This is not an easy blog to write this month. The blog is a bit late because of the sensitivity surrounding this topic. Parents, we gotta talk about your behavior. I’m not talking about your kids. Your kids are great!
Here’s the fact: Swim-in Zone creates color levels to organize your child into the appropriate class based on his/her skills and their age. That’s it. That’s why we have all our pretty color levels. In no way does your child’s level reflect on your parenting ability.
Here’s the other truth, but we all know this one already: 2020 sucked! For many kids, they didn’t swim at all this past year. And those 2 weeks last spring totally didn’t count. So kids who come to Swim-in Zone just for Spring, haven’t actually swam since June 2019. And I’m not talking about swimming around your backyard pool in the summer. Those aren’t lessons. Kids are having fun and doggie paddling around–as they should! But they are not learning the proper techniques for side breathing, they aren’t learning how to add the arms and adjust timing to create a beautiful breaststroke, and they aren’t mastering butterfly by themselves. And that’s okay.
Here’s the other hard part: your child has probably regressed in swimming skills. But guess what, that’s okay too!
The statistic is that for every month out of the water, it takes the child 1 week to regain those skills. As I said before, many of these children haven’t actually swam in lessons since June 2019. Even if we are being generous, the last time they were in a pool could very easily have been August 2019–that’s a year and a half of not swimming. That’s 18 months and will therefore take about 18 weeks or all of Spring Session just to get to where they were before. Even if they were able to paddle around this summer, that’s still 7 months out of the pool and half of Spring session (7/15 weeks) just to get back to where they were.
Here’s what’s not okay. Arguing with an instructor about where your child should be placed. Just because your children were doing something with you all summer doesn’t mean they will do it with our instructors or they remember the skills they practiced a year ago. Some children need to rebuild those skills.
We talk about giving kids a break in school because they lost out on a whole year and we need to extend that same courtesy to sports as well. If your child had just learned how to shoot a lay up and then didn’t shoot another one for over a year later, he or she isn’t going to remember to do it properly the 1st time. It’s going to take time to review and sometimes relearn dribbling, shooting, jumping, where to hit the ball on the backboard, how to extend the arm. While parents will understand this about basketball, swimming takes on “less importance” because it’s just fun or it’s just for safety and they aren’t going to a swim team.
Let’s all agree that it’s been rough lately, and this Spring Session, we are all about fun and having a good time, with some life-saving skills thrown in. Parents, don’t ruin it for your children by focusing on a color or a level. Let your children have this time to be even more of a kid and get their crazies out, and let your instructor do the job that she has been professionally trained for. I promise you, if you can relax, you will enable your instructor to relax, and your child is going to learn a whole lot more 🙂