I met Olympic gold medalist-mom Dara Torres back in 2009 at a blogging event. Needless to say, she makes swimming look fun:
Currently, Dara is leading a USA Swimming campaign called SwimToday to share the benefits (and fun!) of swimming as a sport. Most of us know that swimming is a great total body workout for adults and children alike, but we don’t necessarily think of it as being fun. I have been suggesting swimming lessons to my sons for a while, but they were a bit resistant. Since they were already involved in other sports, I didn’t push the issue. Now that Michael has finished his martial arts classes, both boys will be taking swimming classes this summer at our local Y – where Sean currently takes basketball/soccer classes. I know that I am looking forward to getting my kids in the pool this summer. Better late than never!
Since it’s the boys’ first time taking swimming lessons, I asked Dara to share some tips regarding what to expect when school-aged kids are just learning to swim. This is the swimming advice for beginners that Dara shared…
Q: What can mothers expect?
I think it’s important to know that your child might be scared. That can be hard for parents, especially when your kids cry, but it’s normal. Once they get past the fear and start enjoying themselves, it becomes harder to get them out of the pool.
Q. What tips/advice do you have for moms regarding how to best support their kids?
1: Never force kids into the water. If your child is upset, stay positive and encourage them as much as possible.
2. Try goggles. Many kids don’t like to put their face in the water so goggles can be a great way to help them get more comfortable.
3. Watch from afar. Sometimes it helps to let the instructor take the lead. Going around a corner and watching from a place where your child can’t see you and be distracted can make a big difference.
I will definitely keep Dara’s tips in mind this summer. I hope that you found them helpful also. If you have any other kid-related swimming questions (or advice that you can share), please let me know. Thanks!