Our swimming program is designed with a 3 stage outcome.
Phase 1 is to accomplish water safety by controlled buoyancy & aquatic comfort.
The feeling of floating in water for a little one is a bit unnerving. Water is never stable & their experience of bathing taught the brain that everything heavy in water will sink. Learning to float with their ears submerged is a great accomplishment. Water is approximately 800 times more dense than air & therefore things sound very different under there. Sounds reach both ears at the same time so they can't determine direction & distance. All noises feel very close...so floating takes a bit of getting used to. It is a very different type of calm & that is the first step. Calm & relaxed & floating.
Phase 2 is to understand movement & mobility under water. Learning how to move & kick in water happens by holding their breath & retrieving things from the shallows. The feeling of weightlessness & neither being up nor down but rather suspended some where in a body of water is an intriguing experience. This is a vital step to understand how strong they need to be to move through water. How slow things move gives the brain time to think & process. Once they discover how cool things look & feel under water, that's where they want to play. This builds Big confidence.
Phase 3 is to establish a swim stroke with ease. Most professional swimmers dedicate themselves to a single or maybe 2 strokes.
Every swim stroke has a timing element to what happens when. All strokes require muscle strength in different areas to maintain its forward momentum. All swim strokes require varying degrees of brain independence and this is where a systematic process starts.
So how does a swimmer know they're executing a stroke movement the correct way? The body needs to learn what the correct movement in water "feels" like, by some one directing your movement from the outside. Why? Because in water you cannot "See" what you are doing. You learn the correct movement by what it "feels" like. We therefore focus on one movement at a time. Enough repetition will log that ability in their subconscious. Then they are ready for the next movement until all the components of the stroke is complete. That's how we learn to swim...one well executed component at a time...