As your swimmer progresses through the swim levels at SwimWest, they will eventually make it to the LAP LANE! This is a big step in your swimmer’s journey, and a great way to prepare them for a lifetime of fitness in the pool. Depending on their class level, they will begin to stretch their endurance and length of time they can comfortably swim laps. They will slowly work their way from swimming one length of the pool (25 yards) to swimming 2, 3 or 4 lengths in a row. They will learn to “circle swim” where they share a lap lane with other swimmers by staying on the right side of the lane, and they will learn to do “flip turns” to help turn as they reach the wall.
Each one of these milestones will build their strength and stamina as they become more dynamic and efficient swimmers….but each milestone will take time, and your swimmer may need a few extra sessions in the pool to build their confidence in the lap lane.
Here are a few tips to help your developing swimmer gain confidence in the lap lane
The best way to help your swimmer become stronger and more confident in the water is to give them a chance to practice their developing skills. Come to open swim at SwimWest or visit your local outdoor pool. Let your child practice swimming one lap, then two laps. Make it fun by challenging them to beat their previous time, or see how many laps they can do in a row. Bonus points if you hop in the water, too – you can “race” them across the pool!
This may not work for everyone, but if you know how to do a flip turn, or circle swim, share your knowledge and tips with your swimmer! If you love to do laps, let your child see you in the pool. By setting an example, your child can see how swimming is a life-long sport and it may give them extra motivation to work on their skills.
Ask for advice
If you DON’T know how to show your swimmer how to swim in the lap lanes, feel free to ask their swim instructor for tips! They can tell you how to help your child work on specific skills in the lap lane, or let you know what they are working on in class.
Stay active out of the pool
Swimming is HARD work, and laps are exhausting – which is why swimming is such amazing exercise! Make sure your child is staying active outside of the pool, too – this will help build their endurance and prevent them from getting exhausted halfway down the lap lane.
If you feel like your child could benefit from some extra one-on-one support in the pool, ask the front desk about arranging a private lesson with an instructor. This may give your swimmer the tips and advice they need to overcome any trouble they may be having in the water.
Find a good fit
If your child is nervous about swimming in the lap lane, make sure they are in a class they feel comfortable in. Do they have a bond with their instructor? Are the other swimmers kind and supportive? For anxious swimmers, these relationships can make or break their confidence in the water. If something isn’t feeling “right” to them, it can make swimming stressful and progressing difficult.
We hope these tips help you help your swimmer as they grow stronger and more confident in the pool!