HOW TO HELP THE FEARFUL SWIMMER Please keep in mind the following important points that I have learned after many years as both an aquatic and mental health professional regarding the issue of "fearful swimmers":
1) There is a SIGNIFIC...ANT difference between a child or an adult who has never had an opportunity to learn to swim properly and and those who have never learned to swim, despite possibly having the opportunity to do so, as a result of their fear of water.
2) Individuals that have never learned how to swim, either as a result of fear or not, remain a high risk for drowning as well a poor resource to help someone else that is drowning due to their low "Aquatic IQ"
3) Helping an individual overcome their fear of water requires more focus on the emotional roadblocks rather than teaching them the nuts and bolts of aquatic skillbuilding. Trying to teach a person how to swim without first teaching them how to understand, manage and overcome their fear is truly putting the cart before the horse.
4) The wounds that can result from an individual's fear of water can be deep, very painful, wide ranging and long lasting. They can impact one's emotional and physical health in a very negative way, as well as relationships with family and friends, their careers and overall lifestyles.
5) Fortunately, with the right resources, anyone can overcome their fear of water, regardles of age, fitness level or life experience and move on to enjoy the many emotional, physical and recreational benefits that result from participating in aquatic activities.
6) Unfortunately, most traditional "learn to swim" programs often do not or cannot make those resources available to this highly diverse population of fearful swimmers. As a result, many of them give up their pursuit of a process that will help them feel comfortable, competent and safe in water. 7) For additional information on how to help fearful swimmers succeed in water, please visit www.WaterPhobias.com
"Fear can be a powerful motivator, rather than a painful deterrent."