Thursday, July 23, 2009

Safe Start/Transition Swimming Lessons

Last month the boys finished up another refresher course at the YMCA with SafeStart. We have been so blessed to have such an amazing instructor these last two refreshers, and the boys have grown by leaps and bounds in their swimming ability. They did so well, in fact, that their instructor recommended that we go ahead and start with transition lessons, taught by one of the swim team coaches at the YMCA. As a bonus, their SafeStart instructor taught them how to wear a mask and snorkel. She said they did so well we could take them our snorkeling! Who knew a two year old could learn how to snorkel. It's very cool.

SafeStart is all about a baby or young child surviving if he or she were to fall into a body of water. It teaches a child how to turn on to their back, get their breath, and turn over to get to the side of a pool. The most important part of the lesson is teaching the child not to freak out when falling in, but to get oriented, get on their back and wait for help. The boys have mastered this skill, and while we reinforce what they have learned at SafeStart, we will most likely have one more refresher course before Christmas.

Their transition class is really neat. It's two-three kids with one instructor and she works with each child individually, teaching them basic swimming strokes. They are also learning how to power down to the bottom of the pool to get a toy and then push off the bottom to resurface for air. The boys are having a blast. Last week, their instructor said they were doing so well on their backs that she was going to teach them elementary backstroke. If they can do it, she will ahve taught them the basics of two strokes: freestyle and elementary backstroke. I think what I like most about their transition lessons is they get to swim with a skilled instructor twice a week and while she is teaching them new skills all the time, she is still reinforcing all of the necessary survival skills they learned in SafeStart.

Matthew with a mask and snorkel!

Matthew swimming

Nicholas with a mask and snorkel!

Nicholas swimming


Shana said...

Wow, I can't even wear a snorkel! That is awesome that they are doing so well swimming!

Keith and Jamie said...

WOW!!! Amazing underwater photos...I cannot wait until our kiddos take swimming lessons. With a pool in the back yard it is a must! I am glad to know you liked the SafeStart...I will definitely be looking into something like that in our area.
Your boys are so handsome!!!!