Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Learning To Swim: Is It Different For Men And Women?

Women Learning To Swim Differently?

I was reminded that I have not talked about the differences between men and women learning To Swim by this post. So here I pose the question: Should you teach men and women differently?

As is pointed out in the above article, generally women:
  • Are not as strong but are more flexible than men
  • Are shorter, with shorter arms relative to their height
  • Have smaller hands and feet
  • Have wider hips
  • Have their centre of buoyancy lower down the body (meaning their legs naturally sit higher)
  • Apply more finesse and are less likely to try and muscle through the stroke
But does that mean you should teach them differently?

Well Yes and No.

The actual teaching will not be different but weather you teach yourself or you are a swim teacher you should be aware that everybody swims slightly differently compared to each other, especially men and women.

Hence things like:
Is learning to swim different
for Men and Women?
  • A women's stroke length may be the same as a man so they may have to take more strokes than most men
  • Men may sit lower in the water than women so they may have to kick more to get their legs closer to the surface.
  • Women will tend to be more delicate with their actions than men Something that in my experience applies to many smaller men also
  • Men will tend to be less flexible than women so a women may be able to be more flip floppy with their feet and have a greater range in their motion than men.
You have to understand that these are generalizations. You can't be prescriptive when teaching swimming.


Basically as long as you accept that each and every student has to be treated as an individual with individual physical attribute this is not going to be a problem.

If the a stroke is propelling a student relatively efficiently, you student is doing what they are supposed to do.

Don't make them try to duplicate someone else's stroke.

So is learning to swim different for men and women? Put simple...Yes!
Enjoy
   Richard

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