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A young mother comforts her child using a swim mirror
Parents and swim instructors are excited about the new Swim Mirrors developed by veteran swim instructor Ed Pemberton.
Teaching infants to swim is a challenge and the swim mirror is a tool that makes the task a lot easier.
These flexible fun mirrors are excellent for providing a focal point for young swimmers to build confidence and awareness in the water.
The Swim Mirrors are mounted on the walls on Pemberton’s pool where he has taught more than 30,000 students to swim in a career that has spanned three decades. Pemberton has developed a swim program that has allowed him to travel the world as a featured lecturer to Japan, Hong Kong, Argentina, Greece, England, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, Sweden and many other exotic destinations.
Pemberton always instructs parents to hold their children from behind in swim class which prevents the child from clinging to the parent and allows the child to see himself in the mirror. The mirror in can be used in conjunction with the Rain Bucket to teach children to tolerate water on their faces and consequently go under water. With the parent holding the child from behind, it fosters independence in the child where the child’s arms and hands are free to begin learning the proper motion of swimming.
“We use mirrors in our classes for many reasons,” said Pemberton. “One, it has a calming effect on the child when they see their own face or the face of their parents. And two, it allows the parent to see their baby's face even from behind. And we can look in the mirror.
There is usually one or, perhaps, both parents in the pool with the baby when he is learning to swim. The parent can hold the child from behind and look in the mirror attached to the wall of the pool. The mirror is far enough away and they can see the baby’s face, the baby can’t zero in on the parent’s emotional face as well, and so more emphasis will be on what the parent says to the child. When babies go under water they may be fearful. When they come up they see concern on their mother’s face. Children can read their parents’ faces and the child may become concerned. By holding them from behind looking into a mirror, the child sees his own face, and his mother’s face is at a distance. He will be less inclined to be influenced by her expressions and he is more confident.”
In addition, the mirrors are an essential tool for older swimmers who want to improve their swimming technique. The larger rectangular mirrors are placed in the bottom of the pool and the swimmer swims over the device allowing the swimmers to observe themselves in motion and observe their own swimming technique. This allows the swimmer to observe and assess what he needs to improve about his swimming technique or his swimming posture.
These durable mirrors are shatter-proof which makes them safe to use in a pool and prevents broken glass from being lost in a pool where swimmers risk getting cut. The mirrors come in two shapes, round and rectangular. The round mirrors are recommended for younger swimmers and infants. The rectangular mirrors are recommended for older swimmers.
In addition to teaching children to swim, women like the mirrors because they provide them a chance for a quick touch-up.
The mirrors are patent pending and they are available in diameters of 18, 12, 9 and 6 inches and rectangular mirrors are available in various sizes. The Swim Mirrors are available at AdventureSwim.com by clicking on this link http://adventureswim.mybigcommerce.com/fun-mirrors/
At this web site shoppers can see a video of the mirror in use in the water and can see for themselves how valuable it is in teaching a child to swim. Follow this link to view the video.
Ed Pemberton teaches Charlie, 6, to swim under water.
When Robert W. took his two grandsons, Charlie, 6 and Carter, 4, out on the lake in his boat for an afternoon of fun, he had reason for concern. As a safety precaution he routinely fitted the boys with life jackets before they took the plunge into the water. However, he soon noticed the boys had minimal swimming skills. In fact, he was concerned that if the boys were to ever fall into a lake without life jackets, they might drown due to their lack of swimming skill.
With this in mind, Robert decided to take the boys for professional swim instruction. Searching the internet, he found a local public swimming pool where lessons were being offered. He soon learned you get what you pay for.
“There was this college student giving the class,” said Robert. “He couldn’t have been 18 or 19-years- old and he was probably making minimum wage on a summer job as a swim instructor and, quite frankly, I was disappointed in the class.”
Robert noticed a lack of regimented teaching in the class. What was supposed to be an organized teaching environment appeared more like playtime with children being left to their own devices and receiving little instruction. After four lessons, Robert was disillusioned with the classes and sought instruction elsewhere.
A friend recommended he try AdventureSwim.com a swim school located in Knoxville. The school is owned and operated by Ed Pemberton, a certified swimming and SCUBA instructor, who has taught more than 30,000 people to swim and certified more than 5,000 SCUBA divers.
The boys’ grandfather enrolled the youths in private lessons and introduced them to a more regimented atmosphere. At AdventureSwim.com, the boys developed swimming skills, confidence in facing fears, discipline in learning a task, responsibility, strength and endurance.
Pemberton holds degrees in sports medicine and mechanical analysis of motion which is the study of human motion in water.
Pemberton’s approach to teaching swimming is a program that was years in the making. Even the simplest task that would seem insignificant to the untrained eye is taken into consideration.
