So you are watching your little one at swim class, week after week, and it looks like she’s doing the same thing without really learning anything. You may be getting a tad frustrated and rethinking this whole swimming lessons thing, since she’s not making progress. Let’s set the record straight: She’s learning the building blocks of swimming and increasing her strength, skill and stamina, little by little.
If you have kids, you know they tend to do the same things over and over again — especially when learning. First it’s drawing a straight line repeatedly; then a curved line; and then — magically — they’re writing definite letters. But actually, there’s nothing magical about it. They worked hard at mastering the little skills that all need to melt into place to write letters; things like holding a pencil and focusing on the task at hand. The exact same concept is seen when a kid is learning how to swim (or any other skill)!
I mean, you wouldn’t expect your kids to be writing full sentences on the second or third week of preschool, right? It takes a lot of work to master a new skill, whether it is writing, swimming or tying a shoelace.
Practice, practice, practice
When your little goldfish first starts swim lessons, you may be giddy over how quickly she becomes adept at acquiring new skills — such as putting her head in the water or kicking her feet (some of the 5 Skills Every Kid Should Know in the Water). But then it seems like she’s hit a plateau and she’s not making any progress, when in fact she really is.
Take it from Chris McCuiston, co-founder and CEO of Goldfish Swim School. Practicing the same skill over and over is key. “Doing the same movements each week, even though they may not display immense progress, is like tying a shoe – where one day it will click and they’ll be off!”
Why repetition is crucial
It’s common for infants to grow in leaps and bounds in their swim skills, but then appear to peter out around 3 or 4 years old (or even 5 or 6). However, that’s not really the case — they’re just being introduced to skills that are much more difficult and they’re working harder to attain them.
For instance, your preschooler may now be working on breath control. While it may look like she’s doing the exact same thing every week, she’s really making slight improvements and strengthening her core swimming fundamentals — which will help her greatly in the long run. You only see her gliding in the water, but last week she was gliding a length of three feet, while this week she’s gliding four feet…and next week she’ll be working on gliding along five feet. Celebrate those extraordinary results!
But there’s something even more important at play when it comes to repetition in swimming lessons, something that you may not be able to see: Confidence. Your little one is gaining confidence — in her abilities, in her instructor and in knowing what’s coming next. That’s WOW customer service at play: keeping your kids confident and continuing to grow!
Year-round swimming is important
Kids shouldn’t take a break from swim lessons in winter (or summer). Why? Because you want them to retain that confidence and continually build upon those skills they’re learning every week. The repetitiveness helps it become second nature — plus it’s important for muscle memory and all the physical aspects involved developmentally.
In addition, the Goldfish Swim School instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to make sure your kids are doing the right swim strokes every single time. They’re right there in the pool with your kids, refining those skills and giving those swimmers the most during that half-hour of physical activity. (Read about the Top 7 Benefits of Year-Round Swimming, Scientifically Speaking)
Sign up for lessons at Goldfish Swim School
Goldfish Swim School has plenty of locations, so find one near you and sign up your little one (age 4 months old and older!) for the golden experience of learning how to swim. Investing in a weekly 30-minute class is well worth it, all year long!