Dive In to Summer with Cooper Swim Pro Marni Kerner
Learning to swim can be a challenging experience, no matter if you’re a child or an adult. If you’re searching for the perfect swim program for your child or for yourself, making a decision can be stressful as well. Cooper Fitness Center offers swim lessons for all ages, and Swim Pro Marni Kerner explains a few aspects of her instruction that sets her programs apart from others.
It’s All About the Swimmer
Only small groups of swimmers will be found in the Cooper Fitness Center lap pool – Marni offers private and semi-private lessons for kids and teens in order to personalize each lesson and hone in on each swimmer’s development. This allows swimmers to continue advancing in their skillset, instead of plateauing after a certain point.
Although Marni works with both children and adults, she does not offer “mommy-and-me” lesson options. Having a parent in the water at the same time as a young child can sometimes keep the child from focusing on the lesson and building independent skills. However, while some programs don’t allow parents to observe the lesson in progress, Marni encourages parents to stick around the pool during each lesson, and she makes sure to provide feedback and instructions for at-home activities to each parent. Additionally, Marni does offer parent/child sessions for children 8+ years old. This is often a great option for a child learning to swim alongside his or her parent or when a parent and child are training for a triathlon.
Safety is the top priority for Marni and her swimmers, but she also focuses on making sure each swimmer is enjoying him or herself throughout the lesson. She lists a few practices that some people might think are safe, but could potentially be dangerous for new swimmers:
- Goggles or no goggles? Marni discourages her youngest swimmers from wearing goggles during lessons so they become accustomed to opening their eyes underwater without becoming disoriented. This is a great safety measure for kids – if a child happened to unexpectedly fall in a pool, he or she would not become disoriented by the water in their eyes.
- Floaties or Fins? Items such as water wings and other inflatables can give a false sense of security and can actually be quite dangerous. They still allow for a child to fall forward into the water and takes away from learning proper water balance. Instead, Marni is a big proponent of using water fins during swim lessons, as they help with efficiency and development of muscle memory for kicking. It can be challenging for new swimmers to learn how to kick, and using tools such as fins can make it a steadier process.
- Holding your breath or blowing bubbles? Teaching children to hold their breath for as long as possible while swimming is not a tactic Marni recommends. In fact, she and her swimmers focus on blowing bubbles as much as possible, which helps early development of proper breathing patterns. When younger swimmers hold their breath for too long, they can start to take in water, which can cause many issues. There have also been instances when older swimmers who try to hold their breath for too long have actually passed out while swimming laps.
A Unique Environment
All of Marni’s private lessons focus on individual skill development, which is not standard in larger group programs. Swimmers, including toddlers, take lessons in Cooper Fitness Center’s lap pool, which helps develop skills with regard to distance and endurance.
Additionally, the unique Cooper campus provides an experience all its own for swimmers and their parents alike – especially when a duck or two hop in the pool to join in the lesson!
Though her typical swimmer is between four and eight years old, Marni offers services for all ages, needs and abilities. Her youngest swimmer is 10 months old, and her oldest recently turned 89. She works with children on the learning spectrum, those who are rehabilitating an injury and high-level competitive swimmers. To learn more about Marni and Cooper Fitness Center’s swim programs, visit cooperyouth.com/dallas.