“I use long deluxe kick boards when teaching people to swim,” Pemberton said. “This is intended to keep the arms straight, which is the proper swimming position. Some people use small narrow boards but this allows people to bend their elbows and they learn the wrong way to move your arms when swimming.”
Pemberton gives instruction to Carter, 4.
“It’s been said that ‘practice makes perfect.’ This statement is not quite accurate,” Pemberton said. “Repetition of the wrong technique sets them in stone. In reality ‘Practice makes permanent.’ It’s up to the instructor to make sure the right skills and techniques are made permanent.”
Robert was quite pleased with his decision to seek Pemberton’s instruction.
“The results have been phenomenal,” said Robert. “They have only had three lessons each and already they are diving off the diving board, swimming across the pool and doing handstands. I never would have believed it. The difference is amazing. It’s like they went from zero to skillful in just three days.”
Pemberton offers classes year round in his indoor heated pool. For more information about AdventureSwim.com visit the website or call 865-691-2525.
John was 54 when he learned to swim ending years of social awkwardness
Ever since he was a child, “John” has always loved the water. Throughout his life he has enjoyed boating up and down the water ways of East Tennessee. Each time John takes his boat out on the water, he is careful to always remember his life jacket. In fact, he always wears one while he is boating and never removes it until he is safely back on shore. While he admits he finds boating to be relaxing, he is fully aware of the dangers of the water.
John’s fondness of boating seems like an odd pastime considering he never learned to swim. While he finds comfort in the confines of his boat, he is surrounded by a body of water that could quickly end his life should he fall overboard. John’s inability to swim has put the local businessman in what can best be described as awkward social situations.
“I sometimes take friends out on the boat and they often dive in to take a dip,” said John. “But I stay on the boat and watch them have fun. If we were close to shore I might wade into the shallow water. I wouldn’t get in the deep water even with a life jacket on because I just didn’t feel comfortable. It was embarrassing.”
John never had anyone to teach him the art of swimming as a child. His siblings tried but lacked patience with the awkward adolescent. His frustration mounted, he never learned to swim, and a fear of the water soon developed.
At the unlikely age of 54, John decided it was time to conquer his fears. A friend suggested he call Ed Pemberton, the owner of Adventureswim.com. Pemberton holds a Masters Degree from the University of Kentucky specializing in Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine. He pursued Doctoral work at the University of Iowa in Mechanical Analysis of Motion (human motion in water). Pemberton is a certified teacher at Farragut Middle School where he has served as the main instructor in all classes for 13 years. As a professional teacher, he teaches more than 1,500 children, babies and adults each year. Most students return for advanced lessons and frequently refer their friends.
Over the course of a career that has spanned 30 years, Pemberton has taught more than 30,000 babies, children and adults to swim and certified more than 5,000 SCUBA divers. Some of his former students have grown up to adulthood, married and had children of their own. These same former students are now bringing their children to “Mr. Ed” to learn to swim.
John admits that at first he was reluctant to seek Pemberton’s instruction. He was concerned he would be the oldest student in the class and concerned he had waited too late in life to learn to swim.
To assuage John’s concerns, Pemberton has him attend private lessons where he can instruct him on a one-to-one basis. Pemberton reassures the reluctant businessman that he is not by any means his oldest pupil. That distinction belongs to two elderly sisters. Both were great-grandmothers and learned to swim at the advanced ages of 84 and 86. They succeeded in learning to swim and in proving the old adage that “You are never too old.” Their success was an inspiration for their families.
In a period of two weeks John took four classes in which Pemberton instructed him on the dynamics of swimming. He learned breath holding exercises, the breast stoke, under water swimming and diving from a diving board and swimming the length of the pool. After four classes that collectively spanned about four hours, John emerged as a capable swimmer that had conquered his fears. He admits he still has a lot to learn but, with practice his skills will improve.
“I am much more comfortable on the water now,” said John. “I can swim under water better than above water. I still keep a life jacket near by when I am on the water but I don’t need it to swim. I would recommend Mr. Ed’s class to anyone. If that guy can’t teach you to swim then you can’t be taught.”
Teaching small children to swim is a work in progress fraught with challenges. And nobody understands these challenges better than Ed Pemberton, a swim instructor that has taught more than 30,000 students of all ages to swim. Pemberton conducts class at his school, AdventureSwim.com located in Knoxville.
In a recent group class, Pemberton gave instruction to four children that ranged in age of 5-months to 35-months.
On day one of the class, the children are carried into the water by their mothers who will be with the infants throughout the class. At first, as the children are slowly immersed in the warm water of the pool, some seem to be agitated by this new experience. Some are fretful, but Pemberton gives some encouraging words. “You’re okay, swimming is fun.”
