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swim lesson question


skimomma
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My 11 yo dd is going to be taking private swim lessons.  She already knows how to swim for playing and safety but she is interested in trying the swim team next fall and must be able to swim across the pool with proper freestyle form before that is a possibility.  Her normal mode of swimming is a cross between dog paddle and freestyle-with-head-up.   She can tread water indefinitely and can easily get across the pool with her style of swimming so she is pretty comfortable in the water (no fear issues).  

 

As we are setting this up, we have the option of hour-long lessons once a week for 6 weeks or 6 one-hour lessons over 6 consecutive days.  Either works fine for our schedule.  Which one is likely to end with the most progress?  We do not have access to a pool between lessons in either case so she would not be "practicing" between lessons.

 

When she took group lessons she had both scenarios at one time or another.  The consecutive classes were much better.  But I'm not sure if the same would be true for more advanced lessons.

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Consecutive would be better as you don't have access to a pool. For competition, the style have to be correct; as in not mixed up style. Consecutive would be easier for getting the style correct. Does she need to learn to dive for swim team? Is she aiming for individuals or relay team?

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Agreeing. 6 Consecutive days would be better than days off.

 

What I sometimes suggest to people in your situation is to take a combination of group and private lessons over several weeks. Like group lessons twice a week, plus private on another day. But if you can't work out a good combination of times 6 days in a row of privates is better than once a week with no practice in between.

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Consecutive would be better as you don't have access to a pool. For competition, the style have to be correct; as in not mixed up style. Consecutive would be easier for getting the style correct. Does she need to learn to dive for swim team? Is she aiming for individuals or relay team?

 

I am not sure about the diving.  She can dive now but probably not off of a block into shallow water.  How is this even handled for youth swim teams now?  I was on the swim team growing up and we dove off the blocks, but I noticed all of the blocks have been removed from most of the pools I have been in over the last 10 years.  With our now super-litigious society, I just cannot see this being allowed anywhere.

 

The team she aims to join is a YMCA team where the kids would be doing a little of everything based on their ability and interest.  The requirements for joining the team are simply "cross the pool with proper freestyle form."  Speaking with one of the organizers, "proper" is pretty loosely adhered to.....I think they are just going for "willing to put their heads in the in water."   

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Agreeing. 6 Consecutive days would be better than days off.

 

What I sometimes suggest to people in your situation is to take a combination of group and private lessons over several weeks. Like group lessons twice a week, plus private on another day. But if you can't work out a good combination of times 6 days in a row of privates is better than once a week with no practice in between.

 

It sounds like consecutive is the way to go.

 

The reason we are even going to private lesson route to begin with is because the waiting list for lessons locally is so long she would not get in until next year.  We live in a geographically isolated area which many people do not understand.  There is one pool, one source of lessons, and one team.  Nothing else within two hours.  So our options are more limited than what most people experience.

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It sounds like consecutive is the way to go.

 

The reason we are even going to private lesson route to begin with is because the waiting list for lessons locally is so long she would not get in until next year.  We live in a geographically isolated area which many people do not understand.  There is one pool, one source of lessons, and one team.  Nothing else within two hours.  So our options are more limited than what most people experience.

 

so, the pool has no open swim or lap swim hours at all. You can only swim if you are in lessons or on team?  Considering what swimming does for my own mental health, I would find that a difficult place to be.

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I am not sure about the diving. She can dive now but probably not off of a block into shallow water. How is this even handled for youth swim teams now?

My city manage a swim center where the swim team trains. They have a diving pool at the center and also deeper lanes in the main olympic size pool. So individuals, relays, water synchronous dancing, diving can be done there. Parents have to sign the usual waivers.

 

The swim pools at the public high schools which are used by park and rec. dept. are deep enough to dive. Some still have the blocks.

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so, the pool has no open swim or lap swim hours at all. You can only swim if you are in lessons or on team?  Considering what swimming does for my own mental health, I would find that a difficult place to be.

