Part Two In A Mini-Series: Teaching the Back Float as a Precursor to Rolling Over
Posted on February 11, 2013
Before my students can learn how to rollover, they must be able to float on their backs. However, I do not teach a student to float on his back until the student is calm and relaxed in the water and can “swim” on his stomach, doing the prone glide or superman float.
How do I get my students to relax on their backs? I don’t. Instead of trying to coax and persuade students to float on their backs, I teach them to swim first. The ability to relax in the water will follow…with time. By teaching even the very basics of swimming, students gain confidence and ability.
When teaching the back float, I do not take students into water over their heads. Young children need to learn to float in very shallow water. I have said this before and will say it again-it takes time and patience to learn the back float and how to rollover. When learning this skill, water washes over the face and the student often inhales water. I lovingly encourage my students as rolling over is one the most difficult skills to learn.