When it comes to running good quality aquatics swimming programs, one thing is clear – consistency is important for success! There are many parts of programs that will benefit from this consistency – there are just a few discussed in this article.
Clients form an attachment or bond with the staff that they come into contact with each lesson. Not only do they feel comfortable with their ‘regular’ staff member but they feel a comfort and familiarity in seeing that person each week. Many parents surveyed at swim centres cited a change of staff as one of the reasons for their unhappiness at swimming lessons.
The staff in question can range from administration/office staff and deck supervisors to swimming instructors. Keeping staff consistent on a weekly basis will ensure that swimmers names and abilities are known and progress is tracked. Changing staff each week can be a hindrance to swimmers development as teachers may not be aware of their skills and miss out on pushing them to their full potential.
If all instructors are teaching the same curriculum or program, this will help all swimmers at your centre progress. If a swimmer needs to change times due to other commitments or participates in multiple lessons per week, the consistency of these lessons should remain the same. Swimmers will easily understand the instructions of all teachers and not become confused at drills/skills taught within each lesson if the program remains consistent.
In keeping the teaching curriculum the same, it is important to note that the teacher’s personality should not be stifled – they should be allowed to flourish in their lessons and give swimmers excellent learning opportunities within while teaching appropriate skills and drills for the program.
Swim schools should insist on partnering with parents and swimmers in attending lessons regularly. If a commitment is made between the swim school and parent/swimmers to be consistent in their attendance, swimmers will have the chance to improve more rapidly than their peers who are inconsistent. World Wide Swim School recommends 2 lessons per week for maximum benefit and skill acquisition.
As staff consistency is important (as discussed above), so too is attending the same lesson every week. World Wide Swim School does not recommend makeup lessons for all of the same reasons discussed in the STAFF section of this article. Routine can be an important part of the learning process and this can be affected if lesson times and days are continually changing.
There are many other times and places that require consistency for swimming programs. Please share in the comments any that you can think of.