Swimming is unlike any other activity your child will learn – it can save their life. Australians are surrounded by water and have a particular love for water activities. Given that, your child’s participation in swimming lessons will always be an advantage.
Australia is a leader in the world of swimming whether it’s through our participation at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games or our development of great ‘Learn to Swim’ programmes, through organisations such as Swim Australia, ASCTA (Australian Swim Coaches & Teachers Association) and Austswim.
Swim Australia & ASCTA provide workshops and conferences throughout the year for teachers, creating valuable connections between swim schools throughout Australia. They also provide support throughout the industry as well as access to the latest techniques in teaching which have been developed by leaders with decades of experience in swim coaching.
A few pointers to look out for in choosing a good swim school are:
- All swim schools must be registered with Swim Australia or Austswim
- A clean & friendly environment
- Enthusiastic, caring teachers
- Small classes are best with children being kept active throughout the whole lesson
A swim school’s greatest asset are skilled, enthusiastic, teachers who encourage children to get out of their comfort zone, without causing distress but through creating inner confidence in the child. This will turn tears into smiles, fear into joy, hesitation into confidence and a love for swimming will follow quite naturally.
It is advisable never to force children who are scared and visibly upset to partake in any activity they find distressing; it is important for children to feel safe in their lessons. Occasionally, where children starting lessons are very reluctant to even enter the water, it’s best to wait for the child to take the initiative in joining the lesson. This may take up to 8 lessons of just playing by the side of the pool, but when they start to participate, they will feel relaxed and be more productive in their lesson. The trust will have then been developed between your child and their teacher and the many challenges of learning how to swim to begin.
Persevere with lessons, even when they seem to be going nowhere or your child is not responding as expected. Trust takes time to develop but once it there your child will start to enjoy and look forward to the lessons. Patience and understanding is key at this time. Each child will learn at a different pace but one commonality is that having fun learning to swim will achieve the best results for you and your child.
See you in the pool, Sasha