Swim Lesson Tips

Swimming Lessons Tips | Happy Swimmers

A lot of parents do not know what to expect when they sign their children up for private swim lessons. Although there is not much that you need to do or prepare, you still play a vital role in making sure they are beneficial. Before beginning in-home lessons, there’s a few things you need to know!

  1. Swim lessons are really hard at first.

    • It’s something brand new, with someone brand new, and that can be very scary. A lot of parents think that because their child likes the bath or likes to be with them in the pool that they will love swimming with their swim instructor immediately, but this is not the case.
    • Just prepare yourself for this. Know that there will be a lot of crying during the first few swim lessons, and know that it is normal for kids to cry. If kids cry, it is best if you leave them with the swim instructor. Pulling them out of the swim lesson to comfort them will only show them if they cry they can get out of it, and they will never get comfortable with the pool. Keep them in for their entire lesson, and send them words of encouragement from the side!
    • Give them a chance to get to know their swim instructor. This normally takes 5 swim lessons for new swimmers. This can take longer for children that do not really socialize with a lot of other adults in their normal day-to-day.
    • Just because they are crying does not mean they are not learning! Even while kids scream during all of their swim lessons, they are learning the things they are doing with their swim instructor. They learn about the water, safety, and the basics of swimming and floating. They will show this in their swim lessons once they are comfortable.
  2. Consistency is key

    • Just as anything else in life, children need a lot of consistent swim lessons in order to be comfortable and eventually be pool safe. We always suggest to schedule two swim lessons per week with your same swim instructor. Any amount of swim lessons per week is good, but the more you do the more you will see the outcome.
    • If you skip a few weeks or go on vacation, it is likely your child will take a step back in their comfortability and skills in the pool. This is okay but it is something to be aware of, so try to keep them as consistent as possible.
  3. Sometimes kids have to take a step back before they take a step forward

    • Children have good days and terrible days, and this sometimes transmits into their swim lessons and that’s ok.
    • Sometimes kids have to take a few steps back in their skills. This mainly occurs because something around the water has scared them. It is not always something that happens when they are with their swim instructor. It could happen in the bathtub, at the beach, or anything. Kids will work this up in their heads. Sometimes a kid that has been doing great and progressing quickly will go through this. The swim instructor will have to take some steps back in order to move forward again and that’s ok!
  4. Kids look to their parents during private swim lessons

    • If you are looking worried or afraid, your child will likely mirror this behavior. This is why it is so important for parents to talk up their time in the pool, be proud of their kids when they do anything in the pool, and always be enthusiastic.
    • If a child chokes on some water during the lessons, just smile and say are you ok or good job. There is no need to work them up and get them scared. Always think about your actions about your child’s swim lessons.
  5. Kids look to older / more experienced kids

    • If multiple kids are going to be in swim lessons, have the more confident child go first and have the less confident child watch while the swim instructor teaches. This can really help them realize that swim lessons are not scary and to build their confidence.
  6. Floaties and goggles during swim lessons

    • The best way to start private swim lessons is with no swim equipment at all! Floaties give a false sense of safety to not only the kids but the parents, too. They are not only dangerous but the teach kids the wrong way to swim, which is having their legs down at the bottom of the pool as if they are running in the water. For this reason we do not use floaties while our swim instructor is there.
    • When kids start swim lessons using goggles, they become dependent on them. When they become dependent on them they cannot take off their goggles and they do not handle it well when they get their eyes wet. This makes it so that they cannot become pool safe. Because of this we do not allow goggles during private swim lessons until the children are already pool safe.

Kids are more comfortable because its their home with their pool, you can help create exactly what your child needs interns of toys, pool temperature, etc. Swim lessons are an amazing way to get kids comfortable in the water while building a lot of their own personal skills that will help them outside of the pool such as motor skills, confidence, and physical fitness. Enroll today! 


Keep the water temperature warm

One of the most essential swimming lesson tips: you need to keep the water warm. Because of the liquid medium, a pool feels about 10 degrees cooler than air temperature to a child. The focus should be on learning well, and shivering and blue lips make for less effective retention.

Regarding distractions, excessive noise or stimulus in the environment inhibits learning.

This is why some parents opt for in-home lessons rather than public lessons. On one hand, public lessons can be a great social scene for both parents and kids, and this works for some. For others, however, trust of the water is built more easily in one’s own pool. Simply asking the child their preference may be the key.

During lesson time, make sure things are kept fun and playful.

