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  • What Does Progress Look Like in Learning to Swim?

    The process of learning to swim – like any other skill – is different for every student.

    Some children are enthusiastic learners from the beginning, and that motivation stays constant month after month as they build new skills. Others take longer to get comfortable in the water, but over time, they become confident and avid swimmers. Some children fall somewhere in between, but with consistent lessons, swimming becomes an important part of their lives.

    All new swimmers will have fits and starts in their journey, and it’s important to remember that progress is not measured in a straight line. Even if your child has a natural aptitude for swimming, they won’t improve perfectly week over week. They will make headway on a stroke one day and regress on it the following lesson. Or they will breeze through mastery of one skill and struggle with the next.

    This is a normal part of the learning process. You may have seen your child go through a similar learning curve in other pursuits, like becoming a proficient reader, baseball player or ballet dancer. Simply stay patient and supportive, and maintain year-round lessons with long-term goals in mind. There’s a reason Swim Thru Life is our school’s motto! We want our students to become confident lifelong swimmers.

    Even though it can be difficult to judge improvement from lesson to lesson, there are a few important signs that indicate progress:

    Moving Through the 3-Step Learning Sequence

    The proper sequence of learning to swim has three key steps: water comfort, stroke development and stroke enhancement. Students must go through these steps, in order, to master basic skills and move on to more advanced capabilities. Pay attention to your child’s progress throughout each of the three steps by watching during lessons, talking to the manager-on-duty and instructor, and reading their ongoing skill notes in your online customer portal.

    Demonstrating Skills Correctly Without Prompting

    Watch your child swimming and note which skills they perform automatically, without prompting from you or an instructor. When this happens, you know muscle memory is kicking in – a surefire sign of advancement.

    Repeating Error-Free Drills

    We focus on practicing correct technique over and over again because this repetition is what leads to mastery. If your child can repeat drills consistently without errors, you will know they are on the right track.

    Interested in learning more about Tom Dolan Swim School? Read our FAQs page.