What is your definition?

What is your definition of the word swim? 

Here are some examples of some Bancroft’s students and teachers.


“The definition of swimming is how to not panic when going into water and keeping yourself afloat.  It is the skill of moving through water without sinking.”

“Floating and moving in a direction”

“To swim you need to be able to stay afloat and move safely and confidently in the water.  You don’t have to swim in a fast and efficient way.”

“Travelling in water in comfort and with confidence.”

“To feel comfortable and confident in all water types.”

“Not being panicked in the water, able to float.”

“Being able to swim away for a sea animal, being able to move with the ocean or being able to survive in the ocean.”


Lots of people experience panic when swimming, be it at the start of a triathlon, open water event, during a lesson or on holiday.


These individuals have entered water knowing that they can swim, yet can still experience panic, panic that for some results in fear.  Fear that can linger far  beyond the event that induced the initial panic.


The key to knowing how to swim is control, with control we can eliminate any fear. 


It is essential that you understand how your body works in water, which gives you both the control to help alleviate any fear, which will in turn make you feel calm and more relaxed. 


Having the ability to make good decisions is paramount to your safety, the ability to act quickly and calmly in a difficult situation or emergency so that you can maintain control.   


In a panic situation, people can hold themselves unwittingly under the water and in this situation the biggest danger to the swimmer is not their inability to swim or tread water, but their inability to remain present and make a good decision.


The point of learning to swim is first and foremost safety; the ability to rely on yourself for your own safety in water that is over your head. 


To be able to swim – is about being confident, calm and in control and safe in water that is over your head, it requires an understanding of how the water works.


Not being able to swim – your swim strokes are fearful.  Strokes and treading water sap your energy, destroy your endurance and cause you anxiety, which can put you in danger.  Swimming is not fun.


Being able to swim efficiently – is the ability to travel a greater distance per stroke and have less energy output for a given distance. 


The goal of learning to swim is to be efficient, to get exercise, to swim faster or further and to enjoy swimming.


Yet swim strokes on their own, do not guarantee safety. Experienced swimmers and triathletes still experience panic and be missing the calm and control they need to enjoy swimming, rather than endure swimming. 


To truly be able to swim in water out of your depth, you need to be calm and in control, with the mental and emotional calm to take efficient strokes, maintaining this control as you breathe rhythmically in a relaxed and easy manner.  


Giving you the ability to be able to swim and stay relaxed for the distance and pace of your choosing and have the presence of mind to make good decisions when you need to. 

Where do you currently sit on the swimming scale?

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