Over the years, we’ve noticed that there are FIVE types of kids who really need swim lessons. Let us take you through them and tell you why and how they benefit from lessons.
1. The Non-Swimmer
There are two variations on this child. First, there’s the kid who’s afraid of the water. Some children are naturally cautious or maybe they’ve had a scary experience at the pool in the past and haven’t been able to move past it. Whatever the reason, this child will benefit from lessons in a calm environment with an instructor who takes the time to build their trust.
Second, there’s the kid who doesn’t even realize they can’t swim! Maybe they run and jump into the pool and don’t know what to do once they’re in. They are FEARLESS. Which is great – it’s just a matter of channeling that enthusiasm into their technique and teaching them to check with a parent before they jump in. This non-swimmer needs an instructor who can meet them at their energy level.
2. The Sensitive Child
It takes time and practice to get used to the sensation of being in the water – it’s not something we’re born with. This child is sensitive to water on their face and in their ears, nose and mouth. They’re comfortable getting in the water, but are nervous about getting it in their sinuses and eyes. The Sensitive Child needs an instructor who will teach them how to master submersion at their own pace and how to clear the water from their nose and mouth.
3. The Doggy Paddler
The Doggy Paddler can do one thing in the water, and one thing only. They can make their way around, but haven’t learned proper technique. Maybe they’ve never been in lessons or their swim lessons in the past didn’t suit their learning style. The Doggy Paddler focuses on keeping their head out of the water, which leads to a vertical body position and inefficient swimming. They will benefit from a hands-on approach to teaching, with swim skills broken down using physical manipulation of the arms and legs to master a horizontal body position.
4. The Front Breather
This child can make their way through the water, but doesn’t yet have the proper technique to do it efficiently. You can recognize them because it sort of looks like they’re doing the front crawl… but with a lot more splashing. When they lift their face to breathe in the front – rather than on the side – they sacrifice their body position and rhythm. Much like The Doggy Paddler, they need a swim instructor who can break down their swim strokes and teach them the art of side breathing.
5. Mom & Dad’s “Real Fish”
This child is also known as The Underwater Swimmer. They can swim a straight distance underwater and usually kick off from the wall. While they have actually mastered some important swim skills, they are limited in the water by how long they can hold their breath! The “Real Fish” will benefit from swim lessons that teach them how to translate their raw energy into a rhythmic side breath. Then, there will be no telling how far they’ll go!