Questions You Should Ask Your Swim Instructor

Swim lessons should be fun and enjoyable, yet you also want to have an instructor that focuses on safety and knows how to help you reach your fullest potential. Parents also want to know that their child’s first introduction to swimming is conducted in a way that allows them to develop a lifelong love for spending time in the water. As you begin your search for the right swim program, use these questions to help you identify the ideal coach to fit your preferences.

What Kind of Training and Experience Do You Have?

A quality swim class in NJ has standards in place that outlines the certifications and training that an instructor must have before they can teach classes. You should look for an instructor that is certified in First Aid and CPR. A professional swim instructor may also have a background in competitive swimming along with experience in trusted organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the YMCA.

What Age Groups Do You Normally Train?

Swim instructors are usually qualified to teach water safety to people of all ages. However, if your child is very young, you may prefer an instructor that is used to working with children. Knowing that the swim instructor knows how to use child-friendly strategies to encourage your child’s comfort in the water will help you feel more confident when you take your child to their class.

What Is Your Coaching Philosophy?

Swim instructors should keep lessons positive and provide gentle encouragement that pushes your children to continue to strive toward improving their skills. However, you may want to look for an instructor that fits your child’s learning style. For example, if your child is aiming to swim competitively, you may prefer an instructor that is highly motivating. Alternatively, if your child is a hesitant swimmer, you should look for a coach that works at a student’s own pace.

What Skills Are Taught First to Beginners?

Although you might be excited to start swimming like a true athlete, effective swim coaches know that safety must always come first. New swimmers should be taught safety skills such as how to float on their back and call for rescue before they are shown how to perform a dive off of the diving board. This is especially true for children who may not be able to swim at all. Once your child knows the basics such as how to hold their breath under water, they’ll be more confident as they learn other swimming skills.

Do You Offer Private Swimming Lessons?

Private swimming lessons give you or your child an opportunity to work one on one with a coach. Since these lessons are tailored to fit the individual swimmer’s needs, it is possible to make greater progress in a shorter amount of time. While you may still enjoy taking group lessons, you should also have the option of taking private lessons as they are needed to refine your skills.

Swim instructors love what they do, and they take on this role out of the desire to help others learn to love swimming just as much as they do. By knowing how to assess a prospective instructor’s ability to fit you or your child’s needs, you can look forward to having the proper guidance to develop the necessary swimming skills for success and fun in the water.

Here’s How to Practice Swimming Outside of the Water

Practice truly does help you learn how to swim better and faster. Yet, parents often wonder how they can support their child’s swimming progress even if they do not have a pool at home. Now that your child is in swimming lessons, use these tips to practice their skills outside of the pool so that they will be ready to shine at their next swim session.

Blow Bubbles in the Bathtub

Bath time is the perfect opportunity to practice swimming skills since your child feels comfortable in the shallow water. Try having them put their face in the water to blow bubbles. Once they are comfortable with getting their face wet, encourage them to submerge their entire head. Learning to blow bubbles in the water is one of the vital skills that your child needs to progress through to the next swimming level.

Move On to Rotational Breathing

Once your child masters holding their breath under water, they will begin to work with their professional NJ swim instructor to teach rotational breathing. At home, you can continue to practice this skill with your child in the bathtub. Simply have your child put their head in the water and hold their breath until you tap their head. This signals when they should bring their head out to catch a breath before going back under. Practice this skill often until your child becomes more confident with holding their breath underwater.

Perform Arm Rotations in the Air

Many of the basic swimming strokes can be practiced outside of the water. During your child’s swim classes, observe the way that the instructor shows your child how to move their arms during each stroke. Then, have your child practice these arm motions while they are sitting or standing at home. Make sure to encourage your child to fully complete each arm rotation as if they were actually swimming. This helps to improve their coordination on more difficult swim strokes.

Practice Kicking on the Floor

Young children often struggle with keeping their legs straight during flutter kicks. Your child can practice this skill while laying on the floor. Spend time helping them to practice making small, swift movements with their legs during the kicking sessions. If they are small enough, you can also take these lessons into the bathtub so that your child learns how to move through the resistance created by the water.

Watch Swimming Videos

Observation is an essential part of learning how to improve your child’s swimming skills. During your free time, watch videos of professional swimmers with your child. Make sure to use the appropriate names for each stroke, and discuss what you see the swimmers doing well together. Over time, you will notice that your child begins to pick up the vocabulary used in competitive swimming, which increases their ability to understand what their swimming coach tells them to do during their lessons.

Learning to swim takes time, but you can increase the speed at which your child acquires new skills by supporting their learning at home to practice outside of their swimming classes in NJ. By knowing how to practice water skills outside of the pool, your child will begin to emerge as an accomplished swimmer who is comfortable in the water.