Swimming is not only a fun activity, but also a life-saving skill that would be beneficial for everyone. However, many parents wonder what is the most appropriate age for children to learn to swim, where to enroll them in lessons, and how to choose a coach. In this article, we will address some of these questions, as well as discuss the benefits of swimming for children and their health.
When should you enroll your child in swimming?
The truth is, there is no universal answer to this question, as it largely depends on the readiness and willingness of the child. Many experts, however, believe that there are two fairly successful approaches – one is to enroll the child in swimming lessons from a very early age, when they are still a baby, and the other is to wait until our son or daughter turns 5 years old.
The first approach works because babies have not yet lost their natural instinct to hold their breath underwater and move their arms and legs to stay afloat. Baby swimming lessons are usually designed to promote water familiarity and safety, rather than turning the child into a swimming champion. The goal is to create a positive experience in the water so that the baby feels comfortable and confident, relying on their natural instincts. Additionally, baby swimming lessons can have a positive impact on the parent-child relationship, as they attend the lessons together.
Many places now offer swimming lessons for babies, adapting the lessons and conditions specifically for the youngest ones. With the second approach, parents can wait until their child is around 5 years old before starting swimming lessons. At this age, children have developed their cognitive abilities and can understand instructions given by the coach. They also have a longer attention span, allowing them to concentrate more easily on following instructions.
Whichever approach you choose, make sure that your child attends the lessons willingly and not forcibly, and that they are not afraid of the water, as this can have the opposite effect.
What are the benefits of swimming for children?
Swimming has undeniable benefits for young children, helping them to build confidence, a healthy mind and body. Here are some of them:
Swimming is an important life-saving skill.
The ability to swim is not just about athletic achievement and physical fitness. In fact, it is a very valuable skill that significantly reduces the risk of fatal incidents and increases children’s awareness of water safety.
Swimming evenly strains the muscles of the whole body.
Swimming is a low-resistance exercise that provides a workout for the entire body, improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle strength, and increases flexibility. Children who attend swimming lessons are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, develop strong bones, posture, and muscles, as well as improve their overall physical shape.
Swimming requires coordinated efforts of the arms, legs, and breathing. Regular participation in swimming lessons can help children develop better coordination and balance, which in turn can lead to improved performance in other sports activities.
Swimming supports the strengthening of the immune system in children and has a positive effect on hardening, which makes children less susceptible to diseases. In addition, regular swimming improves children’s lung capacity and respiratory health.
Better sleep and emotional state.
Studies show that children who participate in some form of water sports sleep better and have better emotional states. Swimming has a calming effect on children, and the release of endorphins during exercise can improve mood and overall well-being.
Children build their confidence
While learning to swim and gaining new skills, children become more confident in their abilities, which promotes healthy self-esteem.
What to consider when choosing a swimming pool and coach?
It is important to choose the right swimming coach and pool for your child to ensure their safety and make their training enjoyable. Here are some tips to keep in mind before making a decision.
Experience and qualifications: It is important to choose a coach who has the necessary qualifications and experience to teach children. The coach’s approach and ability to motivate the child are crucial in determining whether they will attend lessons willingly.
Teaching style: Every coach has a different teaching style, so it is important to find one that matches your child’s learning style. Some coaches may focus more on technique, while others may prioritize building confidence through fun water activities.
Reputation: Ask other parents or read online reviews to get an idea of the coach’s or swimming club’s reputation.