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7 Reasons why your child should learn to swim

7 Reasons why your child should learn to swim

Children thrive in challenging activities. Here are 7 Reasons why your child should learn to swim and how to choose a good swim school in Cape Town.

It’s that time of the year again. Summer holidays coming up in December/January and after months of lockdown, families are planning getaways and outings.

Suddenly people wake up and realize that their children (plenty of adults also) are not water safe and can’t swim.

Unfortunately, there is no instant water-safety solution, but there are methods (Supervision priority no. 1) to prevent drowning. READ MORE

7-reasons-why-your-child-should-learn-to-swim

The benefits of swimming are endless. Cape Town’s dams are full, rivers are flowing, most municipal pools are open and we are surrounded by beautiful beaches. Water is a magnet for children and not being able to swim is an injustice to children having to miss out on all the fun that can be experienced in the water. Water activities are part of our social life in Cape Town.Let us look at 7 reasons why your child should learn to swim.

Learning to swim should be a priority for every family. Here is why

1. It’s essential for their safety. Learn to swim, a life skill that can play a key role in helping to prevent drowning. A child does not need to be a competent competitive swimmer, but by having the ability to get back to the surface, tread water, back float and swim to where they can stand or get back to the side of the pool or something to grab onto, can save their life. Swimming is the only sport that can save your child’s life. 

I wrote an article a while back: Drowning is a silent killer, but preventable.

2. No one is born confident. Confidence is a skill to be mastered. Moving with ease in an extraneous element such as water requires real skill and will teach your child to rely on their own strength and ability. Children need confidence-boosting.

A healthy self-esteem is a very important characteristic of healthy child development. A child’s social, actions, and emotional health will play a very important role in how they handle setbacks, peer pressure, failures and other challenges throughout life.

3. Swimming teaches goal orientation. Swimming gives children something to strive for. Just learning how to blow bubbles underwater or do a back float is an achievement and children strive to learn and master new skills while improving their swimming capabilities.

Goal orientation which is a skill can be implemented into other areas of life. Nothing is more rewarding to children than succeeding at goals they’ve worked so hard to achieve and obviously the praise that goes with.

4. Swimming is a fun way to keep your children active and healthy. Swimming is a great low-impact cardio exercise. It also provides a whole host of other health benefits. Swimmers are taught early how to control their breath, which in turn helps increase their lung capacity.

Swimming exercises muscle groups your child may not have had a chance to strengthen otherwise. Swimming builds muscle and this translates to better endurance and stamina. 

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  1. Swimming enhances teamwork & social skillsSwimming serves as a wonderful aid to the development of the social skills and behaviours of the child. Swim classes provide the child with an early introduction learning to follow instructions, and the concepts of sharing, turn-taking and structured learning.

Teamwork builds character strengths, such as communication, self-control, and humility. Having a good teacher or coach is a critical aspect of the process.

6. Children can get a head start in life starting swimming lessons from a young age: READ MORE

“As well as achieving physical milestones faster, children also scored significantly better in visual-motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring-in and drawing lines and shapes, and many mathematically-related tasks. Their oral expression was also better as well as in the general areas of literacy and numeracy”

  1. Choosing swimming as a sport for your child. It will be the best investment you have ever made.

Swimming is totally different than any other sport as it is practised in a foreign environment. Your child will be out of their comfort zone, and therefore swimming will teach them to be flexible and cope with unfamiliar surroundings.

 Swimmers live and breathe swimming. Swimming may not be the hardest, but it’s definitely one of the hardest sports. It is truly a challenging and demanding sport. Swimmers understand that success doesn’t happen overnight

7-reasons-why-your-child-should-learn-to-swim

Swimmers know that giving up is not an option. They practice for hours and will rather do dryland exercises and swim training for 2 to 3 hours on a Friday evening than anything else.

Competitive swimming is not only a sport. IT’S A LIFESTYLE! Swimmers are in a state of being strong, active & energetic-VITALITY. These amazing athletes are prodigies of nature. 

“If you had a stack of resumes in front of you, what type of employee would you look for? The ideal employee is a team player, flexible, autonomous, ambitious, and confident, just to name a few. Unfortunately, you don’t think you can have it all. You are wrong. If a swimmer’s resume is in the stack, you found the perfect fit. Here are the 20 reasons why swimmers are the best employees”. READ MORE

A few important factors to consider in finding a good swim school.

Swimming is a fun, enjoyable activity that keeps children active and helps them develop physically and mentally while learning a life-saving skill. As a provider of early childhood and educational services, the owners and coaches of a swim school with a good reputation will strive to meet your family’s needs. A good swim school will strive to achieve high standards through certification with Swim South Africa and ongoing development of their staff and their programs. Here are a few factors to consider.

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Make sure that the swim school you consider are abiding by the rules of Covid-19 – Well maintained, clean pool and facilities. Pool water will be clear and well sanitized.

Good swim schools will test their water quality at regular intervals throughout the day and be happy to share the results. Thorough deep cleaning and sanitizing of the complete facility to be done at least every 24 hours and regular sanitizing of equipment.

Character traits that define a good swim coach

A swim coach can be one of the most instrumental  people in your child’s growth and success. That is why it’s important finding the best coach for our children. A bad school or coach can destroy a child’s passion for any sport for the rest of their lives. READ MORE

A progressive approach. Classes should be based on a sound and continue the progression of swimming and water safety skills. A good swim school will provide parents with written information describing the school’s philosophy, levels and skill progression.

The basics of swimming are divided into a series of progressions. Each little swimmer must master specific skills before progressing on to the next level, regardless of the child’s age. READ MORE

A good swim school will consider children with special needs. A good swim school will teach children to appropriate safety and survival skills whilst admit that no child is ever water safe.

Children must not be placed in stressful situations learning survival skills.
A specialist swim school will provide higher-level coaching programs and will encourage developing swimmers to pursue competitive swimming.

So how does a parent find the right swim school? The most genuine answers normally come from other parents. Check for reviews on their website, make an appointment to take your child for a free trial lesson and meet with the coach. Make sure that you and your child are happy with the facility and atmosphere. A swim school that takes care of its facility and water quality will ensure the health and wellbeing of your child throughout the swimming journey.

The qualifications (both technical & social) and attitude of a learn to swim coach and the genuine passion for teaching kids to swim, is of utmost importance.

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