In terms of fear probably the single biggest challenge that a new
swimming student will face is to get the head underwater.
All the years that have been spent, especially with adults but also
with babies with yourself or others saying "Don't do that" or "You
can't do that" have set a barrier up that has to be overcome before you
get your head underwater.
Why get your head underwater?
Because you can't learn to Swim safely unless you do. Yes it is possible to learn to swim without putting your head underwater but you will never be safe in the water unless you know that you are not going to panic if you do.
Besides why make your life difficult? Learning to swim with you head out of the water is the hardest way to learn to swim. You have got enough challenges ahead of yourself without putting another one in front of you.
There is no way around it. You have to get you head underwater if you are going to learn to swim.
Here is a video that I think is great in explaining the technique of trying to get your head under water.
The only thing about it is you will see the student using goggles in the process. I will allow students to wear goggles when they are starting to get the head underwater, but only if there is no other way to get them under. My problem is that if a student becomes dependent on goggles then if they fall in the water they panic because they are getting the eyes wet.
I would prefer swimming students to be comfortable with getting the head wet before they start to wear goggles. Otherwise this is a great video.