Little Swimmers Challenges
Here at Sigma Swimming, we have a Little Swimmer program, this program is designed for children with little to no swimming experience. This program is a 1 child - to - 1 instructor program and the children are mostly under the age of 5.
There are some children that are afraid of the water and then there are the ones that think they can swim but can't. They will go to the bottom of the pool and don’t come up by themselves. This a very scary scenario because this is how drownings happen. The children fall into the water and stay down and this is what we show the parents. For most parents, this is scary as well because they have no idea that this can and will happen when children are not watched properly, or they think that their child is able to move in the water. This might be true that they can move when on top of the water for a few minutes, but should they fall in, then it could end up in a fatality.
To combat this issue, at Sigma Swim, we start with making our Little Swimmers feel comfortable in the water, blowing bubbles in the water before ever attempting to float. There are the children that get right into it and then there are the ones that try to talk themselves out of doing anything in the water. Some of them are so good at trying to negotiate themselves out of any situation, which is ok because we are also good negotiators too!
Here are some of the things our Little Swimmers have said to get out of learning:
“Oh, I don’t need to learn this because I always have floaties on”.
“Is this really necessary?”
“I need a life guard because this water is too deep”.
“I don’t want to this because I don’t want to swim like a girl”.
“No, I want to swim like a fish”.
“I don’t need to take a breath because I am like a jellyfish”.
“Are you serious?”
As an extra incentive to help our Little Swimmers in the learning process, we award jumps off the starting block or from the side of the pool. We call these little rewards "bonus jumps" and that works for many children. Our Sigma Little Swimmers get so happy when they get their bonus jumps and it makes us happy as well because they had to accomplish a swimming skill to earn their jump (a skill in itself).
We also have Little Swimmers that are terrified and refuse to do anything other than cry for their mom or dad. This is usually harder on the parent than the little swimmer. Sometimes, having the parent leave the area so that they are out of sight and out of mind helps immensely. These Little Swimmers need extra time and patience to get them comfortable in the water. Some take longer than others but, in the end, they will be able to save themselves and learn how to swim.
Teaching the very young can be very entertaining and challenging. We at Sigma Swim understand that not every child will learn the same way. We try to think outside the box and find ways to help each of our swimmers learn, survive, and thrive in the water.