Children in terms of what most parents believe a proper freestyle is, a proper backstroke, they can’t really start to learn competitive swimming strokes until they’re about the age of 3. Developmentally their brains aren’t ready for the type of instruction.
However, waiting until your kid is 3 years old to start lessons can give you a ton of problems later on. We recommend infant swimming because there are social, physical, intellectual benefits.
The earlier you start, the better. There is a study that recently came out of Australia as of August 2013. You can actually see the videos and the results on our website. That there are benefits intellectually that kids get out of swim classes beyond the obvious drowning prevention, physical benefits. Through hearing instructions multiple ways, they’re actually picking up language. And it’s stimulating their brain to develop faster. The water around their body is helping their brain to develop as well.
The reasons to start early are becoming more and more important as we learn more about infant swimming. And this study that came out is really ground-breaking information. And I’m trying to educate all my parents on the benefits of swimming early.
Now if you don’t have the budget or a pool at home, like I said, the benefit is to being in a group lesson with the social instructors. Hearing the language, hearing the songs, multiple voices, because they pick up on all of that. But at home, you can use things like the shower and the bath to help bring them along in their water comfort.
The shower is the most under-utilized swim school tool in the world. It’s always the first question I ask when parents call and say, my child is 2 or 3 and they don’t really like the water. The first question I ask is how do they respond in the shower? Usually their answer is they don’t take showers. They take baths.
I tell them, do what you can at home. It’s not just the swim school that helps the child along. It’s the parent and what you can do at home. The shower is an easy way to force water onto their hair, face, and eyes. Something that helps them particularly when it comes to underwater submersion and holding their breath underwater.