Aqua Fun Academy
Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Poppy

Throwback Thursday to mat play with Poppy. Pool foam floats are primarily used as a leisure tool for comfort and relaxation, often with a cold beverage. AFA uses foam floats primarily for ice safety training, as they can easily simulate drifting sheets of ice over ponds and lakes. In Canada, this is considered a vital part of swim training. However, that doesn’t stop anyone from using the floats to simulate white-water rafting, a swimmer favorite downtime activity at the end of our classes.

During wintertime, many of us like to skate or approach ice on small rivers or lakes nearby. However, the sturdiness of the ice is an incredibly important factor to whether or not we are able to enjoy this pastime. Nobody wants to be the person to end up falling in the ice. Whether it is proving a point to your friends or taking a (very bad) bet, what could seem like a fun innocent idea at first could end up being an absolutely nightmare within moments. It’s important to learn the rules of ice safety before heading out during the winter season.

The colour of the ice is a very strong indicator as to whether or not it is safe to approach and walk on it.  Clear blue ice is considered the strongest form of ice.
Grey ice however is considered to be the weakest of them all and is not considered safe in anyway.

Mats are a swimmer favourite, as instructors can push them around to simulate white water rafting (without the danger)! Play time, or recess, serves as a necessary break from the rigors of concentrated, academic challenges in the class. But equally important is the fact that safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits that may not be fully appreciated when a decision is made to diminish it. Recess is unique from, and a complement to, physical education—not a substitute for it.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

August 8, 2017

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday – Streamline Breastroke

Todays’ Swimming Tip Tuesday we will talk about staying streamline while doing Breaststroke.

In previous Swimming Tip Tuesdays’ we have isolated various movements that help simplify this complicated stroke that is Breaststroke. We’ve also discussed maintaining streamline body position during other strokes. Today we are going to look at the body from the top of the torso to the knees when performing Breaststroke.

In Breast Stroke the body moves through a sequence of steps: pull, breathe, whip, and glide for three seconds. During the glide phase the body is in perfect streamline position, as seen in the photo below.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: An example of a swimmer in full glide potion.

When a swimmer executes the pull and breathe phase we partially break streamline position. However these motions are to help us generate forward momentum. As we whip, the arms are returning to streamline position. In order to prevent drag as we whip the swimmer must try to keep their thighs at the same level as their torso.

There are a few ways to create drag during the whip phase that many beginners do while learning the stroke.

  • The swimmer drops their knees towards the ground as the initiate the bend phase.
  • The swimmer bends at the hips while they initiate the bend phase.
  • The swimmer bends so their ankles exit the water.

Now that we understand the mistakes that can be made how do we correct these?

  • The Swimmer aims their knees towards the wall directly behind us, keeping our thighs inline with our torso.
  • The swimmer bends their heels back towards our buttocks without bending at the hips.
  • During the whip phase the swimmer keeps their ankles under the water.

If the swimmer accomplishes all three of these corrections, they will improve speed efficiency and technique during Breaststroke, as a result of creating less drag.

Well that’s a wrap for this Swimming Tip Tuesday, until next time!Swimming Tip Tuesday

 

 

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Hannah’s Welcome

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Hannah’s Welcome

Throwback Thursday to a warm welcome to our summer camp from Head Counsellor Hannah! Hannah is not only a swim instructor and lifeguard, but also a registered ECE and OCT. With more children’s qualifications than we can pronounce, her love for children speaks for itself. As does her love of AFA’s (optional) Friday spa days featuring manicures, a camper-favourite activity which she administers personally!

Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight. Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two. Teaching at any level is a rewarding career, but early childhood teachers have a special opportunity to help children in their earliest stages. Early childhood education programs at Ontario colleges teach students the skills they need to get children started on a successful journey through the education system.

What does an early childhood educator do?

  • Assesses children’s developmental needs and stages in all developmental domains;
  • Designs curriculum to address children’s identified needs, stages of development and interests;
  • Plans programs and environments for play and activities that help children make developmental progress;
  • Maintains healthy emotional and social learning contexts for children; and
  • Reports to parents and supervisors on children’s developmental progress within healthy, safe, nurturing and challenging play environments.

About OCT: 

An Ontario teaching certificate is a licence to teach in Ontario. Only qualified teaching professionals who have been certified by and remain in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers can use the abbreviation OCT – Ontario Certified Teacher – next to their name. OCTs have met the standards for acceptance into Ontario’s teaching profession. They possess the academic and experience credentials expected of teachers in publicly funded schools. The OCT designation ensures students are taught by highly qualified people. OCTs have the necessary knowledge and skills to help students learn and achieve.

