The aim of the study was to assess deep and shallow water teaching methods in swimming lessons for preschool children and identify variations in the basic aquatic skills acquired. The study sample included 32 swimming instructors (16 from deep water programs and 16 from shallow water programs) and 98 preschool children (50 from deep water swimming pool and 48 from shallow water swimming pool). The children were also studied regarding their previous experience in swimming (6, 12 and 18 months or practice). Chi-Square test and Fisher's exact test were used to compare the teaching methodology. A discriminant analysis was conducted with Λ wilk's method to predict under what conditions students are better or worse (aquatic competence).
Results suggest that regardless of the non-significant variations found in teaching methods, the water depth can affect aquatic skill acquisition - shallow water lessons seem to impose greater water competence particularly after 6 months of practice. The discriminant function revealed a significant association between groups and all predictors for 6 months of swimming practice (p<0.001). Body position in gliding and leg displacements were the main predictors. For 12 and 18 months of practice, the discriminant function do not revealed any significant association between groups. As a conclusion, it seems that the teaching methodology of aquatic readiness based on deep and shallow water programs for preschoolers is not significantly different. However, shallow water lessons could be preferable for the development of basic aquatic skills.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.