 

The pool is at a university so it is primarily there for university purposes.  They have twice-daily open-to-the-public lap swim times but they are adult only.  You must be 16 or older to be in the pool.  I lap swim twice a week there during those times and can confirm that indeed no children are allowed.  The private lesson program is through the university.  Lessons occur during other events happening at the pool when guards are on duty.  So dd's lesson might be during aqua-fit or ROTC exercises or group lesson time or whatever.  Only people in those classes/events or taking a private lesson can be in the pool at that time.  It is not really a "community" resource.

 

There are no other pools at all except in a couple of hotels.  The schools to do have them.  There is no public pool.  We do have lots and LOTS of public beaches which we do utilize all summer.  But they are under about 4 feet of snow right now.

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I would start off with the 6 consecutive days of private lessons, focusing on mastering proper breathing technique. Then I'd follow-up with 6 lessons once a week and continue to work on stroke work. 

 

If you can find out the requirements for the swim team try-outs, have the swim instructors work towards these.  

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In your shoes I might start calling local hotels/motels and see if they would be interested in letting you pay for practice time. Obviously it wouldn't be 25 m, but when you are working on developing good form you don't necessarily want to swim a whole length. I think I would try to find out which hotels have independent ownership or franchise so there is an owner who can make a decision. They might all say no, but I'd still ask. 

 

I don't have experience with universities that don't open their swimming facilities. The very large state university near me definitely opens their facilities to the public in part to be a good member of the community. 

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In your shoes I might start calling local hotels/motels and see if they would be interested in letting you pay for practice time. Obviously it wouldn't be 25 m, but when you are working on developing good form you don't necessarily want to swim a whole length. I think I would try to find out which hotels have independent ownership or franchise so there is an owner who can make a decision. They might all say no, but I'd still ask. 

 

I don't have experience with universities that don't open their swimming facilities. The very large state university near me definitely opens their facilities to the public in part to be a good member of the community. 

 

The hotels did used to allow people to pay a small amount to come in and swim.  I used to take dd to them frequently.  Years ago they quit doing that.  Insurance reasons is what they say.  You can rent the pools for bday parties but cannot pay to just come in and swim for an hour.

 

I don't begrudge the university their pool policy.  The pool is pretty booked all day and into the evening.  The very team dd wants to join has that pool booked after school on weekdays for their practices.  With multiple age groups and levels, they have it Monday-Friday 4-7pm.  Then the intermurals come in after that well into the late night.  I'm not even sure when they would be able to squeeze in time during the week for a traditional "open swim."  Weekends are full of lessons, group classes, university classes, intermurals, etc....

 

They DO have open swim and camps in the summer when school is out.  But by then, we can use the free beaches so that is where we swim most days.

 

We might be lacking in pools but we do have at least 30 public ice rinks within 10 miles of my house, several even covered or indoors.

 

But that is all beside the point really.  Dd is interested in joining the team.  Given the constraints we have, it sounds like daily lessons at first would be the best way to start.  She might even decide she hates it after a few lessons so I am not too worried about the long term.  I just wanted to know what would be the best way to book the initial lessons and have gotten some good advice.  

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I am not sure about the diving.  She can dive now but probably not off of a block into shallow water.  How is this even handled for youth swim teams now?  I was on the swim team growing up and we dove off the blocks, but I noticed all of the blocks have been removed from most of the pools I have been in over the last 10 years.  With our now super-litigious society, I just cannot see this being allowed anywhere.

 

The team she aims to join is a YMCA team where the kids would be doing a little of everything based on their ability and interest.  The requirements for joining the team are simply "cross the pool with proper freestyle form."  Speaking with one of the organizers, "proper" is pretty loosely adhered to.....I think they are just going for "willing to put their heads in the in water."   

Many pools only put blocks up for meets.

 

I would go for the 6 consecutive days. I'd try to do lessons now, and maybe again right before team starts. Most teams I know just really want them to be able to make it across the pool and be able to put their faces in while swimming. With that, they can work on technique. Good for your dd for starting up!!!

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Many pools only put blocks up for meets.

 

 

 

Do you (or others) happen to know if pools will still use blocks if both ends of the pool are shallow?  I can ask the team organizer next time we speak but I did not think to ask last time.  Our pool is shallow (4 ft) on both ends.  It used to have starting platforms that were not removable.  They took these out as well as the 3 meter diving board 15+ years ago.  I have seen no evidence that there are any sort of moveable blocks.  But I have never been to a meet so cannot say for sure.