Summer camp has started, but you can still register for future weeks! Don’t have a camp for your kids yet? Join us for a week full of outdoor and indoor sports, arts and crafts, and daily swimming! Learn more here.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

Welcome

Throwback Thursday

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Morning Stretching

Swimming Throwback Thursday: Morning Stretching

Throwback Thursday to morning stretching with counsellor David and camper Andrew. Looks like they’re getting ready for a fun game of frisbee. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. We make a habit of stretching with our campers several times a day.

Many of us are guilty of neglecting stretching as a part of our regular routine. Though as we age it becomes increasingly important to stretch in our daily lives. Stretching dependent on the duration and intensity can be it’s own separate work out. For example Yoga is highly focused on learning ones body but also on stretching ones body and increasing the general range of motion. Our range of motion is composed of two elements; how well we can rotate and twist around a joint, secondly, how easily are these movements accomplished. The more frequently we stretch our range of motion increases. In the water it is relatively easier to work on expanding our ROM (range of motion).

The fun factor is integral when teaching kids about stretching. If a child thinks stretching is boring, she will likely lose interest in doing it. Try having kids mimic animals while they stretch. This practice is especially effective with young children. For example, children can practice the bear crawl by walking on their hands and feet. Encourage kids to walk forward, backward and sideways. The bear crawl stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, calves and back. Children can also stretch their shoulders by hooking their fingers together and letting their arms hang down and swing like an elephant’s trunk. To make these stretches more fun, have kids mimic animal sounds.

Now, if only the weather will cooperate!

Summer camp has started, but you can still register for future weeks! Don’t have a camp for your kids yet? Join us for a week full of outdoor and indoor sports, arts and crafts, and daily swimming! Learn more here.

🏊🙊🙉🙈

July 26, 2017

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: Back Crawl

In Today’s Swimming Tip Tuesday: A breath is taken every time an arm completes a full cycle. Try breathing in as one arm passes your ear and exhale as the other arm passes.

Breathing, something we do every single day of our lives. Breathing in passion, and breathing out results! Breathing, as it is something we do involuntarily should be easy enough to do in the water! Integrating our movements to sync up with our breathing requires a little more thought than expected. Though while swimming on our back a swimmer has the added advantage that their face is out of the water for the duration of the stroke. So, when do we breathe? In any exercise, we want to exhale on the effort and inhale during the recovery phase.

In back crawl the effort is when the arm is re-entering the water, during the push phase. While the recovery phase is when the water enters the air, or exits the water, both of these elements are what compose a complete cycle of back crawl arms. Understanding the basic mechanics of the stroke it should be easy to break down when to breathe.

However, when back crawl is done both arms move juxtaposed. Meaning one arm is always in the opposite phase to the other. To get around this conundrum, the swimmer can focus on one arms cycle and co-ordinate their breathing in time with that arm. Our dominant arm can vary from sport to sport, so an easy way to find out which of the two is a swimmers’ dominant arm, is to take note of which arm the swimmer start their stroke with. When the swimmers dominant arm is out of the water they must remember to inhale, similarly when the swimmers dominant arm is in the water, they must remember to exhale.Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday Minimizing Energy

This weeks Swimming Tip Tuesday we will discuss minimizing our energy output during swimming.

Whether you are swimming competitively, for leisure, being in the water requires a bit more energy, simply due to the increased resistance one has to work in. It is also a well understood among veteran swimmers that, swimming is about efficiency and energy conservation. In simple words, swimming is about getting the most bang for you buck. The sport of swimming is to craft each movement to generate optimal levels of power and propulsion for the least amount of out put, allowing us to fatigue at a much slower rate in comparison to many other sports.

For those of us, progressing through the life saving program, mastery of our strokes helps us to minimize our energy expenditure. Here are some examples of how to do that for various life saving skills.

The 15meter underwater swim

Swimming Tip Tuesday

Swimming Tip Tuesday: An example of a swimmer in full glide potion.

Pro tips:

  • Utilize the wall; in doing this, one should become spring like bending at the knees and pushing hard off the wall until ones legs are straight. Furthermore we want to keep our hands forward in front of us as if we were doing a superman/ front glide. The longer we can keep our body streamlined the less drag we experience the faster and further we move through the water allows us to minimize the stress of holding our breathe.
  • Breathing techniques; for some the stress on the cardiovascular system while holding our breathe can hinder us. A useful trick, to increase the length of our breath, is to blow our bubbles out of the nose. This can be accomplished by humming – forcing the air out of our nose at a much slower rate.

Any Timed Swim

Pro tips:

  • 1 – Tip one also applies here (please see above). To elaborate on how this helps us during a time swim, we save energy and allow the initial force to most of the work for us.
  • 1a- Flip turns, allow us to utilize the wall explained in tip one (please see above).
    Swimming Tip Tuesday

    Swimming Tip Tuesday: an example of flutter kick.

