Tag: Swimming Lessons Are Life Lessons

Spring Forward with Swimming Skills at Aqua-Tots Burlington

Many parents will agree that we are all just tired of Winter and are ready to embrace Spring with open arms. I know that I sure am!

Summer is not too far behind from Spring and many parents may start thinking of summer activities and vacation. These plans may often involve swimming or water so why not use Spring to get ahead and start or hone your child’s swimming skills? We took this question to the experts themselves to see the benefits of “Spring Training.”

We chatted with Nikki, General Manager at Aqua-Tots in Burlington to get the inside scope on having a child enrolled in multiple swim lessons per week.

Spring is in the air and that means Summer isn’t too far behind. What types of programs are available in the Spring to help children get ready for Summer?

We offer lessons 6 days a week here at Aqua-Tots! We usually recommend a 2 day-per-week plan for your child to really excel in their swimming. We see swimming as riding a bike – the more you practice the quicker you will learn. In addition to swim lessons, all of our members have access to our Family Swims every Sunday from 1 PM to 2 PM. Family swim is a great way for you to bring your children into the pool to practice skills they have learned in class, or just to have fun and splash around!

What are the benefits of taking multiple swim lessons per week?

There are many benefits to swimming multiple times per week – especially with Summer coming up! To name a few:

Muscle Memory

The more you practice a skill, the more your body begins to get comfortable and confident with the movements and it soon becomes second nature. Once you learn how to swim – it is impossible to forget, just like riding a bike!

Confidence

If you are looking to grow your child’s confidence around the water, exposing them to lessons multiple times per week will help them to understand the importance of lessons, it will also help them to gain trust with the instructor and the skills they are being taught in their class. When I first did a swimming lesson, I was eight years old! I felt nervous as I had never been in a structured swim setting. Once I realized I was capable of doing the skills the instructor was teaching, my confidence sky-rocketed and it became my passion. I went to become a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor and I cannot imagine my life without the pool.

Skill Progression

If you have your child enrolled in swimming lessons but feel as if they are reaching a plateau this is okay! Instead of taking a break from the lessons, this is a sign that it is time for more exposure to the water. By signing up for multiple lessons per week, you are giving your child more of a challenge and a new excitement for lessons.

Tell us a memorable moment of a child who has benefited from multiple swim lessons per week.

When we first opened here in Burlington, we had a student in our Level 3 Younger Leapfrog Class (2.5 years old) who was apprehensive about the water. During their first few lessons, she would cry for nearly the whole class only stopping when she knew it was time to go and see Mom at the end of class. As their parents grew concerned about whether or not they would able to overcome this obstacle, they decided to switch to a 2 day-per-week plan. What a difference 2 days-per-week made for this child! Within a week of the new plan, the once nervous swimmer was doing full submersions and completed many advanced skills. Now to this day, this swimmer comes into our facility with a big smile and can barely contain their excitement when Coach calls their name to enter the water.

What can parents do to help prepare their child for multiple swim lessons? For example, any worries they may have of the child being too tired.

There are a few things a parent can do to prep their children for multiple swim lessons. Here are a few we suggest:

Talk About It

Remember swimming is an essential life skill that your child absolutely needs to learn. As a parent, if you emphasize the importance of swimming, your child will grow to appreciate how special this skill is to daily life. Throughout the week, talk about how exciting it is that they get to swim at Aqua-Tots on Monday AND Wednesday now, for example. If they are with two different Coaches, talk about how fun it will be to see Coach A on Monday and then Coach B on Wednesday. If they are nervous to enter the water without you, remind them that “Mommy/Daddy watch swim class from the red chair and they come in the pool for Family Swim on Sunday.” Instead of saying “Mommy/Daddy forgot their bathing suit and cannot go in,” remind them of why you do not go in for lessons. Otherwise, they will have an expectation that you are allowed to go in for lessons.

Flexibility

We pride ourselves in our non-seasonal school and our ongoing schedule. You can utilize your 2 day-per-week plan in many ways. The first is a back-to-back lesson option. This is where you would have your child enrolled in two consecutive half hour lessons. If this is not an option for you, or you feel your child is too tired, try two different days of the week. For example, Tuesday evening and Saturday morning. When you’re in the water, you are invigorated by the splashing and the enthusiasm of the instructor! Your child might be a little tired AFTER their sim class but this is totally normal and a sign they worked hard and learned a lot in the water.

