Swimming lessons can provide so many benefits for your little one, both in the pool and beyond, and we’re proud that WeAquatics has helped so many people in that journey.
Today, Danielle Jackson, one of our amazing swim instructors, shares her own path to the sport, and from the perspective of an experienced coach, she discusses what she sees as the top five benefits of learning how to swim.
Danielle’s Swimming Career
Danielle started swimming lessons when she was around five years old. She soon found she was a quick study, readily catching onto the skills taught in those sessions. By eleven, she was swimming competitively on a team known then as Theresa Banks/Curl-Burke.
She then swam for her high school, Fairmont Heights in Capitol Heights, Maryland, where she excelled in the sport and was eventually recruited to North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her specialty was breaststroke, winning state champion her senior year in the one hundred-yard event for that stroke.
Transitioning to Coaching
Danielle received a scholarship through the athletic department at North Carolina A&T, and as part of that financial support, she had to give back in some way to the department. This ended up putting Danielle on an unexpected but fulfilling path.
“My first year coaching was during my fifth year at North Carolina A&T. I had the opportunity to assist my head coach with instructing the swim team. After graduating, I came to WeAquatics in June 2016, and I’m now also the assistant swim coach for my old high school.”
Benefit #1: Building Relationships
The first major benefit of swimming lessons for kids is the special bond that can develop between a coach and a student.
“For me, the best part about being a coach is the impact I have on kids’ lives and the relationships I get to build with people, especially the young children,” says Danielle. “When you build a rapport with kids, you end up creating a lasting imprint on their lives. They will always remember that one special coach who taught them how to swim.”
For Danielle, what makes these relationships even more special is the ability to be there for the kids as a positive role model.
“With my high school students, I remember being their age not that long ago, so I try to present myself as a sounding board. If a kid is having an issue, swimming related or not, I’m there to help,” says Danielle. “One of the best feelings a coach can have is knowing your path and experiences can now be used to better someone else’s life.”
Benefit #2: Having a Survival Skill
On a practical level, one of the main benefits of learning how to swim is the safety aspect.
“So many accidents and tragedies happen around water simply because the parents or, worse, the children don’t know how to swim,” says Danielle. “When it comes to water safety, it’s best to be equipped with the skills that could end up saving your life.”
Benefit #3: Developing a Work Ethic
From working hard to pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, numerous lessons learned as a swimmer equate to life in general.
“The work ethic that’s required as a swimmer—or any athlete—pours into all areas of life. What you put into your practice in the pool you reap in the competitions, and that’s the same with life, whether it’s school, work, or personal relationships,” says Danielle. “To improve as a swimmer, you need to push yourself. To be better than the rest, you have to work harder than the rest, and that’s exactly how life is.”
Benefit #4: Learning to Take Risks
For many people, learning to swim is scary. Not only does it require going out on a limb to learn a new skill, but for non-swimmers, there’s always the safety aspect to consider. Conquering that fear by taking lessons can be an empowering moment for a child.
“The best thing you can take away from swim lessons is believing in yourself,” says Danielle. “Even if children are nervous about getting into the pool, they can be proud that they did it. As a coach, I’d so much rather see a student try something new and fail than have that same student never take the risk at all.”
Benefit #5: Learning from Experience
Learning to swim can be difficult. There are usually nerves to conquer, and mastering the skill takes time. Working with an experienced coach can help tremendously.
“When working with a swim coach, you are able to get hands-on, real-time assistance and constructive critiques. This ensures you’re not developing bad habits that are hard to break later,” says Danielle. “Plus, you’re more willing to take risks because there’s someone supportive and helpful right in front of you who’s in the position to teach you!”
Danielle highlights three qualities of a great coach: patience, creativity, and knowledge of the craft.
“Most people coming to swimming lessons are thrust into an environment they know nothing about. It takes patience to work through that and to build confidence in the student. A coach also needs creativity because everyone learns at a different pace and in different ways. You need different tools in your tool box to get the job done. Knowledge and expertise are also key. After all, you wouldn’t take medical advice from a mechanic or get your oil changed by a doctor!”
*Bonus Benefit of Working with Danielle*
When you work with Danielle, you’re getting the benefit of someone who is genuinely passionate about both swimming and coaching.
“When you learn something, I believe it’s your responsibility to teach those who don’t know. Pay it forward,” says Danielle. “Me knowing how to swim is cool and all, but if I don’t do anything with that knowledge, what does that do for the kids in my family or my parents, who might not have had the benefit of swimming lessons?”
For more information about the classes we offer or to sign up with Danielle, feel free to reach out today!