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Blog guest: Vuk Čelić

He was only five when I heard about him for the first time. He was learning how to swim in a group of other thirty children in the SC Novi Sad (Serbia). Today, he is a member of the Serbian national swimming team preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. His name is Vuk Čelić. This long-distance swimmer (on 800 and 1500 meters) is swimming for SC Vojvodina.

For Swimming Dad as a #Blog guest, Vuk Čelić talks about his own experience if the cold water is an obstacle to a success. Is it justified to delay swimming due to the cold water? And what should parents do in the case: My kid wants to swim, but he/she is freezing in the water!

Do you prefer swimming in cold or warm water? What’s the optimal temperature for the competitors, and what for those who are learning how to swim?

I personally prefer cold water, because it makes me feel refreshed and I like it more than warm water which gets me tired. If you ask me, the optimal water temperature for the competitors is 25-26 degrees, while for children who are still learning how to swim it is around 29-30 degrees.

What should parents do in the following situation: My child wants to swim, but he/she is freezing in the water! Is delaying swimming due to the cold water a solution?

Parents should observe the behaviour of their children and be his/her biggest support! Every child can show if the cold water is just a temporary problem which will soon go away, or the problem is bigger. I think that they should not delay swimming due to the cold water since that is a factor we can’t change, and the body can get used to it over some time.

How long should a child be in the water and feel comfortable, without freezing while learning how to swim?

I believe that being in the water for 15 to 20 minutes is much easier than leaving the water and then getting back and forth. Because the body gets warm and adjusts to the surrounding, but if the child leaves the water frequently, that could make things worse and the child could feel cold.

Do you have a “secret” recipe for children to get warm or they should just grit their teeth, swim and become resilient?

I don’t have a secret recipe. When I’m cold, I just grit my teeth and swim harder in order to get warm.

Is it desirable that children train swimming also during cold days (in winter)?

It is certainly desirable to train also during cold days. Continuity in work is crucial, while skipping trainings will just make the return to the water more difficult. When you blow-dry your hair thoroughly, and when you have a cap and a jacket, the snow is not an issue.

Mummy, I'm swimming and I'm freezing - read more here!


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