Why Does Side Balance Matter?

In our swimming lessons, we focus on a lot of fundamental skills that we’ll build upon throughout the course of your kids’ swimming classes. One of these is what we call the side balance. Learn more about this important technique and how you can help your little swimmer master it. 

Why It’s Important  

The side balance is a crucial skill for building rotation that is fundamental in the freestyle and backstroke. This technique: 

  • Sets the swimmer up for effective breathing 
  • Helps your swimmer rotate their body, which will ultimately propel the freestyle and backstroke (and save their energy) 
  • Develops balance, breath control and a stable head position in your child 

How We Teach It  

Here’s the progression of how we help your swimmer develop this skill: 

  1. Your child will learn to master horizontal rollovers using nose bubbles 
  1. We move to balancing on the side while kicking 
  1. Next, we progress to a side balance while kicking and breathing 
  1. Finally, the child demonstrates side balance with a stable head and controlled breathing while rotating from one side to the other 

The main things we are looking for are proper alignment of the head, shoulder, and hip, before the child takes a breath, as well as during the breath. 

What You Can Do to Help 

If you’d like to know how to help your kiddo become a master swimmer, we love giving tips for you to practice at home. Here’s an exercise you can do with your child to help them get the hang of the side balance: 

  1. Have them lie on their side and make sure they line up their head, shoulder, and hips. They should extend their front arm in line with their body, with the palm down. Ask them to practice the breathing by rotating their head right and left, as if to say “no”. The top of the head should point directly at the wall the lead arm is pointed toward. 
  1. Do you have a full-length mirror? Practice the above alignment exercise standing in front of a mirror while pretending the mirror is the bottom of the pool. 

As you support your child on their swimming journey, you’ll see them master foundational skills like the side balance while improving and building other skills too. Keep encouraging your child to work on this skill, and help them at home, and they’ll continue to flourish. And as always, contact us if you’d like to learn more about our kids’ swimming classes.

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July 1, 2018 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

4 Tips to Encourage Your Resistant Swimmer

Swim lessons are a special gift that a parent can give to their child. They help kids gain valuable skills that last a lifetime, learn to be safe around water and increase their physical and mental health. Of course you’ll be excited to start this journey with your little one and to see them thriving in the pool, but what happens when your budding swimmer is not so keen on the idea themselves?

Resistance to swim lessons (or any new activity) is completely normal for young kids. And we understand that trying to figure out how to teach a toddler to swim when they are resistant can be overwhelming, but we have 4 tips for you to try.

1. Use your Words

It might seem obvious, but think about whether you use encouraging words to talk to your child about swimming. We’ve learned that teaching a toddler to swim often looks different for every single kid who comes through our doors, but many times, all a child wants is support from their parents. Explain to them, in an age-appropriate way, why learning to swim is important and how proud you are of them for trying something new. Tell them you will be there for them every step of the way, and you truly believe they will be an awesome swimmer!

2. Make it Fun

Tell them about all the games and songs they’ll learn in class, or show them a video LTS CEC-0510.jpgof kids playing in a pool. If your little one always wants to splash in the bathtub (but isn’t allowed to), let them know they can splash to their heart’s content in swim class. Or if your child loves a certain sea creature, make up a story about how they can become that animal when they’re in swim class. A lot of fun (and a little pretending) can go a long way in getting kids excited about swimming.

3. Reinforce Regularly

When you come to class with your child, pay special attention to the songs that are sung and any games that are played. When you’re at home, you can ask your child if they’d like to “play swim class” during their bath, and then use these same songs and games (as much as possible) in the comfort of your home. Repetition at home can help them feel more at ease in class. It also helps to strengthen the skills that they’re learning in their lessons, so it’s a real win-win for everyone!

4. Take a Breath

Dealing with, and calming, a resistant baby or toddler before swim class can sometimes be a stressful experience. Using the tips above should help lessen the countdown to the inevitable meltdown but sometimes, it’s not enough. In this case, don’t force the child to do anything they are uncomfortable with until they have calmed down and are prepared to learn. And always remember – you want the best for your child, and you’re doing the best you can! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and remember, you’re surrounded by parents who have all been there at some point and can definitely empathize.

