Exercise Science | Health and Physical Education | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Sports Management | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies


This manuscript examines how to help more people learn to float because this skill is taking a much more central role in the latest drowning prevention advice in the UK. In 2017 BBC Radio Two show presenter, Simon Mayo, declared that he ‘could not float.’ Many persons in the UK identified with this claim. Despite having been an activity in many traditional swimming lessons floating is not a straight-forward skill for all to master. It requires a high degree of personal trust to have developed in the water. I discuss what learning to float fundamentally entails based on recent publications from the neuroscience of emotion and insights from my experience in the water with learners of all ages. I explore why very buoyant individuals can find floating as hard to perform as those who feel like sinkers. I suggest a few simple and reliable ways to gain deeper personal insight into how to help persons learn to float. In my view flotation is primarily based upon an internal state of emotional coherence in the water itself. Achieving this emotional state requires learners to explore calm ‘stationary’ being of existence in the water in pool settings.