Tread  #

Introduction  #

The Tread safety skillSafety skillA method which improves the ability to interact with water in a way that increases the likelihood of avoiding and/or recovering from a hazardous aquatic situation. develops Stationary Surface CompetencyStationary Surface CompetencyStationary Surface Competency is the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to remain at one location on the surface of the water for sustained periods of time for both strategic and energy-conservation purposes. Understanding the relationship between breathing and buoyancy and utilizing that relationship to affect buoyancy and body position are core components of being able to stay at the surface for extended periods of time. Physical abilities associated with this competency include being able to float in more than one position and being able to generate upward (vertical) propulsion with the arms and legs to keep the head above the surface. Cognitive abilities include understanding whether a floating skill or a treading skill is best suited for a given situation and set of conditions, and determining which specific floating or treading technique may be the most effective for the task at hand. and Risk CompetencyRisk CompetencyRisk Competency is the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to understand, analyze, and assess the risks of aquatic environments, and to be able to cope with risk by applying risk-management strategies. Cognitive abilities associated with this competency include problem solving, analyzing options, and determining how best to avoid or reduce risks in a given situation. Affective abilities include responding to stimuli and situations in a calm manner and an awareness of how emotions can affect decision making. as primary competencies, and Breath Control CompetencyBreath Control CompetencyBreath Control Competency is the knowledge, skill, and experience necessary to breathe effectively in a controlled manner without using excessive energy, interfering with other movements, or compromising body position while in the water. Physical abilities associated with this competency include the physical exchange of air and keeping the body in a position at the surface so that the exchange of air can occur. Cognitive abilities include determining when to breathe and when to hold the breath. Affective abilities include responding to stimuli and situations in a calm manner with the face both above and below the surface of the water. as a secondary competency. Treading requires the student to remain at the surface while moving their limbs to maintain buoyancy and position.

Safety knowledge  #

Assessment prompt  #

Compare how long you thought you could tread (or keep your head above water for) with how long you actually did it? Were you able to tread for longer or shorter than you thought?

Acceptable responses  #

As long as students participate in the activity (estimate treading ability beforehand and then compare their guess to their actual time after) and are able to answer if they actually performed treading longer or shorter than they originally thought they could, they receive a + for this KO.

Description  #

The Tread safety skill is defined by the following body posturePostureThe particular way the body is held while doing an activity. Mobility specialists define posture as the way you position your body or arrange your limbs, such as “to stand up straight with your shoulders back and your chin up.” , arm formsFormThe visible shape or configuration of something. Mobility specialists define form as an arrangement of the elements in a composition; the way something (or someone) is shaped or arranged. , leg forms, breathing, and timing characteristics and features.

Tread Description  #


  1. Body positioned vertically
  2. Body in stationary location
  3. Head above surface


  1. Arms move to continuously generate upward propulsion


  1. Legs move to continuously generate upward propulsion


  1. Breathing controlled and regular
Tread Demonstration  #

The body is positioned vertically and in a stationary location. Keeping head above surface by arm and leg actions, or a combination of both. Breathing is controlled and continuous.

Assessment  #

Test course  #

This test should be performed in water that is overhead in depth or in the deepest area available. Avoid areas where it may be difficult to Tread without touching the bottom of the pool. When shallow depth is the only option, incidental contact with the pool bottom may be ignored during the assessment as long as the contact does not provide a force significant enough to keep the student’s head above the surface.

Scoring rules  #

The following scoring rulesScoring rulesA guide used to evaluate performance of distance or time measured skills that includes descriptions of one or more criteria to determine whether to continue or halt the assessment process. specify the performance characteristics used to determine when to halt the skill assessment. A single measurement is recorded based on the instructor’s judgment of the student’s performance.

Tread Scoring Rules  #


Record time duration until student exhibits any of the following:

  • Requires assistanceAssistance / AssistedPerforming a skill or a component of a skill with the use of a structure, instructor, or flotation aid. or becomes unsafe
  • Does not maintain a mostly vertical body position
  • Has excessive lateral or directional movement
  • Has face mostly below the surface
  • Stops generating upward propulsion
  • Uses the pool bottom to keep face above the surface
  • Holds on to a stationary object or flotation aid
  • Touches the pool wall or another student repeatedly
  • Does not breathe in a controlled and regular manner
  • Reaches maximum duration of 60 seconds