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For SwimFin, please find below a special information page for the people who are interested in professionally working with this fantastic swimming aid. You can also look at the video on the product page.
SwimFin is a revolutionairy new swimming aid that complies with international safety regulations EN13138 and EN71. The big difference with the traditional methods is that SwimFin is streamlined and does not hamper or restrict the ability to move in the water. It is a floating device that provides as much buoyancy as the swimmer needs while helping maintain a good position in the water. Other swimming aids impede the movement through the water and makes learning to swim more difficult!
Since the arrival of SwimFin on the English market in 2008 it has become a trusted overnight success with swim school, local authorities, primary schools and not to mention the thousands and thousands of children and parents. Swimfin is now becoming a market leader in swimming aids and has developed a brand name in its own right. SwimFin is used by swim schools and organizations around the world and is recognised by many leading authorities, such as the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) in the UK and in the USA, the United States Swim School Association (USSA). South Africa's Swim South Africa (SSA) and Singapore's Sports Council are just two more examples.
Children seem to forget about learning to swim. It is more fun to play shark, fish or dolphin. They are faster to learn this life saving skill! SwimFin is a professional piece of teaching kit, buoyancy aid and a toy. It is so versatile, functional and practical. You can use it for different ages, adults and special needs
How does it work?
Beginner: The lower you are in the water, the more support it will give you. For confident beginners it can replace the armbands forever.
Improved swimmer: When you improve your body position and become higher in the water, SwimFin will give less support and this is the clever part: you have to start working more yourself !
Advanced swimmers can use Swimfin for eg. Backstroke to keep the balance and working on the correct technique. Because of its natural streamline, you can also do Butterfly with no problems! The multi-stroke functionality is a big plus of SwimFin!
Adults: with the special adult straps you can also use the SwimFin to get visibility when swimming in large lakes or the sea. With these straps you can use the shark fin also for rehabilitation and working with older children or adults with special needs.
Swimfin compensates for the different abilities. For you as a teacher it can be a welcome motivator to work with a new tool that gives the children confidence in a playful way! You can use your creativity and build your lessons around it.
Here is an extract from Kevin Moseley, creator of SwimFinm that helps you as a teacher to understand more indepth how the SwimFin can help your classes.
Quote: SwimFin is multi-stroke functional so it works on the 4 major strokes as well as being usable for syncro, water polo, games, etc. Teachers can turn a normal lesson into a whole lot of fun and actually get more from the class simply by putting Swimfin on.
For front crawl we can use it as a measuring tool to demonstrate excessive lateral roll.
Usually the kids will roll all over the place and you will see SwimFin go slap, slap slap from side to side. I simply ask the kids to be a shark and to stabilise SwimFin, pointing out that you don’t see sharks swimming like that. Kids can visualise this in their minds eye. They now instantly use a better shoulder action and kick better from the hip to prevent body roll. This can be used as a powerful demonstration for the rest of the class. SwimFin can also be used to prevent the child rolling too far over when learning the breathing technique. How many times have you seen a child roll right over onto their backs to get a breath? When SwimFin reaches a 45 degree angle (basically lying flat on the water) it kind of puts the brakes on and the kids feel the resistance. They could if they wanted to roll over onto their back but at this point we can tell them that the body is now in a good position but they need to turn their heads more to breathe in.
On back stroke, one of the biggest problems we face is actually putting the kids on their back.
They usually panic and try to grab hold of you which then brings their arms over their head and causes them to go under, or they have to hold on to floats, noodles etc. Here we simply ask the kids to lean back on SwimFin, (at their own pace). I don't expect them to be totally flat straight away but if they can do that then it’s a bonus. This is I find the hardest thing for the kids to learn. I ask them to sit back on it like a rocking chair until they feel and trust the support. Progress to getting the kids into a star float position, this will prevent SwimFin from turning them over until they have learnt to balance. (It’s a similar principle to having stabilisers on a bike). Once they’ve got the idea they can then bring the legs together and start to kick. Swimfin will then offer them additional balance control which then makes swimming backwards easier. So in effect it’s a self rewarding tool, the better they do it the easier it gets.
SwimFin then works like a keel on a boat, the faster the boat goes through the water the more stable it becomes. We are soon able to get arms and legs working in minutes rather than months and again no clumsy armbands etc getting in the way. (It’s up to the teacher to teach all the practices needed.) One BIG advantage now, if theres a problem, rather than panic, the kids simply roll a shoulder and SwimFin will instantly rotate them back on their fronts or they just put the chin on the chest and sit up. This way it’s like an invisible hand helping them but physiologically they're doing it by themselves; it’s another huge confidence builder. Once the kids know they can stop and stand up “whenever they want to” and they don't have to rely on you, then they will stay on their backs longer. This then gives you the time to actually teach them something from a very early stage.
This rolling effect actually works for us for totally different reasons.
