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Learning to Swim is a Process, Not an Event
Sep 3, 2019

Topic: Swim Lessons 

Let me introduce myself. Your kids call me Mr. Matt. I have been working at Houston Swim Club for about 3 years now and I have learned so much in that time. I love teaching infants, children and adults lifesaving swim skills! Before working at HSC, I worked at a Boy Scout Camp in San Marcos for 5 years. I taught swimming at camp as well, and I also certified Boy Scout Lifeguards. These have been my only two jobs and both have been so rewarding!

At camp, I was able to see teenagers transform into responsible lifeguards. At HSC, I see babies as young as 4 months of age experience being in the water for the first time. With our toddlers and younger swimmers, the first few lessons may include some fussiness and tears, but it doesn’t take long before they are enjoying each 30-minute lesson they attend. It is at this early age that we begin the process of developing a strong foundation of love and respect for the water.

baby-learning-to-swim

Throughout your child’s time in swim class we are building on this foundation by working on breath control, letting your children feel and understand their own buoyancy and becoming more independent in the water. The foundations we build in our lower levels are essential for building strong confident swimmers as they get older. Think about learning to swim as a tree. We have to build a strong trunk that includes comfort, breath control, buoyancy, and balance. The branches are the individual movements like kicking, pulling, and breathing. From there we fill in the leaves. These include freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Don’t forget the fruit! This can be canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, and so on. With a strong trunk, the possibilities are endless!

The question we get most often is “how long is it going to take my kid to learn to swim?” This is a really great question. The short answer is “I don’t know.” Every child is different in so many beautiful ways. Some children pick up these foundation skills quickly and some take longer.

I do know that learning to swim does not come in a 2 week session. In that quick two weeks of class our instructors are working so hard to get your child, in some cases, just comfortable and confident around the pool. For others it is learning the foundations of proper swimming techniques like body positioning and floating. We work with your child individually with what they bring to us and how much we can get from them in class. This is just the beginning of a process with so much progress. Each skill we teach your kid takes time and lots of practice. Consistency is key. This is why we start our swimmers over 2 ½ in lessons that come everyday for two weeks. The consistent curriculum with a consistent teacher and consistent attendance is the best way for you to see progress in your swimmer.

float-test-hand-printIt’s not an easy road, we push your kids every day, in a fun loving and safe environment! We are working on so much! If your child started in parent/child classes or our Guppy class, the Float Test is their first big achievement! After the long awaited Float Test our kiddos are ready to move on to greater swim techniques! Seeing your babies grow as little swimmers and as kids keeps me coming to work everyday.

What else do I know? I know how your child is doing right now! I am trained to find your kids strengths and make them stronger, as well as understanding their fears and adapting my teaching methods to fit your child’s needs. We want to make sure you know how they are doing. Where the progress will be next month or even next week is up to them. To get the most out of swim class and being consistent with a schedule and understanding that this will take time whether it is your child’s first time or they are a natural swimmer.

Swim Lessons are a process not just an event. High School graduation is the event that comes from the long process of going to school. Being a water loving safe confident swimmer is the event that follows the process of year round swimming lessons.

Written by Matt Hicks, Instructor Supervisor at Houston Swim Club Cypress


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