A teacher’s perspective on the importance and benefits of one to one swimming lessons.
As a swimming teacher for more than a decade, I’ve taught thousands of babies, kids and teenagers and seen many situations, struggles and problems in the pool. In my experience, kids to learn to swim much faster, safer and better through one to one lessons.
While not everyone can afford it (and while you might think I’m biased for saying this!), the best way for kids to work through any issues (e.g. with technique, confidence, rehabilitation) is to have one to one lessons. This is because they are less distracted and get 100% attention to them. They also build relationships in a more mature way compared to group classes, which often become more about playing with other kids instead of focusing on the lesson.
One to one vs group classes
There’s nothing wrong with group classes: I actually think group lessons work well, and any type of swimming education is important and useful. But if you want your kids to learn in a more productive way, I would definitely spend a bit more for a one to one lesson – especially if they are scared of the water or if swimming doesn’t come naturally to them.
The main part, if not the best part, of teaching kids to swim is: fun! Learning through play is a major factor in the development of your child, and at the end of the day, seeing your kids having a good time is fun for you too! Most lessons go smoothly and full of laughter. Of course, there are always kids (maybe yours?) who are terrified of the water and fall into tears next to daddy or mummy as soon as they put a foot in the pool, but this is an opportunity – not an obstacle – to learn.
Building a relationship with kids in the water can be tricky, but it is interesting at the same time. The role of the swimming teacher is to gently lead kids to a point where they trust you, listen to your funny stories, follow your exercises, and ultimately set them up with the ability to swim well for life (it is a ‘life skill’ after all). Building water confidence is more an art than a science, a balance between fun, play and hard work.
Building trust and confidence
Over the years I’ve learnt so much from kids of all ages and abilities, and I am always of the opinion that ‘kids are our greatest teachers’. I especially admire their bravery when facing a difficult or new situation in the pool, and also their positivity and ability to not get hung up on certain setbacks: I’m sure you’ve seen a child crying and then, 2 minutes later, laughing, having totally forgotten what happened: right?
For me, the most rewarding part of my job is being able to motivate and build confidence in kids, both as swimmers and as people in general. It’s great to watch kids improve and take small steps over time: from blowing bubbles in the water, to doing a sea star for few seconds, to taking risks like jumping in and swimming from a short distance… And it’s cool to think that some of them may even have a future career as competitive swimmers!
In my career, I‘ve reached a point where I know exactly what to do, what to say, what to work on, and – importantly- the right moment to do and say it. Knowing when to either stop or push on, and boost kids’ confidence in the water, comes only through having taught literally thousands of kids!
The point of this blog post was to give you a teacher’s perspective on the importance and benefits of one to one swimming lessons for your children. I hope that, at the least, you consider the many reasons to choose one to one lessons, and at best, you book one in for your kids now! 🙂