Is Swimming a Life skill?
Is swimming a lifeskill?
It is not an unusual question but not many people would ponder seriously whether swimming is a lifeskill.
In this article, I’ll point out a few considerations to make the point that swimming is actually a lifeskill.
But first, let’s understand what ‘lifeskill’ actually means.
According to a Unicef, “Life skills” are defined as psychosocial abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.”
You might be wondering by now, so how does swimming helps us deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life.
For our purpose in this article, the challenge here is staying safe in the water.
Even if your purpose is not to do laps in the pool, knowing how to avoid drowning is something everyone should learn.
A report in the NST cited a study by the Perak Clinical Research Centre, which said that “about 500 people, mostly youth, drown in Malaysia annually – making drowning the second cause of death among those between the ages of 1 and 18.”
If you have kids, you’d probably know by now that water is a magnet for children. They love to play with and in water, but are not aware of the dangers of it.
It’s also been reported that children have drowned in a hotel pool, while their parents were checking in at the lobby.
Parents can surely play a more responsible role by monitoring their kids, but it would also benefit them and their children to learn to swim or at least be taught how to manage themselves in the water.
Rowdy Gaines, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner says “when a child learns to walk, they should learn to swim”.
This will also give parents some peace of mind, especially in Malaysia, where there are many waterfalls and beaches to visit during holidays.
Don’t forget at beaches, they are many fun activities like snorkeling, kayaking and others to give us an exciting time.
So even if you’re not at a pool every day, having the ability to swim or to stay safe in and around water will give you or your child all the confidence.
Speaking of confidence, this can lead to a whole set of other life skills that can help in your child’s development.
Swimming does more than give the ability to manage oneself in the water, but psychologically helps to overcome phobias, increases self-esteem and develops social skills.
For these reasons, especially the last one – developing social skills, is why swimming can be talked about as a lifeskill to help us ‘deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life’ as mentioned in the definition.
I remember when I didn’t know how to swim even until my adulthood, I often isolated myself from others who would not participate in those water activities.
It also lowered my self-esteem and I felt less confident compared to others.
But swimming has changed me in a lot of ways, and I’m sure this will be beneficial for your children as well.
Firstly, when you learn to swim, you learn to conquer your fear of water – aqua phobia – if you have one.
At EC Swim, we have vast experience of helping children and adults get over their fear of water.
Our step by step approach have seen results, some quicker than others, but the challenge of overcoming aqua phobia is not impossible.
If you want more help in overcoming your fear of water you can watch this Youtube video by Speedo Advisors – “How to overcome the fear of swimming with your face in the water by Julie Johnston”
When you learn to overcome your fears early in life, you will learn that you can certainly conquer most of your fears, if not all, when you put your mind to it.
Next is learning the different types of stroke.
Most swim coaches, if not all, will teach you the breast stroke first.
This is often said the easiest swimming stroke to learn first, because the ‘Breaststroke’ keeps your head above water, which is suitable for beginners.
This will help newbies learn breathing techniques faster when their visibility is clearer.
After the Breaststroke you will learn the front crawl or freestyle, and then the other strokes like Butterfly and Backstroke.
As you learn the different types of stroke, you will have a sense of accomplishment, which increases your self-esteem.
And when you learn to swim in a group, you develop social skills with other swimmers which you can use in your daily life outside the pool.
Even in adulthood, when I had learnt to swim, I made many friends while on vacation because you often have to share a boat with strangers when you go snorkeling, diving or other activities.
So if you really think about it, swimming fits right in with the definition of a ‘lifeskill’ as presented earlier in this article,
It is a psychosocial ability for us to adapt and instill a positive behavior to enable us to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.
So to sum up what I’ve just said here is, “Swimming is a lifeskill” because firstly, you will know how to stay safe in and around the water.
You’ll never know when you might be caught in an emergency situation, and knowing how to swim could just save your life or someone else’s.
I’ve also listed the possible scenarios where you could be near water areas such as a hotel pool or the beach.
You might just be missing out on a lot of fun, if you’re not able to participate in those activities.
When you learn to swim, it will build your confidence and self-esteem, which can help you or your child in different challenges as they go through life.
People with high self-esteem usually achieve far more in life because they are optimistic, not afraid to face challenges, take risks, love to compete and can have a ‘Can-do’ spirit.
Having these traits as you or your child goes through life will help them succeed in areas outside the pool, such as in their education and work-life.
And in addition to all that, you’ll find swimming fun and that is one of the aspects why many kids learn swimming in our pool.
At EC Swim, we have lessons for all age groups.
Our classes are conducted at our private swimming pool in PJ, but if you want us to come over, contact us for more details.