If you’re intent on learning how to teach your child to swim, we promise you will get through any rough patches of resistance. Focus on what you do best – being your child’s number one support – and you will get through it together. Contact us if you have any questions or if you’d like to learn more about our swim programs!

February 1, 2018 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Can Floaties Be Dangerous?

Floaties have been worn for safety by kiddos at the beach and at the pool for generations. Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that floaties aren’t as reliable as they think.

Many swimming instructors agree, floaties are a danger for several different reasons. One being that the armbands make children used to being vertical in the water. This is one of the obstacles to learning how to swim. Armbands can also slip off unexpectedly, leading the child to be discouraged, or injured at worst.

Another drawback to floaties is that they promote a false sense of security. Children can LTS 2016 Schertz-5510often be seen leaping into water, relying entirely on the floaties to help bob them back up to the surface. The child learns to rely on the armbands to come back up rather than learning to use their own buoyancy to rise to the surface. In addition, floaties encourage children to learn improper swimming techniques; this can set your child back in their development in becoming a strong swimmer.

Parents do have some helpful alternatives to keep the little ones safe in the long-run. Swimming lessons are a key to a child’s safety around water. Most swim schools offer classes from infant swimming up to classes for any age group. These lessons not only teach swimming but can boost confidence and a healthy lifestyle in the long-term. Teaching your child the proper way to swim, and leaving the floaties at home, will give you peace of mind knowing your child has the tools to become a safer swimmer.

For more information about the benefits of children’s swimming lessons, don’t hesitate to contact us.

January 2, 2018 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Why Winter is a Great Time to Start Swimming

Swimming lessons are a great way to ensure the safety of our children, but have you considered swimming year-round? Enrolling in continuous swimming lessons is a great way to keep your children active throughout the entire year, including winter. Children only burn half as many calories during winter as they do during warmer seasons, so keeping kids active can help them avoid storing energy or becoming restless.

Parents may think because their children aren’t around large bodies of water during the winter months, they don’t need swimming lessons. However, there are many additional benefits children gain from taking lessons year-round. Swimming safety is just icing on the cake.

Additional things to consider:

  • Swimming provides a workout for your child’s entire body and mind all at onceLTS CEC-8694
  • It strengthens coordination and posture
  • Swimming lessons aid your child with emotional, intellectual, and social development; just as academic school does
  • It prepares them for water safety in time for the upcoming pool season
  • Swimming is fun! Having fun creates endorphins, adrenaline, and dopamine to be released which makes us feel great

Though swimming isn’t always top of mind during the winter months, swimming lessons in the winter will aid your child’s readiness for fun in the sun when warmer weather comes around. You’ll have peace of mind about your child’s swimming safety and your child will have more confidence and comfort in the water.

If you would like more information about swimming year-round, please contact us.

 

 

December 2, 2017 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

What to Expect on Your First Day of Swimming Lessons

If your first class at Love to Swim School is quickly approaching, you might have a lot questions and thinking about the “what if’s” of your child’s first day of swimming lessons.

This is completely normal! Most parents experience some level of uncertainty. We are here for you every step of the way. Together, we teach your child how to swim safely and comfortably. Here’s an overview of what both of you can expect on the first day.

Plan for Success

When you bring your child to swimming lessons for the first time, it can be a little overwhelming for both of you. New people, new surroundings, and new challenges can all contribute to these jitters. This is why it’s really important to remember the small details that can make your child feel comforted and secure. It’s a good idea to arrive about 10 minutes early for your first class so you aren’t rushing around and have time to get pool-ready. This means a swimsuit for your child, and if you are in a Splash Class or Baby and Me Class, don’t forget a swimsuit for you too. If your little one is under 4, regardless of level of potty training, they must wear two reusable, cloth, snug fitting swim diapers.

