Helping Your Student Improve from Home
As much as we wish this wasn’t so, a student’s skills need to be maintained through practice beyond lessons at our pool. Parents can help assist in their students’ progress by working with their students between lessons and can help them maintain their skills after they have completed their lessons for the summer. Here are some methods that can be used to facilitate that:
For younger students and students who are working to get comfortable with having their face in the water, you can easily sit them in a bath tub and practice with them. Often this smaller body of water is much less intimidating than our larger swimming pool and by utilizing this we can help them see that getting your face wet in a bathtub is really no different from getting their face wet in the swimming pool.
Talk to them about what they are doing in their lessons. We work to explain the “why” behind what we are going as much as is possible for a student’s age and understanding. Talk to them about roll overs, ask why they roll over, how to do it. Or ask about jumping off the waterfall. This will help the student solidify their understanding and promote them thinking about their swimming skills not only when they are at lessons.
Go to the pool. We dedicate the last 5 minutes of our lessons to play where we show them how to apply what they are learning in their lesson to how they would use it when they are attending the pool for fun. Watch how we indicate to them to swim to safety. Work with them when you go to the pool to continue swimming in the same way we do while at lessons. This will further bridge the skills that we are teaching them from lessons to their normal lives.
Practice kicks while sitting down. Okay, we know this can get dangerous! Work with them to kick in the air (not their siblings!) and perfect their technique. We need them to keep their legs straight, but with knees loose. We need to eliminate the “running” kick that is comprised of bent knees that are pulled toward their abdomen.
Students will progress by just coming to lessons, but working with them beyond those 25 minute practice periods can really help you get the best result from your investment in swim lessons.