This post has been sponsored and guest written by Cooper Fitness Center. All opinions are 100% our own.
With summer approaching, time by the pool, beach vacations, and preparation for swim team season are top of mind for many parents. Choosing the best way to prepare your children for these fun water activities can feel overwhelming since swimming is a crucial lifesaving skill. With drowning being listed as the leading cause of youth under the age of 5, according to the CDC, parents should be vigilant in researching swim programs to find the right fit for their children before the summer water activities start.
What’s Important to Look for in a Swim Program?
1. Consistency – Find a proven swim program that is designed deliberately to help children feel safe, be prepared, and progress, no matter which instructor they are paired with. While a consistent procedure is used, they should also tailor their approach based on the child’s starting skill level, personality and comfort level in progressions.
Do not hesitate to ask of the swim program:
• What progressions do you use?
• What is your swim school’s philosophy?
• How does your program ensure consistency if my child has to move from one instructor to another for a different session?
• Specify if your child will respond best to a specific teacher – male vs. female, or more outgoing or calmer instructor.
2. Class size – Too large of a class size is not only unsafe but it also prevents the instructor’s ability to have a personalized approach for your child. Ideally private or semi-private lessons will offer a class size that allows the instructor to tailor the program design to each swimmer’s progression.
• Inquire about student to instructor ratio
3. Class time – Swimming in the Texas heat can be exhausting.
• Recommendation for beginner to intermediate swimmers – stick to 30 minute private lessons based on their attention span, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance and weather conditions.
• Recommendation for intermediate to advanced swimmers – ideal to progress to 60 minute lessons to help improve endurance, speed and technique.
4. Repetition – Practice makes perfect. There are very few skills that children practice as important as swimming and water safety. Therefore, repetition in our lesson structure has proven to be one of the most effective components to swimmers’ stories. If you try to learn math only once a week, you are going to have to spend each week reviewing what you learned the previous week. We believe the same concept applies with swim lessons. At Cooper, we offer a discounted package rate to participants who follow our philosophy and commit to our week-long packages of swim lessons.
At Cooper Fitness Center our philosophy is “Exercise with a Purpose.” At Cooper Swim Academy we find purpose in teaching water safety and swimming to help swimmer improve and progress. Our instructors do this because of the great responsibility they have to empower children to become as independent as possible in and around water. A well-constructed and effective swim program, like Cooper Swim Academy, is built on the core structure of consistency, class size, class time and the biggest factor, repetition.
Learn more about sport-specific programming and other youth programs at cooperyouth.com/Dallas.
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Meredith Rosson is the Assistant General Manager of Cooper Fitness Center. Meredith studied Exercise Physiology at University of Texas at Austin and has played an integral role in developing the Cooper Youth Programs since 2006.
Marni Kerner is the Swimming Pro at Cooper Fitness Center with more than 15 years of experience in aquatic coaching. She teaches swimming from infants to adults, beginner to competitive levels – as well as triathlon coaching, open water and swimming for fitness. Marni teaches private and semi-private sessions, summer youth swim team and youth and adult swim clinics.
Cooper Fitness Center has offered youth programs for more than 25 years and provides a variety of year-round programs including basketball, swimming, tennis, boxing, martial arts, soccer and other seasonal programming. Download the full Youth Programs Guide and register online at cooperyouth.com/Dallas.