Disclaimer: The swimming lessons discussed below were received on a gifted basis. All opinions are my own.
Swimming Lessons and Parenting
As a parent, I always want to try and teach my child as much as possible. Swimming lessons are something I’ve personally tried to do for years now and just never succeeded. It’s not that Bruce doesn’t like the water, quite the opposite. He loves it! I think it’s that when he says (as most kids do), “don’t let go Mummy”, I quite literally won’t. The result, we’re still working on Mummy becoming a half decent swimming instructor 8 years down the line.
That’s were Swim! came in to save the day! They provide fun but structured swimming lessons that children attend on a weekly basis. Children move up through levels 1 to 8, receive Swim! awards and are part of small classes of up to 6 children. The Swim! centre in Oldham is where we attend and Bruce has already completed his intro and 1st lesson.
The Intro Session
Bruce is generally quite shy, not quiet though, don’t mistake the two! Due to this, I fully expected him to cling to my leg like a koala bear as soon as we arrived but that just wasn’t the case. The staff who greeted us where so warm and inviting that it instantly put him at ease. Now though came the next task, meeting the instructor. Well, you’d think Bruce had known him for years with the way he was chatting with him! After a very swift “bye” from my newly confident child, I made my way to the viewing area.
At Swim! parents and carers can watch the lessons from two different viewing rooms. The one where I was is a really big room with plenty of open space and seating. From where I was sat, I could see Bruce was in the pool already and one thing that remained throughout the next half an hour was his smile.
The first session at Swim! was an intro. This is free for all children and enables the swimming instructor to assess which swim group the child will be in. Bruce was placed in swim group 2 and as he had really taken to the instructor, we booked all of our next lessons with him.
The First Swimming Lesson
Bruce couldn’t wait to get back to Swim! As a result of this, I endured the question of, “is it nearly time to go?”, approximately 475 times before we set off that day.
When we arrived, he quite literally skipped from the car, all the way to reception. We picked up our arm disks and headed to the changing rooms. Here, Bruce got ready faster than Clark Kent transitioning to Superman (I think he was a bit excited).
I took my seat from the viewing area and watched as he swam around the pool. Throughout the lesson, his instructor gradually removed a different floatation device. First those huge floating tubes and secondly the arm disks (one by one). As a result, for the first time Bruce found the confidence to try to swim unaided. This was a huge step from “Mummy don’t let me go”. It was more of a “I can do this!”
He managed a few strokes and then stopped. However, not because he gave up but because he kept pushing himself off the floor with his feet to try again. The instructor encouraged him throughout. He was able to clearly explain how Bruce should move in the water (much better than I explained it I might add) and Bruce was fully engaged.
As the end of the lesson neared, I knew he’d had a great time (that huge smile was still there). He’d gained so much more confidence in the water in such a short space of time.
Our journey home consisted of eating a huge amount of grapes to re-fuel and Bruce telling me all about his time spent in the pool.
I would highly recommend Swim! After the intro session, we were under no obligation to return for lessons. With Bruce being such a shy child, I honestly wasn’t sure how he’d feel. However, he loved it and I could clearly see the water confidence that was being built already.
If you’d like to book a free intro session too, simply click here to register and book the first session.
We’ll be keeping you updated of our swim journey over the next few months. Keep an eye out on the blog for the next installment.