Friday, June 26, 2015


Abi has taken swimming lessons for years. The best ones she has had were in Wisconsin, put on by the Red Cross for only $5. 
Unfortunately, at the time I didn't realize that each session was a different one building off of the last one so I only signed her up for one. She got the swimming basics in that one session but then needed to build swimming strength and technique. 
Since then every time I have taken her somewhere I have ended up disappointed as she didn't seem to learn much and sat on the side of a pool for most of the lessons. 
Because of that I really wanted to do private lessons. 
She is very interested in getting into a swimming club or on a team so she needs to learn strokes. 
I heard about O'Neal Aquatics from a friend and we signed up. 
While it is more expensive, the lessons are private. 
Abi has done great there and is making good progress with learning the strokes. 

Maddy is afraid of the water (she doesn't even like laying down in the bathtub!) so most lessons she sits next to me watching. 

But after a few lessons, Maddy decided she wanted to do them too. 
I was so worried as we waited for her turn. 
The reason: O Neal is a good place to learn fast and to get private instructions. 
But they are intense. 
They hold kids under the water and push them under the water. 
As I was watching I was seeing a lot of water swallowing and a few kids puking on the side of the pool into a puke bucket they have sitting there. 
I know I am an anxious mom but I kept looking around at the other parents wondering why I was the only one not stone faced. Is this normal? Do kids normally puke this much? 
There was one girl in particular that I did not want Maddy to get. She freaked me out. 
I knew that if she was the one that called Maddy's name I would have to tell them we wouldn't be doing the lesson because after watching her with another little kid that was scared I was pretty sure that Maddy would never get in the water again if she had her. 
Luckily, she got a very patient teacher. 
She got her to eventually float on her back while holding her. 

But then as she tried to move on, Maddy got really nervous and started crying. 
The hardest thing in the world was when Maddy looked over her shoulder at me with the saddest look on her face and yelled, "Mommy! Save me!"
But instead of forcing her, this teacher motioned me over and asked if I wanted her to push her or not. 
I said, no. Go at her pace. She is a very stubborn little girl and the more you push, the harder she pushes back. 
(I wonder where she gets that from....)
So they played with toys on the stairs and by the end of their time the teacher had her blowing bubbles. 

I quickly took Maddy off the lessons and have decided I will work with her myself. 
I watched some YouTube videos made by an Australian Olympic swimmer with tips on helping kids to learn to swim and their approach is completely different. I think it will be much better for Maddy that way. 
But we continue to go for Abi and she is doing great. 


Holly said...

Swimming can be so hard! And I know what you mean about finding good lessons. The best lessons Emma ever had were in Phoenix while we were visiting family years ago. A friend taught lessons and we were able to sign up for a session ahead of time knowing we'd be there. The session was only 2 weeks, but Emma went from having no skills, to being able to float, jump in off the side and swim across the pool, etc. I was really impressed. This lady wasn't a pool nazi though, like a couple ladies at your place sound like. That's super intense. It's important to push kids a little, but that might be too much. I don't like the sound of the throwing up. I'm like you - it seems too intense. It would make me extremely nervous and I would probably be shocked more moms weren't concerned. I'm glad Abi's doing so well though, and that Maddy's getting in the water too. Emma did take one session from Danita here in the ward, which was great because she helped fix a weird leg thing Emma did, but now Emma just practices with Eric who is fantastic as he used to swim and dive for his school. Did you know those red cross classes here are now free?

Seth and Julie said...

I also love those Red Cross classes but I totally missed the sign up date this year and now I can't bring myself to go pay for lessons elsewhere when I know I could have had them for free.

I was shocked when I read about holding kids under water and having buckets for them to puke in. That is totally unacceptable in my opinion and I am surprised that it is even permitted.

cheryl said...

They are free now?! Dang. That is amazing. I wish they did them here.
I am so glad I am not the only one that thinks it is crazy. No one else was reacting and it wasn't even my kids!
There were even teeny babies in the pool that couldn't have been more than 9-10 months old. And they are just holding them on their backs with them crying and every once in a while flipping them over in the water and then back onto their backs. I guess it is supposed to teach them how to flip onto their backs if they accidentally fall in the water.. but man it makes me nervous. I could never do it.

The Kings said...

She really did good in those videos!

cheryl said...

Yeah she is really improving. She has one lesson this week and then none for a few weeks as they were all full. then 10 more lessons. So by the end of those she should be good to go.

The Kings said...

I am impressed with how well she is doing...and having fun too!