4 Social Skills Kids Learn in Swim Lessons

There are so many good reasons to enroll your child in swim lessons. You want them to learn an important life skill and be safe around the water. You hope that swimming will help them stay active and even boost their cognitive and physical abilities. Did you know that swim lessons also support healthy social development?

We almost always recommend group classes over private lessons because kids thrive in this setting. All Tom Dolan Swim School classes are limited to small groups, where students can learn from each other, build friendships and develop social skills – all while still receiving personal attention from the instructor. Here are four essential social skills kids learn while taking swim lessons.  


Learning how to listen is a key part of learning how to swim. Every student must pay attention to what the instructor is doing and saying to follow each activity. And they’ll see clear rewards to this attentive listening; they’ll show improvement in their technique when they concentrate and follow their teacher’s feedback. 


In a group class – even a small group – every child practices waiting their turn and sharing. When one of their classmates is receiving instruction, kids have to pause and wait for the teacher’s attention. When someone else is using their favorite kickboard, they practice cooperation and sharing. These small moments teach valuable skills over time.


Our swim lessons foster collaboration over competition. In a small class of four or five other students, kids learn to cheer each other on in every lesson. If someone is struggling with a certain kick or stroke, their classmates help and encourage them until they get it. They become invested in each other’s small victories, which nurtures their empathy and creates a positive, supportive environment.


Each lesson is an opportunity for students to develop their verbal communication skills. In addition to listening, they must practice talking to their peers and teachers. If they don’t understand a direction, they ask follow-up questions. If they’re having trouble mastering a new skill, they ask for more help. If they love a particular activity, they speak up and say so. Kids gain confidence by learning to use their voices in a group setting.

Learn more about the different levels of group lessons at Tom Dolan Swim School.