Booking for Fall Lessons

FAq's - actual answers to actual questions

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My daughter is interested in joining the high school swim team in the fall at Gulf Breeze High School. Do you give private lessons?

 Yes, I do. I'm very good at stroke technique and finding the best way to relate to the athlete so he or she understands. Unlike typical stroke coaches, most of the time I'm getting in the water with them so we can get technique down and they can learn the drills I will assign her depending on her weaknesses. I'll also give her simple workouts to do if she is not already on a team - she will need to build her stamina most likely if she is not. What we would work on would depend on how many you were wanting to book. If only a few, the priority is freestyle. I would focus there first. Then back. Then Fly and Breast. She would also learn turns. I don't have any starting blocks here but I am looking into getting one. We can still work on them from the side. I'm $45 for 30 minutes but if you schedule more than  4 or more, it's $40 per 30 minutes lesson. Depending on her skill level, there are times when an hour isn't a bad idea, but that isn't necessary. I've attached the general schedule. Private lessons are very flexible. If those don't work for you, always ask because a number of the other groups or spots may not be scheduled. As time gets closer and no one goes into that spot or if I decide to convert it, I'll open it up to a private lesson. Group lesson scheduling can be hit or miss and takes a little guess work in the beginning. 

My child is 2.5 years old. Do you think they might do okay in a group lesson?

  

Private is usually best for any student. They get more one on one attention and I can actually have better communication with you. That being said there are some personalities that thrive in a group situation. But honestly at 2 1/2 years old I think she would be better in a semi-private or private class. If she is put in a class with a five-year-old who is very coordinated and is excelling quickly she may become frustrated, depending on her personality, or too much of a skill spread with in the class to make the class as effective as it could be. So, your best option would still be semi-private or private. 

My 3-year-old is swimming freestyle. Can you teach him the other strokes?

I'm going to get kind of tough here. NO. "Big Arms" is not swimming freestyle. The majority of children do not have the coordination skills to 1) kick small, quick kicks 2) with one arm completely extended, hip rotated downward  3)) with one eye, and half of mouth remaining in the water in order to breath to the side, 4) all the while remaining horizontal in the water on their side 5) and then rotating back to center while maintaining arm rotation and a kick that will keep them afloat. I have seen two 5-year-olds who can do this - not well - showing advanced, early coordination skills in the water. That is the only indicator it is. It does not indicate a future Olympian or even someone with a high level of talent - not yet. 


Freestyle taught too early is detrimental for a number of reasons. 1) Once young children start "Big Arms" they do not easily switch back and forth between Big Arms and survival swimming. If they are constantly doing Big Arms and they get into an emergency situation, they will panic and get tired and revert to Big Arms no matter what you have been telling them about puppy paddle. And this is how that is going to look...a child who does Big Arms but cannot breathe to the side will do a couple of strokes and will lift the head FORWARD to breathe. This causes the feet/kick to stop and sink. This sinking pulls the rest of the body lower in the water...the entire body starts to sink. The child panics and starts again but lower in the water. Big Arms....lift head....BREATHE...slip further down. This cannot continue for more than 2-3 rotations before they have sunk below the surface. 


2) Allowing or encouraging your child to swim this way is giving them false confidence. They cannot swim freestyle. The goal is for them to learn how to swim safely. Inherent in safety is the ability to breath and stay afloat under duress. 


3) Because they do not have the coordination they need to learn the stroke properly, they are developing really bad habits that will have to broken when they are old enough to really start learning freestyle. 


So please...don't do this. No Big Arms. There is no point. They are not going to make the Olympic Team at 6-years-old. The safety of your child is so much more important than any bragging rights you think you might have at the next PTA pow wow. And remember, Big Arms are not an accomplishment. They are a danger. 


More coming soon!