Hi there! I’m Yong, and I am an AUSTSWIM teacher of swimming and water safety, infant swimming and children swimming, competitive strokes, and teacher of aquatics (access and inclusion – disability). My students range from babies as young as 6 months old who are just beginning to explore the water world, to adults who want to learn swimming or improve their swimming strokes.
As a sportsman, I had actively participated in several marathons and Ironman triathlons, and these pursuits propelled me to complete a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Exercise Science at Edith Cowan University. Having an avid interest in swimming, I take pride in my craft and am in continuous pursuit for perfection of my skills.
I’ve previously taught in the United World College and Australian International School, where I took part in crafting and implementing quality swim lessons as well as coaching the schools’ swim squads. I was also teaching infant swimming and preschool swimming at Aquabambinos. I write regularly about swimming and water safety in my blog, with a special interest in infant swimming and preschooler swimming.
I believe that all children are capable of swimming. It’s a matter of competency, and with time that can be achieved. Some children have an irrational fear of water, which may be a result of past traumas related to water coupled with negative reinforcements from caregivers. I have witnessed many of such children becoming confident and competent swimmers. The process is long, but with persistence and cooperation from caregivers to provide support for the children in participating in water activities, the results are astonishing. It has been a liberating experience for both the children and the caregivers as well as myself watching these children transform and grow.
My work is focused on a simple notion: I want to share practical ideas and methods that help you, the caregiver, and your child to have confidence in water and to be aware of the dangers around water bodies through building a relationship of trust with you and your child. I do not claim to have all the answers and I am constantly learning to better myself, but I am happy to share what I’ve learnt along the way.
The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.
– Charlie Munger
It is important that we teach water safety such that a child will not panic and know how to respond in a safe manner should they fall into the water by accident. We teach babies or children not to panic if they should fall into water, to kick to the surface and either hold on to the side or float on their backs.
By teaching your kids how to swim, they can reap the multiple benefits of swimming:
1. Strengthens the cardio-respiratory system and boosts stamina
2. Improves balance, grasp and posture
3. Heightens concentration, coordination and alertness
1. Strengthens brain connections
2. Provides structure
3. Fosters increased sense of confidence, independence and self-esteem
1. Encourages bonding with parent or caregiver in the pool
2. Develops social skills through peer interaction in class
3. Stimulate positive emotions
We use a variety of teaching aids such as kickboards, noodles and bubble packs to aid a child in learning specific skills or in obtaining a good streamlined position. However, we do not use these all throughout the lessons.
Floating seats or arm bands are not used in our classes as these can encourage dependency and prevent your child from feeling his or her own buoyancy in the water. At the early stages of baby swimming, you will serve as a temporary support.
We aim to help the child become independent in the water and to know what to do should they have an unexpected fall into water, without the use of flotation devices.
Swimming from birth without the use of flotation devices will hopefully make your child confident in water. Having said that, they still need very careful supervision around it – perhaps even more so as they’re often quite happy to jump in!
In Singapore, death by drowning is one of the leading causes of death, due to unintentional injury in the pediatric age group.
To lower the incidences of drowning, the National Water Safety Council (NWSC) has been emphasising the importance of aquatic safety education and swim lessons.
Teaching your kids to swim is like arming them with a solid education in life, so that you ensure they are well-equipped to get off to a good start – be it in life or in the water!