Do your kids know how to swim? My kids are in swim lessons for the next two weeks. They love to go in the pool but are not confident in themselves. I want them to take lessons so that they’ll understand how to act and react around the water and so they can have fun this summer at the pool and water parks we’ll go to. SwimToday.org is an online resource that provides moms with a one-stop shop to get all the information they need to make entering the sport as easy as possible. On the site, you can: find a place to swim in your area, self-assess your ability, and learn the benefits of swimming and fitness.
Little Man has been nervous so far with lessons but I noticed today as we were hanging at the pool that he’s becoming much more confident. (Almost too confident at times! He decided to keep right on walking into the deep end until it was up to his chin. I moved quickly to get him turned right around.)
Last week I was part of a Q&A session with all these awesome women:
– Karen Linhart, USA Swimming Public Relations and Social Media Director
– Jamie Fabos Olsen, Marketing and Brand Development Director, USA Swimming
– Lindsay Mintenko, National Team Managing Director, USA Swimming, gold medalist in swimming in the 2000 Olympics and gold and silver medalist in swimming in the 2004 Olympics
– Emily Silver, Athlete Relations and Family Program Manager, USA Swimming and a silver medalist in swimming in the 2008 Olympics
There were some really good questions asked. I’m going to include some for you:
Q: At what age should I start teaching my child to swim?
A: Most places that offer swim lessons begin when the child is six months old, but there are places that do “Mommy and Me” classes as an introduction to water at an even younger age.
Q: What is the right age for kids to start learning swim strokes? Should young kids focus on strokes or fundamentals?
A: It depends on what you are comfortable teaching them. Focus on the fundamentals first, but if they know the fundamentals, you can move on and teach the strokes whenever they seem ready. The goal is for kids to have fun and be safe and comfortable around the water.
Q: How can I give my child the confidence to swim without arm floaties?
A: USA Swimming advocates against flotation devices, because they can give kids a false sense of security. Try to avoid any kind of flotation aid, and get your child in swimming lessons. There is no substitute for professional swimming instruction, and instructors are trained to help kids with their fear of the water and help them acclimate to the water at their own pace.
Q: Should kids be allowed to wear goggles in the water?
A: If goggles help kids when they are in the water, wearing them will not be detrimental.
Q: What are the expenses for swimming lessons and team swimming?
A: It varies by location and club, but a full session of swim lessons (approximately 8 lessons) generally costs about $50. USA Swimming partners with about 525 participating clubs nationwide on their Make a Splash charitable effort, which provides every child in America with the opportunity to learn to swim. Swim clubs on SwimToday.org with a water drop next to their name provide a designated number of swimming lessons for free or at a discounted cost. The distribution of free or discounted lessons is club-dependent, and you can ask your local club about it directly. If expense is a concern, visit SwimToday.org and enter your ZIP code to find out if a swim club in your area is a Make a Splash partner. More about Make a Splash: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2092&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en
Q: What are the health benefits of swimming?
A: Swimming is one of the best all-around exercises out there for toning your body. It is better for your knees than running, and it’s very good for your cardiovascular health. In addition, being active generally sets a good example for kids.
Q: How can we support the swimmers involved in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials June 25 – July 2?
A: Tweet using the #SwimToday hashtag, follow @USA_Swimming on Twitter (where you can also find Twitter IDs for U.S. swimmers competing in the Trials), encourage your friends and family to watch the trials and cheer the athletes on, and host Olympic watch parties using Splash Bash resources from USA Swimming: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1611&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en
On that note, don’t forget to watch the USA Swim Trials! They will be airing live on NBC June 25 – July 2. Watch below to see a cool time lapse of the Olympic Time Trials pool being built:
Note: I am taking part of the USA Swimming Campaign through The Motherhood. I am being compensated but all opinions are my own.