Last week the kids took lessons at Morris Swimming. This is Gavin's third year there. The first time I tried swimming lessons for Gavin they were group lessons at the middle school and we could not get him off the side of the pool for the majority of the lessons. He was terrified.
One of the parents on our soccer team sent out an email about these private swimming lessons and I thought that might be what he needed. The first year we only signed up for one session and he did great!
Last summer we signed up for most of the sessions and he took lessons for most of the summer. This year I just signed him up for the last session of the summer, not knowing how track would impact our ability to attend lessons.
The night before his session started Sam decided he wanted lessons too. Unfortunately, she was booked up, but the next day she called me with a last minute cancellation in Gavin's session! How perfect was that? So they got to take lessons at the same time. Gavin got his favorite instructor, Adam. Sam got to work with two girls, since the cancellation had been siblings.
Suzanne Morris holds private lessons in her backyard pool in Urbandale. She oversees the sessions, sometimes working one on one with the kids. The kids are also paired up one on one with high school/college kids that Suzanne knows from the Johnston swim team. The individual attention, plus the casual backyard atmosphere, and the fun that high school kids bring, all create a great experience for the kids.
Gavin worked on the freestyle stroke this week, as well as the back float. By the end of the week he was able to swim across the pool and take breaths while doing the freestyle. He was also able to do a pencil jump off the diving board and come up into a back float. Gavin is not terribly comfortable in the water, so my main goal is that he build enough skill so that he can go to the pool with friends and I'm not worried constantly that he get in too deep that he gets in trouble. He has been making steady process, but I think his competitive skills will stay on dry land :)
For youngsters like Sam, their goal is getting them comfortable in the water. They get him to put different parts of his face in the water, eventually getting him to go completely under by the end of the week. He jumped off the side of the pool into the instructors arms, and then onto a noodle, and worked up to jumping off the diving board. He also worked on kicking his legs - going around the pool with a noodle, as well as a backfloat with his head supported on the instructors shoulder.
Lessons aren't cheap - $75 for a week long session (5 days x 30 minutes). However, I think the quality of instruction they get is well worth it. I think swimming is a skill well worth the money....you know, drowning and all.
Here are a couple pictures I took of Sam, and then some underwater pics from the Morris Swimming Facebook page.