Should swimming in schools and lifeguard classes be a compulsory subject in elementary and middle schools? We analyze some questions related to this interesting topic.
We can see from our own experience that the sooner we start to carry out an activity, the more easily we will master it. This is the case, for example, of languages, skills to play a musical instrument, or physical skills. Taking this into account, swimming and lifeguard training in schools seems a very convenient alternative for the development of this ability.
This process is known as neuroplasticity. It is basically about the adaptations that occur in the body at the neuronal level and that allow learning new skills, among other functions. In childhood, this process occurs much more easily. That explains why we are more skilled at those activities that we start doing at an early age.
Beyond this factor, directly related to the skill that a child can develop to swim, there are also other advantages that arise from the inclusion of swimming in the educational field. Next, we will delve into some of them.
Swimming in schools: benefits
According to this research, swimming and lifeguard class is an activity not only convenient for its physical benefits, but it is also an important stimulus for brain development. For example, swimming is an activity that demands the concentration, attention, and coordination of the individual.
From a physical point of view, the benefits of this discipline are almost undeniable: muscle and bone development, increased cardiovascular endurance, improved balance and body posture, muscle relaxation, and combats sedentary lifestyle and obesity, two very present problems in the child population of today.
In addition, swimming in schools can be a great tool for the safety of children in the present and future. With this skill built-in, a large number of water accidents could be avoided, including both your own and those involving others.
School, a perfect environment for this sport
Now, why introduce swimming in schools when there are sports entities that include it among their disciplines? First, for a matter of equity: the school would serve as a platform to introduce all children to water sports, including those who do not have the resources to join a club.
Likewise, it would also give them the opportunity to develop self-confidence through organized and progressive learning, which would take place in an environment known to them. In the long run, this enhances the autonomy of children. Similarly, instill in them healthy hygiene habits.
How to implement swimming in schools
Of course, the implementation of this type of program does not happen overnight. In fact, careful planning is needed which, according to studies based on real cases and the rest of the bibliography consulted, should be based on the following concepts:
- Pedagogical process: as in any other subject, the procedure for teaching children to swim must be progressive and with demands according to the characteristics of each infant.
- Curriculum structure and objectives: although a certain regularity is needed for the little ones to master this skill, it is not intended to harass them. Swimming at school must be combined with other sports disciplines and the objectives set must be realistic and achievable.
- Supervision: Ongoing observation by a trained physical education professional is essential. Their ability to capture the motivation and attention of children towards the proposed skills will also be central.
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In summary, we can affirm that swimming in schools is a very positive activity since it teaches children to control and develop their bodies, to understand the value of breathing, and to coordinate their movements to carry out a task.
In addition, it is also a great opportunity for socialization and leads to the incorporation of healthy habits such as the habit of playing sports, showering, and putting on dry and clean clothes at the end of each session.
Finally, you can add the possibility of combining this sporting discipline with other subjects such as language, mathematics, biology or history. With this, it is possible to organize its implementation at different educational levels without problems.