Teaching adults to swim, with humor

June 17, 2011 2:03:43 PM PDT
Swim instructor Joie Lane knows that her beginner swimmers share a common fear, even though the students are not going anywhere near the deep-end.

Joie uses humor and lots of praise with her students, knowing that learning to swim all starts with learning to relax.

Janet Romanic, a student, hasn't had a swimming lesson in 20 years but wants to swim with her daughter.

"She wanted me to come to the deep end with her and I said no, I'm afraid to," she says.

Nirupama Isaac, a first timer, had a close call on a canoe trip.

"We all fell in the water. It was horrible. So that was when I decided I needed to learn swimming."

But fear is not their only obstacle.

Putting their face in the water is huge. That's a big fear for most adults and children alike. Gulping down water instead of breathing the air is also a common problem.

But, over the next few weeks, Joie is teaching her students the basic swim strokes. Until then, it's a trip to the deep end with a little more reassurance - a place that's not so scary after all.