes a dive

As the gloomy winter months start to well and truly set in, we all tend to find ourselves replacing the outdoors for the sofa. With plummeting temperatures and routine rain, even contemplating venturing outdoors for that weekly run you enjoyed in the summer no longer seems so appealing. With the impending festive season, our fitness routine seems to taper off, invariably leading to panic button pushing as soon as the calendar hits the 1st of January.

So, how can we all stay fit without having to jog in the local park in our wellies and woollens? Swimming! Not only is it something which can be enjoyed indoors, it is also low impact and great to keep up your fitness levels. Consistency being essential to not only improving stroke technique, but also keeping the muscles active, and the pounds off. Making swimming a weekly routine is key to success.

According to the NHS, regular swimming can reduce the risks of chronic illness, such as heart disease and a stroke. One of the other main benefits is that it’s a great exercise to release endorphins and lift your mood, which we all tend to battle with as the darkness sets in mid-afternoon.

It’s important to find somewhere to swim which works with your daily routines, whether it be work or other activities. Also be sure to invest in some goggles and a swimming cap. If you are a beginner, lessons are a great way to give you confidence and keep you swimming better for longer.

So there is no excuse to be snoozing through the winter months, it’s time to get off the sofa and start swimming!

Swimming Nature runs lessons throughout London and Edinburgh for babies, children and adults, whether you are a beginner or capable swimmer looking for stroke development. You can find out more about the programmes they offer by visiting swimmingnature.com or by calling 08445040506.

Swimming Nature’s Programme Delivery Technology set to raise standards of swimming tuition

Swimming Nature are set to launch their new digital programme technology, using comprehensive data to automatically formulate tailored lesson plans aimed at optimising progression.

Coupling Swimming Nature’s children’s learn to swim program with detailed progress tracking, it ensures both the most beneficial tuition is efficiently delivered, and the highest standards are maintained by instructors. These bespoke automated lesson plans use previous progression data to compose relevant training practices which reflect the key stages each student is next to progress towards.

Information on distances, challenges and awards will be recorded by the instructor and used for reporting on the effectiveness of programme delivery. Additionally swimmers will receive automated emails on achievements such as distance swum or key skills being achieved. Instructor-editable lesson plans encourage a social community where new teaching methods can be approved and introduced by instructors and used throughout the company.

Using the latest mobile responsive design, instructors simply ‘swipe-to-confirm’ lesson activities using any device at any time, even in-water, reducing instructor admin time.  This provides very simple, convenient & flexible anytime-anywhere data entry, and enables consistent accurate data logging.

Swimming Nature plans to use this new technology to provide in-depth reporting to clients on their progress, as well as highlighting any students who may require further attention in specific areas. Not only will this provide more motivation to students, it will also ensure that students who require further attention will receive this to keep them swimming longer and progress further.

Article taken from the UK Active Journal Autumn 2014 issue

Swimming Nature. (2014). Swimming Nature’s Programme Delivery Technology set to raise standards of swimming tuition. Together: ukactive journal. 6, 12.

Swim with confidence at Swimming Nature!

Swimming Nature were delighted to be featured in the Angels and Urchins Summer 2014 Issue. Please see below our published article:

Speedy Swimming      

Jimmy aged 9, was not a strong swimmer. He missed the swimming classes his siblings attended, didn’t pick up much  from sporadic school lessons and would go to great lengths to avoid getting in a pool. It is not cool not to be able to swim, like not being able to ride a bike. And the embarrassment factor meant he refused to join a group lesson. Enter Swimming Nature’s FAST TRACK course. Four half hour lessons on consecutive mornings over the Easter holidays in the warm calm waters of the Kensington Close Hotel. His teacher Josh was engaging and fun and by the end of the first lesson Jimmy was already heaps more confident and had started to get the hang of the breathing. At the end of the week, not only was he happily swimming a length of front crawl but he has voluntarily signed up to a term of classes so he can get ‘really good’! A total triumph.

Swimming Nature have over twenty venues across London. Fast track courses from £135 for 5 days 1:1. Tel: 0844 504 0506. Website: swimmingnature.com

 

Article taken from Angels and Urchins Summer 2014 Issue

Turner, E (2014) Angels and Urchins Summer 2014 Issue, London4 504 05

Overcoming your fear of swimming

82c9afd2a64517036730ac64fa576577Swimming is a very impressive sport as it offers something that no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work out your body without severe impact to your skeletal system. This is because water supports your body as you move (you automatically become lighter), whilst providing resistance to increase your muscular strength and decrease harm to your joints.  Due to these benefits this attracts a variety of people to swimming.

However, no matter what the benefits are there still seems to be quite a few people that avoid the water all together. This could be because of a bad experience in the water or an unexplained fear. Fear can be caused by many reasons such as feeling nervous in an unsettled environment or avoiding confrontation due to feelings of panic and agitation. Over time this fear may build as a mental block resulting in people avoiding swimming all together.

First you have to overcome your fear of the actual water. Once this is done you may find that you don’t even need that many swimming lessons as the anxiety would have worn of.

