It doesn't have to take long to learn, but becoming a swimmer is a life skill and that takes time and practice. The SwimRight® Method is extremely easy to learn and very efficient. No bad habits are learned during the process and students don't have to be re-taught as they progress to the advanced stages. However, becoming 'a swimmer' depends on many things. The child's age and willingness to learn, how often they come for lessons, and what results you are looking for. We strongly recommend that lessons be continued until the child is a confident competent swimmer who has a healthy respect for, and is comfortable in any depth of water, and can swim and breathe for extended distances. From there they should continue through stroke school to learn all four competitive strokes. Remember this is a skill they will use their whole life, why not teach them to do it well.
How often should they attend swim lessons?
Like everything your child learns practice is critical. While two or more lessons each week, is beneficial, consistency is more important. Swimming lessons taken once a week year round keep building on this life skill and maintains it fresh in their mind thus reducing the potential for accidents. Some students may become distressed by the learning process and increasing the frequency of lessons during this time can help them through this difficulty. Please discuss with your instructor your goals for the lessons, they can make the learning process as gentle as you like or speed up the process with a more aggressive approach.
Which is better for children and babies under age 2: Parent-Tot or privates?
If you would like to be hands on in introducing your child to the water, getting them comfortable and learning how to handle them safely in the pool, Parent-Tot is a good option. After they have learned the basic skills in this class and are ready to move on, private lessons will be the next step. If the goal for your child is independence and water safety but you prefer not to get wet, private lessons are the best place to begin.
Why does my child have to wear a cap?
The academy uses color-coded swim caps to denote student skill level. We require students to wear their SRA swim caps, which is important for several reasons. It helps us identify skill levels, keeps hair off the face and gives the student a goal to strive for. As your child's ability increases, he/she earns a new cap.
What are the survival tests?
The main goal of our program is to make sure that every child is water safe. Within our teaching curriculum we have two survival tests, which help us to see your child's progress as well as giving a child, parent and the instructor the peace of mind that the child is striving to be water safe. Both tests are performed while kids are fully clothed. They enter the pool surprisingly, and based on the skills that they have learned, they need to act accordingly. The first survival test requires the child to roll on her back and just float there for a period of about 15 -20 seconds. The second survival test requires the child to roll on his back, lay there for few seconds, and then flip over onto his stomach and get back to the wall.
If a child is scared to learn, should the parent be involved in the learning process or not?
If your child becomes distressed during lessons they will likely benefit from you not being visible thus enabling them to focus their attention on the instructor and what they are being asked to do. As they become more skilled they will enjoy 'showing off' to you and seeing your enjoyment of their abilities.
Why are your private lessons only 15 min long?
We mostly recommend private lessons for kids under the age of 4, or older kids that do not fit well into a group due to their lack of cooperation in a group setting. We strongly feel that children under the age of 4 have an attention span of about 20 minutes, so a 15 minute lesson is perfect to maximize their attention span and get the most out of the lesson. For those parents that insist on taking private lessons for older kids we recommend doing a double private for 30 minutes. Also please keep in mind that it is much better to come to two 15 minute lessons a week rather than one 30 minute lesson.
Explain about substitute teachers
Although we strive to provide students lessons with the same teacher, it never hurts to try new teachers.
When can babies start?
Babies can be introduced to the water as soon as the umbilical cord and any other surgeries are healed. Young babies have an automatic breath holding reflex and are more comfortable on their backs, which makes learning the back float easier. This changes at around 6 months or when they start rolling over.
Why start so young?
The aquatic environment provides babies with complete freedom of motion and virtual weightlessness. Repetitive motion and patterning help develop muscle strength, confidence and self-esteem.
The younger the babies, the more likely they are to accept the water and instruction. Human infants are adapted to swimming; the behaviors of automatic breath holding and swimming movements begin to fade as early as 3 months of age. Exposure to swimming provides the ideal exercise as they are not restricted by gravity, and benefit from the cardiovascular exercise it provides. It gives babies a head start in learning basic swimming, and improves bilateral coordination and balance.
What do you teach babies who are younger than 8 months?
Until babies learn to crawl, they are not aware that they can choose to go from one place to another, so if they back float independently, it is mainly because they don't know they actually have the option of doing something else. Once they learn to roll over and crawl, they will seemingly regress, because now they may begin to experiment with ways to get out of having to back float. Also, until they are mobile, there is no danger of them crawling into a swimming pool. We like to get the infants acquainted with submersions and glides underwater, kicking, standing on the platform and begin working on the back float. Our goal is to keep the lesson experience as peaceful, fun, and happy as possible.
What is the ideal age to learn to swim?
Because of the obvious benefits the ability to swim provides, the ideal age is "as young as possible". Once the baby or child:-
learns to crawl, be will be less patient in accepting the back float position.
learns to drink out of a cup, he will be more likely drink pool water during lessons.
develops stranger and separation anxiety, he will be less tolerant of having someone other than mom or dad teach him.
develops the "Terrible Twos" behavior that generally happens between the age of 1 ½ and 2 ½ years, he will be less tolerant of the control the teacher will need to exert in order to teach him to swim.
matures and learns about the possible dangers of life, drowning, etc. (ages 5 or 6 & up) he will be less accepting of the "risk" he must take to allow the teacher to "let go"
If they start and learn young, will they forget if they stop swimming during the winter or for a couple years?
No, they can remember - as proven through our numerous success stories describing how babies and children have managed to 'save themselves' in the event that they have accidentally fallen into a body of water. This is of course dependent on the skill level, the more swimming skills a child has the more they are likely to retain. However it is likely that the child will lose confidence if he/she takes a long break. The skill will remain, but the regression in confidence can inhibit the likelihood that he will be able to "save himself'. WHY STOP ANYWAY? In the 'off-season', the schedule is less crowded and more relaxed. The child will benefit by the exercise during a time of year when he tends to get less exercise. The child will finish learning BEFORE the summer, meaning that both the child and the parent will enjoy summer swimming more. If you have to take a break, take it in the summer, when you are likely to have access to another pool for practice.
Will they remember how to swim and save themselves in an emergency?
Because of the nature of the back float method and the testing we do throughout the progression of our program, we have found that children CAN manage to save themselves in unfamiliar pools and in emergency situations. Our many success stories are proof; HOWEVER, there is no guarantee, so children should NEVER swim or be near water without constant, careful adult supervision.
If they resist learning to swim, should they be forced to learn?
The question is, what do you want? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning remains the second leading cause of injury related death for children ages 1 – 14 years. Water can be a scary environment for children and appropriately so! However with skill comes confidence; as they learn respect for the water and how to be safe in it, it will become the fun, healthy activity we know it to be. With your commitment and perseverance we will achieve these goals.
If they are upset while learning to swim, will they be afraid of water?
It is quite natural for them to be upset, after all this is a hostile environment until they:
Learn to trust the teacher and themselves.
Learn enough about swimming so that it's easier
Understand why they are learning
Realize they have no choice...mom & dad will bring them until they master it.
Once these objectives have been achieved and the child makes the decision that swimming is fun, the crying will stop and he will enjoy the activity. How long this takes is dependent on the parent's commitment. Discontinuing lessons is almost guaranteed to produce a child who is fearful and unhappy in the water and it may take months or even years to convince the child that this activity is fun. The way out is the way through.