What Does Swim-Float-Swim Mean?
The swim-float-swim technique is where the swimmer is able to swim, roll over to their backs to catch their breath, and roll back over into the front crawl position to continue swimming. Here's an example:
Beginning as early as the Water Baby classes, we begin introducing the back float. It is a very important safety skill for the child to learn. Some swimmers learn to float on their backs quickly, while others struggle with the vulnerability. Once the child feels safe in and around the water, will they then become relaxed enough to master the back float. While floating on their backs, the swimmers ears should be in the water, head back, and their tummy up - relaxed. Instructors will use the cue "head back, tummy up!"
Once the child is able to float on their backs with little to no assistance, we teach the the roll over method. This is where they use one arm to flip themselves over, using their legs for balance on their backs. We talk about this as if they are a book and we are going to open it. You will see the instructors taking one of the swimmers arms and open them up to that float position. With enough practice and cueing, swimmers will begin doing this independently. Instructors will cue the child using one finger in the circular motion under the water, in the child's line of site, while saying "roll over!"
Once they are able to independently roll over to their backs and stay stable for about 3-5 seconds, the swimmer is then cued to go back into the water. With the same arm they used to "open the book," we will then close them back into the front crawl position - on their tummies, face down in the water. It is important that they use the open-close method and not make a complete roll in the water.
Once the swimmer becomes more proficient with their swim-float-swim abilities, the float part of the technique will then just become a side-breath, used during the free-style swim.
This is a great example that these basic safety skills your child is learning now, will then become proper swimming techniques to further them in their swimming abilities.