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DOI

10.25035/ijare.11.04.07

Disciplines

Health and Physical Education | Kinesiology | Leisure Studies | Recreation Business | Sports Sciences | Sports Studies | Tourism and Travel

Abstract

In this paper, I propose there are several crises in the aquatic profession and I explain what they are and how to address them using research and my own observations. I use an innovative questioning process to do this by asking you the reader a series of questions after which I explain each. The first crisis has to do with the quantity of trained swimming instructors relative to the population that they serve. In many western European and North American high income countries (HICs), the teacher:student ratios are declining and it is getting increasingly difficult to hire trained swim instructors. In low and medium income countries (LMICs), the ratios remain devastatingly low and allow few persons to receive formal swim lessons. The second aquatic crisis I address is the apparent lack of competence and experience of many swim instructors in both HICs and LMICs. Part of the issue appears to be that most novice swim instructors only teach for 1-3 years creating a large turnover in instructors. Due to the lack of experience, the likelihood of new instructors to be highly effective is dramatically reduced. Among many training agencies, public pressure has been to reduce the amount of time and expertise required to become certified. The final crisis relates to the aquatic curricula provided by the primary training agencies (e.g., American Red Cross, YMCA of the USA). For the most part, the validity and reliability of swimming curricula have not been evaluated rigorously. Few if any evaluations of the efficacy of swimming curricula have been regularly conducted. The primary measure of program success continues to be how many students are enrolled in programs rather than how well students had learned to swim. I propose an ongoing need to address each of these crises as a primary way to address the drowning crisis faced worldwide.

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