Nora Martin Swim School          


Main Goals

  • Go under the water when swimming! Especially to the steps, to another person, to get a toy or while "diving" for anything.
  • Encouraging your swimmer to move their arms. Do so by using the term "swimming arms" and show them your "doggie paddle" right before having them do it to you, do so with head under and above the water.
  • When having your swimmer jump into the pool to you, gently let them go under. This will really help foster the idea that "swimming" means going under the water too.
  • Always stay positive avoiding negative words such as "dunking" or "drowning."
  • Whenver playing at the pool, commit to working with your youngster for about 10-15 minutes. Practice some of the things done in class. Have them "show off" for you what they learned. Make up new games for them to encourage progress. The more fun it is, the better.


  • "Tea Pot" or sitting dives – sitting on the side of the pool, feet in. Hands placed together above their head, not inter-twined, not they are the tea pot. Your hands now become the "tea cup." Have them "pour tea" into your hands, talk about what flavor. Gently guide them into the pool by holdin gtheir hands saying, " pour tea, pour tea…" all the way to the pool. "Thank you for my tea."
  • Lots of Bubbles on the stps or when holding them in the pool.
  • Cue them on when submerging saying, "OK, little dip, Ummmmmm." Then follow through. This may be hard at first, but soon they'll do it on their own. Not following thru leads to confusion and then fear.
  • "Swimming Arms" or "Doggie Paddle" hold their shirt or under their arms while sending them to the steps talking about moving their arms to go fast, making sure legs are behind them, (body at a horizontal level with H20.)

Advanced Beginner Swim Level


  • Staying under water, gliding with bubbles…
  • Popping head up for a long enough time to get air independently
  • Floating comfortably on back: Rolling from front to back
  • Executing Elementary Back Stroke (legs & arms work together: up, out, together…)
  • "Rainbows" with "quiet legs" no kicking
  • Bobs – submerging entire head under with bubbles, in shallow end


  • Gliding under water "do your shooting star" across the pool
  • Bubbles (this keeps water out of face and nose) and is curcial for maximum comfort in H2O
  • "Tea Pot" Dives from a safe area into the water
  • Back floating and elementary back stroke


  • "Shooting Stars" and "Rainbows"
  • "Tea Pot" dives – sitting on the side, arms above the head

At this level, confidence is building as well as comfort level. Reminders of bubbles and gliding are needed. Lots and lots of exposure to the water will help immeasurably.


2.5m-3 years/water adjusted

Main focus under water adjustment with:

  • Under water bear arms…preferably with bubbles
  • Puppy paddles…to assist in getting a breath of air
  • BACK FLOATS…in order to roll to back for air/rest
  • Demonstrate bear arms and breathing…parents must sit child on side and demonstrate
  • Use of t-shirts for swims w/lift of t-shirt…assists child in breathing independently
  • Sending child to side and steps…importance of child picking a spot to swim to
  • Jump in, swim to side…Jump in, roll to back

A lot of the child's success depends on th epositive attitude of their caretaker; children pick up on lack of confidence. So stay positive and have fun!

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