A confidence boost through swimming alone

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last swimming post.  I’ve a few brewing, but just haven’t had the chance to put them down on paper.

N’s been swimming at normal pool lessons now for 5 weeks.  I really wasn’t sure how he’d get on at making the transition from going swimming with me to being in the pool on his own especially given the ups and downs he’s had in the past.  But it’s been brilliant.  He’s been a real star and I think going swimming in the pool without me has given him a confidence boost.

These classes are very different.  From never having worn a float aid, and being reliant on a woggle, parent or float (plus the occasional 1,2,3 or tunnel swims from teacher to parent and vice versa without an aid), he now has a float belt.  Essentially it’s just a few foam float bars threaded on some cord and tied round the waist.  Then as the swimming gets stronger, the float bars get removed until they can swim on their own.  N’s tadpoles class just have the belts, while the younger children who have their class at the same time also have arm discs (well, apart from the one child who’s parent is obviously wedded to the old style arm bands which are so restrictive for movement!).

Once their belts are on, they sit on the side of the pool waiting to be told to climb in.  They are so good.  None get in before being told, they all wait and let themselves gently in.  The two teachers who teach on the Saturday morning are so different.  N’s is more gently spoken, less in your face, although he also likes the other teacher…mostly because she’s the one who everyone knows, and his cousin learns with her.  Sometimes the teacher is in the pool with them, other weeks she stays on the side.

It’s funny watching the 2 classes happen concurrently.  The younger class just want to do their own thing. Each week there’s a couple who never do what they’re told, and get squirted with water or told off.  N’s class are much better, although N does have a tendency to be distracted and gaze around while he’s swimming…he starts drifting in the wrong direction then because he can’t multitask – looking round and kicking/arm doesn’t seem to work.

There’s also another ex-Water Baby from his old class, in the new class.  They’re so funny.  P likes to swim over to N and start chatting while they’re halfway across the pool, N’s a bit blasé about it, but happy enough to pootle.  The others in the class he’s not fussed about at all.  It’s all about the swimming, and they have to

Water Babies was a really good introduction for him.  He’s been able to get straight into these lessons, and take part.  What amazes me is that after all the grumbling and moaning, refusing to do certain activities in his Water Babies classes, now he’s in the pool on his own the teachers says ‘do a star float for the count of 10’ and he just does it.  I don’t think there’s been anything that he’s refused to do.  He swims on his back, star floats on his front and back, does one arm practice with the float and swaps arms to go back the other way.  Everything!  It really does seem like giving him a float belt that he doesn’t need to worry about, and putting him in the pool on his own has done wonders for him.

The one challenge now is to get him to put on a swimming hat.  It’s a new rule that all the children have to wear a hat.  N chose his colour, but we’re 2 weeks since the rule and so far, he’s refused.  Last week the teacher said she’d put it on, but as soon as it was on, he whipped it off again.  Oh dear.  When I told him he’d not be able to swim, he retorted ‘that’s ok, I need to do work on the farm anyway’.  Little beast!

How’ve yours taken to changing swimming lessons, or progressing to being in the pool on their own?

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12 thoughts on “A confidence boost through swimming alone

  1. I used to hate wearing the swim hat, I can sort of sympathise 🙂 the arm band thing made me chuckle as we have some old style ones in a spider man pattern that z always refuses to take off!

  2. My three all take classes and they’ve all just moved up into ‘older’ classes with the 3yo now in the pool on her own too. My eldest takes a Fins class which is the last level before swim team… so we’ll see what happens there! I’m so glad to hear that N has taken to being in on his own as I know you were a bit worried about that x
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    1. Wow, progressing well. I work with a couple of people with kids who swim for clubs and county teams etc. Scary the amount of work they have to put in. Don’t think I could hack the early morning starts!

      Yes, I’m really pleased how well he’s got into it. Just need to get his kick stronger, and get him to focus on where he’s going rather than gazing round, then we might be on the way to removing a float bar.

    1. I’m hoping the older he gets the more competitive and focused he’ll get. At the moment he just likes to gawp around at what’s going on around him and drifting like the equivalent of a ‘sunday driver’!

  3. that’s so cute what he said about having to work on the farm. they really do have an answer for everything don’t they. We had to wear swim caps on our holiday to Paris recently – thankfully Miss T loved the idea – She looked at herself in the mirror and said ‘I got chefs hat like D’ (as her big brother has a chefs hat for cooking so she thought it was the same sort of thing. x

    1. I think he seems to be coming round to the idea now. He seems proud of having a hat, it’s just when it comes to putting it on. We’ll see in a week’s time when we’re back at lessons!

  4. It sounds like he is doing fantastically. LP has been going to lessons since September and is loving it now. She’s had to wear a hat from the start and cried every time we put the rubber ones on so now I’ve bought a fabric Frozen one from eBay and she loves it! x
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    1. It does feel a bit like going backwards because before he could at least try to swim with nothing on. But he wasn’t keen on trying, so hopefully this gives him confidence that he’s doing it all himself.

      I kind of wish I’d paid more and got a clown fish or shark hat. Might have helped. Otherwise, I might do the same as you and look for alternative types – silicone or the like. I’m hoping that once everyone’s in a hat, he’ll wear his too.

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