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Safety Week: meet Blue River Chiropractic!

Safety Week: meet Blue River Chiropractic!

Safety Day at Swim West is this Saturday! We are so excited to be part of this amazing community event again this year!

So some of you may be wondering about why a chiropractic office would be partnering with a swim school. Well several reasons:

  1. Swim West is an amazing business run by amazing people and we like to support and partner with amazing!
  1. Chiropractic is fantastic for injury prevention, healing different sources of pain, and maintaining proper mobility for all activities.
  1. Safety is so important for us. We see injuries on a daily basis that could have been prevented by proper education and safety precautions. We are committed to being part of that prevention process.

So what will the Blue River Chiropractic team be doing at the Swim West Safety day? Come to our booth to learn all about biking safety and injury prevention and also test your kid’s road sign knowledge. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Open swim can help

Open swim can help

Almost everyone has heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect,” right? When it comes to swimming, there is nothing more helpful that constant practice. Open swim times are probably one of the best opportunities for that. If you are just starting to swim, training for a triathlon, or anything in between, open swim times at the local pool are always beneficial.

For children, this is where Family Swim comes to play. Over the years, I’ve seen lots and lots of children who are starting to swim at an older age. Parents are bringing their child in for their first swim lesson and the child is clinging to them, not wanting to swim. One big reason that I’ve noticed new students get so scared on their first day is because they have had little to no opportunity to get into the water with the people they trust the most; their parents. They are being handed to a stranger for their first experience in the water. Of course, there are many factors as to why parents would rather have an instructor be with their child on their first day in the water, but swimming with someone they already know and trust can be especially helpful.

When I can tell the child is not getting comfortable at a “normal” pace, I suggest parents take them to an open swim time. Here, the child is able to explore. With the whole family, it can create a more fun and engaging experience. They are going to be more likely to put their face in the water and swim if they are with someone they know. Children are able to test their limits in a safe and positive way by playing. It is no longer a swim lesson, it is just fun. Little do they know, they’re practicing, and with practice, comes progress.

If you are a parent wanting to take your child to open swim, remember to bring a safe flotation device such as a puddle jumper. Bring toys that float and toys that sink. Depending on their comfort, they can practice submersion, reaching, etc. You could even bring a plastic cup and practice getting their face wet and let them get your face wet. Make it fun!

For adults, this is a great time to practice without your instructor staring at you for 30 min. This is free range. Figure out what feels good to you. Get comfortable with your body and how it moves in the water. The more you do it, the easier it will come. Swimming once a week may not be enough to make the progress you want to make, but even just getting in the water and floating or kicking for 15min outside of class can drastically help you progress.

I have been swimming all my life, I am in the water all the time for work, and I still enjoy going to an open swim time to keep up my endurance. I learn something about myself every time I go. You will too.

For more info on our open swim times, click the button above!

Dive into our Swim Meets!

Dive into our Swim Meets!

Swim meets bring in the competitive aspect into swimming. SwimWest makes it a fun introduction to what swimming competitions are by encouraging the swimmers, showing them a team effort, and making them smile the entire time. Your child’s first experience will be a positive one. Here are all your need-to-knows about our swim meets!

Our swim meets are for any of our students that are in the Manatee level or above; including Swim Team! Swimmers can choose for up to two events and one relay. It is not guaranteed that they will swim that event as it depends on age, level, and availability. By choosing an event, it helps us get a good idea of what your swimmer enjoys to swim and find a similar event to the one of your swimmer’s choosing. With that in mind, here are what swimmers have to choose from:

Manatee and above:

  • 25yd
    • Backstroke
    • Breaststroke
    • Butterfly
    • Freestyle

Whale and above:

  • 50yd
    • Backstroke
    • Breaststroke
    • Butterfly
    • Freestyle
  • 100yd Freestyle
  • 200yd Freestyle
  • 100 IM
  • 200 IM

Manatee and above:

  • 100 Free Relay
  • 100 Medley Relay.

Whale and above:

  • 200 Free Relay
  • 200 Medley Relay

All of our meets are on a Saturday starting at 1 pm. Swimmers should arrive approximately a half-hour early to check-in at the front desk, get changed, and begin warm-ups which begin promptly at 12:40 pm. Make sure you bring a water bottle, a towel to have on deck, an extra pair of goggles in case a pair breaks, an extra towel for after the meet, and an extra swim cap.

There will be plenty of heat sheets posted all over the building, especially in the observation area. The coaches can help you figure out what events your swimmer will be in and when they occur. Males are even event numbers and females are odd event numbers. If helpful, you can write the event on your swimmer’s hand, or arm to help them remember which event they are in.

