Hello my name is J and I have an enquiry about swimming for young children. I live in the country and I have two children ages 4 & 6 and both have been doing swimming lessons for the last two years. Both children are very strong swimmers but the swim programme they are in never seems to place them in the appropriate lessons for their skill. My 6 year old is in a class two levels below her ability but because there aren’t any places in lessons she is meant to be in, she stays in the same class. With my 4 year old there are 6 children in the class and he probably spends half the class sitting at the edge of the pool whilst other kids with less ability get more attention from instructors.
I have looked into private lessons for them both but they are not offered where I live. What would be my next step in ensuring they get adequate swim lessons to further develop their potential? Is it suitable to put at least the 6 year old into a club where she will receive adequate training, and how old do children need to be before they can join a squad?
I look forward to your response. Regards J
Hi J, Thank you for your email. You have asked a number of complex questions so I will deal with them one at a time.
If your 6 year old is still in a class two levels below her ability you need to ask the supervisor at the swim school to assess her and if she should be up one or two levels, ask when a day and time may be available to help her progression. Ask also if they have a waiting list for current customers for the class level she needs to go into.
With your 4 year old, 6 children in a class is not uncommon. There is a large demand for swimming lessons in every area throughout Australia at the moment and many swim schools have maximum numbers of 5 or 6 pupils in a class. It may be worth mentioning to the supervisor your observations that they spend alot of time on the side as there are ways swim teachers can teach multiple children at the same time for some of the class.
Depending on what your local club offers, your 6 year old may be still young yet to take part in club squads and I would recommend a focus on moving her up a group or two in the swim school first to ensure she learns all the skills required to be a squad swimmer later on.
You may have already done a few of the things I have listed above and I would encourage you to follow them up again if this is the case.