“You need to be swimming more.”
That’s the short answer I give when I’m asked how to become a better ocean swimmer.
The conversation would’ve gone like this:
Them: “How do I become a better ocean swimmer?”
Me: “How often are you swimming?”
Them: “Not much”
Me: “You need to be swimming more.”
Them: “Oh, right.”
The UNSW is currently conducting a study on people’s perceptions of sharks.
Amongst a range of user groups, they’re keen to understand more about ocean swimmers and our attitudes towards sharks – after all, we do spend a lot of time swimming in the open water!
Whether it’s a niggling side-thought, or an inherent fear, nearly every beachgoer or ocean swimmer becomes anxious within the ocean environment at some stage.
For some this provides a challenge, but for others it’s a massive barrier to enjoying the ocean.
If any of these popular anxieties resonate with you, you’re not alone, and there are rational ways to help you overcome them.
Andre taking Nyah for a swim on his home beach, Wainui, NZ.
Last summer I was lucky enough to be able to introduce my two year-old niece Nyah to the ocean.
They were magical moments for both of us and Nyah is now absolutely in love with the beach and swimming. It’s so cool to get swimming updates from her and I look forward to teaching her more and watching her grow up an ocean kid.
Introducing your child to the ocean and ensuring they learn to love it as much as you do can be a tricky time for parents.
Whether it’s a niggling side-thought, or a inherent fear, nearly every beach goer or ocean swimmer becomes anxious within the ocean environment at some stage.
Here are the five most common ocean anxieties I have come across from clients in my time instructing in the ocean, and my suggestion for how to overcome them.
I had a private lesson today in which I was helping a participant overcome her
One of the challenges was the transition from the relative safety of the shallow water, to the deeper water behind the wave zone.
Today we made it out a lot further than yesterday, we hung out for a short time to acclimatize, and then when the anxiety came back we made our way back to shore.
We’ll keep working on this and in no time
she’ll be swimming out through the waves and along the back like a seasoned pro!
Swimming off towards the horizon – how far could you swim before you got too anxious?
But this got me thinking…