  • Emphasis on how we kick is important. The further apart our legs separate as we flutter kick, the more drag we create, which ultimately slow us down. Keep your kicks small and steady. By doing this we minimize how much energy we waste in recovery between kicks and instead perform more like a continuous motor boat.

Overall minimize how much energy you’re using by holding your glide as long as you can. As well as being a more efficient technique, this is a good way to establish some rhythm and control in your swimming.

Swimming Tip Tuesday

WanderlustWednesday

Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Today’s Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Lily Beach Resort & Spa

As those of us in the northern hemisphere head into colder weather, it becomes okay to dream about distant, warmer lands. For us, that somehow seems to keep landing us somewhere in the majestic Maldives Islands, lost in the Indian Ocean. The Lily Beach Resort & Spa set in Huvahendhoo island in the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll is an all-inclusive luxury resort and accessible by seaplane. The resort’s marvellous design, capped off with unobstructed views of the glimmering ocean – be it from your own private infinity pool, the Jacuzzi bath tub, or the comfy loungers – will raise the bar for what you consider a true five-star experience to be.

The favorable location in the spectacular Ari Atoll places Huvahendhoo island, on which Lily Beach is set, in close proximity to some of the most amazing dive sites in the world.

Your days in paradise will fly! Besides devoting full time to floating in the balmy Indian Ocean or pampering yourself at the haven of well-being, Tamara Spa, there are still plenty of relaxation options at your disposal. Be it a restful holiday, a much-needed family beach break or a celebration of love, the affordable luxury that is Lily Beach Resort & Spa will set your mind at ease and allow for a true 5-star all-inclusive Maldives experience that will set your heart racing long, long after your holiday has ended.

The setting and the house reef within the lagoon are ideal, and perfect for a honeymoon or other romantic getaway. There are also family activities and facilities, so those coming in groups should also find themselves more than satisfied with the offerings. The Lily Beach Resort is consistently ranked among the finest Maldives all-inclusive resorts. They seem to have little trouble in filling up even with high room rates, so don’t wait for a promotional rate to book this one.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, consider this a literal definition of romance.

🇫🇷Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/uiq6307FlwT

✈🌏🏊🌅🇲🇻

swimming-lily-beach-resort-spa

WanderlustWednesday

Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Shangri-La Toronto

Today’s Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Shangri-La Toronto

This week’s Wanderlust Wednesday takes us to AFA’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. As a reflection of the best Toronto has to offer, the bottom portion of the 66 storey building is a hotel for visiting guests, while the upper portion is a condominium for Toronto residents. Shangri-La Toronto residents have access some of the best amenities in the city which include a 24-hour fitness center on the fifth floor complete with a yoga studio, 20-meter lap pool, hot tub, infrared sauna and the award-winning Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris.

From the Shangri-La’s unique vantage point, you can watch Toronto evolve into a world-class cosmopolitan city.

🇫🇷Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/9RNV306Q2dU

✈🌎🏙🏊🇨🇦

shangri-la-toronto

WanderlustWednesday

Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Blanket Bay Lodge

Today’s Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: Blanket Bay Lodge

This week’s Wanderlust Wednesday takes us to the far-off shores of New Zealand. Blanket Bay Lodge is nestled amidst rugged snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. On the Lodge’s lower ground level the Blanket Bay Spa features a therapy suite, steam rooms, gym and a Jacuzzi with magnificent lake and mountain views. In this spectacular corner of New Zealand discover endless ways to restore your physical and spiritual well-being. There is nowhere else on Earth where there are so many activities so close by – fly-fishing and heli-skiing, the country’s best hiking on the Routeburn or Milford Tracks, jet boating and kayaking, 4WD tours, horse riding, art trails and vineyards, plus flight-seeing over the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Hidden away beside the Lodge, the 18m x 6m Outdoor Heated Lap Pool captures the alpine environment with glorious lake views to the south. The pool is open during the summer months.

🇫🇷Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/STYN3066BKy

✈🌏🏊🇳🇿

blanket-bay-lodge

WanderlustWednesday

Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: La Mamounia

Today’s Swimming Wanderlust Wednesday: La Mamounia

This week’s Wanderlust Wednesday takes us to the elegant shores of Morocco. The opulent, Moorish-inspired La Mamounia hotel in Marrakech elevates Moroccan style to radiant, royalty-worthy heights. Surrounded by cultivated gardens, this elegant palace – with its dramatic drapes and plush sofas – has earned nods of approval over the years from notable guests including Winston Churchill. A recent refurbishment called on luxury-lifestyle experts and award-winning chefs to up the pampering even further.

🇫🇷Lire en Français: http://ow.ly/NVfD305XjFj

✈🌍🏊🇲🇦

la-mamounia