This fall, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) is exploring the “Circle of Water Safety” and focusing on the importance of year-round swim lessons. Water safety is a combination of the knowledge and the physical ability that is needed to keep yourself and others safe in and around the water. Taking time to strengthen skills and build comfort through consistent swim lessons are the most important steps for children to become safe swimmers. Let’s start the water safety discussion by looking at time.
When Indiana weather gets warmer and warmer, families begin spending time at the pool, lake and beach. Kids are exposed to water more frequently in the summer months, which leads to swim lessons and swim teams being packed with swimmers of all ages. Lots of kids learning to swim is a great thing! But while enrolling kids in summer swim lessons is an excellent way to further their progression, a few months of lessons is rarely enough time for a child to become a strong, confident swimmer. For beginner or young swimmers, the process of learning how to swim confidently without assistance can take up to one or two years.
One or two years does not mean one or two summers of swim lessons, but rather one or two years of uninterrupted year-round lessons. You may be thinking that two years seems like an incredibly long time to learn to swim. However, for young or beginner participants, time in the water is exactly what they need most, and may even be the only way they will learn.
Sometimes parents may feel discouraged if they don’t see immediate progress or if their child isn’t swimming on their own after a few months. The process takes a while and it is important that the child is allowed to take the necessary time to develop this lifelong skill. Remember that even if the progression seems slow-going, they are little by little getting stronger and more comfortable. Be patient and trust in the process and the results will come!
The timeline for swim lessons should be as uninterrupted as possible as this can be the difference between a child learning to swim in six months or three years. Stay tuned for next month’s blog in which we will discuss how interrupting the timeline of a child’s swimming progression can drastically affect how quickly they build and maintain their skills.