Family Swim

If you are still undecided about a multiple day-per-week plan, try to incorporate our Family Swim into your routine first. That way, you will be here once during the week for your lesson, and once for a Family Swim.

Any special promos for parents who want to take advantage of Spring time for more swim lessons?

This Spring we encourage everyone to take advantage of our Ollie the Otter package. Sign up for 5 months of swim lessons and receive your 6-month free, plus 10% off all retail and priority access to all special events. For maximum progression we also recommend that children swim multiple times a week and when upgrading your plan from 1 to 2 days per week or 2 days to 3 days, we provide a discount on the additional day being added!

Any other tips or advice you would like to provide to parents or children who want to be better swimmers?

The best piece of advice I would give to parents and children as a swim instructor and Lifeguard is to remember how important swimming is to daily life. There is so much water in the world and it is important to know how to swim not only for safety, but for individual confidence as well. Talk about how exciting the water is and make a big deal for every new swimming milestone. We say, “Turn Tears Into Cheers” – if your child does a submersion or gets the ring from the bottom of the pool, throw your hands in the air and cheer! This will show them that tackling your fears is something to be celebrated! Talk about how fun swimming is as much as you can and always try to provide your child with opportunity to take swimming lessons or come to a Family Swim.

Your child might not master all of the skills in their level within the first few weeks and that is totally normal. All it takes is continuous exposure and positive verbal reinforcement from parents/guardians and the coaches.

Always remember our Aqua-Tots motto, “Safety First, Fun Ever Second!” See you at the pool!

Special thank you to Nikki for taking the time to offer her expertise and we hope this information has enlighten you all to think about “Spring Training” with your little one for the upcoming water season.

We love Aqua-Tots Swim Schools as their programs and facilities are absolutely wonderful with families always in mind.

If you would like to enroll at the Burlington location, please contact them at 905.331.3393 or visit them online to learn more about their amazing programs.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

– Momma Braga

 


This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

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Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga Is Like Family: Introducing Alannah

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga is a great school to help teach your children the important skill of swimming. This is why this year (2018) we have partnered up with Aqua-Tots to bring informative pieces about what they offer to the amazing readers of Momma Braga.

This month we decided to get to know them a little better and this is why we interviewed Alannah, the General Manager of Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga.

1. Tel me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Alannah and I am the General Manager at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Mississauga. I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years and became a swim coach and lifeguard for more than 10 years back in Montreal where I am from. Teaching swimming is a huge passion of mine and I love being in and around the water.

2. How long have you been with Aqua-Tots Swim School?

Aqua-Tots Mississauga has been open for over a year, and I was here from the very beginning…before there was water in the pool! I started as the Aquatic Manager for the first year where I ran the Aquatic Program and helped train all of our Water Safety Instructors and Deck Supervisors. As of January 1st, 2018, my role has changed, and I am now the General Manager! I love learning about this side of the business, and meeting all the new and recurring families on the other side of the pool glass.

3. What inspired you to get a position with Aqua-Tots Swim School?

Swimming is a huge passion of mine, and with a degree in Recreation Management, it seemed like the perfect mix of my two passions. Also, after meeting the owner of Aqua-Tots, Lisa Morlock, I fell in love with the whole idea, the curriculum and her vision of what she wanted to share with the community to improve the whole swimming lesson experience.

4. What do you love the best about your job?

There are several people and moments that really make me love what I do. The culmination of all these things truly make it feel like so much more than just a “job.” Sometimes it really feels like home. I love getting to teach children how to swim and see their smiles and pride when they achieve something that they thought they could not do. I love working with such a kind and professional team that makes everyone happy every day. I also really enjoy that I am always learning, whether it be about the business or new and exciting challenges and opportunities that arise to always keep me on my toes. I look forward to every day!

5. What has been your most memorable moment working at Aqua-Tots?

My memorable moments are always the same. No matter the child and no matter how long they have been swimming with us, my favourite part about teaching swimming is when a child gets released in the water and starts kicking and swimming on their own with so much confidence! This moment coincides with the parent’s reaction to this skill and the excitement surrounding their son or daughter being able to swim on their own whether it be two feet to one metre! Those moments will never get old.

6. What do you like best about the programs at Aqua-Tots?

Having taught lessons for other organizations, I can truly say that the curriculum at Aqua-Tots is very well put together and executed. We specialize in teaching young children who are just beginning to adjust to an aquatic environment, right up to age 12. Seeing the curriculum really click with children and watching their advancement in skill and confidence is greatly rewarding. Routine is important in the lives of children and we try our best to add this type of your weekly activities. The consistency of the instructors also helps as they get to know the kids and can really push them to what their abilities can be. I also love that in each level children can be in three different phases; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. This helps guide the instructors into pushing the children to their mastered skills for each level and keeps everyone progressing.

