New Parent & Baby Swim Program – Training – Autumn 2015
The head of SwimWay’s Parent & Baby Swimming Program, Robyn Goudriaan recently held a training session with our instructors to continue introducing our new program to the instructors. The training was open to both our experienced parent and baby instructors and members of our team who primarily teach older children and were eager to learn more.
“I find teaching parent and babies swimming rewarding and each week with babies can be different. It is really satisfying teaching parents how to help their little ones. We are passing on a life skill. I hear so many stories from adults about their first times in the water being negative. Our aim is to make the babies happy and comfortable in water, introducing them to being in that environment, making sure they have positive experience in water.”
– Robyn Goudriaan, Head of Parent & Baby Programme
The training focused on the 5 phases of our new baby swimming program. Those 5 phases are:
- Conditioning & adjusting to the water environment
- Submersion & water confidence
- Turning & resurfacing
- Leg kick development, rotation & safety
- Independent swimming
Robyn says that “Motor skills, their power of concentration, intelligent social behaviour, social interaction, self-confidence and the ability to cope with unusual situations are all seen to improve in those who have swum at an early age and these children can be better adjusted than their peers. Swimming boosts their confidence and independence.”
Benefits of Baby Swimming Lessons
The benefits of teaching a child to swim early are that that its easier for them to adjust to the pool, a baby that’s been swimming from a young age won’t know the difference, won’t remember a time when they couldn’t swim, and will be comfortable in the water.
Safety is another thing taught in our parent and baby program, and “from a safety aspect if a child falls into the water and they have never had experience in water in could be a big concern. Were as a baby who is comfortable is less likely to panic and their risk of drowning is reduced.
What Will Children Learn From Baby Swimming Lessons?
The classes are progressive and we teach independent swimming at 2 and a half or 3 years, preparing them for the afternoon lessons where they will be getting into the water without parents, just the instructors.
We have a very structured program and we group according to age because a 2 year old is physically capable of doing more than a 6 month old. For instance a 2 year old will have the ability to kick even if it’s not strong yet; babies less than 9 months only generally have a reflex kick.
When teaching swimmers who start at 3 years without baby classes have you have to build up their self-confidence. Children that have gone through our baby programs have that ground work already and can often go straight into stage 1 or 2 of the children’s swimming program.
SwimWay classes teach everything that is necessary for a baby to be happy going into the water and learning to swim with front floating and back floating, learning to kick front and back diving in.
The program prepares children for the afternoon lessons heading into stage one. It gets them ready to learn actual strokes and gives them ground work. If they have done the baby program they will be more advanced when swimming on their own.
What Should Parents Know?
SwimWay Parent & Baby lessons are fun and enjoyable classes where you are learning skills. The lessons are child centred, and progress at the pace of the child but focused toward independent swimming.