In many countries drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for children. It is no secret that in places where children are taught to swim there are less drownings. During the learning process children develop a healthy respect for aquatic environments, especially when occasionally experiencing something unexpected like a mouthful of water.
The activity of swimming is very beneficial for children’s health. The primary reason early on is the controlled breathing which has a variety of health benefits for growing bodies. Once a swimmer can move in the water the physical nature of swimming is amazing for building lung capacity and aerobic fitness while increasing core strength and stability.
Kids who learn to swim feel better about themselves. Another way to put it is kids who cannot swim may be easily embarrassed or feel ashamed in front of their peers or classmates. Swimming is an activity with so many applications that even if your are not fast or talented, you can enjoy simply being in the water and getting better at interacting with it. My years working in a swim school taught me that swimming is something that can transform a shy and nervous kid into someone who is very confident in their ability to achieve goals.
If you cannot swim you may be helpless if someone else is drowning and out of reach. Learning to swim as a child then allows everyone to attend first aid courses and enable people to rescue others who are drowning – note – never encourage kids to rescue others drowning by entering the pool unless they are old enough to have completed a first aid course.
Fun and Joy
As Leonardo Da Vinci supposedly said – “Swimming is the closest humans come to flying.” Being in the water with confidence is magical and something all people should get to experience. Next time you are at a public pool take a moment to listen.
Growth Mindset – Learning how to learn
Swimming is one of the most tangible skills a young person can learn. Studies have shown that learning visible or measurable skills such as swimming from a young age increases a person’s likelihood of developing a growth mindset. A growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset leads to the confidence to try new things and develop grit and persistence to stick with projects/activities that are difficult.
A very underrated benefit of learning to swim is the development of the core region of the body. Our bodies have 4 big limbs and a heavy head, which are all controlled by the midsection of the body. To swim efficiently and with any kind of grace or coordination the core must be controlling all parts of the body with timing. This is also the region which creates most of the power as swimmers improve.