7. Why is teaching swimming to children important to you?

I grew up swimming and it just became a natural skill that I thought everyone knew. It only hit me when I went to a friend’s birthday pool party and realized that not everyone knew how to swim. I was so young at the time, but I remember it so vividly. I continued swimming competitively and eventually became a lifeguard. Throughout my lifeguarding years I never would have thought I would have to jump in so often for children and adult non-swimmers. Swimming is a life skill and is so important for many different reasons; mental health, physical health, social and personal goals, but it is mainly important to me from a safety perspective. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is a great tool for children of all ages to get to their best swimming selves.

8. Anything else you would like to add?

Come check us out! Everyone who works here is helpful and smiling. We are always raising the bar to make it a great experience for our families.

Special thank you to Alannah for her time and allowing us to interview her for this special piece. Our daughter Nikki had the opportunity to have Alannah for one of her classes and Nikki really enjoyed learning from her. Therefore, we know how great she truly is and it is no surprise that she is now the General Manager of such an amazing swim school.

Alannah is a perfect example of how amazing and caring the staff are at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. They truly care about teaching your child such an important skill and they treat everyone who visits their school as their family.

If you would like to learn more about Aqua-Tots Swim Schools feel free to contact them at (905) 848-2782.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.

 

 

4 Tips on How To Turn Tears Into Cheers In Swimming

One of my fears when my daughter was enrolled in swimming was the tears that may come with her learning. Luckily, we did not have any tears from her but from me instead.

Besides my inability to let go when I should, I have seen many children cry before their swim class and even during it. So I went to the experts at Aqua-Tots Swim School to see if they can offer tips to help parents in this type of situation.

I want to first state that crying when learning how to swim is very common and normal. So don’t feel like there is something wrong. When you have a great school like Aqua-Tots Swim School to help you along the way, in the end you both will feel much better.

There are some common reasons as to why children cry. Here are the four most common ones:

  1. It’s New – Swimming lessons are a new experience. There are new sights, sounds, textures, smells, faces, and interactions in the pool environment.
  2. Age – With time, your child will gain control over their emotions and learn to enjoy the water.
  3. Fear or Anger – Some children are genuinely fearful of the water and it takes time to help them overcome their fear. Other children can become angry and use tears to control the situation.
  4. Separation Anxiety – Your child may experience separation anxiety and feel anxious when away from familiar people and places.

Hearing your child cry is always hard (I know it is for me) and there are ways to help them when it comes to swimming lessons. Here are four tips to help.

  1. Be Positive and Keep Your Eyes on The Goal – As a parent, you can encourage your child with compliments and praise on what they do well in each lesson.
  2. Keep Cool – Being calm helps your child settle down faster.
  3. Practice At Home – Make it fun! Use the tub, shower, and pool to practice swimming skills (i.e. holding breath, water submersions, etc.)
  4. Be Consistent – Skipping or discounting swim lessons inhibits swimming progressions and will extend the time it takes to learn how to swim safely.

The layout at Aqua-Tots is great to help the child gain trust of the instructor as the parents can view the lesson through the viewing gallery which allows them to interact with their child. This way your child is aware that you are near and rooting for them. This space allows the instructor and the child build trust and a bond will form.

This is one of the many reasons why Aqua-Tots is amazing as they are there for you every step of the way. Their instructors care about your child and they are trained to:

  1. Identify the reason your child is crying so they can best alleviate the tears.
  2. Build trusting relationships with your child.
  3. Offer consistent routines and terminology in every lesson.
  4. Help your child build trust in the water.

Water is an adaptive environment and it takes time to adjust. The more frequently your child comes to lessons, the faster the crying will subside. The general rule of thumb is:

  • 3+ lessons per week – crying subsides after 3-4 lessons
  • 2 lessons per week – crying subsides after 5-6 lessons
  • 1 lesson per week – crying subsides after 7-8 lessons

With these tips and with the guidance of the swimming school, you will be at tears to cheers in no time. Just remember that at Aqua-Tots Swim School they never leave your side to ensure that everyone is happy.

If you are interested in swim lessons, give Aqua-Tots Swim School a call at 905-848-2782. Also make sure to follow them on Facebook to see what’s new.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

–          Momma Braga

 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim School, Mississauga.