How To Stand Up in Swimming Pools - Just Sit Up Instead

Learning how to stand up in swimming pools is possibly the single most frightening thing that a student will confront. It is disturbing to feel that you do not have the control in the water, that you are used to having on land. This is particularly true of learning to be on their back in for back float swimming.


Most swimming students pick up very quickly how to stand up from a forward position, even if it is only out of desperate panic when they put their face in the water. But once on their back, almost all new students are completely mystified on how to get to their feet.

The factor that I've found the most successful in helping to overcome this is to teach, very early on, how to stand up in the water from a float position.



The thing that frustrated me was not the method but how to communicate what I wanted them to do.

One of the things that I used to say to them was "push your hands down under the water and stand up". This usually results in the students throwing their head back into the water as they move their hands. The exact opposite to what I want them to do with their head.

The solution seems obvious. Tell them to put their head forward. But this is only confusing to the student. From their point of view, they are putting their head down. Under the water is down isn't it?


So tell them to put their chin on their chest and push their hands down. Don't ask me why but in most cases this still doesn't work. Somehow coordination is lost when students try to do this. It may be something to do with the sense they have of the loss of control when swimming or floating on their back. I don't really know.

Over the last few months, I hit on the idea of asking the swimming student to sit up from a float position. After all that is what you do when you recover from a back float isn't it?

I've been very impressed by the results. After very few attempts most beginner students get it and without me mentioning it they put their chin on their chest push their hands under the water and sit up.


Image showing how to How to stand up in swimming pools from a back float by sitting up
Sit Up From A Back Float
I still have to help the student to begin with. Usually by standing at their heads and holding their hands and pushing them to their hips. Sometimes I need to hold their head and gently put their chin on their chest for them. Which I choose first, head or arms, depends on what they are having the most trouble with. I have not found a way to do both at the same time.

Never the less confidence in the water goes up very quickly. And quicker progress is always good in swimming students.

If I'm not behind the times and you haven't tried it, give it a go. Ask your students too sit up from a back float position. Let me know how you go.

By the way, you can now get my step by step guide from this link called: "Back Float Swimming for Adults"

Enjoy
   Richard

7 comments:

  1. Because of the closing down of Google + all of the original links for the below comments were causing broken links.I felt the comments were valuable so rather than loose them I have reissued them below:

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous August 4, 2011 at 4:46 AM
    i m nt able to stand in water,is it becoz of my weight.m skiny?plz tell me how to stand in water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. August 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM reissued
      Dear Anonymouse,
      Be assured that stand in water from a float, front or back, has nothing to do with your size or wait. If you follow the link, "how to stand up in the water from a float position" in the above post or paste the following into your browser http://www.swimteaching.com/2008/03/learn-to-swim-101-recovering-from-that.html, you should get a fuller description with pictures of how to stand up in the water from a float. Once you know the technique all you have to do is overcome your fear at trying it. Perhaps a friend might stand with you to encourage you and make you feel safe.

      Delete
  3. PradipMarch 23, 2012 at 7:54 PM
    I am not able to stand in water even though I am 5.30 feet and water level is 4 feet . I have to hold pool wall bar for standing up. If I try putting down my feet while swimming I lose balannce and I am afraid of going under water

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. June 3, 2017 at 7:23 AM Reissued
      G'day Pradip,
      I hope you are managing to master your standing in the water. If not please follow the links in this article above and the links in the linked articles. You will find lots of help. If you still have trouble, don't hesitate to get back to me.
      I'm sorry for my long delay in reply. I misunderstood your comment. I thought it was just a comment and it was not until I re read it just now that I realized it was a questions.

      Delete
  4. Khushboo SinghalJune 2, 2017 at 8:40 PM
    Hi , I have same problem as that of Pradip
    I am not able to stand in water even though I am 5.05 feet and water level is 4 feet . I have to hold pool wall bar for standing up. If I try putting down my feet while swimming I lose balance and I am afraid of going under water

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. June 3, 2017 at 7:24 AM Reissued
      G'day Khushboo,
      Please follow the links in this article above and the links in the linked articles. You will find lots of help. If you still have trouble, don't hesitate to get back to me.

      Delete

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