About 1 ½ years ago when I started at Swimtastic I was given a student named Mary. She took private lessons because she was very nervous in the water. I knew right away that I needed to gain her trust. Some students start lessons with a fear of the water; Creating a bond with Mary wouldn't be simple.
We started out by spending a lot of time on the stairs and just talking. She was 7 years old and I worked on getting to know her and the things she liked while gaining her trust. We then moved on to learning bubbles and having her come into the water with me to work on reaching arms. By the end of the first semester, I had gained her trust and we were finally starting to dip her eyes into the water! It was a slow progression, but mom stuck with our program and it worked. The next semester we worked hard on getting her under the water, but she was just so terrified, so it was a big challenge. We started out with putting things on the bottom of the pools so she could look at them and then moved on to dipping her whole head in to look at me.
Eventually, I got her to do a bob (full submersion) with me! It was a huge accomplishment and I was SO proud! Now she is swimming the entire pool while putting her eyes in and knows backstroke. Mary makes me so proud every week because she started out terrified to get into the water and now she can swim by herself without me! I took a complete beginner and turned her into a swimmer 😊
Mary and I have a special bond and I will never forget her! Being a swim teacher has been so rewarding because I get to see my students grow into great swimmers and get out of their comfort zones. I believe swimming is so important for kids because they are around water a lot, whether it is pools or lakes and water can be very dangerous. It can also be very FUN if you learn how to swim!