Swimming is not just a fun activity; it’s an essential life skill. It is incredibly important that as children learn how to be safer and skillful in the water, parents take every opportunity to enhance their learning. In this guide, we’ll discuss some valuable points to assist you in supporting your child during their personal swimming journey.

Preparing for Swim Lessons:

The car ride to swim lessons is a wonderful chance to build excitement and confidence in your child. Here are some positive things you can say to prepare them for their lesson:

  • “I’m so proud of you for taking swimming lessons! You’re growing into a more confident swimmer!”
  • “Remember to listen to your coach and follow their instructions. They are there to help you learn and improve.
  • “Focus on giving your best effort and having fun. Progress takes time, and every small step forward is a great achievement!”

Avoid using words like nervous, scared, anxious, cold, or deep. These words can trigger negative reactions in swimmers who are in the process of developing a love and trust for the water. Better options are discussions around the “funny” feeling water can give our eyes and ears, trusting the coach, and being brave enough to give things our best try.

After Swim Lessons:

Providing positive reinforcement and encouraging your child’s progress after each swim lesson is important. Sometimes as a bystander, it is hard to see the effort and focus that goes into learning new skills, and it’s important to remind them that during these lessons they are learning tough things. Acknowledgment of this will not only make the swimmer feel proud but also encourage them to keep going! Here are some supportive ideas that emphasize effort over achievement:

  • “You should be really proud of the hard work you put into your strokes today!”
  • “It looked like you were focused and followed your coach’s instructions well today. Nicely done!”
  • “Even when things seemed challenging, you never gave up. That’s the spirit of a true champion!”

Effective Participation During Lessons:

While it’s natural to want to be involved in your child’s swimming lessons, it’s crucial to find the right balance and avoid being too involved. Here’s how you can participate effectively:

  • Observe from a distance: Allow your child to focus on their instructor and develop their independence in the water.
  • Share the successes: Use photos or videos to share the swim lesson achievements with family and friends.
  • Be supportive: Celebrate small victories with cheers, waves, or smiles when your child accomplishes a goal or shows progress.
  • Trust the instructor and help your swimmer do the same: Remember that the swim instructor is a trained professional. Trust their expertise and let them guide your child’s learning process.

Moving Up to the Next Level:

The swim instructor is the expert and determines when a swimmer is ready to progress to the next level. This decision is based on the swimmer’s skills and their ability to meet the goals set for advancement. By trusting the instructor’s expertise and allowing them to guide this process, we prioritize safety while ensuring your child’s progress in achieving the necessary milestones.

Listening to the Coach:

Emphasize to your child the importance of listening to their coach and following their instructions. Coaches provide guidance on proper swimming technique, water safety measures, and skill development. The more your child respects the coach’s instructions, the quicker they will learn the next skill for steady, forward progress.

Observing Peers in the Class:

Swimming lessons provide an opportunity for children to interact with and learn from their peers. Encourage your child to learn by observing how their peers perform different skills. This can motivate them towards improvement and create a sense of camaraderie within the class. It’s even better if they cheer on and high-five their peers!

Differentiating Playtime from Lesson Time:

While swimming lessons should be enjoyable, it’s essential that children can differentiate between playtime and lesson time. Encourage your child to focus and listen during their swimming lessons, saving their playful side for appropriate moments. This will help them make the most of their learning experience.

Having Fun!

While every minute of a swim lesson shouldn’t be about silliness, at British Swim School, having fun is absolutely crucial for progress! Learning to swim is an exciting and rewarding experience that becomes even more enjoyable when infused with fun. Skill and knowledge retention improve when fun is involved. Help your child nurture their love for swimming by incorporating elements of fun at home and during swim lessons.

By integrating these talking points into your discussions with your child before, during, and after swim lessons, you can provide the support they need to keep swimming towards their goals and enjoy their aquatic journey. Remember, it’s about nurturing their skills, boosting their confidence, being safer in the water, and allowing them to take ownership of their progress. Let’s work together to help your child become a safer and more skillful swimmer in the most effective ways possible!

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