Why Swim Lesssons

A World Without Swimming?

It’s never too late to learn to be safe around water . . .

We at SwimWest don’t usually follow celebrity gossip but the recent news about 40-year-old performer, John Legend, created quite the buzz even among us. He announced via Twitter that “he couldn’t really swim.” So, at the ripe age of middle age and for the first time, he’s learning how to swim. His announcement went into detail about doing it the smart way. He enrolled himself in swim lessons with a certified instructor and committed to tackling the challenge.

We congratulate Mr. Legend for taking the plunge but this news got us thinking. What would a life without being able to appreciate the fun water brings to our daily life be like? Would a world without the recreational fun water offers be any fun at all? What do we love most about swim lessons and our swim school? With questions like these, it was essential to get the best answers we could. And who better to ask than our young SwimWest swimmers? Below are some of the responses from a few of the children in Mr. Kyle’s Seal Level Swim Class. We think they pretty much nailed it!

“I really like Mr. Kyle and my favorite part is diving. I love going to the beach with my family!”

SwimWest Swimmer

“I love going under the water with goggles so I can see. Water slides are really fun!”-Emerson

SwimWest Swimmer 2

“I like learning ‘little bird, big bird – squeeze’ – it’s a great swim move I know now. It’s important to learn to swim to be safe!” – Jax

SwimWest Swimmer 3

Beyond the Water: Valuable Lessons your Child will Learn in Swim

Beyond the Water: Valuable Lessons your Child will Learn in Swim

As parents, we all understand the safety benefits of swim lessons. Swimming is an extracurricular activity that is fun AND life-saving. But did you know there are many benefits to swim lessons beyond the skills they are learning in the water?

Self Confidence:

Swim lessons require incremental steps and working towards larger goals. Kids love the feeling of mastering strokes, moving up to a new swim level and feeling confident in the water. Swim lessons help children see what they can achieve with dedication and lots of practice, a skill that will help them throughout school and their future careers!


Studies show swim helps children do better in school, and it’s easy to see why! Learning to swim requires lots of repetition and practice. As they learn to build their swimming confidence, they are learning they can achieve goals they set for themselves. Swim shows kids the value in concentration, working hard, following directions.

Social Skills:

Group swim lessons help kids build their social skills. From waiting their turn to swim to laughing with their friends while they splash in the water, swim helps build relationships built on trust and safety in the water. Children also watch and cheer for their friends as they learn new skills, and learn from each other the rewards of hard work.

Physical benefits:

Swimming has a host of physical benefits, and is a wonderful activity to keep your child active year round. Swim lessons help children build physical activity into their routine and improve flexibility, strength, endurance and coordination! Swim is an activity they will be able to enjoy their whole lives!


We truly believe swimming teaches life-long, valuable skills that will transfer into other aspects of your child’s life. Call us to get started today!


Betsy Stern

Betsy is a mom to two sassy, spunky and spirited kiddos and wife to an adventurous, soccer-loving Chemist named Noah. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs but has bounced around the world with her husband before landing (hopefully permanently!) in Madison. Her first child, Jackson, was born in Germany during their two years living abroad. Betsy loves exploring new cities, donuts (any kind, anywhere) and being a stay at home mom. She is currently in school with plans to become an Occupational Therapist.

Know Your Swim Instructor

Know Your Swim Instructor

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.

Give the Gift of Swimming this Holiday

Give the Gift of Swimming this Holiday

Give the Gift of Swimming this Holiday

It’s the season of gift giving so why not give the gift that will offer advantages for a lifetime? The gift of swimming is a practical yet exciting present to give your children this holiday season.

Why Swim Lessons?

Regardless of the weather outside, learning to swim is an important thing to consider for kids of all ages all year round. Learning to swim creates a wonderful sense of achievement and fosters self-determination. Did you also know that swimming is good for alleviating stress?

“I am a strong believer that swimming is truly a gift. Of course, children benefit from the physicality of it, but they also will meet new friends and gain a great social network. It’s easy to instill a love for water, learning and friendships with swim lessons throughout the year,” said Karen Clay, Founder of SwimWest.

Swimming in the winter? BRRRR!

Relax. At SwimWest we offer a comfortable environment all year round. Our pools are 90 degrees and the air is kept at a tropical 90 degrees as well. There are a lot of happy children of all ages getting ready to jump in the water and learn water safety anytime you come into SwimWest. We keep the class sizes small and encourage students to work their way through the levels of our progressive learning program at a pace comfortable for them.

“Our winter lessons look the same as they would in the summer,” said Karen. “The only thing that changes in the winter months is that the swimmers are coming in with jackets and snow boots!”

What Should a Parent or Grandparent Expect?

When a new family shows up for their first swim lesson, our customer service person will give them a tour of the facility and show them where to change, where to watch their child swim and to shower before and after lessons.

What Should a Student Expect?

The SwimWest student can look forward to a nice warm pool, a smiling instructor and fun learning techniques at every swim lesson. SwimWest students wear swim caps and some wear goggles in the upper levels during the lessons and we recommend each child wear a stocking cap to and from lessons so they don’t have to wait for their hair to dry or go out with wet hair when they leave the building.

Gifting Made Easy!

At SwimWest we’re making it easy to give kids the gift of swimming by offering gift certificates, a variety of lesson options and oodles of swim gear to go with it. Check out the Family Swim Pass which has been discounted for the holidays – sure to make a splash with your entire crew this gift giving season! Contact us to learn more about giving the gift of swimming at 608-831-6829 or E-Mail.