If the kids are lazy then SwimFin will turn them over. It makes them use their inner core muscles to balance, this becomes visible immediately, you see them now actually working on their body position. But having said that it’s also very easy for some to simply stay on their back, (how it works for one could be totally different for another). We can use this principle to an advanced level. For example, we get the better swimmers to do an extended kick and glide. This will make them streamline better and work harder. The chances are some may complain because it actually stops them from being lazy. If they are, then they will turn over. You can also try different drills on back stroke, i.e., one arm extended the other by the side. This method changes the centre of gravity so again they have to learn to stabilise and improve their actions. Be imaginative and see what you can do for different exercises.
With Breast stroke we find the biggest benefit that SwimFin offers is thinking time.
Because you know as well as the kids that SwimFin will support them, they know they will not sink. We can actually teach them breaststroke arm action without restrictions such as armbands, noodles etc.
Forever we have all been teaching breaststroke inefficiently because other equipment prevented the elbows coming snugly to the ribs/body. Now the kids can float happily and copy your demonstration perfectly. Once this has gained a decent level then you can move on to the legs. Try putting the kids on their backs so they can actually watch what their legs are doing (or supposed to do). With breast stroke the kids always seem to push their hands hastily down into the water, the main reason for this is they seem desperate to keep their heads up, all this is done with panic. Its difficult to ask kids to do their arms in one motion in one direction then their legs in a different motion at a different time. Its like you learning to unicycle and juggle at the same time, it will take practice. So its no big deal if the kids don't pick it up instantly, they can stop, float and start again. Practice makes perfect, we can only learn something by repetition. SwimFin offers them the opportunity to do breast stroke slowly and understand what it is they have to do. Once they get a decent arm action, elbows in, and stretch, then the body position will improve and SwimFin will raise out of the water offering less support. The minute the lose coordination it will instantly be there to hold them again...... thinking time. Learning butterfly now becomes fun.
We take away the big words like undulation; kids don't remember it or understand it anyway.
But if you ask them who can be a dolphin with SwimFin on their back, this gives you and them the opportunity to experiment with different body shapes front and back with propulsion. If you get the right action then the kids will feel the uplift underwater, with a developing leg kick you can then use SwimFins uplift to help the recovery action of the arms. SwimFin should give them that little extra assistance/uplift to assist you in teaching the over water recovery.
While were talking about the fly leg kick, try doing a back start off the wall and swimming either arms extended or by the side under water for 15 metres. I can tell you that this will sort the men from the boys. This is where SwimFin becomes a resistance tool. The swimmers will need a good body position and decent leg kick because if they haven't then SwimFin will bring them to the surface. If you want to be a weight lifter then you need to train with heavier weights and when we’re talking at this level then we expect some commitment. You will find that, the lazy ones will work harder without you having to constantly nag them to work simply because you can set them challenges and goals to see who can get the furthest. You can do distance and time for example. You make this training session into a game. You will find they actually work harder by them selves. Try doing the same again on the front, LOL !!
Now, that's just a few things that some people do but theres still more benefits to SwimFin.
You know when your trying to introduce toss over's (forward rolls.) You ask the kids to roll over coming up facing the same way they started, well its almost inevitable that they come up facing a different direction.
SwimFin acts like a rudder and with a little sculling action from their hands now teaches them how to do it better. You will also find that when the kids get to the half way point their bums get stuck in the air.
Well, by exaggerating the chin on the chest they will actually get past the half way point and SwimFin will then roll them over. This teaches them how to orientate and get used to rolling forwards and backwards.
Let me go on, nearly finished!........
From a teachers point of view, if you have big classes and you normally number your kids one and two then set them off in waves, i.e., number ones off you go, number twos off you go. Chances are by the time they all get back to the side they’ve mixed themselves up.
Simply by making them sharks or dolphins for example by using 2 different colours they can remember which animal they were and organise themselves instantly.
Do you normally take too long fitting the armbands, vest etc. Well we have found that because SwimFin is so easy to put on, the kids can help each other out. You can now save valuable water time this way instead of you having to do each child separately.
SwimFin Questions and answers
From what age onwards can we use SwimFin?
We recommend from 3 years onwards. For the first few times the child has the SwimFin on, you can help him/her to get used to it. Some children take a little time, others know straight away how to move through the water. Use your fantasy and the “shark”theme to help the child on the way…
Can I put the SwimFin on the chest?
NO! Definitely NO! It would make it very difficult for your children to come back upright or into a standing position.
Is there a manual available?
No, once you understand the basics of how SwimFin works, it is up to you to find the best way of using SwimFin for your child or pupil. It works differently for different ages and abilities. A confident 3 year old uses it in a different way than a cautious child of the same age and older ones. I have seen a swim teacher in Copenhagen use it in a polo game for 5 year olds! Great fun!
Where do I place the SwimFin?
The higher up the back, the better because when it slips to low, it can tip the child forward. As a rule of thumb, you can place the upper strap across the nipple area.