A Swimming Success Story
Imagine a glorious summer day, with the sun high in the sky and the family gathered in the backyard at Grandma's house. The lazy days of summer don't get much better than that, until five-year old Zoe falls off a bulkhead into the water. Her dad is by her side in an instant, but what he finds there is unexpected. Zoe has not panicked.
In the beginning, Zoe was not comfortable having water in her face, even in the shower. Her mom signed her up for a Tiny Bobbers swim class and the two attended together for an entire session, but Zoe was extremely clingy. She did not want to participate; the group setting was overwhelming to her. Despite her parents' efforts, Zoe was not enjoying the water or learning safe behavior, so they decided to try a new approach. They enrolled Zoe in private swim lessons at Princess Anne Recreation Center.
On her first day, Zoe was shy and timid according to her swim instructor, Lee. Lee recalls that she and Zoe worked on breath control, trying to exhale out of her nose versus holding her nose with her fingers when she went underwater. In no time, Zoe began to enjoy her weekly swim dates with Lee. Her parents were persistent and worked hard to reinforce Zoe's learning outside of lessons.
The hard work paid off on that summer day by the bulkhead. Zoe has learned many swimming and water safety skills, which have helped her become confident in her own abilities. She is able to have fun in the water and is willing to try new things. She has learned to swim the front and back crawl, breaststroke, elementary backstroke and butterfly, as well as passing the deep end test. Lee remarks that one way to motivate Zoe is to engage her imagination and make the skills fun, like a game.
And what does Zoe think of all this? In her own words: "Swimming is so much fun! When I do my mermaid kick, I feel just like a mermaid! When I do my frog kick, I feel just like a frog! When I swim with my arms, I feel like a fish...who has arms (she laughs). If I ever fall in the water, I will swim back up and call for help."
Interested in private swimming lessons? Lessons are available for children age four and up, teens and adults. Specialized coaching or training for triathlons, diving and preparation for lifeguard courses is also available for those age 12 and up. Call or visit any recreation center for details.