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Are you a swim teacher? Have you had an experience that you would like to share? I am always open to comments thoughts and especially articles on swimming.

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  1. I am teaching beginning swimming to kids age 3-5 in one class, and age 6-7 in the other. How do I get them to roll from front to back without sinking? In our public pool, the shallow end is 4 feet--not shallow enough for most of my students to touch the bottom with their head out of water. So, it is really important for them to be able to get into a back float. That is more important than getting vertical. Most can do a back float from being vertical, and most can do a back glide from the wall. But from a front float or a front glide, they cannot get into a back float without my help. I don't know what to do. Suggestions?

    1. The very first thing I teach all students regardless of age or skill level, is to float on their back. There are many experienced swimmer that don't know how to float.
      Teaching students to be able to rollover is indeed really important, Particularly in your situation were the students may not be able to stand up.
      Swimmers rollover in a number of different ways. The most common from the back is to drop one arm below the water and do a stroke with the other that goes across the face to its opposite side and into the water giving a kick to finish the process. Thus the student ends up continuing to front stroke or torpedo in the water. From front to back is simply the reverse of the process.
      To teach this to your students, work with them one at a time. You are going to have to very gently, without stressing them, physically move their arms into position and roll them over until they get the hang of it themselves.
      The older children should pick it up quite quickly but the younger they are the more time it may take.
      When they get the hang of back to front you can start to teach going from front to back.
      Personally because I teach backstroke first, I would be teaching the students to go from their front to the back before I taught back to front. Especially for the younger ones who are going to have minimal front propulsion but should be able to go quite a distance on their back.
      In your own time do a swim by yourself and test how you do a turnover. Pay attention to how you do it. Practice it until you are very familiar with your process. It is usually easier to teach what you know rather than from theory.
      If you personally have struggled with turning over try it my way. Learn it thoroughly and then teach it.
      Good luck and feel free to ask more questions.