The youngest student is Sophia, a 5-month-old girl. Pemberton frequently tells parents the best time for a child to learn to swim is between ages 1-6 months. When children are in their mothers’ wombs they utilize a breath holding reflex. Children begin to lose this reflex after birth and by 6-months the reflex is essentially gone and forgotten.
Parents are taught to hold their children from behind so the children are facing away from them. This prevents the kids from clinging to their parent.
Pemberton has the parents to pour water over the heads of the children using a rain bucket. The Rainbucket is a device developed by Pemberton and is utilized in many swimming schools around the world. The Rainbucket is a small plastic bucket with numerous holes in the bottom that allows water to gently sprinkle across the faces of small children re-training the infant breath-holding reflex as they learn to swim. Being a new experience, three of the children whine as water pours across their faces.
Daniel, who is almost 3, is somewhat more adventurous. During the first class Pemberton persuades Daniel to stand on a small platform in the water and step off into water that is just a little over his head.
Daniel takes the plunge and stays under water for five seconds. He emerges and is greeted with praise from Pemberton. Pleased with what he has accomplished, Daniel smiles proudly.
Next Pemberton teaches Grayson to float on his back. The child seems nervous as he lays back in the water with his mother holding his head for support. As a distraction she holds a mirror in front of his face. Grayson laughs and relaxes as his mother gently moves him across the water.
Pemberton turns his attention to Malaney taking the child in his arms as he pours water over her face with the Rain Bucket. She cries as the water pours over her.
Pemberton then gets the mothers to place their children on mini-playboards with their feet hanging horizontal off the end. The children are taught to kick their feet with this exercise. Two of the children cry the other two appear to be calm.
Malaney and Sophia continue to cry as class progresses. Grayson is at times fretful, but Daniel is developing confidence at great strides.
At the end of the first class, Pemberton notes that Daniel has done very well but the other three need work. Pemberton points out that teaching swimming is a work in progress.
In day two Grayson and Malaney continue to show signs of improvement but both are reluctant to go under water. Pemberton continues working with them and giving kind words of encouragement.
Daniel continues to build confidence and is prepared for any challenge Pemberton may present the child with. He goes underwater and can hold his breath for up to seven seconds. He is not afraid to jump into the pool from the side. Pemberton points out that each child will learn at his own pace.
Throughout classes three and four, the three students continue to develop their skills and their physical coordination.
By the end of class five, the mothers are all amazed at the remarkable progress of the the children. Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, the metamorphosis of the children’s skill level is awe-inspiring.
Although, Daniel continues to outpace his two classmates, their progress is impressive, nonetheless.
None of the children cry when they enter the water and all have become acclimated to the water. They are not afraid to open their eyes underwater. They are comfortable swimming under water and all have dived off the diving boards. They have all developed swimming skills that allow them to swim from one side of the pool to the other.
“They have all learned a lot and they have all done well,” Pemberton said. “But, like anything else they have to practice at home. They will get better with practice
Since the beginning of July five people have drowned in East Tennessee waters, and the number will probably increase as our hot weather prevails. These deaths probably could have been prevented if the victim had learned how to swim.
A Knoxville, TN swim teacher has a special program that can teach any adult to swim as few as 3 lessons (everyone can learn, some take a little longer than others). The only requirement is that the student “wants” to learn to swim. Classes are offered to people age 15 through 85 at his heated indoor pool in West Knoxville. Go to AdventureSwim.com or call 865-691-2525 for more details.
The instructor, Ed Pemberton, came to East Tennessee to serve on the faculty at the University of Tennessee, teaching people how to teach disabled children and adults to swim, one of his special areas of expertise. Other areas include SCUBA training (over 5000 divers certified), training swimming instructors for the Red Cross, teaching infants and children swimming—lecturing in Argentina, Greece, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, France, Mexico and more.
Pemberton holds a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky in Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine and completed PhD. study in Mechanical Analysis of Sport Activities at the University of Iowa.
The adult swimming program is scientifically-based on the correct mechanics for swimming coupled with a psychology of teaching the subconscious mind to overcome fear and enjoy the water.
Pemberton said panic is another factor in drowning.
“People panic when they go under,” said Pemberton. “In swimming classes, students learn to go under water with confidence and to control their breathing. They learn not to panic. Fear is fatal.”
Over 1000 people have taken the program successfully. Most students have come from East Tennessee and others have traveled from Kentucky, Arkansas, North Carolina, Chicago and England.
The adult approach is to explain what and why each skill is to be done, demonstrate how the skill is done, and then talk and assist the student in completing each task until it is mastered.
The program includes rescue skills that can be used while fishing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and by everyone who may find themselves around, in, or on the water.
The Centers for Disease Control reports the main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, failure to wear life jackets, alcohol use, and seizure disorders.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC estimates from 2005-2009 there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drowning deaths (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. Most of these occur in a 90 day period spanning June through August. This averages out to be almost 40 per day during the summer months. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children age 1-4 than any other cause except birth defects. Among children aged 1-14, drowning remains the
second leading cause of unintentional injury related death behind motor vehicle deaths.
