Does baby swimming prepare girls for artistic swimming?
Which sport is ideal for my girl? Swimming and gymnastics are always the right choice for every girl as a basis for further development. However, at one point of growing up, girls want to
become ballerinas. They become fascinated by the dance and the turns to the music, and the nice pink tutu dress. If we add water setting to that, the magic grows bigger, and the “underwater ballerina” grows more flexible and perfect. Mine, who is only two years old, has been dancing around the pool for days!
How can swimming prepare girls for artistic swimming? It is a feminine and seemingly easy sport, but it is actually very demanding. To take your breath away while you’re watching her dancing, an “underwater ballerina” has to master the swimming techniques, have an excellent sense for the water, be flexible, have strength for every single move and turn she makes, and the sense for rhythm and space. Swimming prepares them to do all the rest.
Swimming makes it easier for the girls to get into the world of artistic swimming and become “underwater ballerinas”. These are some of the elements connecting swimming with synchronised swimming, starting from the baby swimming lessons:
Floating with a stroke: From the early age, swimming prepares your girls for artistic swimming. In baby swimming lessons for children who are only six months old, children learn how to stay afloat, floating on their back with no fear. These elements are even used in learning self-rescue in babies and younger children. Staying afloat or floating with a stroke is an important element for learning synchronised swimming later.
Music and rhythm: Elements of swimming, “gymnastics” and dance have been used to connect music and good rhythm since the baby swimming lessons. The activities of the babies to their music experience in the water stimulate their growth. “Teaching” swimming with the use of modern methods using songs and good rhythm is recommended in the first year or between the second and third year of life. The rhythm (of hands and legs) in the years to come can only be of help to the children in mastering the swimming techniques. In this way, your “underwater ballerinas” will be ready for a serious underwater dance. Since, a number of rhythmically related swimming moves and figures in the water are mastered in the artistic swimming. Of course, to the rhythm of the background music.
Breathing technique: If you don’t coordinate breathing with each stroke you make in swimming you can “lose” the race, and in synchronised swimming you can lose the desired “figure”, since one part of the choreography is performed with your head underwater. Most swimmers who are fully trained can hold their breath for around three minutes and swim around 75 meters without taking a new breath. It is practiced later, of course, while practicing the underwater leg kicks without breathing, for example, in the time regime series of 25 or 50 meters. However, if the girls start with swimming at an early age, even as babies, they learn the breathing techniques. By teaching them how to hold their breath first, and then to connect submerging and emerging into one whole. That’s the process.
Jumping and turning: These elements are an integral part of swimming, but also artistic swimming. Jumping while swimming is a technical element that gives an additional support to balance keeping, establishing the coordination, but also the precision of the move. In baby swimming lessons, when children are six months old, they learn how to “jump” off the edge of the pool into the water, from the sitting position first. Later, that jump is improved, to achieve the moment of art i.e. a simultaneous group jump in synchronised swimming, and then acrobatic jump when the team catapults you from the water towards the middle of the pool.
Feeling the space: In order to swim from one edge of the pool to another, coordination in space is very important, regardless of the fact that the swimming lane is marked. It might be funny, but there are children who, while swimming in a marked swimming lane, always tend to go to the right or left side. In baby swimming, children learn how to move in a formation or a desired direction of the group, especially when there is a larger number of babies in the group. This is how we prepare them to have precise movement in the defined space and respect the movement direction. After all, without the feeling for space, it is difficult to become an “underwater ballerina”.
Swimming techniques: Why are the swimming techniques important for artistic swimming? My daughter won’t be swimming butterfly, right? No, she won’t! But, each swimming technique makes the further development of a synchronised swimmer easier. Also, sculling exercises across the pool in different positions and swimming techniques make both the swimmers and synchronised swimmers feel the water.
Stamina exercises: To be able to raise her leg above the water, your princess needs a lot of strength, and the coordination of the moves she makes. In swimming, to swim 50m freestyle in 22 seconds, a swimming technique is not enough, but the strength as well. Dry training is excellent for checking and developing stamina, flexibility, strength both for swimming and synchronised swimming.
Team work: In baby swimming, parents and the baby make one team, and with the support of their friends they can make the first results. The same works for swimming and synchronised swimming, the team work brings the results. A relay race is a group of the best individuals with the same goal, which is to achieve the best possible result, where the skill of taking turns plays the biggest role, while in synchronised swimming, if you don’t “breathe” as one, your figure can easily turn into your caricature. From the earliest age in swimming, children learn how to swim as a team, in one swimming lane. In my country, there can be even 12 swimmers in the same lane, when the team, discipline and respect become visible. This is how we build the foundation for their further development through artistic swimming.
No matter if your girl is a part of the baby “swimming” team, an experienced swimmer or a beginner in synchronised swimming, the most important thing is to get familiar with the water from the very beginning, to feel the water and become a friend with it. Then, trust me, everything else comes with ease, as the choice itself, because your princess can become anything she wants in the water, even an “underwater ballerina”, being confident and relaxed!
Have you chosen the best sport for your girl yet?