Open Water & Pool Coaching Videos

How to Start your Open Water Journey

Taking the plunge into open water swimming can be an exhilarating experience, but it's important to approach it with caution and proper preparation. Here are some tips to guide you on your open water swimming journey.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Before you Dive in:

  • Assess your Skills  Ensure you're a competent swimmer, comfortable in a pool environment. If not consider enrolling in swimming lessons to improve your technique and build confidence.
  • Start in the Pool   Practice open water swimming drills in a controlled environment. Focus on sighting (lifting your head periodically to check your direction). Bilateral breathing (breathing from both sides) and getting used to swimming longer distances.
  • Find a Buddy or Group Never swim alone in open water. Partner up with a friend or join a local open water group for safety and support.
  • Get the right Kit invest in essential open water swimming gear like a wetsuit, towfloat, goggles and a brightly coloured swim hat. Consider additional items like neoprene hat, gloves and socks. Ear plugs too for comfort and warmth.

Taking the Plunge:

  • Choose the Right Location Opt for supervised swimming areas with lifeguards on duty, or join a group with qualified open water coaches, especially for your initial ventures. Look for deignated swimming zones with clear entry and exit points.
  • Start Small Begin with shorter distances and gradually increase the duration and difficulty of your swims as you gain experience and confidence.
  • Be Weather Wise Check the water temperature and weather conditions before swimming. Avoid swimming during storms, high winds or when the water is too cold for your tolerance.
  • Listen to Your Body  Pay close attention to your body's signals. Don't push yourself too hard. Take breaks when needed and exit the water immediately if you feel unwell or experience any discomfort.

Additional Tips:

  • Inform someone about your swimming plans and an estimated return time.
  • Acclimatise to the water gradually by entering slowly
  • Learn basic water safety skills like treading water and floating
  • Consider contacting Solent Swim School for structured training, guidance and a supportive community.

Remember open water swimming is a rewarding activity, but prioritising safety and starting gradually are essential for a positive and enjoyable experience.

Here at Solent Swim School, we offer a Community Swim which is free. From 1st April 2024 it will be held at 6.30pm on Lee on Solent Beach. We also offer bespoke coaching geared towards helping you reach a smooth and efficient stroke.
Solent Sea Swimmers Group

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