 

Dd can dive off of a diving board, boats, docks, and rafts but she will have to learn about shallow water diving if they do indeed use blocks.

 

But first things first.....  Thus the lessons.  The first one is tomorrow and she is very excited!

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I don't think they will have blocks for so shallow a pool. Too much liability. I'm no expert...but the kids weren't allowed to dive into the parts of our club pool that were less than 7' or so.

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Do you (or others) happen to know if pools will still use blocks if both ends of the pool are shallow?  I can ask the team organizer next time we speak but I did not think to ask last time.  Our pool is shallow (4 ft) on both ends.  It used to have starting platforms that were not removable.  They took these out as well as the 3 meter diving board 15+ years ago.  I have seen no evidence that there are any sort of moveable blocks.  But I have never been to a meet so cannot say for sure.

 

Dd can dive off of a diving board, boats, docks, and rafts but she will have to learn about shallow water diving if they do indeed use blocks.

 

But first things first.....  Thus the lessons.  The first one is tomorrow and she is very excited!

 

The standard I am used to is 4 ft required for starting blocks. 6 ft is recommended. Only experienced swimmers/diver should be allowed to dive off of the blocks into 4 ft of water. 3 feet requires an in water start. I know a lot of pools who use blocks with 4 ft. Local ordinances would override this though, and it does vary by location. It is very likely that your pool will not have blocks since it is so shallow on both ends, but there will likely be meets elsewhere where blocks will come into play. (How on earth did the pool have a 3 m board with a 4 ft depth? That sounds insane.

 

How did she like her lesson?

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The standard I am used to is 4 ft required for starting blocks. 6 ft is recommended. Only experienced swimmers/diver should be allowed to dive off of the blocks into 4 ft of water. 3 feet requires an in water start. I know a lot of pools who use blocks with 4 ft. Local ordinances would override this though, and it does vary by location. It is very likely that your pool will not have blocks since it is so shallow on both ends, but there will likely be meets elsewhere where blocks will come into play. (How on earth did the pool have a 3 m board with a 4 ft depth? That sounds insane.

 

How did she like her lesson?

 

The 3m board was in the dive tank!  Not the regular pool.  Sorry to be confusing.  The dive tank is 15 feet deep so I am really not sure why the 3m board was removed.  The 1m boards are still there and so is the 10m platform.

 

The lesson went very well.  Dd enjoyed it and the instructor thinks she will easily be able to get up to speed.  We have daily lessons scheduled this week then will talk about a plan at the end based on her progress.  She is a stronger swimmer than I realized.  

 

I'll have to do some asking about the blocks and what happens at the various pools where they compete.  I'm not sure how any kid would be able to do it at one location if they never have a chance to practice with them.  The meets are all 2+ hours away so I have never been to any of the other pools.

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I believe current insurance standards for 3 m are deeper than 15ft now. 1m boards require at least 11.5 ft. On pool local to me cannot hold meets, but has a separate 11 ft dive area. They install two blocks ther for lesson and swim team use only to teach block use. Maybe the pool you will use has bocks they can install for that purpose.

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The 3m board was in the dive tank!  Not the regular pool.  Sorry to be confusing.  The dive tank is 15 feet deep so I am really not sure why the 3m board was removed.  The 1m boards are still there and so is the 10m platform.

 

The lesson went very well.  Dd enjoyed it and the instructor thinks she will easily be able to get up to speed.  We have daily lessons scheduled this week then will talk about a plan at the end based on her progress.  She is a stronger swimmer than I realized.  

 

I'll have to do some asking about the blocks and what happens at the various pools where they compete.  I'm not sure how any kid would be able to do it at one location if they never have a chance to practice with them.  The meets are all 2+ hours away so I have never been to any of the other pools.

 

That's great! I would guess they just dive off the side and maybe the one m board (without a bounce) at practice, then try the blocks at away meets during warm ups. Not ideal, but a kid who can dive can usually easily transition to blocks. It would be plenty for lightweight competition.

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