At the Crimson Swim school, we value technique over survival swimming. Although survival swimming can be beneficial, long term it can actually hurt an athlete in their technique and endurance.
Swim Kids of Georgia defines survival swimming as, “a technique of swim-float-swim that teaches young children the basics of how to float and breathe for an extended amount of time.”
There is a time and a place for survival swimming, but learning the fundamentals of swimming and then continuing to practice them gives your child the skills they need to avoid accidents in the water. Technique based swimming can be defined as learning the basics of swimming and constantly improving on the technical details of each stroke while building endurance and constantly progressing.
Another reason for technique training is, most children who start out in survival swimming quickly discover that they actually enjoy swimming snd would like to pursue more lessons and then competitive swimming. When they get to their lessons that are based in a competitive program, they are behind in their progression because they have to unlearn rolling on their back and learn how to properly breathe. For example, survival swimming teaches children how to roll over on their back and float in between strokes. This is good, but it can deter a swimmer from learning freestyle with proper head rotation to breathe. When they are able to move their arms and legs properly while breathing, your child will be able to get to the wall quickly and will be less exhausted. Overall, it is best to start in swim lessons that lead to competitive swimming so that they’re able to learn how to survive in the water while learning proper stroke technique!