5 Qualities to Look for in a Swim Instructor

swimmer

Are looking for a swim instructor for your children and don’t quite know where to begin your search? There are certain criteria that should be examined before your final decision as to which professional to use is made. A good swim instructor should possess the following qualities:

Training

A swim instructor should not only have expert knowledge in swimming but great interpersonal skills as well. Each student is different and a great teacher will be able to relate and adapt for each student’s level and personality. It’s a great sign if the instructor holds a lifeguard certification as well. You can rest easy that your child will be in a safe environment while learning to swim. Often, training within the company is a regular practice. This is wildly important as it ensures that there is a unified vision where everyone teaches the exact same approach.

Experience

Inquire as to how much experience this person possesses. The instructor should be able to tell you how many children have benefited from their lessons and how many different places they have worked. It is not necessarily a negative if the instructor has little experience. Sometimes that type of individual will have more enthusiasm and commitment to the job. You may have to monitor the lessons though to ensure that all bases are covered.

People Skills

A good instructor needs to know how to deal with students and parents alike. Their communications must be clear and articulate. Instructions should be delivered in the manner that the child can understand. An instructor can be very knowledgeable, but if he or she does not know how to effectively pass on that knowledge to the student, it may be best to keep on with your search. In mommy and me swim classes, an instructor would have to deal with both parents and children at the same time.

Reliability

The best instructors are reliable. They are available when they say they will be. They show up on time and sometimes even earlier. They work with your schedule to provide the best in services.

Specialization

Consider the reasons you want a swim instructor for your child. It may be to prepare him for a competition or teach him the basics of swimming. Whatever the case, it is important to look at what the instructor is best at and what age groups they are most experienced in dealing with. Some instructors truly enjoy teaching toddlers to swim, while others are most proficient at preparing tweens and teens for upcoming competitions.

As you can see, choosing a swim instructor or attending swimming classes does not have to be an incredible challenge. Just ensure that the preceding attributes are in place before making your first appointment. You want your child to benefit from the instruction and you want to have the peace of mind in knowing that you are getting what you are paying for.

At What Age are Children Ready For Swimming Lessons

father and son swimming

When summertime arrives and the temperature starts to rise, most families take a trip to the pool or beach to beat the heat. While water can be a great source of fun and relief from the heat, it can also be a source of danger for young children. Even with adult supervision, young child can quickly drown if they haven’t learned water safety and basic swimming skills. Every parent wants their child to be safe around water, but it can be difficult to decide the right time to enroll a child in swim lessons.

The age at which a child begins swim lessons will vary, but children should never be introduced to swimming before the age of 3-6 months. At 3-6 months old, babies will be able to participate in swimming lessons with their parents to become comfortable in the water. Pat Yonker from Into the Swim suggests that parents wait until they can make swim lessons and time in the water a regular, year-round part of their children’s lives before they start swim lessons. She warns that “no infant will retain what they have learned when starting at a young age without staying acclimated to the water regularly, year round.” Consistency is key, so wait until you can make swimming lessons a regular part of your family’s life before beginning.

Swimming lessons for infants and toddlers consist of teaching comfort while in the water and basic water survival. This means that your child will learn how to safely float on their back if they fall or jump into the water. The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its policy in 2010 to state that swimming lessons for children aged 1-4 decreased their risk of drowning. It is important to remember that while this experience around water is important for toddlers, it is not a substitute for parental supervision and proper pool fencing.

Once children are coordinated enough they can begin to learn actual swimming strokes. The age at which children begin to learn strokes will vary based on their individual development, but Pat Yonker begins teaching strokes to children as young as two years old. Once children become stable and strong in their strokes they can start to build speed and endurance if competitive swimming is their goal. Yonker warns parents against pushing their children to swim competitively before they are ready. There is no specific age at which children are ready to compete; they must master the basics at their own pace.

Into the Swim offers swim classes for all ages and abilities including Baby and Me classes, competitive swimming, and private and group lessons. They strive to provide a fun atmosphere for swimming classes and private lessons alike. Your instructor will work with you to set goals and achieve them during your time each week.