Why Goldfish Swim School is better than Recreation Swim Lessons: 5 Key Skills we teach


If you have read our story, you probably know that the founders of Goldfish Swim School wanted not only to teach children how to swim, but how to be safe in and around water. Using those key factors – and creating a fun, warm and welcoming place for kids to learn – are things we often hear about why families come to Goldfish.

We know we are a little more expensive than swim lessons at a recreation center but we also know we are better.

At Goldfish Swim School, we start with the basics and use those as building blocks to teach kids every little thing that goes into swimming — because you have to walk before you run, right? Plus, conquering the basic steps means that your child will have an easier time learning the more in-depth strokes that come with time, and we will celebrate their progress.

Read on to learn more about what makes us different – and better!

1. How to get in and out of the pool safely.

You don’t want your daughter to jump in the pool and injure herself by slipping and falling, or struggling to get out of the pool and falling back in — which is why our instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to teach little ones how to safely enter and exit the pool. Sit down and carefully step into the pool, and use elbow, elbow, knee, knee to hoist up on the wall to exit the pool!

2. Using the wall for safety and support.

One of the key water safety tips is to give kids the tools they need should they ever become overwhelmed in the water — because when they automatically know what to do without really thinking about it, panic won’t set in and they’ll be able to stay safe. This includes doing the crab walk on the wall. Even though it may seem natural to you to grab onto the wall and shimmy your way down it while in the water, we want to make sure kids know how to do this instinctively.

3. Going underwater.

Sometimes, swim classes may not make kids go underwater. However, at Goldfish Swim School we know it’s important for kids to feel comfortable having their face wet — and being able to hold their breath underwater is vital to learning proper swim strokes. We sing songs and play games to get even babies as young as 4 months old (yes, your baby can start learning to swim before their first birthday!) to have no fear about being underwater.

4. Breath control.

If you’re training for a marathon, you don’t run the entire 26.2 miles your first day; you build up to it with weeks of running. In that same manner, we practice swimming underwater little by little. For the youngest swimmers in our Goldfish Mini class, they must have 5-second breath control in an underwater dip to advance to the next level — where we help them have breath control for 10 seconds. Older kids practice swimming underwater for 5 feet, then 10 feet, then gradually work up to swimming a width of the pool while doing rollover breaths along the way. When kids have good breath control, adding in the swim strokes is much more fluid (and easy — providing a GOLDEN experience!). We have different levels for kids ages 4 months to 12 years old, so they learn proper breath control every step of the way.

5. Roll onto their backs.

Have you ever become so overwhelmed by swimming that you couldn’t swim one more stroke, and relied on treading water to catch your breath? The littlest of swimmers may not be able to tread water yet (but that’s another skill we definitely teach early on!), so we teach them in every class how to roll over and do a back float. By practicing this over and over, it becomes second nature for kids to roll over to take a breath if they find they are struggling or sinking.

Sign up for Goldfish Swim School!

With locations around the country, you can find a Goldfish Swim School location near you and start your kids in swim lessons today! Learning to swim at Goldfish Swim School provides extraordinary results, and plenty of cool aspects (like a 90-degree water temperature and more!). Just some of our WOW! customer service you’ll soon see for yourself.

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