Enrolling in the Australian Defence Force is a dream for many youngsters out there. Once you started your entry training, the PFA will seem like a walk in the park. If you want to make sure you get offered a job role in either the Military, Navy or Air Force, you have to pass quite a few tests. Swimming is one activity you will be tested for both the Military and of course the Navy.
The ADF tests your physical skills based on how you would react in certain situations. For the Navy swim test, you will be required to simulate your response to situations such as “abandon ship,” “sinking ship” and a few more. So, in order to pass all these tests, you need to improve on techniques like holding your breath underwater, diving and survival strokes.
If you plan to start swimming properly once you passed yor PFA, you are already late. By the time you get accepted to training, ideally you would have already achieved an above average swimming skill that may need improving but in general you don't need to worry about the basics.
The army swimming test is much less taxing and is mostly about trying to stay afloat and alive while waiting for rescue. It involves a shorter swim for distance and treading water for time.
Here are 7 tips on how to get better at swimming to perform your best at your ADF recruit training.
1. Join a HEALTH CLUB with all the required facilities
The first step in training for the swim test is to join a gym or a leisure center that is well-equipped in terms of swimming facilities. You need diving platforms at varied heights level and a pool that is quite deep. Once these two things are in place, you can easily start your training. For accelerated progress, it would be best to practice at least twice a week.
2. MASTER THE BASICS
Understanding that the military swimming assessments are testing you in real world situations. Such as jumping off a ship or evacuating from a vehicle or downed aircraft and swimming away from the danger area all whilst fully clothed.
Practising for these situations is 100% essential however it's also essential to be able to complete these tests without being fully clothed. Think of crawl before you walk, walk before you run. So go and get in the water in your swimmers and start cutting laps. Stay in the shallows until you are comfortable to go in water above head height. Start understanding how your body moves through the water, how to hold your breath while duck diving, how your leg kicks will propel you, how to open your eyes under water and not be disorientated. Understand and be confident with these first before going and adding shoes and full length clothes.
3. abandon ship situation
A sailor's life is unpredictable, especially when out on the sea. On occasion, during combat or for other reasons, they may be forced to abandon their ship. You need to be properly equipped to jump into the water and swim away promptly on command. To make sure you are capable of this, the test requires that you jump from a height of 3 metres, feet first into the water without shoes and in uniform.
To practice, you need to be in full clothing and should not be wearing any footwear. Stand on a 3 metres high diving platform. Place your feet together and pinch your nose using what is known as a pistol grip. This means you pinch your nose between the thumb and the forefinger of the right hand. Place your left hand on your right forearm. Move the right leg and drop into the pool instead of jumping.
4. the underwater swim
During the swim test, you will be asked to stay underwater and not to surface until you have completed a 10-metre mark in the pool.
Practice this with full clothing and stay underwater using any swimming technique, but do not surface until you have passed 10 metres in the pool. During the actual swim test, you will be required to wear a uniform.
This simulates how you would escape a sinking ship that is surrounded by oil.
5. tread the water technique
This technique involves keeping only your head above the water. This is important in a situation where you might be required to stop swimming and stay in one position for a while. It is a survival technique. Only the head is above water in order to help with breathing while your arms and legs are constantly moving to keep you afloat. Like the other tests, the tread water test will also be performed in uniform.
Practice the tread water technique for as long as you can in full clothing. You need to be prepared to stay alive in water for hours in certain situations, so better become confident and proficient in this techniqe. You never know when it will save your or someone else's life one day.
6. 50m swim
This is again, an important part of the swim test but one that can be perfected with hours of relentless practice. You need to swim for 50 metres using any one of the techniques mentioned below.
Again, these exercises need to be performed in full clothing.
7. Practice floating For 15 minutes
This can be slightly difficult but, with time and practice, this is something that you can easily achieve. To practice this technique, remain in deep water for about 10 to 15 minutes in full clothing. Remember, your feet should not touch the bottom. You can use two techniques to stay afloat:
These are the common rounds in an ADF swim test. You can easily master all these rounds by putting in at least 2 to 3 hours of practice on a weekly basis.
Remember to practice in full clothing where possible as all tests will be conducted in uniform in order to simulate the real world situation.
Do you need more information or a swimming program to help you with your training, Feel free to get in touch with our team!
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