Seeing in the deep – Using underwater photos to relieve swim anxiety.

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I have some reluctant swimmers. It’s true. The water makes them nervous, or brings out anxiety. The water feels intimidating, or surprising, or full of unknowns, even when I am right there with them.

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One way I remove the mystery of what is going on under that water is by, quite simply, showing themselves what they look like under there. A simple underwater camera helps take their mind off of what they are doing because they are so excited about what I am doing with that silly camera!

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After one underwater photo session, a student who had always been nervous about her own abilities was suddenly reluctant to get out of the pool, excited about what she was able to do, and when she got home, I got an email almost immediately.

“dear sydne ,
i love SWIMMING!!!!!  it was soooooo fun!!i love you!!!! the camera really helped my relaxation. i can’t wait to see you next week and i can’t wait to see all the pictures.”

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Could a swim instructor really ask for better than that? Not in my book.

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Of course, I use the camera with adults too. Video and photography is an important means of seeing and evaluating your own technique, especially if you are a visual learner. I can tell you endlessly what I am seeing, but sometimes, seeing it yourself makes everything click into place.

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And of course, there’s that all important other factor of gear lust. Why should other sports get all the cool gear? Able to do our sport with a simple swimsuit, cap, and goggles, swimmers don’t get to drool over as much gear as some of those other endeavors. (Cough-triathlon-ahem…)

Now, those other sports will be longing for shots like our cool underwater action pics.

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