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Why Summer Is Ideal For Young Swimmers

School is out and that means kids across the country will be heading to the pool. Before your children jump in, ask yourself one important question: do your kids really know how to swim?

“A lot of parents think their kids are fine because they’re backyard swimmers,” says Cooper Fitness Center Swim Pro, Marni Kerner. “But the truth is, they don’t have the strokes and proficiency they need if they were to get into trouble in the water. There’s a difference between splashing all day and being a skilled swimmer.”

Below, Kerner discusses why summer is a perfect time to enroll your kids in swimming lessons even if they’ve been through them before.

Why Now?

Why now? The answer is simple. Kerner says during the summer months the likelihood of your family being around a body of water is much more likely.

“Parents are running their kids to different activities during the summer─such as camps and pool parties─and it’s time to make sure their kids are ready to be around water,” says Kerner.

FF_Final-(1)At Cooper Fitness Center, Kerner says summer is the busiest time for swimming lessons, especially the month of June.

“Parents see the investment and what a good job we do here, so a lot of them will bring their kids in for a week or two to get a solid foundation,” says Kerner.

Ages 5 and Under

The age of 2 is a perfect age to start swimming lessons, according to Kerner.

“A lot of parents think 2 is too young, but it’s really important to be introduced to the water at any early age,” says Kerner. “If they don’t have the exposure by that age,  I find that sensory-wise, it’s harder to get kids to want to put their face in and get wet at an older age.”

In fact, Kerner has given lessons to kids as young as 6 months old. What will the tots learn?

“I start with water safety,” says Kerner. “I remind them that they need to have permission to always get in the water and that they should always have an adult with them.” Kerner also teaches the basics such as bobbing─which helps them get to the side if the water is too deep─treading if they get fatigued and floating if they can’t get to the side.

What about the use of life jackets? Kerner says the flotation devices are great when your child will be in open water, such as a lake. During swim lessons? She recommends parents leave the floaties and life jackets at home.

“It defeats the purpose of what we teach them, which is water security and safety on their own,” says Kerner.

Ages 6-8

Kerner says she mostly teaches lessons to children between the ages of 4-8 years old. During those lessons, she still teaches water safety and basic strokes such as free-style and elementary back stroke, but she also covers the importance of pool depth.

“I teach this age group diving safety,” says Kerner. “Our pool here at Cooper Fitness Center isn’t deep enough to dive, so I’ll teach them alternatives, like seated dives.”

Kerner also gets a lot of returning swimmers in this age range. Even if they’ve taken lessons in the past, she says it’s great for kids to have a refresher course at the beginning of every summer.

“Many of them haven’t been around water for most of the year, so we give them refreshers, sharpen their skills and remind them of water safety,” says Kerner.

The refresher lessons are also important for kids attending sleep-away camps during the summer, as many of those programs include swimming time in a pool or a lake.

“Even those coming in for refreshers for 30 minutes a day will see improvement,” says Kerner. “They just need to be reminded of the little things and within a week, it’s amazing how much they improve.”

Pre-Competitive Swim Team

If your child is 6 years of age or older and is comfortable in the water, a pre-competitive swim team may be the next step. At Cooper Fitness Center, the swim team gives kids the opportunity to train and improve their skills in a group environment, all while preparing them for a competitive swim team.

“It’s a small group, they swim a bunch and they learn a ton,” says Kerner. ”They all love it and it’s 10 hours of instruction, which is a good amount.”

Swim team instruction includes learning competitive strokes, techniques, skill work and conditioning. Swimmers must be able to swim 25 yards unassisted in order to qualify for the swim team at Cooper.

Lessons at Cooper Fitness Center

Swimming lessons at Cooper Fitness Center typically run Monday-Friday for 30 minutes. Kerner recommends doing at least one week, if not two for maximum benefits.

Interested in booking swim lessons? Don’t wait! Sessions are filling up fast and Kerner says it’s a commitment your family won’t regret.

“The kids are happy with the lessons, the parents are happy and I’ve seen them continue to come back throughout the summer,” says Kerner.

For more information on swimming lessons or to book a session, visit cooperswimacademy.com.


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