How to Choose the Right Swim School for Your Young Child
If you’ve decided to enroll your little one in swim lessons, congratulations! You’ve taken an important step toward ensuring your child’s safety in the water. You’re also giving your kiddo access to other significant benefits that come with learning how to swim. The only thing to do now is decide which swim school you’re going to use.
Feeling overwhelmed by this? Check out these four must-have traits in any potential swim instructor:
1. Experience Working with Children Four and Younger
Being a great swim instructor for adults or older children requires one set of skills. Having success with very young children requires a completely different skill set.
If you’re thinking about enrolling your child (six months to four years) in swim lessons, make sure your instructor has extensive experience in this arena. A swim coach with experience specific to infants and toddlers will know what is and isn’t realistic for this age group and will know how to conduct lessons for consistent progress.
Want some high-level information? Learn more about Infant Swimming Resource™ (ISR) classes.
2. Deep Understanding of How Children Learn to Swim
Very young children don’t learn to swim through verbal instruction. It’s all about developing the proper muscle memory. That means lessons with young children need to be short and frequent. A lesson for eight to twelve minutes five days a week is so much more effective for a young swimmer than a one-hour lesson once a week.
These shorter lessons allow a child to stay focused for the duration of the class without becoming physically or mentally overtaxed.
When choosing between several swim schools, give priority to the one that understands how to make swimming lessons both effective and fun for children.
3. Ability to Build Trust with Young Children
If a child doesn’t trust a swim instructor, no progress will be made. Swimming lessons require children to be out of their comfort zones. Children who don’t know how to swim are often uncertain or even scared in the pool, and the right swim instructor will be the one who can successfully communicate confidence and safety.
The right swim coach will not only be patient (and calm) when tantrums happen, but he or she will also be patient about a student’s progress. Great swim coaches do all of the following:
- ⚈ Never move too fast too soon.
- ⚈ Assess the comfort zone of each individual swimmer and progress accordingly.
- ⚈ Link swimming concepts before moving on.
- ⚈ Work toward incremental progress.
- ⚈ Let the child guide the pacing of the lessons.
- ⚈ Don’t go into any lesson with an inflexible agenda.
- ⚈ Trust that, with the right approach, swimming skills will manifest.
Want to Learn More?
Still unsure about how to find the right swim school and the perfect swim coach? Check out this blog: 5 Tips for Finding the Right Swim Instructor.