We are a family-run swim business located in Boise, Idaho that has been serving families from all over the Treasure Valley for more than 15 years. We are passionate about educating children and adults of all ages about water safety, basic swimming skills, and stroke development in a safe, positive, encouraging, and FUN environment. We teach small classes in a warm, heated pool with excellent, motivated teachers who work very hard to ensure that children learn how to really SWIM!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why We Teach Group Swimming Lessons

During the past 12 summers that Cathy's School for Lil' Fish has been open, we have had several requests for private and semi-private swimming lessons. Occasionally we have arranged these swim classes on an individual basis, but the vast majority of our swimming lessons are taught in group settings. Believe it or not, there is a method to our madness that has more to do with what's best for our students, and not just our bottom line. We have witnessed the power of positive peer pressure during swimming lessons and want to utilize this great tool!

Peer pressure often has a negative conotation. However, children learn A LOT from each other, and it doesn't all have to be bad! When we are sheduling people in classes we put a lot of thought into the chemistry of those classes. As much as possible, we try to get a good mix of ages, ability, and enthusiasm. At times, we have accidentally sheduled a whole group of timid swimmers together, only to find that they feed off of eachother's fears and the progress of the whole class grinds to a halt. Conversely, we've had classes with 2 or 3 timid students and 2 or 3 VERY enthusiastic students and we find that the fearful children are reassured by the excitement and the FUN that they see the more enthusiastic swimmers portray. So while we haven't closed the door on private lessons forever, we find that most (not all) children progress more quickly and have more fun in group swimming lessons. We hope your child does too :)

Cathy teaches swimming lessons to kids from Boise, Meridian, and Eagle Idaho.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Water Safety Tip #2

At Cathy's School for Lil' Fish we feel that water safety is so important and is not widely taught in our area. We hope you will take the time to review our weekly posts on water safety and teach them to your children. Go here to see Rule #1.

Rule #2: Reach or throw..... Don't Go!

Have you ever thought about what you would do if someone who couldn't swim fell into the water or got out too deep and got in trouble? Knowing what to do ahead of time can help prevent panic and precious wasted moments figuring out what to do. When people are afraid they produce adrenaline in their bodies, which makes them extra strong. People who feel they are drowning often panic and become VERY strong, which is why we teach children to NOT try and resuce a drowning victim (even if it is a smaller child) by themselves. If they do, the drowning victim will most likely pull them under in an attempt to get their own head above water. Then we have two people in trouble instead of one. Instead of going in after someone in trouble:
1. Notify an adult or trained lifeguard.
2. REACH: If there isn't an adult nearby, then consider whether you can reach the person from the side with either your hand, or something longer such as a swim noodle or pole.
3. THROW: look for something that floats (a toy, kickboard, life ring) and toss it in front of the person and yell to them to get their attention.
When reaching out to rescue a victim it is essential to ensure that you can safely tow them in. Remember, because of their fear and adrenaline they will most likely be stronger than you are EVEN if you are bigger than them. So don't just stand with your toes on the edge of the pool and reach out to them. They WILL pull you in! Instead, lay down on your stomach or sit down on your bottom before reaching out to them. It will make you much more secure and make it harder for them to pull you in.
Teaching these common sense rules may seem silly, but it actually works! One summer when my 6-year-old was only 20 months, we were outside working in my mom's yard. I was about 50 feet from the pool when I heard a splash and looked up to see that my baby had opened the gate around the pool, toddled into the enclosure, and had fallen in. My youngest sister, who was 7 at the time, was only about 10 feet from him so she beat me there. She promptly flopped to her stomach, reached out her hand, and pulled him to the side where she held him until I arrived a few seconds later. Thank goodness everyone was fine! He hadn't even swallowed any water. Had she reached in for him while standing at the side, there's a very good chance that she would have fallen in too, and I would have had to try and figure out how to help them both.
So remember (and chant it with your kids)....reach or throw, but DON'T GO!
Cathy teaches swimming lessons in Boise, Idaho.