Rolling over while swimming is one of the first safety tips taught to those who are learning to swim. Rolling over means that the swimmer turns on his back to float in the water and breathe without exerting any effort to swim. This will help the learner to stay relaxed and calm and catch her breathe. Below are the steps to rollover breathe while swimming.
- Guide the child into the water, holding her under her armpits. You will ask the child to swim face down in the water for seven seconds. Assure the child that you are there to guide her and provide immediate assistance when she needs it. Stay with the child’s side throughout the exercise. You should be somewhere between her front and her side, basically across one of her shoulders.
- Still holding the child under the armpits, position her so she is facing you. Pull her forward and ask her is she is ready to place her face in the water. When she is ready, let her swim with her face down and in a straight line. You should practice this is the shallow end of the pool so it will be easy for the child to see your legs underneath the water. This will assure her that you are still there.
- After seven seconds place your left hand on her head, palm down and push a bit to submerge the child’s head. Your right hand then picks the child’s left shoulder and you flip her over so that she is lying on her back in the water. Your left hand should support the child’s head until she is floating on her own.
- Teach the child to lean her head back a bit to keep her chin up and above the water. This will help her to keep her mouth, nose and part of her ears out of the water and she can take a breath freely. She should be breathing through her nose and exhaling through her mouth.
- Practice the rollover breathing technique across the pool, varying the length of time that the child swims, from seven seconds to five seconds to three seconds before you lift her shoulder and turn her on her back.
- Watch out for signs of fatigue. Make sure that the child is still enjoying the practice session before continuing. If she shows signs of fatigue, pick her up and let her sit by the side of the pool or let her hang on to the gutter. Keep close to the child even if she is resting. Go back to the pool if the child is willing to continue with the lesson, or schedule it for the next session.
- Once the child her gotten used to your flipping her over after several days of practice, then you have to teach her how to actually twist her body and get her hips and legs out of the water to propel her upper torso up and over. This will mean that you have to teach the child how to turn on her side first.
Make sure that you ask the child if she is ready for the succeeding rotation. It will take time before the child learns the technique of putting her head deeper into the water and turning her body so that she can lie on her back.