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5 Tips to Help Make Your Swimmers Feel More Comfortable and Confident for Lessons

At Big Blue Swim School, fun, confidence and safety all go hand in hand! We understand that some children may feel a little nervous about taking swimming lessons but fear not - we've got you covered. Here are five tips to help your child feel more comfortable and less anxious about their swimming journey. Let's dive in!

1. Start with Open Communication

Before your child's first swim lesson, take the time to have an open and honest conversation. Talk to them about what to expect, reassuring them that they'll be in a safe environment with experienced instructors by their side.  Emphasize that it's absolutely normal to feel a little nervous and that many other children initially feel the same way. Open communication will help ease their anxiety and build their confidence. Pro Tip: One thing you can try is having your kids make a list of the things that make them feel anxious about lessons, then bring the list in and talk through it with an instructor or staff member at Big Blue! Our staff would be more than happy to go through the list with your swimmers, and this will help to build the foundation of a trusting relationship between Big Blue staff and your swimmers. This exercise can also help to ease their fears about being in the water. Plus, once they’re at the pool, they’ll be able to see what a warm, welcoming and fun environment it really is at Big Blue!

2. Familiarize Your Child with Water

To help your child feel more comfortable in the water, start by introducing them to a pool environment outside of lessons. If possible, take them for casual swims or playtime in the water, allowing them to explore at their own pace. Encourage them to splash, kick their legs, and use their arms to propel themselves. Something else you can do right at home? Utilize bath time! Bath time without the bubbles is like having a mini pool, especially for younger children. The smaller area provides a sense of control, and children can test out wearing goggles or play “swim” games like racing with water toys. Depending on your comfort level, they can also kick and pretend to move with a swim stroke. Bath time is also a great way to practice wiping water up and off the face if water gets in their eyes. Using bath time to prep for lessons can reinforce how much fun it will be with more space and new friends during lesson time!

Small baby sits on a floating mat in a pool with swim toys with swim instructor

3. Foster Positive and Personal Associations

Creating positive associations with swimming can make a world of difference for your child's comfort level. Offer compliments and praise for every effort they make in the water, no matter how small. It's important to celebrate their progress, whether it's mastering a new stroke, holding their breath, or even just getting into the water. By focusing on the positives, you'll boost their confidence and enthusiasm for swimming lessons. Children may not think about how swimming will make them safe, but they do care that learning to swim can help them become stronger and have more fun in the water outside of lessons! Try showing your swimmers other water sports or recreational activities that they can try once they learn to swim – it could be boating, white-water rafting, or even something like diving or joining a swim team! Making connections between swimming and their interests is one of the best ways to get children excited about coming to lessons.

4. Build a Supportive Routine

Routine plays a significant role in helping your child feel secure and at ease during swimming lessons. Establish a consistent schedule for swimming, ensuring they have ample time to relax, snack, and prepare before each lesson. By creating a predictable routine, you'll provide a sense of stability and promote a positive mindset before getting into the water. Pro Tip: If your swimmers are enrolled in evening lessons, we recommend eating a healthy meal beforehand and having a snack to look forward to after their lesson, regardless of lesson time!

Young swimmer prepares to begin swimming the length of the pool

5. Let Us Help

Is there a particular personality type or teaching style that works best for your swimmer? Feel free to add a note explaining this in the parent portal of the Big Blue Swim School app or talk to the front desk team to let us know! We pride ourselves on working to accommodate all parent requests and swimmer needs to the best of our abilities and want to do everything we can to make swimming lessons a positive, fun and useful experience for our families. If your student is nervous, but you know that a high energy and funny, or calm and patient instructor will help to break the ice, we are happy to help. Big Blue staff truly want to get to know your swimmers, so you can also encourage them to talk before, during and after lessons about the other things they like outside of the pool! This will help to make your swimmers feel more comfortable and help the teacher to tailor the lessons towards students.

Swim instructor allowing a young boy to place swim toy on her head as he laughs

Big Blue is not just a place for swimming lessons – we are a community dedicated to helping families unlock potential in and out of the water. Our expert instructors, safe and clean pools, and proven teaching methods ensure that your child not only learns crucial swimming skills but also gains confidence, strength, and joy through the power of swimming. PLUS, our thoughtfully-designed viewing lobbies make it easy and comfortable for parents and guardians to watch lessons and still allow their swimmers to focus on improving their skills. Visit our website to book a lesson today!