Advice from Becky’s Mum (Kay Adlington)
We know that as a parent you may have some questions about our courses and your children attending swimming lessons. Who better to ask than Becky's mum, Kay Adlington, who has certainly been through the journey, and offers this advice :
Five tips for parents of children going to swimming lessons for the first time.
- Keep it simple – don't force the issue. They are going to have fun & build confidence. Take them when they are ready
- Most children love water – talk about how much fun they can have
- Don't focus on the lesson part – they learn through having fun
- Talk about any siblings who have already learnt to swim
- Don't worry if you can't swim – parents only watch, they don't have to get in the water
How you can support a child during their lesson programme?
- Before the lesson help THEM get their bag ready.
- Watch them whilst they are in the water – don't shout instructions to them – they need to learn to listen to the teacher. Being corrected by the teacher is part of their learning process
- Enjoy watching them grow in confidence and make new friends
- Make a fuss when they achieve an award – especially their first – it’s a huge achievement for them. Agree on a small gift for their first award – i.e., go to the cinema, or bake their favourite cake, etc
Snacks to give a child after swimming?
Becky used to like having a chocolate bar/bag of buttons etc. It needs to be small enough not to spoil their main meal – if eating a proper meal after swimming - but things like fruit, cereal or yoghurt bar, small packs of dried fruit etc are also very good.
What are the important things that a parent should do to help their child develop their swimming skills?
- Encourage them to enjoy themselves – don't focus on comparing them to other children in the group – they all learn at different rates and will be different ages/abilities etc
- Take them on a family swim session so they can 'show you what they can now do' – it’s not about showing off, more about allowing them to develop confidence in their ability without them realising
- Don't pressure them by bragging about how good they are – let them learn to listen to a new teacher at swimming (rather than school) join in with the other children, copy others – that's how they learn most. Keep it simple & focus on the fun side
What should you talk to the swimming teacher about?
- Ask them to ensure your child understands what is being asked of them
- Tell them about any concerns your child may have – ie, Becky (age 7) used to be very wary of hitting the wall when doing backstroke – so she would start to slow down as she got close to the wall - the teacher didn't make a fuss of this and gradually her confidence grew
- Tell them about any health issues – particularly ear/throat issues
- Talk to them about their progress – but be guided by the teacher’s advice in progressing to the next class - too many parents push their child forward when the child is not quite ready
Below are some of our parents' most popular and frequently asked questions, to help give you all the information you need before and during your journey with us.
What happens at my 1st session?
Please arrive for your session approximately 5-10 minutes before your start time to give you time to get your child(ren) ready for their session. Once ready, proceed onto poolside just before the session is about to start:
- Swimming costume / tight fitting trunks
- Goggles (are optional)
- Long hair should be tied back or a swimming cap should be worn
- Water Bottle
- Flip Flops/ pool shoes (if needed)
- Shampoo, shower gel and hair brush
- Healthy and nutritious post lesson snack
- Please remove all jewellery
- We do not promote the use of armbands. Unless your child will not go in the water without them, we ask you not bring them to the sessions
- We advise our swimmers not to swim on a full stomach, please do not allow your child to eat anything substantial 1 hour before the scheduled lesson
I need to speak to my child’s swim instructor.
We understand that you may have queries from time to time and there will be a coordinator at the venue, who you can raise any queries with them. They may need to relay questions to the swimming instructor, or be able to answer your query straight away. We would request that parents do not disturb swimming instructors, unless essential. They have just 30 minutes, so every minute is precious to ensure the swimmers get the most out of their lesson. However please remember we are here to help with any queries you may have and if the coordinator is not available at the venue, our Customer Service team at Head Office, is more than happy to help.