A new innovation by inventor and swim instructor Ed Pemberton, is receiving rave reviews from swimmers. The Playboard is a floatation device that is revolutionizing the art of swim instruction while ensuring the safety of young swimmers.
The Playboard is made of EVA foam and is designed in the form of a mat. EVA is a high quality foam that will last for years. The versatility of this board is amazing. The Playboard is a specially designed mat that is flexible and can be rolled up. It is extremely durable and buoyant.
Though it is designed with smaller children in mind, it is also useful for larger kids and adults.
Pemberton has taught more than 30,000 students to swim in a career that has spanned three decades. In a quest to facilitate teaching the life saving skill, Pemberton has invented several swim related devices that ensure safety while enhancing mobility in the water.
Beginning swimmers can lie across the middle of the board which keeps the child horizontal and in the swimming position. The child’s face can be over or under the water helping the child to feel secure. Children develop strength and endurance in kicking as well as proper foot positioning in a natural way. As the child gets accustomed to water on the face, he or she can blow bubbles while kicking which is two-thirds of learning to swim.
Stacking two boards safely allows two to three children can learn to swim using the buddy system as they learn to swim side-by-side. Once the children begin to develop confidence, one board can be removed. Children are now in a few inches of water, feeling the lift of the water, blowing bubbles, kicking, staying horizontal and developing better swimming skills.
Competitive swimmers and intermediate swimmers can lie on the board lengthwise (one child per board) and kick many lengths having fun and learning kicking skills. This places their body in a good position and the board promotes proper foot position. The swimmer has the choice of exhaling underwater while kicking if they desire. Swimmers can kick synchronized (holding on to each other's board), have races and perform many other fun swimming activities.
The play board is receiving wonderful reviews and endorsements from other swim instructors and aquatic therapists.
Adapted Aquatics Instructor at the Achievement Centers for Children in Cleveland, Ohio, Karyn Kaschalk, noticed the versatility on the product and gave it her recommendation.
- “For the child who is averse to being touched, the mat provides a means to support the swimmer without skin to skin touching.
- For the child who is gravitationally challenged, the mat provides increased input to their body, lessening the fear of falling while learning to swim.
- For the child who needs to be re-focused, a child can sit on the mat and be spun around by their instructor.
- For the child who needs increased head positioning when floating, the mat provides a tunnel to push through or to gaze through the “dolphin windows” with their head back in the correct position.
- For the child who tends to bicycle kick when on their front, the mat increases hip extension with flutter kick.
- For the adult with limited shoulder range, the mat enables the swimmer to maintain a comfortable shoulder flexion with less stress on the lower back for increased sustained kicking.”
All boards come with our "Fast and Fun Swim System" logo on one side in three dazzling colors, red, yellow or blue.. For more information about our products or our programs visit our web Site at www.adventureswim.com. A demonstration of the Playboard can be seen on youtube.com at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F1s3xaTDd8n.
2-Year-old Jude Norman, of Chattanooga, takes the plunge. The toddler learned to swim at Ed Pemberton's school in Knoxville.
Genevieve Norman of Chattanooga wanted her 2-year-old-son, Jude, to learn to swim. After taking him to a local swim instructor in her hometown, she decided to take a week off work and take him to Knoxville for more personalized and professional instruction.
“The schools in Chattanooga were more ‘Mommy and me’ and taught little by way of skills. We just sat in the water and played,” Norman said.
Norman was referred by friends and watched videos online of small children swimming at Ed Pemberton’s swimming school, Adventureswim. In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Pemberton has taught more than 30,000 people of all ages to swim and taught more than 5,000 how to scuba dive. Pemberton has written numerous papers about the dynamics of swimming and traveled the world teaching swimming and organizing swim programs for schools and communities. Among those schools was teh Univeristy of Tennessee. He has invented several devices to aid in swim instruction such as the rain bucket which helps small children become acclimated to having water pour over their tiny faces.
“Jude has learned skills that allow him to go under water and hold his breath,” Norman said. “He has learned to kick and hold his breath and now it has become ingrained.
“Another skill he has learned is how to turn on his side and swim when he falls into the pool. My parents have a pool which is why he needed this skill. I was impressed with the attention Mr. Ed paid to detail and he got Jude comfortable in the water.”
Pemberton was delighted with Jude’s success in the program but was not surprised by the fact that Norman took a week off work and drive such a long distance for instruction.
“I have had people drive from as far away as Chicago,” Pemberton said. “I had a concert violinist from Chicago and I have had students come from Arkansas, and North Carolina. You can’t put a price on a child’s safety and the program works.”