In our last blog post, we uncovered a common myth surrounding swim lessons and in today’s post, we’ll touch on another all too common myth. This one is on the subject of losing swim skills after taking a break from lessons.
No matter how talented your child, and no matter how effective they are at learning new swim skills, NO child’s progression is continuous or linear! This means that every child’s swim progression is completely individual << Tweet This!. There are kids that learn in leaps and bounds, others progress slowly, little by little and then there are some children that seem to stay stuck on one skill for a long stretch. This can make a parent’s decision of whether to continue onto the next swim session very challenging!
Sometimes parents keep their child in swim lessons because they are afraid that if they take a break from lessons their child will “lose” the skill and comfort they’ve gained. In many instances this is simply not true! In fact, there are many cases in the students we teach where we have recommended a student take a session off.
Here are a few reasons why we recommend a student take a session off:
- The student has plateaued in their learning
- The student has become too familiar with their Private lessons instructor
- They are too tired after school to really benefit from their lessons
Sometimes taking a break from lessons allows the student (and parent!) to enjoy other activities and come back to swimming at a later session not only with their skill intact, but also an with renewed focus and engagement. This often results in further developed coordination for the skill they were struggling with.
Of course, there are other times in a child’s learn-to-swim progression where it is most beneficial to keep going in lessons!
While most students do not lose the skill or the comfort they’ve gained when they take a break from lessons, there are times when a student’s progression will lose momentum. Melissa and I have both had students, especially cautious beginners, with whom we’ve built rapport and managed to bring them to the brink of breakthrough… only to have them withdraw at the end of the month.
Breaks from lessons can be beneficial when timed correctly! The best way to know if your child should continue in lessons:
- Examine why you want them to continue (maybe it is to continue improving or simply for fitness.)
- Ask yourself if it makes economic and scheduling sense for your family.
- Ask your child’s instructor if continuing is what your child REALLY needs and what is to be gained from another session!
A simple, honest conversation with a knowledgeable instructor can offer you insight into where your child is at, what they need to improve and what the best options are for them to get the most out of their lessons. It truly can give you the insight you need to make the best decision.