5 Circles Mindfulness
The Miracle Swimming Movement is the face of successful fearful-adult swim instruction, putting comfort first, not skills, technique, distance, or speed. Comfort must be the 1st priority of learning just about anything. Imagine if it were.
When students are comfortable, they learn. Comfort includes feeling safe in all ways— physical, emotional and intellectual—and feeling heard, seen, and understood. Students should be warm enough. At Miracle Swimming, we provide warm pools. When students are warm, they can focus on learning.
Mindfulness: Where Does It Fit In?
People who are afraid in water are fearful of two main things: drowning and panic. For those afraid of heights, it's falling and panic. For those afraid of flying, it's crashing and panic. When people panic, they leave. Their bodies don't leave; their presence of mind does.
If they want to prevent panic, they need to prevent leaving. That means they need to feel safe to stay. Miracle Swimming for Adults has been teaching this full time for almost four decades. This is why Miracle Swimming is the gold standard for non-swimmer adults. It cannot possibly fail. A teacher or student can fail to use it, but it cannot possibly fail.
The campaign for humane adult swimming lessons says:
-Comfort is Priority #1
-Fear in water prevents adults from learning to swim
-Learning to swim is becoming reliable for one's safety in water over one's head. Learning strokes is not learning to swim.
-Safety must come first
-Swim classes must be separated, non-afraid from afraid students
-Students must learn at their own pace
-A correct float does not have to be horizontal
-Swim classes must teach students how to keep water out of their noses
-Learning to swim is a different process than learning strokes
-Learning to swim efficiently is learning strokes after safety has been mastered
-Being frightened in water is more common than the public knows (half of American adults)
-It’s okay to be fearful in water over one’s head
-Panic is the main cause of drowning in adults, rather than inability to do strokes
-Up to half of adults are unsafe in water over their heads
-Knowing strokes does not make a person water-safe
-Swimming should be taught in warm water
-Mindfulness training is the quickest, most gentle, fun, and effective answer to learning to
swim for adults who are fearful
-Miracle Swimming is the only national learn-to-swim system that addresses fear
adequately. A few experienced, aware teachers of private lessons address fear
adequately, but to be successful, they must expand beyond the system in which
they were trained.
-Learning to swim occurs the moment someone has overcome his/her fear of deep
-Knowing how to swim is a life skill everyone should have
-Everyone should know "how the water works" with their body
-Students have the right to be taught by informed, qualified instructors
If you're interested in another fear, apply the analogous statements above to it.
The end of drowning implies the end of preventable drowning since unpreventable drowning cannot be changed.
While the end of drowning depends on many factors, the biggest one is learning to swim: adults and kids. Parents first!
"It cannot and does not fail." --M.A.Y., Berkeley, CA
"Infallible." --J.S., New York City
"This deserves a Nobel Prize." --G.M., New Braunfels, TX, D.T., Indianapolis, IN
The Learn-to-Swim industry would be exponentially larger and more successful if it adopted these principles.
When adults learn to swim, they want a place to learn strokes: your swim school.
When they learn to swim, they want a place to take their kids to swim. Your pool.
When adults teach their kids to swim and kids want more, they'll turn to you to teach them strokes, swim team, lifesaving, and everything you can think of. And because these kids will already know how to swim, teaching strokes will be quicker and easier. You can reach more students. You can funnel them into your swim teams. There are three times as many adults as kids in the U.S. Grow the number of people in your community who use your pool. Grow water safety in your town.
How big is the Movement?
It's about 5000 strong around the world. Most of those are graduates of Miracle Swimming classes. About 60 are Miracle Swimming Licensed Instructors. And a handful are the leaders—writing, speaking, teaching, and holding conversations with other leaders and instructors.
Imagine a world where there are three times as many good adult swimming classes as there are kids' classes—because there are three times as many adults as there are kids. How would the culture of swimming and family recreation change? How would the drowning rate change?
Does Miracle Swimming subscribe to teaching adult students to blow bubbles in the first classes?
No. There's a lot to learn about one's breath and being in control before blowing bubbles becomes relevant.
Why does my instructor teach strokes when you say it's not correct for afraid adults?
You'd have to ask your instructor. But we've found that instructors do not have training in teaching afraid adults. They have their own experience. But no one else has taught afraid adults exclusively for 36 years. There is only one instructor training for teaching afraid adults: Miracle Swimming's.
If my students don't seem to hear me, how many times shall I repeat myself?
It may be that they can't hear you because something else is more important to them, like their safety. Ask them what they're thinking about as they do X and see if you need to back up your instructions a bit.
Should I expect that practicing the stroke I learned in my traditional lessons will eventually make me confident in deep water?
No. The two are not related.
Why do you say "humane adult swimming lessons?"
We believe it's inhumane, unreasonable, or disrespectful to:
"My students are suffering from what I don't know."
5. endorse panic in classes as an inevitable part of learning
6. use a definition of learning to swim that we believe is unexamined
7. teach people that a correct float is a horizontal one.
8. ask students to derive their safety from the instructor rather than
from themselves: they'd rather be self-responsible
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