Being an autodidact and having a good teacher are both viable alternatives to learning things. The former is just much more efficient. This is true for swimming too. You definitely can learn to swim on your own , it’s just that it will probably take longer and be a harder process than having a Swim teacher. In this blog, we discuss if you can learn to swim on your own.
Everyone has a story about how they learned to do the things they are passionate about. Most of the time the story includes having a mentor of sorts… In learning pretty much anything, we all need assistance and guidance from time to time. This of course, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn anything on your own.
How to learn to swim on your own?
Since it is possible to learn to swim on your own, then the next question is how to do that? There are plenty of ways to go about it. For today however, we will just touch on some general notions that every autodidact swimmer needs to know.
Be brave but not stupid – One of the main hindrances in learning how to swim, is fear. In order for you to learn, you need to beat this fear and jump in. At the same time, it is vitally (literally) important that you don’t take life-threatening risks. Start by practicing on the shallow end of a swimming pool. Make sure that there are lifeguards around, or that you are accompanied by friends who are good swimmers, and can react in case of an emergency.
Focus and learn – Most people first learn freestyle swimming. If you want to learn to swim on your own, you need to focus on a specific style. Pick something that you feel comfortable with. There is countless material both online and offline, which you can use to learn. You can’t learn all the techniques at once. Instead choose one and focus on it. Once you have mastered it, then maybe consider picking something new.
Consider training on land – When trying to swim for the first time, it is normal that you’ll fail and sink. That isn’t the perfect environment to practice your strokes and movements. Instead try moving your arms, and feet on dry-land, mimicking how you would move on water. This will give you the chance for preparation and training, without worrying about sinking.
Know when to ask for help – Being disciplined is a good thing, but being too persistent can be your undoing. If you have tried for a lengthy period of time, and just can’t get the hang of it, find a tutor. Even if you are beyond that, you still might need lessons. For example, if you want to learn a new, more complex technique. Private lessons are especially efficient in helping you either learn the basics or build on top of your base.
If you try to learn to swim on your own, be prepared to fail a few times. Although we have bodies that are perfect for swimming, it is not something that we are born with. Instead it is a skill we pick and develop throughout our lives.