Why is it important to keep swimming over winter once you reach Development 1 & 2? 

It is common to see people stop lessons over winter in the squad levels, which can lead to a standstill in the progression of your child’s swimming ability. Children in our squad levels are often trying to increase their technique or fitness, or build a strong swimming foundation for other sports.

These goals will only be achieved with frequent pool sessions. Here’s Jacob’s top reasons why it’s important to keep coming to squad sessions in the winter.

  1. Continuing to progress!

The main reason why continuing to swim in winter is so important for your child is of course, maintenance and fitness! Only swimming in the warmer months can lead to the loss of fitness and/or regressing in their skills and abilities in the water, meaning that they may not continue to improve. When your child rejoins in the summer months, they would then spend the next few months trying to get back to the level they were previously. That’s not just their fitness level – the feel for the water is one of the first aspects of swimming to go. This can lead to the loss of technique without realising it’s happening. Your feel for the water is only maintained by continuing to be in the water! The only way to continue to see improvements is to swim year round, especially at the squad levels. The basic skills for swimming are already there, and they are now progressing into a stronger, more capable swimmer.

  1. Perfect for water polo

All children benefit from swimming year-round, but it can be especially important for those in the squad levels who may be using swim training to support another sport. School-age kids generally have a lot on their plate with other activities, such as water polo or surf. Continuing to swim in Development 1 & 2 during winter gives water polo players a chance to improve their swimming technique and fitness in order to help them be ready for trials and the upcoming season and help them to stand out from the crowd!

  1. Perfect for surf training

Surf also starts back up in the spring. Unless there is regular swimming throughout winter, those that are hoping to improve and progress in surf life saving won’t be fit and ready, making it a lot harder to make that next jump in their sport. Swimming in the Development 1 & 2 squads provides a perfect session for working on skills as well as improving general fitness. Not only would you see progress in their swimming skills in the ocean, but also, with Surf Pool Champs coming up in Term 3, Development 1 & 2 squads provide the perfect place for your child to hone in their pool skills and be fit and ready for competition.

If you’d like to know more about the benefits of our senior squads, please email us at [email protected]


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Jacob Garrod works for AUT Millennium Swim School and the Schools Programme. He started back in February 2015 and teaches from Breather Level right through to Development Two. Whilst working part time, he is also in the home stretch of completing his Bachelor of Business Degree at Massey University in Albany. Jacob learned to swim aged three, and became a competitive swimmer at the age of 7. He continued right through until 22, clocking up 15 years in the sport. He specialised in breaststroke and has represented New Zealand on the international level, attending two Oceania Championships in 2014 and 2016, where he managed to get five medals - three gold, and two silver. Jacob also attended the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing, China, and the 2017 World University Games, in Taipei, Taiwan. Jacob attended multiple National Championships where he managed to get medals throughout the years, from junior level, to age group level, right through to open level.