An important swimming lesson tip: Children’s attention spans are short, so keeping them engaged with water toys and skills work wonders for the lesson. When it comes to effective teaching, it’s 75% enthusiasm and 25% educated skill. Finding a good personality match between child and teacher can catapult learning forward dramatically. At HappySwimmer, we know how to make that match and our success rate proves it.

ALL children in lessons learn to swim eventually; just as all children learn to walk, some get it a little sooner, some a little later, but all do. Enjoy the process, and enjoy the child’s achievements along the way. A new arena of play is opening up for them and the whole family to enjoy. Let water learning be a safe and enjoyable experience and the rewards will last a lifetime.



Infants of any age can be taken in the water. Make it a fun experience, and keep the water nice and warm, 90-94 degrees. These little ones lose body heat up to four times faster than adults. A 20-minute water session is a good limit. These swim lessons are to get the child comfortable in the water. They do not have the motor skills to do anything by themselves but if you do these swim lessons they will be ready once they do have the motor skills to learn to swim. Do not take an infant under water, unless you are with a properly trained and experienced swim instructor. There are special submersion methods used so that the baby does not ingest chlorinated water


Children ages 2-3 are the perfect age to begin to learn to swim. Toddlers can learn to swim in these formidable years, however it generally takes daily lessons for 9 months to develop the reliability of their swimming. It is not an easy task at this age! But doing 2 lessons a week will get them to start building up these skills.

So the answer is, a child can learn at any age, but it is usually more convenient for the family if a child starts to learn closer to the age of 2 and up.


Goggles are ok for kids that are already pool safe during in home lessons- IF they fit well and don’t leak much. We encourage parents to get quality goggles, like Speedo’s for children. A decent, quality pair of goggles can be very useful in the early stages of learning swimming.


Building trust with the child student in the water is an important component to getting them to learn swimming with grace. Whenever the issue seems to present itself, we encourage the parent to say to the child, “I’ll never let go of you unless you say it’s ok…I promise…” Then stick to that! Even moving back while a child swims to you can erode that trust. Be careful of your word. Children remember!


Incrementally place the rings a bit deeper throughout the Swim Lesson visits. Suggest to the child to grab the ring with one hand while using their other hand to hold your hand for balance. Be sure to offer them your hand if you are taking them to the ring on the bottom, too.

Whenever going under whether for rings or other swimming or jumping from the wall, QUEING is key. What’s queing?- Saying “Ready… (Child repeats back, “ready”…. One…two…three. When taking a child under, do so smoothly and then take them back up to the surface smoothly.


When taking a child under, it is important to do so smoothly and then take them back up to the surface smoothly. Always queue and count so they know. The child responds to the force of the parent’s movements much more so than the actual going under. Smooth and calm submersions are the key to success and helping the child to feel safe and thus learn quickly. Make sure you know your child’s limits and watch them throughout to make sure they are okay.

QUEING: Queing is a very effective way to help develop trust, ease and grace in your child’s learning. Queing looks like this, You que the child by saying “Ready, one, two, three jump!” Or instead of jump, it could be taking the child slowly under water. Queing is way to prepare them for whatever is about to happen.

JUMPS FROM THE SIDE: JUMPS FROM THE SIDE: This is self explanatory. Jumps from the side must be done in the medium depth of the pool. Reinforce “Toes on the edge” before jumping so the child has good footing of the side. Reinforce the QUEING . “Ready, one, two, three, jump! ” Allow the child to hold your hand(s) if requested, but progressively through the Swim Lesson visits, move to holding only one hand, then jumping with no hands, then gradually increasing the distance, and eventually having them kick to you.

A MID SWIM LESSON FUN GAME: I give the children “milkshakes” or “wash machine rides.” These are fun games that help to keep the lesson lively. For milkshakes, I hold a child facing me, and swish from side to side while singing the milkshake song with them. Then I go, “1-2-3, and lift them high out of the water to the right, then down and to the left, and once more up to the right and down. The height is done to their comfort level, and occasionally I will even gently toss them up into the air. The milkshake song words go: “milkshake, milkshake, chocolate and banana, make ME a MILKSHAKE as fast as you CAN-NA….1-2-3, . I’ll also ask them prior, “what flavor would you like to be today?” Oh, Strawberry….Good!” This always gets the kids laughing and helps ease some of their tension and relax into the rest of the lesson.

Swim & Jumps Under Water Tips | Happy Swimmers


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