11 Tips to Help your Child Get the Most Out of their Swimming Lesson
1. Arrive Early – Do your best to be 5 minutes early for the class. It’s very important that swimmers have time to get settled and prepare for the class (eg. to go to the bathroom, put their cap and goggles on etc). This is particularly relevant to young children who when rushed, can get very stressed and upset. This may mean it takes them a while to calm down and settle into the lesson. It’s important that you help your swimmer to have a stress free experience in order to get the most positive experience and fun out of their lesson.
2. Be Prepared – Try your best every week to be pre-prepared with and have your children’s swimming gear ready to go. When swimmers are disorganised with goggles and caps it can take up a lot of the teaching time just getting the children ready to get in the pool. Often this means the swimmers lose the first 5 minutes of their lesson so it’s important to have them organised before each lesson.
3. Be Consistent – At Blue Fin we believe that consistency and reinforcement is key. When swimmers practice their skills frequently it helps them to build the necessary motor and cognitive pathways, ensuring that they continue to develop and improve. Consistently attending your weekly class is essential, not only to allow your swimmer to practice their skills but to help your swimmer feel comfortable in the pool environment. This is why we offer makeup lessons at Blue Fin, we understand that children get sick and have otehr activities and commitments so if you are unable to make your normal time one week please get in touch with us to arrange a makeup time.
4. Teacher’s Name – Make an effort to know the name of your child’s teacher. If your child knows the name of their teacher it will help them to build a trusting relationship with their teacher and make them feel more comfortable and happy in their lessons.
5. Have a Chat – If you ever have any concerns about the program or any questions about your swimmer’s lesson or progress please be sure to ask a speak to a Senior Blue Fin staff member. We try our best to always have a staff member available to speak to you at the time, or to schedule a time for the following week.
6. Encourage your Children to Ask Questions – The best way to learn is to ask questions! We love curious learners at Blue Fin, so if your child (or you) have any questions about why a stroke is taught a particular way or how to improve their stoke please don’t hesitate to ask!
7. Swimmers Progress at Different rates – As we are sure you know, each and every child is different. This means that they learn in different styles and develop at different rates. As such, we don’t set time frames on how long a swimmer should spend in each level, they may spend only a short time in one level then need more time in the next. We believe it is important that we are able to adjust and cater for every child’s learning style and rate so our teachers have a large “pool” of resources to draw from.
8. Let the Teacher Teach – All of our teachers hold AUSTSWIM teaching qualifications and have been trained personally by Michelle Laidlaw, the Managing Director of Blue Fin. They follow the curriculum written by Michelle and Maidie Laidlaw, who have been running Blue Fin for over 30 years, so every part of the lesson has a learning outcome and a reason behind it. Given their vast knowledge and training, please don’t interrupt the teacher while they are teaching or try to correct your child’s swimming yourself as it is likely to stress and confuse your swimmer to have instructions and corrections coming from more than one person.
9. Enjoy the Skills they’ve Learnt – Swimming is a skill your children will have for the rest of their lives, and their enjoyment of swimming doesn’t have to be restricted to their lessons. Go to the local pool, to the beach, join a nippers program or ask about your school’s swimming squad. The more your child enjoys their swimming and other water activities the faster they will progress!
10. Be Positive – Be positive about your swimmer’s progress! If it seems that their improvements are starting to slow don’t be disheartened, usually this is because they have reached the step where they are able to self-correct their mistakes and are working on consistency. This is a huge step in itself as it means that they are taking their learning into their own hands so please make sure that you congratulate them on their efforts! Remember that small improvements can make a big difference to your child’s swimming, and reinforcement and consistency are the best ways to ensure they keep these skills for life!
11. Happy Swimmers Make Happy Learners – This may sound simple but happy kids make happy and successful learners. As such we need to make sure that your children are comfortable in their swimming lessons and feel that they are being supported on their swimming journey. The best ways to ensure this is to take the above tips and try to implement them in as many ways as you can! Again, if you have any concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to come and discuss them with us.