Kjendlie, P. L. (2009). Swimming abilities are not enhanced by using a flotation suit for advanced beginners in deep water swimming teaching. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study assessed the effect of wearing a flotation suit on swimming, arm stroking, and leg kicking performance of children in a learn-to-swim program. Children (N = 99) with previous swimming school experience, but not yet able to swim, were taught swimming once a week for 10 weeks. Two groups were formed: one using a flotation aid in the form of a flotation suit (N = 40), and the other not using the suit serving as the control group (N = 59). The flotation-suit group also performed exercises at the end of each lesson without the suit to enhance their unaided abilities. Their skills after 10 lessons were observed through video recordings, using a modified Aquatic readiness assessment test. Combined swimming, leg kicking, arm recovery, and arm propulsion were evaluated on a score ranging form 1 (no performance) to 5 (advanced skill). Additionally, leg kicking velocity was measured both pre- and post-intervention with a swimming velocity meter.

There were no group differences on the four skills. Leg kicking was similar for both groups.

Implication. Using a flotation suit during swimming teaching for advanced beginners in a deep water setting provides no advantages or learning improvements over non-supported swimming instruction.

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