You're signing up for swimming lessons or taking them on as a parent/coach because you want your child to learn to swim. You're looking for your child to become a confident and competent, independent swimmer. Of course, your child learning to swim is the ultimate goal.
But, like with any big dream, it's often better to focus on the smaller steps that will help us achieve that ultimate, bigger goal. At our swim school we like to encourage parents to view learning to swim more as the inevitable outcome and less of the #1 focus.
Parents who focus in on skill achievement as their #1 focus in swimming lessons often find themselves frustrated by slowing progress or a child who’s growing increasingly non-compliant with the process. Children can perceive pressure and can struggle under that weight. But, it doesn't have to be that way! Keep your focus on what counts for your child and you can be amazed at their results.
Having Fun + Building Confidence = Swimming Safer
Kids learn best when they're having fun! They also loosen up and increase their openness to new experiences - and for a beginner swimmer, that's all swimming lessons are. Just one new experience after another. This is really the biggest tip if you're going to attempt to teach your own child how to swim - keep it fun! It's what our entire curriculum at our swim school is founded on.
In fact, our motto at The Swim Revolution is "Have Fun, Build Confidence, Swim Safer." It doubles as our roadmap to success. We use having fun as our secret tool to get kids to open up and try new things, which allows us to help them build confidence in those new skills. All swimming safer really is, is stringing together a bunch of smaller skills. We get kids confident in those smaller skills and then they put them all together. So, you can see learning to swim is the inevitable result and not the main focus.
When we give our primary focus to having fun and building confidence, we still end up with safer swimming kids - but, we also get a couple other added benefits: kids with greater confidence, who love the water and enjoy their time in it!
You play a bigger part in your child's swimming lessons than you know
Whether you plan to coach your own kids or take them to a professional swim school, like The Swim Revolution, you should how important you are in your child's learning success. We've already covered keeping things fun, which means keeping things positive and low-pressure. To do that you'll need to tune into yourself.
A bad day at work or a traffic-filled commute can be frustrating - and it can impact your child's progress in swimming lessons. Showing that frustration when you pick up your child to bring them to swim lessons or before you get in the water with them can color your child's swim lesson experience.
Kids are always tuned into you and using the signals you're giving off to help them navigate their own experiences. Our coaches are well versed in this and make sure to decompress any negative energy before entering the water and interacting with their swimmers so that they can fill the experience with warm and positive energy. Our energy spreads to others and it's important to stay tuned into you so that you can fill your child's experience with the right kind of success-enhancing positivity.
Remember our first area of focus, Have Fun - it's hard to that when others around you are experiencing negative emotions and it's easy to do when the people around you are positive and having fun too!
Take time to celebrate the small steps. They're really a big deal.