2 years of swimming lessons & DD doing doggy paddle(10 Posts)
DD is 6.5 & seems pretty strong & fit for her age. She started group swimming lessons in Jan '14 & they were a disaster for various reasons. Since Aug '14 she has had 1:1 lessons fortnightly. I thought she was coming on quite well & that is what the teacher tells me but, having been on holiday with a pool for the past week, I have my doubts.
When she first got in the pool, she was really reluctant to swim across it (approx 8m) despite doing lengths all the time in her lessons. Whenever she was able to stand up, she did and spent much of the time in the pool hopping...leading one other holiday maker to say "if she can get a bit more confidence, she'll be swimming in no time". When she did swim, she only did doggy paddle. She seemed incapable of doing breast stroke & only did front crawl if I told her too & nagged her about basic things (eg hand shape) and, as soon as I stopped focusing on it, she went back to doggy paddle.
Is this usual or would a 6.5yo who has regular swimming lessons normally use a proper stroke when swimming for fun? I didn't mind at all when she was doing corkscrew swimming or other silly things, just that her preferred way of getting from A to B was to hop or, if she had to swim, do doggy paddle.
I have a very close friend who teaches adults to be confident in the water. Her advice would be to just have fun, don't worry about strokes etc. That will all come in time. All your child needs to learn is how to float and to be confident enough to have fun - with you in the water too
Seriously stop worrying
My DS can do some freestyle and backstroke. But if we're at home in the pool he does neither to get where he wants, he swims for fun
What is your child like at learning and following instruction in general? Can she tide a bike? I agree that her progress had been slow. However a lesson once a fortnight means she had had the equivalent of ten months of weekly lessons. It might be that quantity lessons is more effective than quality. A child needs to practice to get good a swimming.
Holidays are times for relaxing and it's possible she doesn't want to swim. My daughter who is also six tends to play when she goes swimming with me. Rather than getting her to swim lengths I would get her to play games. My daughter loves playing with swim sticks or picking up things from the bottom or swimming through hoops.
I think it's best not to criticise stroke technique. I believe there are stages of stroke development. Very few six year olds can swim all four strokes to ASA standards.
Both my DCs are pretty competent swimmers in lessons but on holiday they prefer to play and I see little evidence of swimming any sort of proper strokes. The main thing is that they are happy, confident and safe in the water.
My 3yo old started formal lessons last July (up until then we were in parent and baby classes) so has had around a year less and is only just swimming a width with a LOT of encouragement. She goes once a week though so has probably had the same number of lessons as your dd so what she's doing sounds fine to me. Dd1 is 8 and does front crawl and has been going since 2.5 but it's only in the last 2 years I would say she's really worked hard to perfect her stroke (although she changed swim schools a year ago because I wasn't happy with her progress)
My friend is a swimming instructor, 1 on 1.
She says you have to treat it like a music lesson, the lesson in itself isn't enough they need to practise what they have learnt, regularly. I have supervised school swimming lessons too, the instructors say the exact same thing.
We have only ever put the children in for a one off course. It was 1 week intensive course, 5 mornings for 30 minutes each morning. Ds1 was 6 at the time and did another week a term later when he turned 7 and ds2 was 4 and he did one week.
The only reason they can swim like fish is because we swim every week as a family. Ds2 used to jump off the side of the pool, swim underwater and expect me to be there when he surfaced but he could not actually swim by floating on the water. Just under water with his goggles on. We called him the fish.
During our swim time, the boys now aged almost 13 and 10 swim a few lengths then mainly Ds2 just messes about. So swims under the water, sits on the bottom of the pool, swims through my legs etc. Ds1 likes ploughing lengths and usually does 30 minimum.
Being in the water should increase confidence, the more familiar you are with something and the more exposure should help.
DS will hang on me, bounce around, play about in the water, pick things off the floor, hang off me some more, maybe swim a few strokes. He swims for the county...
I think on holiday, leave them to it. Playing develops confidence which is needed to develop new skills. We get DS to "train" for 30 mins or so 4 times a week on holiday (so equivalent to 1 days training at home). The rest is playing and enjoying.
Do you take her swimming in between lessons? If not then I think what your describing is to be expected. My 6 year old is a pretty good swimmer (just passed stage 3) yet on holiday you wouldn't really be able to tell if the pool was shallow as she would stand up a lot.
Do you see her swim in lessons? At that age my daughters could be reluctant to swim properly outside lessons, so it isn't necessarily the case that she isn't learning, but I would want to observe a lesson to be sure. Has she passed any levels?
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