Swimming lessons are a great investment. Not only are you providing your children with a skill for life, you are giving them an advantage in the areas of social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. A four-year study conducted by Griffith University has found what swimming industry leaders have suspected for decades. Children who attend swimming lessons from an early age are ahead of their non-swimming peers when it comes to reaching developmental milestones. Results of the study can be found by clicking here.
While the results of this study are fantastic, it is important to remember that learning to swim takes time and patience. It takes dedication and commitment and can sometimes be a slow process. There may be some times where you get frustrated with this process and want to push your child through the program in order to get them into mini-squad or stroke development groups yesterday. When the frustration sets in, try to relax and keep the following points in mind.
- The number of swimming lessons you attend per week will impact on your child’s improvement rate. Swimmers who attend one lesson per week will rarely progress at the same rate as swimmers who attend two or more lessons per week. If the cost of swimming lessons is holding you back from attending multiple lessons, think about getting in the pool at home or at a friend’s house and practicing some of the skills your child is working on at their classes with them. You can ask your child’s instructor for some tips. Alternatively, head to a public pool on the weekend to swim, play and explore in the water. Make it a “get fit with the family” outing so you can all reap the benefits of learning to swim.
- Taking seasonal breaks can halt a swimmers progress. Many families see swimming as a summer activity. Once the weather starts to cool and winter sports start up, it can be difficult to juggle multiple activities. Often swimming lessons are dropped until the weather warms up again. Other families will swim year around – rain, hail or shine! Figure out what works best for your family and follow that path. If you decide to take a break, try not to get frustrated if your child is no longer in the same group with their friends who have continued swimming lessons in the winter months. Depending on the age of your child they may have even regressed and not be able to perform certain swimming skills to the same standard they could before a break. The same thing happens to us if we take a break from the gym, so go easy on your little swimmers.
- Trust the advice of your child’s instructor and the team of swimming professionals working at the swim school you attend. Remember that individual swim schools will have certain curriculums to follow when they are teaching swimming. This means that your child may have to master and perform certain skills before progressing to the next stage or level. If you have concerns about your child’s progress, talk to their instructor or the management team so you are aware of what your child needs to work on and what the lesson focus is for your child’s group. Remember, swim instructors are passionate about their jobs and have the swimmers best interest at heart. Communicating with the swim school team will allow you to work together to get the most benefit out of swimming lessons for your child.