17 May 2010

Swim Squad Alternatives for Children?

| plopstar
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After a number of years attending weekly swim training sessions our 10 yo daughter has reached the final level.

All going well she’ll graduate soon but then the only way to maintain her skills is to join a swim squad.
If making the Olympics is your ambition then swim squad is the way to go but all we want for our daughter is to maintain her swim skills during winter and to keep enjoying the water.

Our ideal would be a weekly 90 min class where an instructor takes a group of swim skilled children through lap sessions interspersed with pool games and activities.

Instead of endless laps there’d be shorter blocks of semi-competitive laps (e.g. 5-20 X 25m) with the games and activities (e.g. diving, relay races, coin collection etc) focussing on building up other water skills while encouraging bonding and friendship between the children.

So Riot ACT’ers with all the swim schools in the ACT does anyone know one that offers classes like this?

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biinkythedoormat11:55 pm 25 Jun 10

Its always amazed me how little effort pools go to to keep their learn to swim swimmers. They dont engage well with swim clubs and dont seem to have programs targeted to continuing swimmers who just want some semi-organised fun as they improve. You’d think getting an income stream for years to come would motivate a bit of thought about their needs.

I dont know of much available other than swim squads. Even non-competitive squads tend to be mainly focused on stroke correction and fitness. Some kids really do like swimming squads and find these good to do. My daughter loved this and she is really into competitive swimming, but that’s not everyone. However, we didnt make that choice for her, she learnt to swim and just kept going, training for a while before deciding to compete. She’s swam with a lot of kids that had other things as their primary interests and all seemed to enjoy the group swimming.

Nobody is going to know what all pools do. Given how spread out the pools are in Canberra might be worth phoning the close ones and asking them what they have for your needs.

Try calling the royal life saving society and see if they can help you.

I would recommend their holiday programs. They include a mix of swimming skill and swim and survive skills which are fun and a great thing to learn. She could also look in to getting her bronze star life saving badge and later her bronze medallion.

Another option might be water polo which is great exercise.

“Playing in a pool with friends is great fun but it’s doesn’t stop them loosing their swimming edge.”

Well, if you want them to maintain that ‘edge’ then they’d need to swim in a squad. I think you’ll find if they spend time in water that is over their head with friends the ‘edge’ will be maintained just fine. You didn’t see too many kids drowning in the diving pool at the Olympic when I was a kid, no matter what height they plummeted from.

There is swimming and there is ‘not drowning’. Swimming is done in squads. Not drowning is the fun part, done with friends

Buy a waterproof mp3 player (which are surprisingly cheap on eBay) and dump her at the pool for a few hours a week.

Playing in a pool with friends is great fun but it’s doesn’t stop them loosing their swimming edge.

Many children develop good swim skills through regular training up until senior primary school then when they stop by mid to late teens they often regress to being poor swimmers.

The motivation for my original post is to find classes that will maintain a child’s swimming skills and to have fun with other children so as to keep their interest up.

Before someone says why don’t I do this imagine trying to order your tween aged daughter to do pool laps in a public space, the result would be either laughable or traumatic.

have her go to the pool with her friends.

it will meet all your requirements, and you don’t have to pay for an instructor.

I’d be interested in this too as our son is nearing the end of his swim school levels, though he still has at least another year to go. But I have been wondering what next after he finishes up.

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