Many of you already have plenty of fall and school year activities. With this comes the fact many of your lives get a lot busier. We also realize some tough decisions must be made as to what and how much you and your children can do. Before deciding to drop from the program, with the intent to return after fall sports are over or closer to beginning of swim season, we would like you to consider the following. One, you are making a huge investment in your child’s safety in and around water by providing them with swim lessons. I am sure in most cases your child is making noticeable progress and more importantly gaining self-confidence.
We realize people leave the program for a variety of reasons. There are a couple of trends we have seen that need to be shared with you. The longer one stays away from lessons, the further one falls back. We have already seen many examples of this happen where a child has taken months off from the program and has returned and had regressed from the point where they ended. It is not an easy process to get the child back up to speed. They become a little frustrated because they cannot do what they were doing before. Many kids have left lessons on the verge of moving to another level or have completed the skills needed to move to the next level, but when they return to lessons and the new level they are behind.
Swimming, like most sports and activities, requires consistency and repetition to become a learned skill and to become competent. Time in and out of an activity leads to stagnation and very little, if any progress. One of the more overlooked aspects of a child’s ability to learn to swim and become safer around water is the relationship they build with their teacher. Many students enter our program hesitant or even scared of the water. A child not only learns to believe and trust in themselves but a bond builds between the student and the teacher. If you leave the program for a bit and decide to return, there is no guarantee you will be able to get the same teacher. It takes time for a new bond to build.
People have their children take swim lesson for one of two general reasons. They want their child to be water safe and comfortable around water and they want their child to learn to swim and be independent in the water. Whatever your reason, we feel it is important that your goal is accomplished and exceeded before you leave the program. Let us offer a little bit of inside knowledge, which can help you decided where your child is in our program in relationship to your desired goal. Our beginning levels (Little Junior, Kinder Junior, and Beginner) are designed to get kids comfortable and teach them basic movements in the water. They are preparing to learn to swim. The next levels (Advanced Junior and Intermediate) introduce the swimming movements where the child can do this independently for a short distance. We are not concerned about form or technique. The kids at this level are also learning to roll over and float by themselves increasing their awareness in the water. In the next levels (Elite Junior and Intermediate II) the kids learn to swim and become completely independent in the water. They are taught to breathe to the side, swim backstroke, and can control their bodies in the water. When a child completes either of these two levels, a child should feel very comfortable in their ability to swim. The completion of these levels represents independence with always having respect around all bodies of water. The final levels of our program (Elite Junior II and Advanced) are designed to introduce the two remaining competitive stroke, butterfly and breaststroke along with a continuance of refining freestyle and backstroke technique.
Please consider where your child is in their progression and if leaving the program will hinder their development or if you feel you have exceeded your goals and expectation for your child. We have seen so much progress and so many smiles over the past 16 months. We are so thankful for everyone’s support and we look to continue to “Build Skills for Life”.
See you at the pool!