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SwimWest talks to Nikki Luhm, Aquatic Director at SwimWest Fitchburg

Your child is excited to learn to swim. Now comes the tough part – finding a swim instructor that will foster her excitement and teach her the valuable skills she needs to be safe around the water for her whole life.

This month, we sat down with Nikki Luhm who has been teaching swim lessons for over a decade – 6 of those at SwimWest. Nikki is not only a swim teacher but she is also our Aquatic Director at SwimWest Fitchburg. She takes her job seriously but obviously loves what she does. She was nice enough to answer our questions and hopefully, give you the inside view on what to look for in a great swim instructor.

What is it about being a Swim Instructor that has kept you at SwimWest so long?

I love watching my swimmers grow into the incredible swimmers they become.  Sharing my passion for swimming and water safety with my swimmers is one the most rewarding parts of my job.  My co-workers and team members are also a huge part of why I have worked at SwimWest for so long. Being able to work alongside people with the same passion for water safety as I have makes coming to work every day a special experience.

What are some of the most rewarding parts of your job?

Watching my swimmers master a skill that they have been struggling with is the most rewarding part of my job.  Knowing that I played a part in helping them successfully attain their goals means the world to me.

What do you think the most important skill you teach in your lessons?

Rolling over to the swimmers back is the most important skill I teach in my lesson.  I want to be confident that if my swimmers were to fall or be pushed into a pool or fall off a dock that they can rollover to their back, take a breath, and call for help or be able to successfully swim to safety.  I practice these lifesaving skills with all of my swimmers starting from parent-tot (ages 4 months to 24months) all the way through my upper levels where we focus on survival swimming such as treading water, Elementary Backstroke, and Sidestroke.

What can a new student expect from attending one of your classes?

A new student can expect a warm welcome and a friendly experience.  They can expect that I will work with them to provide a positive experience to help grow their love and comfort of the water.

How do you measure success in your students and in yourself as an instructor?

I measure my swimmer’s success by their determination and dedication, and I measure my own success against that as well.  Never giving up and always trying our best is what makes me and my swimmers successful.

Why do you think getting kids enrolled in swimming lessons is so important?

Swimming is a life skill.  Whether you are 2 or 82 years old your body and mind will benefit from being in the water.  Not only is swimming a life skill, it is also a lifesaving skill. Even if swimming is not your thing, it is so important to be able to save yourself if you were to end up falling into a body of water.
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