Everyone should learn to swim. After all it could save your life. There are many different places where you can start your child off with swimming lessons and there is also a lot you can do to help them get started as well.
Swimming is great for fitness and is a skill that children can use throughout their lives. As they grow into teenagers it is a social skill that they are likely to use with their friends. They may take swimming up as a competitive sport or spend time at local leisure pools simply having fun.
Here are some tips for getting started in the swimming pool.
1. Start Having Water Fun Early
Start children off as early as possible. This does not have to be with formal lessons, but fun trips to the pool will help them gain their water confidence.
2. Make Bath Time Fun
If you have a baby make sure you find plenty of time for bath time fun. Track down some bath toys and ensure there is plenty of splashing about.
3. When to Start Swimming Lessons
Every child is different so try to gauge when your child is ready for lessons. Start too early and confidence could be damaged. If you are not sure ask your pool to take a look at your child in the water and tell you if they think he or she is ready for lessons.
Many pools provide mum and baby sessions. If you go to these sessions you will get a good idea of when your child is ready to progress to more structured swimming lessons.
4. Buy a pair of Goggles
Buy a pair of good quality goggles. The majority of children do not like putting their face in the water and a pair of goggles that keep the water out of their eyes can go a long way in speeding up their early progress. Spend time adjusting the goggles so that they fit well. If you are having trouble with this your child's teacher can help you out.
5. A Friendly Swimming Teacher Makes a Difference
Find a good teacher. Yes it may sound obvious but the importance of this cannot be overstated. When a child is first starting out I would go for a teacher who is able to give them water confidence rather than one who can teach great technique, but lacks child friendly skills.
Unfriendly teachers are the quickest way to put children off swimming. Surprisingly there are a few around. If you find your child has an unfriendly teacher report it to your swimming pool or change pools. As well as not enjoying lessons, children learn very little from this type of teacher.
6. Group Size Matters
Smaller groups are better. Watch out for group sizes. Lessons at your local pool can be prone to over sized classes. If you can, be prepared to pay a bit more for more personalized teaching. This doesn't have to be on a one to one basis, but the smaller the group the better the level of personal tuition for your child. Watch out for how much time the teacher is able to spend with individual children.
7. Swimming Lessons Can Have Long Waiting Lists
Watch out for waiting lists. Many local swimming pools have waiting lists for lessons. This is especially true for starter classes. Check at an early stage if there is a waiting list at your pool and put your name down as soon as possible.
8. Swimming With Your Children Speeds Up Progress
Extra visits to the swimming pool help to reinforce what is taught in lessons and also gives your child extra practice. Try to include regular trips to your local swimming pool in your list of family leisure activities. As well as having fun with your children it can help you to stay in shape. So it's time to get your cossi out! Children whose parents enjoy swimming and have fun in the water usually learn faster. Therefore if you are not confident in the water consider taking lessons to boost your own confidence. This is one of the best things you can do to boost your children's confidence in the water.
9. Booster Swimming Lessons Can Be a Big Help
Booster lessons in school holidays can be a big help. These tend to last for a week and focus on one particular area. These are great if your child is just starting to learn a new stroke or have recently moved up a group.
10. Find a Good Swimming Pool
Find a good pool. Modern pools offer much more pleasant environments for children who are just starting out.