Swimming diploma

Swimming diploma

I have my swimming diploma and can go in the deep end!

Hooray, that’s well organized. Just kidding!

Because which diploma do we actually mean with Lifeguard Training? There are differences, many differences in fact. This may require some explanation for the slightly younger guard. See a bit of history below.

Grandpa and Grandma, and I am not that young anymore, once obtained their diploma A from the KNZB privately or at the swimming club or through the Ministry of Education, if they had the opportunity. In the sector, the statement “You could obtain this diploma A with dry hair”. Specifically: the requirements were 1 lane dressed and in swimwear 3 lanes belly and then 2 lanes back. To be completed with 1 minute of treading water.

The aspect of water safety was actually not included in this. So it had to be different!

Subsequently, around 1984, the Basic Swimming Diploma was introduced. This diploma roughly covered the requirements of the current diploma C of the Swimming. Although a number of swimming pools and teaching teams did their best, it didn’t really take off. The training takes too long, the costs are too high, and a number of other negative factors have contributed to this failure. An attempt was made to rectify this by introducing a mustard yellow colored “Interim test on the way to (…)”. But to no avail. People also stuck to the letter principles A, B and C. So which diploma was it then? In the end, most swimming instructors followed the sequence, first Old-A, then Old-B, sometimes the intermediate test and then finishing with the Basic Swimming Diploma. Try explaining that to the public.

Swimming History

So it was abolished in 1993 and replaced by the current Swim. In any case, the letters have been re-entered here. In addition, there are 3 exam moments A + B on the way to the finish line C. Better to explain. And to offer it in phases, so that training costs can be phased and controlled.

But unfortunately, this too went and still goes wrong. In addition to the National Swimming Diplomas Council (later supplemented by the National Swimming Pools Platform to NPZ-NRZ, how do you come up with such a name?), several organizations were eager to present themselves as providers of a recognized series of swimming diplomas. As a result, to my knowledge, 9 providers are now operational.

And that brings me to the core question. Only in the deep end with a degree.

Which degree? Old-A – Basic swimming diploma – Swimming ABC-part-A – STA (Internationally recognized diploma)? Or the English, Belgian, French, American, Australian variant? And what to do with the diplomas of the Rescue Brigade, the underwater sport bond and the Water?

Unfortunately, this is not regulated by an independent body such as the central government, read the Minister. The Industry has to arrange it itself! I don’t think that has been possible for 40 years, unfortunately. With all its consequences.

The Swim diploma, what should you do with it?

During my long period in swimming pool land, I see time and again that attention is paid to the requirements of swimming diplomas. The swimming distances and/or technique of the swimming strokes are then central. But why actually?

In my opinion, a diploma is no more than proof that you have met the criteria set during a test moment. Unfortunately, such evidence has taken on a life of its own. The diploma and the requirements have become a training objective. The swimming techniques that you need to master for that diploma are the same. And that disappoints me!

In my opinion, the goal of learning to swim is to avoid drowning when entering the water. In many situations this will happen near the bank of a ditch, falling from a jetty, ending up in deeper water during wet play, etc.

Swimming lesson phase

In those circumstances, I don’t think being able to cover greater distances is important. The thrust applied is also irrelevant. As long as you get to the side and can climb out again! However?

So I address this theme in my lessons. What should we start with during the first lesson phase. What are the learning objectives?

Only later, as soon as getting into the water via falling and jumping, orienting in the water (where is the bank?), bridging the short piece of water with a movement form and climbing on the side, are mastered, I only start learning the official swimming strokes.

And even then I don’t care which trick is presented first. The student shows this in a natural way.