A guide on getting back in to swimming lessons after the holidays
With school starting back for Term 1, many children will also be jumping back in to swimming lessons after enjoying a big break. If your child has had a holiday from their regular lessons there’s a chance that their swimming level, skill or confidence may have stagnated or regressed, but this is nothing to worry about! There are a few things you can do to help ensure your child gets back in the water with a grin.
The first thing to note is that change can be tricky. Whether you’re five or 50, something different can evoke feelings of unease. That’s why getting back in the water after a break or a new teacher can sometimes make children a little apprehensive. Remember that these feelings are normal and it may just take a lesson or two to feel comfortable again. To help ensure returning to lessons is fun and exciting, we’ve created our back-to-swimming guide!
Accept that there may be regression
Try not to worry if your child struggles with skills they had mastered before the holidays. Be patient, they will be back to pre-holiday level quickly. With a new school term, new classmates and a new teacher, children have a lot to adapt to! This can impact their ability to recall and perform skills learned before the break.
Learning to swim is a complex motor movement taught by repetition, and a break from practice often means skill can slip backwards. This is your chance to keep up the positive reinforcement and focus on what your child can control – such as effort and listening.
Chat about the positives of going back to lessons
Swimming lessons can elevate confidence and help children to enjoy waves at the beach, swim in open water or try water sports. In addition to a boost in confidence, growing swimmers also build strong lungs and fitness to compliment other sports. Talking to your children about how their lessons can help them to dispel the fear of returning.
Praise, Patience and Perseverance
Praise, patience and perseverance are three important points to be mindful of when returning to swimming lessons. Praise controllable skills such as effort, listening, helpfulness and determination. Be patient if your child struggles to achieve certain skills, they are likely to be more frustrated than you are. Showing compassion and providing support will help make lessons more enjoyable. Finally, recognise perseverance and let your child know how proud you are that they keep on trying to learn new skills the teacher is showing them.
Give Holiday Intensives a Go
Holiday Intensive lessons focus on building skills quickly, often feature smaller class sizes and are fun! Most Swim Schools offer a Holiday programme and these undoubtedly help to prevent regression. With a lesson every day, many children will also experience a period of rapid improvement and may even move up a level.
Call 09 477 2074
Visit our website www.autmillennium.org.nz/swimschool