October Newsletter - Power of a Peer
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November - Working Through Discomfort

Welcome to our monthly newsletter content, video, and quiz.  These monthly newsletters are designed to continue your education and add strategies to your toolbox for continued success.  They can be shared with your entire aquatic team and provide tips for typical swimmers in private and group lessons.

This month we will be looking at “Transitions, Discomfort and Pushing Yourself to Regain Control of the Lesson”.  In the live session, the environment itself was not the same for the swimmer.  As he entered the pool, it was loud because the waterpark area was in use. Immediately the noise caused him discomfort.  This particular lesson was neither his usual routine nor was it the usual time he came to the pool. It is important for the instructor to be aware of all types of obstacles and/or changes to the swimmers routines and environment that may impact the lesson itself. 


It would be useful to review:

 This swimmer’s mother and father have known this instructor for over a year and have discussed his trouble with transitions and difficult behaviors.  The visual schedule, PECS program and small whiteboard with organized schedule did not help the lesson.  On the contrary, it made the lesson more distracting because he threw the items.  Mom and dad expressed that most new things are initially resisted but if you find a way to work through them, he will make progress.  This video was intended to show you the transition from one pool to another offering additional strategies such as pointing, gesturing, and decreasing the number of prompts to determine if you are achieving success.

Flexibility of the instructor is a key component of this video.  Working to adjust the lesson multiple times by going back to movement strategies, helped progress the lesson.  Working with the parents and understanding how many times you can try to reorganize the lesson or push the swimmer without causing distress is a difficult dance.  Instructor personality and ability to recognize how to push yourself, change your energy and work through your own personal discomfort will be your key to success.  Roadblocks will come and go during a session and your flexibility and intuition  on how to address them, will help you seamlessly integrate the strategies for success with swim skills.

November Newsletter   Evan
Working Through Discomfort - Evan

Video Outline:

(2:43) Push him through the discomfort by bobbing and moving backwards for increased flexion, to promote self-regulation.  Recognize that you can physically assist him to do organized swimming.

(4:56) Move to the other pool with caution, but allowing the swimmer some freedom to see what he will do during the transition. Quickly moving near the student so that you can physically re-direct if necessary.

(6:20) Touching multiple places offers irregular input that motivates him to move forward. Singing the song "we stay on our belly" will offer auditory prompting to reinforce the skill.

(6:54) Some adverse behaviors can be ignored, then move on with the lesson.  Be sure to know what the parents want you to do.  In this instance, he quickly bit himself with anger but then gave good eye contact and we moved on with the lesson.  Keep your lesson safe and work within your own comfort.  Seek guidance from caregivers.

(9:53) Working in shorter intervals on skills and moving in and out of several skills in one lesson, as opposed to one skill, can improve engagement.  As you see here, quick playful spin re-engages the student.

(10:56) The swimmer is uncomfortable and expresses that with his screaming.  He doesn't want the demands placed on him.  Use the strategy of giving input so the swimmer can begin to listen.

(11:41) The swimmer still does not seem to want to cooperate and you will need to decide if you are going to try a new strategy or completely change your approach.

(13:11) In this video, offering the free time option (choice) and introducing the barbell for the back and forth input seemed to re-organize his attention and help to complete the lesson on a happy note.

November Newsletter - Quiz

How do you recognize when there is distress?

a)    Parents express that they feel the session causes too much anxiety
b)   The swimmer is injuring themselves or others
c)    The lesson is out of control and you feel you are in danger
d)   All of the above


What strategies did you observe in the video of Pushing through Discomfort?

a)   I can’t touch that- the touch and let go technique
b)  Seeking sensory input- big squeeze and underwater strategies
c)  What did I say?-  cadence of instructors voice to engage swimmer
d)   All of the above


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