At Black Lion Swimming Club we follow the ASA National Plan for Teaching Swimming
The National Plan for Teaching Swimming (NPTS) is an ‘all-inclusive programme’ which takes the non-swimmer from his or her first splash to developing confidence and competence in the water. The national governing body for swimming, the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), has produced a national syllabus for Aquatics, in order to equip learn to swim providers with the training and tools to deliver a multi aquatic, multi skill programme.
The Swimmer’s ‘journey through aquatics’ following the National Plan for Teaching Swimming will result in the development of a wide range of skills. These skills, if you like, are a jigsaw of pieces, and when put together result in a competent, confident and safe Swimmer who has the skill base for then developing technique in a wide range of water based sports.
A child develops their basic movement range during the ages of 5 years to 8 years for females, and 6 years to 9 years for males. During this stage of ‘growing up’, children should be taking part in activity that builds their FUNdamental movement skills, with the emphasis being learning through FUN. With reference to this, children need to build up skills that fall under specific categories; in aquatics these are aquatic specific. Listed below are the main areas of skill which are developed as a Swimmer takes their journey through aquatics, following the ASA National Plan for Teaching Swimming.
ENTRY – safe entry into water, use of steps, side, jumps and eventually dives.
EXITS – safe exits from water, use of steps and side.
BUOYANCY & BALANCE – developing an understanding of buoyancy and balance and what affects it, and how to become buoyant in the water.
ROTATION & ORIENTATION – developing skills such as: how to turn around, how to lie back, how to lie forward, how to regain an upright position, and how to twist from the back to the front and vice versa.
STREAMLINING – understanding of streamlining, how to be streamlined and why it is important.
AQUATIC BREATHING – developing confidence in the water and a feeling of being at ease with the water around the face, learning how to breathe correctly, which consequently is developing a ‘safe’ swimmer.
TRAVEL & COORDINATION – developing movement forwards, backwards, sideways, how to travel effectively, exploring different ways of travelling in water.
WATER SAFETY – development of a basic understanding of how to keep safe around water.
HEALTH & FITNESS – developing an understanding of why activity is good for you.
If the Swimmer does not accomplish a skill such as ‘aquatic breathing’, the achievement of skills such as rotation, streamlining, travel, buoyancy and balance will become impossible to learn effectively, if at all. At each Stage of the ASA NPTS, all skills are crucial and must be comfortably achieved prior to moving on to the next Stage. Through the journey of acquiring skills, water competence will develop.
Through a competence in water, the child will have more FUN, is more likely to be active and follow a healthy lifestyle, and more likely to actively participate in sport throughout their lifetime. Finally, all Swimmers’ excel at a pace individual to them.