Is My Child Ready For Summer Swim Team?

I know that it seems a little too early to be thinking about getting ready for swim team, I mean it’s winter, it’s cold and 6am practices, polyester swim suits and the perfect pair of goggles aren’t exactly at the top of your list. However Summer will be here sooner than you think and now is the perfect time to figure out if this year is the right time for your child to start swim team.

Every child is different, some are born water babies and ready to dive right in, some are a little more cautious when taking that first plunge. What happens after that though? After all the tears, the laughs, the toys and the basics, what is the next step?

The first thing to do when thinking about whether your child should join swim team is to take in to account how they feel about it. Do they like it? When you tell them that it is time for swim lessons, do their eyes get wide with excitement and their dimples appear from grinning ear to ear? Or do they start to get anxious, cranky or maybe even cry? Depending on how you answered those questions will give you a pretty quick answer on whether you should even consider having them join swim team this year.

If they really enjoy it, great the next step would be considering their age. The local summer leagues start with the 6&Under group and end with the 18&U group. However the average starting age is probably 5- 6 years old. This in no way means that a younger student couldn’t join, but there would be a requirement/ swim test for them to pass.

*The swim test would look something like this*

-Swim 25 yards of freestyle without assistance

-Swim 25 yards of back stroke without assistance

-Must be water safe

The technique needed will vary depending on the team your child is trying out for as well as the coaches preference.

You should also take into account that the older your child is the more requirements they have for them before they join. Which means in some cases your child would be expected to already know how to swim all four strokes as well as dives and turns.

Which brings us to the next step in deciding if now is the right time, ask your child’s swim instructor what they think, is your child ready? What they need to work on? Tell them that your child is interested in joining swim team so that they can gear the swim lessons towards meeting that goal. This also makes it possible for you to get timely updates on whether they think your child is ready.

Finally check out the local summer leagues and find ways to contact the coaches. The sooner the better, because spots on the local teams do fill up pretty quickly. Once you are able to reach them, find out the days and times for try outs, what they will require your child to do based on their age and anything else you may want to know.

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Why Does Our Method of Teaching Work?

Here at Patti’s Swim School we pride ourselves on finding the right teaching method that works for you and yours.  We know that everyone has their own way of learning, so why teach only one way and exclude 75-80% of our would be customers?  You would think every swim school would come to this conclusion and although some of them have, a lot of them just don’t have the ability to do so.  This is because most are crowded and squeezing 4-14 students into one class.

That is why we at Patti’s allow no more than 3 students in one class and we get to know them as individuals, not just numbers.  This helps us to be the best swim instructors we can be for all of them.  If your child is better at being shown than told, that’s great!  All of our swim instructors are great swimmers themselves and have the ability to model every aspect of the stroke they are asking their students to perform.

Your child needs a hands on approach? That works for us as well, all of our instructors have either been teaching for many years (some as long as 12) or have been trained by Patti herself.  This means they know the best way to help guide your child into the correct position for each and every stroke as well as turns and dives.

Maybe your child responds a little better to a stricter instructor or maybe they shut down when someone gets a little stern and that is ok.  Our instructors know how to get the best out of their swimmers whether it means giving tough love or gently guiding them at their own pace.

This is what is so great about the teaching method used at Patti’s Swim School.  No matter the style that works best for your child, you will find the right instructor here!

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How Can I Make Myself Float?

Do you ever see two different people in the water and notice that one of them can stay up without having to do anything and the other has to constantly use their arms and legs in an exhausting manner to barely stay afloat?  There are numerous reasons as to why this may be happening but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible for some people to swim.

Here are some reasons as to why people sink and some different tips to help them stay afloat.

1. Some people have more muscle, especially (bulky) tends to sink more so than others.  This doesn’t mean that people with muscle can’t swim it just means they have to work a little bit harder than others.  One way to stay on top if you have a lot of muscle is to use your legs more than your upper body.   Legs tend to be stronger than arms and will make you less tired, therefore kicking harder and faster will keep you on top without getting too exhausted.

