Every Child is Unique
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my seven years of teaching swim lessons it is that every child is unique. Some children need the camaraderie and peer pressure of group lessons to bring out their best. Others get bored or scared in the group setting, causing their progress to slow down or stop. Swimming is a crucial skill every child needs to learn, so it’s important to determine which environment is best for your child.
Every week, I’m surprised by how much a young swimmer can accomplish with just 30 minutes of individual, personalized attention. Tiffany was initially terrified by the idea of swimming. Today, after a year and a half of lessons, she can swim all four strokes confidently and swims laps in our Multi-Purpose pool with ease.
Tiffany’s mother, talks about their decision to enroll in private lessons:
“Tiffany was in group lessons for two weeks before we switched to private lessons. She had signed up for beginner group lessons aimed at teaching children without any experience of being in the water. However, even among the beginners, there was a wide range of abilities. Some kids had no problem going underwater or floating on their own. Tiffany felt pressured by the fact that the other kids were doing things that she wasn’t comfortable trying yet. Although the instructor did a great job of trying to adjust to each child’s individual capabilities and pace, Tiffany needed more focused attention and an environment where she could learn at her own pace.
“It only took one private lesson for Tiffany’s confidence to blossom. By the end of her first lesson, she was swimming in water that was over her head. At the end of the lesson I exclaimed, “You were swimming!” She didn’t believe me at first. When she saw her instructor nodding in agreement and noticed the tears in my eyes, she broke into a huge grin. She was so proud of herself!
“The bond that Tiffany formed with Kristi has made her comfortable to try new skills and accept critical feedback. Kristi, likewise, been able to spend more time with Tiffany, getting to know what motivates her, when to push her or back off, and how to provide her with feedback that she’ll actually hear. This has made the lessons much more effective and, as a result, Tiffany has progressed much more quickly. “Within a couple of months, she felt comfortable swimming on her own. The crowning moment was at a Super Fun Sunday. Up to that point, she’d always have to wear a flotation device to play on the inflatables and I’d have to be in the pool with her. This time, she decided to do the swim test and passed! She was so proud to show off her ‘I can swim’ bracelet and didn’t hesitate to go onto the deep pool inflatable - twice!
“Tiffany says the best part has been learning new things, finding out she’s able to do them and that they’re actually fun. The best part for me has been watching Tiffany’s confidence grow alongside her swimming skills.”
This article originally appeared in PRO Pulse Magazine©, a publication of PRO Sports Club. Reprinted with permission.