What To Look For In A Swim School
Choosing to enroll your child in a swim school to take swimming lessons is a great alternative to that of football, baseball, or basketball. Not only does it keep your kids active but it also helps them improve and grow in the water as well as learn a very important life skill.
But how do you pick a swim school?
At MGR swim sports we understand that picking a swim school for your child may not be as easy of a task as it may seem. Because of that, we compiled a list of ten things you should consider when picking a swim school for your child.
1. Water Safety
Many swim schools have appealing marketing materials and accolades posted on their website. On the surface, this can look promising but it is important to get a feel of the kind of safety your child will be in. Is water safety their first priority? As swimming can be fun it can also be a safety risk if proper procedures are not taken into account.
It is also important to see how the instructors interact with the student to ensure that the student feels safe at all times.
2. Class size
Find the balance of the class size, if there are too many students at one time your child may not get the attention they deserve, too little students and they may lose the chance to meet and interact with new friends to share their swimming journey with.
Choosing the right class size is more about balance than anything else. Find out what the student-teacher ratio is per class. Also, ask about their other classes as different times may have different size classes that may fit you and your child’s needs better than the original time you had in mind.
3. Ask Around
One of the first things you should do when thinking about enrolling your child in a swim school is to ask around. Ask anyone you may know of who currently has their kids enrolled in swimming lessons what their experience has been like. You can also ask your child’s friends parents if they are going to swimming classes how they like the school they are in.
Check out the swim schools online reviews like yelp, facebook, and google, you can find out a lot about a swim school and its coaches by doing a little internet snooping. Read the good reviews but also see the bad reviews to get a better understanding of the type of establishment it is. Did they take care of the problem right away or did they just ignore it? If you see a constant theme in complaints over a long period of time this can mean that if they haven’t corrected the problem in their establishment they might not correct the problem before you enroll your child in the class.
Reading reviews and talking to the managers can give you a good overview of what sort of place you are dealing with to help you in your decision-making process.
4. How Many Levels
Not all swim schools are created equal. A lot of swim schools offer kid classes nut, there are some swim schools where the kids begin to outgrow the classes and the level of the class. Depending on how far you want your child to go whether it be baby lessons or your child is looking to swim competitively see how many levels of classes the school actually offers before you would need to change schools.
If you are looking to advance your child to swim competitively ask how many swimmers they currently have competing if any. This will let you know how serious their swim program is.
Some swim schools focus more on teaching kids how to swim rather than focus on getting students results that will not only help them be better swimmers for their personal achievement but also better when it comes to competing in local, state, and national swimming competitions.
5. Family Owned or Franchise
Is the swim school a family-owned and operated business or is it a franchise business? If you enjoy your community and prefer a place that is more family-oriented and feel that this is a better option for you and your kids then a franchise swim school may not be your go-to.
A franchise swim school may offer good swim lessons but they may not be as flexible when it comes to meeting the needs of your child’s growth due to the standard rules and regulations. Whatever you choose make sure they are able to work with you to meet your needs and be flexible if your schedule changes.
6. Does it look like your child enjoys it?
This one might be an obvious one but when you enter a school does it look like a place that your child is going to have fun or are they going to dread going to their lessons? This should be apparent on the first day your child takes their first lesson. If the swim school allows you to take a free class before actually enrolling see if your child is having fun and how supportive the coaches are.
If you have a child who takes time to open up to people they don’t know are the coaches encouraging and willing to work with them at their pace, or does it seem that your child is going to have a hard time adapting to the new atmosphere.
Whichever the case, it is important that you pick a swim school where your child is going to be the most comfortable
7. Swim Coaches
Before deciding on a swim school, study and talk to the swimming instructors to see how they interact with the students who are already enrolled in the class. If there are parents watching their kids, ask the parent how they like the class and the coaches. What does their body language and tone of voice tell you? If it’s positive then you know that they love their swim coaches. If there are any hesitations or stutters then perhaps there are somethings that the parents are not in line with and you should ask them about it.
8. How Big is the Pool
The size of the swim school’s pool is a big factor when it comes to making a swim school decision. This is important because if your child outgrows the pool and wants to continue to take lessons you will have to find a new swim school for your child and repeat the process all over again.
The downside of this is that your child may really like their swim coach but must now switch coaches because they need to change schools.
At MGR swim sports our swim programs are designed so that your child stays with their swimming instructor as they move up swim levels. This ensures that they are always comfortable and know that their coach has their best interest without needing to constantly be changing coaches.
9. Instructors Certification
When choosing a swim school check to see who the coaches teaching your child are. Are they professional swimmers themselves with proper certifications? How many years have they been teaching? Do they have any sort of collegiate experience? This will give you a better understanding of who will be teaching your child.
10. Instructors Who Care
Lastly, the swim coaches and school as a whole should be encouraging and dedicated to your child’s growth in the water. Not only should it be fun but the swim instructors should be advancing your child’s potential in the water by bringing them up the levels accordingly and becoming an all-around better swimmer whether it’s to swim at home or to compete in local, state, and national competitions.
These are our ten tips on choosing a swim school that is right for you. If you or your child is looking to learn how to swim or become a better all-around swimmer you can call us at (210) 742-4281 and somebody on our staff will be happy to speak with your and give you all the information you need to sign up for classes.
Guest post by MGR Swim sports