2.People who sink more often than not tend to tense up, this tensing causes the body to panic and leads to more sinking.  Therefore the best thing to do is relinquish control (yes this hard to do for everyone ) but the water will do a lot of the work for you if you let it.  This also has to do with confidence and comfort, the more confident you are the more relaxed your body gets, which again will help you float.

3.If you are one of the people who sinks more so than floats, ask your swim instructor how to tread water.  Worried that you will just go under?  There are different ways of kicking and head positions which will make it easier for you to stay up without too much work.  Treading can also be used not only in the pool but also in lakes and oceans as a survival skill.  This will help a person not panic in different scenarios.

4.  There are also some people who can float on their stomach but once they are on their back they start to sink slowly.  If this is the case for you, here are some tips to help you stay on top:  Place your chin up toward the sky far enough so the back of your head stays in the water, push your chest and stomach towards the sky which will cause you to stay up.  If however the upper part of your body is floating but your legs are starting to drop go ahead and walk your legs up to the service and relax.

If you have any other questions, comments, concerns just give us a call at Patti’s Swim School or write a comment on this blog.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of the friends and families of Patti’s Swim School.  We are so excited to see what this year has in store for all of us and can’t wait to see everyone back in the water.

As a reminder if you sign up for both our Winter and Spring I sessions at the same time you will be entered into our Raffle for a chance to win Spring II, completely free!

Tomorrow, January 2nd is the first day for our Winter 2017 session.  We still have a few spots available so go ahead, give us a call and sign up!

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How to Get Your Child Ready for Their First Lesson!

Everyone knows that anything new can be exciting but sometimes nerve-racking to young children and swim lessons are no exception.  So as a parent what can you do to help get your child ready for this new experience?  Here are some tips to help you through this sometimes stressful process.

1. Start getting your kids in and around the water from a young age, whether it is getting them in the pool with you or taking baths together.

2. When in the bath or the pool with your child gently start pouring water on their limbs, back of their head, ears and then finally the top of their head.  This will help to start getting them ready to get water near their face during swim lessons.

3.  Once you have decided to get your child started in swim lessons start talking to them at home about how exciting and fun it will.  If your child sees that you think swimming is fun they are more likely to feel the same.

4. If you personally don’t know how to swim or are uncomfortable in the deep end, signing up for lessons yourself will help encourage your child too.  Children mimic their parents and if they see you learning they will want to learn as well.

5. Now this tip is going to be the hardest because no parent wants to see their children nervous or in tears.  On the day of their first lesson walk into it calm and collected, kids can tell if their parents are nervous and tend to feed off that.  Once you have gotten them in the pool area hand them to the instructor and go sit down, if however your child is crying, tell them “it is ok,” and step outside.  Yes your child may be upset at first but after a few minutes of getting to know the instructor and realizing there is nothing to be afraid of, they will calm down and be ready to learn.

5 Helpful Tips on How to Stay Warm During Winter Months Swim Lessons!

We all know that when it is cold outside people tend to want to stay indoors and not worry about swim lessons, but children learn by muscle memory and repetition.  Those few months out of the water can set your child’s swimming skills back as well as make it harder to get started up again.

Here are some helpful tips on how to make sure your child stays warm during the winter months while taking swim lessons.

1.Swim caps, they keep your childs hair dry.  Heat generally rises, the swim cap will help make it less likely for heat to escape during the lesson itself as well as keeping the hair dry for afterwords.

2.Bringing 2 dry towels for after swim class, one for the body and one to wrap up the hair if a swim cap wasn’t used.

3.A beanie/ gloves for wet heads and cold hands after swim class.

4.Parkas- Thick, long warm jackets with fleece on the inside to wrap your child up in.  This is a great alternative if you want to get home quickly and don’t have time for your child to rinse off and change.

5. Bring a warm pair of clothes for your child to change into quickly after they have rinsed off in warm water and dried.

Just because it’s cold outside does not mean that your child has to stop swimming.  The 5 helpful tips listed above will make swimming during the winter months much more enjoyable.

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