Here are the top 10 things that you really should know about the fear of water:
1) Most afraid swimmers don't experience a unpleasant or near lethal aquatic experience that started their fear of water. In fact , their fear is as much part of who they are as is the colour of their eyes.
2) Most scared swimmers do not know or are comfortable with the proper breathing cycle, “in thru the mouth and out thru the nose” when they put their face in the water.
3) It is unrealistic to expect or say that a fearful swimmer will be able to learn proper swim stroke technique till they have overcome their fear of water first.
4) Anybody, regardless of their age, fitness level or life experience can learn to beat their fear of water and find out how to swim.
5) The emotional barriers that swimmers have to grasp, manage and overcome in order to feel at ease, competent and safe in water can be stubborn, extremely manipulative and overpowering.
6) An individual's fear of water can be so powerful and their point of view so skewed, that even if they are put into the safest of nautical environments,eg waist deep water and hanging onto the side of the pool, they feel as though their life is at risk.
7) Fear can prevent a person from thinking, feeling and acting logically.
8) Fear of water does not always stop an individual from buying a home with a pool, a ship or taking their family on a vacation that includes aquatic activities, nevertheless it does increase their risk for drowning or reduce their abilities to rescue another swimmer in trouble.
9) As the body ages and physical fitness becomes more important to a person's emotional and mental health, swimming and water aerobics become one of the least stressfull and most effective and efficient resources that they can use, unless they suffer from fear of water.
10) Fear can be a strong incentive, rather than a unpleasant deterrent!!!
Aquatic Therapist, Jeff Krieger, the Founder and Director of the S.O.A.P. (Strategies Overcoming Aquatic Phobias) Program, has a BA in Psychology and a MA in Counseling. He has been an aquatic professional for over thirty years and is recognized as an innovator and expert in helping fearful swimmers overcome their fear of water.