Knowing how to swim competently could save your child’s life. For this reason, swimming lessons are not only beneficial for physical strength and development, but should also be seen as providing a vital lifesaving skill that everybody should possess.
Swimming instructors take their time to get to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and try their hardest to bring out the best in their students; but in order to help them do so, here are ten things swimming instructors would like you to remember:
1) Children learn at their own pace
Some kids will swim like dolphins from the get-go, but others will take longer. They may need to build up a relationship with their instructor before they can physically progress, they may need to get to know the pool and their classmates, or their little bodies may take time to develop the strength needed to propell them forwards.
It’s all progress, it’s all development; it’s all important. Try not to compare your child to others, they are trying their best!
2) We all learn differently
Similar to learning at their own pace, children also learn in their own ways. Some respond well to gentle teaching methods, some excel under stricter guidance.
While we try our very best to teach in the best way for your child, sometimes they will be suited to a different instructor. You are more than welcome to talk to us, or to the coordinators about what (or who) will best suit your child.
3) Let them play!
Outside of lessons, the very best thing you can do for your child’s progression is to enjoy water together! Don’t worry about their technique, teach them that swimming can be fun and they will WANT to improve. Do reinforce the usual rules, though, such as staying out of the water until you are already in.
4) Your children really want you to be proud of them
Sometimes it can be frustrating to see your child’s progress plateau, or to see others catch on quicker, but as mentioned above: there can be so many developmental reasons behind this. They do want to do well, they do love your praise, and they do check to see that you are watching.
Sometimes we will see an improvement in their technique or their body positioning, and we will try to make a big deal out of it. It may be miniscule; but it may also signal a complete change in their ability.
5) We all have bad days
Sometimes your child will be tired, uncooperative, grumpy; human. We understand. Give us a heads-up if you can, and remember that we all have bad days. Generally speaking, the best way to handle this is to persist with the lesson. If your child climbs out early, they may expect the same result in future; when they aren’t having a bad day and they just want to do something different.
They may not accomplish the most on that bad day, but seeing the lesson through will set a precedent for the future.
6) Being on time is important
While this one is easier said than done, and we know lateness is sometimes unavoidable, arriving with enough time to get your child used to their surroundings before they are plonked in the water really does make the world of difference.
Children have no real concept of time, but they are incredibly in tune with their parents. If you are rushed and anxious, the chances are that anxiety will come with them into the pool.
If you do happen to be late, we understand; a deep breath may ease that transition into the lesson.
7) It’s best to stay committed
Physical activity and group sports are fantastic for your children; but swimming is also a vital survival skill. Maintaining your commitment to lessons is the best way to develop your child’s strength and capability in and around water.
8) Children pay more attention than we realise
This one is especially relevant for make-up classes. Routine is important to children, but sometimes life gets in the way of that. If your child has a lesson with a new teacher, try to be excited for them! Explain it in a way that will make them feel good about this change, and the chances are they will love it. If they don’t, remember it’s just one lesson, and the same rule applies about sticking it out until the end.
9) You can talk to us!
While we know the job; you know the child. Feel free to talk to us or one of the coordinators about any past experiences/injuries/illnessess/bad days that you may think are relevant.
That being said; we do deal with A LOT of children, so your faith and trust in us and our methods goes a long way.
10) We really do love your kids
Even when they are challenging. In fact, sometimes those challenges make the rewards that bit sweeter. Your children are strong, clever, funny, and the reason we are in this profession.
We genuinely enjoy our time with them; working out their personalities and watching them grow. We are so proud when a child masters a new skill or overcomes a fear; so thank you for trusting us to do so!
10 thoughts on “Ten things your child’s swimming instructor wants you to know”
Wow, this is amazing , I love how you explained everything!! I felt like these points were so full of insight and understanding!! Thank you so much for sharing. Cheers Sarah
Thank you Sarah! I’m glad you liked it 😊
Absolutely spot on Cat, beautifully written.
Thank you Davina,I may have to write one about babies soon (after picking your brain) 😃
Could not have said it better myself !!!!! Well done! ✅
Thank you Heather! What lovely feedback 😊
The additional point I would add would be
We want you involved in your child’s swimming development, even when you are out of the water observing lesson. Put the device away and be part of the lesson in a supportive way.
Sit back to enjoy the lesson and let the teacher teach ; but be there with the encouraging ‘thumbs up’, ‘clap, ‘smile’ and supportive acknowledgement for your child’s efforts and achievements.
After lesson recognize your little ones endeavors with words of encouragement
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I am so sorry for taking so long to respond, Scott! I definitely agree with your point. I have seen many children look up to their parents/grandparents/carers etc after accomplishing something for the first time, only to have them unnoticed because of a phone or ipad.
Everything said is so true am an austswim teacher and love the job