Bring a towel that your child is familiar with to dry them off after class is over. Also, pack your bag with a change of dry clothes for each of you after class ends. These familiar items from home can help soothe your baby or toddler, and make them feel more comfortable about being in a new setting.

The Power of Healthy Snacks

You’ve probably heard the longstanding advice that swimming on a full stomach isn’t a good idea. And while it’s true that you don’t want your child to eat a full meal directly before coming to class, they don’t have to avoid food altogether. If your baby is still only having liquids, you can feel free to top them off with a little milk a half hour or so before class. If your kiddo is older, try bringing a small, light snack, like an apple or string cheese thT they can eat 15 to 30 minutes before heading to the pool.

This will give them the energy boost they need to be a happy swimmer. Also make sure you have water and a healthy snack or two on hand to enjoy directly after they’re done with their lesson. If you forget a snack, don’t worry! We have healthy foods for sale in our Treasure Chest store.

Supporting Your Child

You may be wondering how to support your child if they struggle in class. Some kiddos may be scared of putting their heads underwater or of being in the pool without their parent for the first time (if they’re 3 or older). Try to understand their fears and always remain encouraging. Also, try to stay consistent with lessons, despite the occasional protests you might face, and you should see a positive change in attitude quickly! A little understanding and positive reinforcement goes a long way!

If you’ve been searching online for “swimming lessons near me,” we’re really glad you found us. We’d like to welcome you and your children, and look forward to seeing you at Love to Swim School for your first day of classes. Most importantly, we are here to teach your child water safety and ensure their comfort and confidence in the water. If you have any questions about our school or about your first class, please contact us anytime.

November 4, 2017 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Summer Only Swimming is an Outdated Myth

We know that Summer is almost over, and swimming may be the last thing on your mind. But for parents with young children, now is the time for Kindergarten preparation. Swimming is the best, most worthwhile activity for children under 5. There is no other sport or activity that your child needs more than strong swimming skills before starting school. Here is why:

  • Better in the pool, better at school – Did you know the skills they learn in swim class go hand-in-hand with school? There is so much more to swim school thandarling black girl with ring just a lesson. Swimming teaches your kiddo listening skills, perseverance, and how to achieve goals.
  • Knowing how to swim well comes with special intel Swimmers understand the physics of water and how they operate in it, lowering their drowning risk exponentially.
  • Swimming is the only sport that can save their life – Learning to swim is a necessary life skill that can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. Being able to swim well comes with lifesaving skills that can prevent unnecessary tragedies.
  • Working on swim skills now means peace of mind for next summer – Confident swim skills means more fun for the whole family!

Learning to swim is not easy and can’t be done in a few short weeks during the summer.  The ability to truly swim takes time, practice and commitment.  Your kiddos should swim year- round in an environment that encourages learning, laughter and development to keep their skills sharp.

October 1, 2017 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

The School Day is Done, So Let’s Have Some Fun!

We know life gets busier when the school year begins, but that doesn’t mean swim lessons have to stop.  Learning to swim is homework your kiddo will love!  The ability to swim properly is a skill that can save your child’s life.  Keeping your child enrolled in year-round swim lessons allows them to maintain and build upon the skills necessary to prevent drowning, and provides a number of other benefits that help them in the classroom.

Swimming allows kiddos to exercise their minds and bodies in a different environment.  Did you know the skills they learn in swim class go hand-in-hand with school?

Discipline – students learn to wait their turn, listen to the coach and apply that coaching in order to improve performance and achieve goals.

Confidence – children gain confidence by learning new skills, persevering through challenges, setting and accomplishing goals.

Endurance –  kiddos develop a love for physical activity, which creates healthy habits.

Lifelong Skills – the ability to swim keeps your children safer in the water and opens doors in the future.

Learning to swim is not easy and can’t be done in a few short weeks during the summer.  The ability to truly swim takes time, practice and commitment.  Your kiddos should swim year- round in an environment that encourages learning, laughter and development to keep their skills sharp.

September 1, 2017 at 12:58 am Leave a comment

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