Once your swimmer is ready, have them find either Coach Nikki, or Coach Kyle on the pool deck. They will let them know when it is time to line up for the race. Coach Jon will announce the events and help swimmers get started properly.

And of course, swimmers will receive ribbons for each of their races!

There is only room for 65 swimmers so sign up for the next meet on-line by clicking the button below or by calling us at (608) 831-6829. See you there!

Bathtub Practice

Bathtub Practice

Sounds ridiculous right? You can’t swim in a bathtub. In the case of comfortability, the ability to even be around water (pool or no pool) is important. You can do a lot from play to breath control. In almost everything that you do, finding a way to practice aspects of what you’re learning outside of the actual facility you’d be performing in can help. Home is a wonderful place to practice almost anything. This is where you are probably the most comfortable and have the least pressure. Your child will be in the same position.

Bathtub practice is very beneficial for all ages. For children, this is a good time to connect water with play. Here are some steps to take during bath time!

Use toys such a ducks, dolls, animals, etc. and have your child give them a swimming lesson. Have them practice what the teacher will most likely do with them. Encourage your child to have the toy go underwater like, “Lets see if the blue duck can go under the sea!” Have your child use the 1-2-3 cues that the teacher would also use. Using pretend and play is a great way to get a child to get more comfortable with something if they feel like their the one in control.

Whether your child is 4 months-old or 4 years-old, different versions of splashing can be fun! Use a plastic cup or Tupperware bowl to pour water on your chid’s head. We do this during lessons with out “Rain Buckets.” Most of my kids LOVE them.

Make sure you always use the 1-2-3 cue and start from the back of their head and move forward towards their face.  This is a great way to get them used to the feeling of water on their face. Singing a song can be helpful as the water is being poured on their head. Personally, I like to use “Rain, Rain Go Away,” or “Its Raining, It’s Pouring.”

If they are maybe not ready for water being dunked on their head try singing, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Have them slash their hands and kick their feet. Again, make it fun!!

You could also have your swimmer use the cup/bucket themselves, and have them splash their own face, head, or even body. If they are not yet comfortable getting their head wet, work your way up. Start by having them get their toes splashed, followed by their knees, then their belly, etc. working your way up to their head for the final Splash!

Once they have mastered the previous steps, have them put their face in the water (with your supervision, of course) and have them practice holding their breath. This is way they are the ones in control of their bodies and able to gain some confidence. Start by giving them a goal. “Lets put your face in for 3 seconds!” When they do it, bump it up to 5, then maybe 7! Make it a fun challenge-a game!

These are just a few ways to get your young ones to get more comfortable in the water. Still want more comfort tips? Check out part three: Open Swim!

Talk at home

Talk at home

Swimming lessons have many benefits such as safety, coordination, confidence, developmental advantages, and more. But what if your child is reluctant, nervous, or even scared?

As an instructor, I see the wide spectrum of confidence when it comes to lessons. I have two-year-olds who are fearless and would jump in with or without an instructor there if not watched closely. I have a twelve-year-old who has never swum and can’t stand the thought of swimming on his back. I even have adults who are too afraid to hold their breath for more than ten seconds. Every other day I get the same question; is there anything I can do to help myself or my child feel more comfortable? The simple answer is, yes.

Make connections. One way you can help is by talking about it at home. Glamorize it. Being nervous could come from a number of things. If it’s because of a new instructor, use their name when you mention swimming so that they can make a positive connection between the swimming and the person teaching the lesson. Tell them what you like about the instructor. “I like that Mrs. Elizabeth uses toys during swim lessons. What do you like about Mrs. Elizabeth?”

Mention some of the skills that they do in the class. “Wow! Your back floats look awesome! I bet you could do one for 10 seconds next class!” These are words of encouragement that your instructors will be using too, so hearing it again from their parents would be great!

Playing dress up can help as well. Have them put on their cap and goggles at home. Make it exciting and playful so that when they arrive at swim lessons and are getting dressed, they remember the fun they had at home with their swimming gear. Connections are crucial! I have a student that loves the water, but he always has a hard time in the locker room. Putting on all of the gear before lessons makes him anxious. The second he gets in the water and starts swimming; all of those nerves go away. Some students may just not like the anticipation.

There are really two sides of everything. Not everything that you do at swim lessons should stay at swim lessons. Take the lessons with you, talk about them, reflect with your child, and have fun! As an instructor, I love hearing that my students love swimming lessons so much that they talk about it at home. Truly, being patient with your child is the most important.

Want more comfort tips? Check out part two: Bathtub practice!