Here are 13 step by step directions that I have put together to change your attitude towards swimming and help improve your technique.

  1. It is never too late. If you feel that you are too old to start something new. Then why not start with the basics and set small goals and targets for yourself. For instance try to swim 10 meters continuously or count how many strokes it takes you to get to the other side (tells you about your rhythm and timing)
  1. Don’t overthink it. Adults have the tendency to over analyze the technique and as a result they lose valuable time of “real” swimming. As children we are fearless willing to dive right in and try different things, jumping first and looking later. Try to remember this feeling and enjoy the water more. Remember swimming is also about having fun in the water. Don’t think- just swim.
  1. Choose a pleasant environment and teacher. Good communication with your swimming teacher will make you feel more comfortable in the water. You will probably be more willing to improve your skills as you will know what is expected from you.
  1. Use the right equipment. To get the best out of your swimming lessons you need to choose the right gear to suit your body type. Choose a comfortable swimsuit and a good pair of fitted goggles. Shop around and make sure you buy swimming items that are best suited to you. Online shops include: www.swimshop.co.uk, www.sweatband.com and www.milletsports.co.uk
  1. Keep yourself calm and relaxed. It is very important that you keep your body stress-free while swimming. A tight, stiff body will use up more energy. So “Keep Calm And Just Keep Swimming.”
  1. Do not just hold your breath. Carbon dioxide in the blood is raised very quickly when you do not exhale. You should inhale when your face is out of the water and exhale when your face is in the water; essentially you can breathe normally.
  1. Train as much as possible. You can only improve on your swimming technique if you practice again and again. Set aside 2 30 minute workout sessions per a week to maintain basic health and fitness levels. In a single session try stay in the pool until you have done 400 meters of swimming or 16 lengths of a 25 meter pool at a medium to high significant pace.
  1. Try to learn the strokes step by step. If you are a beginner try not to focus too much on swimming a full stroke, instead focus on breathing and then progress to the correct body position which aids in developing kicking and lastly arms. By following these steps you’ll will be swimming in no time.
  1. Keep it simple. While swimming front crawl your arms should move under the central line of your body which means under the middle of your chest and your stomach. Try to keep your elbow higher than your hand at all times.
  1. Close your fingers. You can imagine that your hands are paddles. This will help you to catch more water and increase your swimming pace.
  1. Forget cycling movements in the water. One of the most common mistakes is to bend your knees excessively. This can result in a bad performance in the water. So, remember the leg’ movement begins from the hips. Straight legs, floppy ankles are a great starting point.
  1. Bring a friend. Instead of attending a swimming lesson by yourself why not bring a friend to join in on the fun. You can help each other out and even challenge one another.
  1. Don’t give up. You may not achieve your goal the first time so don’t be too hard on yourself. Try again and work on areas that you need to improve on. Ask your swimming teacher for advice, book more lessons and make sure that you maintain a healthy balanced diet to boost your energy levels and help improve your performance.

As well as being fun, swimming is a great way to keep fit and stay healthy. It is the ideal exercise to improve your physical and mental health. It might take a little while to adjust to the water but with a bit of help you can face your fear full on.

How swimming can help you

Find out how swimming can help boost your confidence and health. You can gain great fitness benefits as it tones your whole body and strengthens your muscles. Whatever your age, it’s never too late to learn to swim and improve your technique.

Swimming itself is a beautiful sport and an excellent non impact exercise. This is a great advantage as it protects the joints from stress and strain. The sport also provides physiological benefit such as stress reduction as water relaxes your body and calms the mind.

Through constant movement and relief; swimming helps encourage a healthy life style.

Through my own experiences of swimming I found that that none of your joints suffer because you are not in touch with anything solid. Not even a single muscle will be stiff during a lesson, as it’s relaxed and enjoyable. As you are utilising your entire body activating all your muscle groups this can lead to burning calories quite quickly and overall improvement of your fitness. You’ll build, strengthen and tone muscles as every bit of your body is moving and learn how to breath efficiently whether you are in water or not as breath control plays a big part.

Get a head start before your first lesson

Now that you’re eager to start swimming. You can start a few everyday exercises that will benefit you once you’re in the water. A simple exercise to start with is stretching your ankles. This can be easily done when you sit in the office every working day; just by pushing your toes against the floor one way and another, top and bottom, makes them more flexible.

This movement will help develop your kicking and is an essential first step in learning to swim confidently.

Now that you have focused on flexing your ankles for a more effective kick you can focus on the next element which is controlling your breath. You can try doing this anywhere, just be conscious about it; in and out, quick breath in and long release. Try to do it while taking a bath: quick in and long bubbles out. Do it a few times in a row when you walk or doing anything else and try not to get tired or out of breath. Breathe as naturally as possible but make sure it’s under control and that your are relaxed as this will help improve your swimming once you’re  in the water.

Once you are confident in the above techniques then it’s time to start swimming. Create swimming goals as this will bring a sense of achievement to your daily exercise routine and remember to have fun and enjoy the water.

A pool full of swimming news, articles and tips.