Air, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Club, Cutting Edge, Debut, Dependency, Floatation, Freds, Freestyle, Frog, German, Instructor, Kid, Lifeguard, Non-toxic, Olympics, Orange, Phelps, Product, Red, Safe, Shop, Splash, Superior, Supervise, Swim, Swimtrainer, Technically, Train, Trainer, Tube, Tweet, Waddle, Walk, Water, Whistle, Yellow
Well I must admit, I was quite the whistle twirler. Round and round clockwise….round and round counter clockwise. Intermingled with an abrupt “Walk” and “Use the ladder” and you have one heck of a lifeguard. 😉
One of my favorite parts about that job was that I also had the opportunity to use my training as a swim instructor. Each morning, a group of little tots would waddle happily toward the pool with some of course gripping onto their mother’s leg hoping that would be enough of a block to get them out of going in. Once they all got wet and lined up nicely on the steps, I would take each of the kids for a spin around the shallow end, teaching them the basics. I watched them grow and before you knew it they were on the swim team using those same strokes yours truly helped them with.
The main challenge with beginners was breaking them of the habits developed by floatation device dependency. These devices were only designed to keep them above water, but none that I saw at the time, prepped them for official swimming.
Fast forward (a decade, ok maybe 2)
Earlier this year, on a quest to bring you all that is hip, I happened across a gem. A German born trainer that is not only non-toxic, safe, and easy to use, but also technically superior.
Fred’s Swim Academy’s SWIMTRAINER positions the child forward encouraging early promotion of natural swimming reflexes. I have been experimenting with the red SWIMTRAINER on my 2 year old and here’s what I’ve noticed: Almost immediately my son began frog kicking (on his way to breaststroke) and then shortly after began a successful freestyle kick. He subsequently figured out how to push off the wall, kick & move his arms to get him to the other side of the pool. Yesterday he actually did the butterfly kick and kept muttering “bo-ter-fy” (cheerfully mimicking his proud mother) as he moved forward. You do need to supervise your child while using this trainer (as you should anytime your child is in the pool); but so far I am pleased with the results.
The SWIMTRAINER comes in 3 stages all retailing at $26.50 (+ tax where applicable & shipping):
What’s also interesting about the stages, is as you go from red to orange and from orange to yellow, the size of the tube is actually smaller with less air inflation. This is designed so that the child can gradually get more accustomed to feeling their weight in the water and lessen their dependency on the trainer. These SWIMTRAINERs would have been really nice to use at the swim club; however I’m glad I have my hands on them now.
And as if you aren’t already enticed…these trainers just made their North American debut! They are not yet available in your typical stores, but as promised, Hip & Healthy Kids is cutting edge and has made them available for you. Ready to make your own splash? Grab one at the Hip & Healthy Kids Shop (also located at the top right of this screen or the shop button on the left-hand bar) and we’ll get your child kicking in no time. Hey…*tweeeeeeeeeeeeeet* ……… ”Walk” ……….. (ok, I guess you can run for this one) 🙂