Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

Accessibility - Text Only - Display Options - Accessibility

This content is old and no longer maintained. For the latest articles, advice and more go to Go Swimming.

Turning Dominic into a Duckling

Share this page

Hi, I’m Claire and I’d like to share my experiences of taking my 18-month old son Dominic for his first swimming lessons at our local pool. It will be quite a journey for both of us!  Share my experiences and what I learn from them in this blog.

As I stand at the poolside I am a little anxious about this. I want Dominic to be happy in the water for when we go on holiday as a family later in the year. He has only been in a pool once before in his life, I ashamed to say, so the first lesson is a real unknown.

I couldn’t help feeling a little bit disappointed. All the other children were smiling and splashing but the only smile from Dominic was when Bev handed out some floating fish to play with. Still, at least he wasn't crying! 

My friend Debbie has a boy the same age so we booked in for lessons together. This way we both have someone to talk to in the changing rooms as well as have a snack and a chat with afterwards. And as we are both nervous mums we can offer each other moral support as well.

I went to the pool last week and had a look around. It seemed clean and had big changing rooms, a key thing to look out for. The juggling act of a wriggly toddler, bags, towels and finding the right change for the lockers requires plenty of space. And they even had a play pen I noticed.

I took home a Learn to Swim leaflet and was reassured to see they use the National Plan for Teaching Swimming. This means the instructor will be properly trained. And, apparently, Dominic can work towards being a little Duckling in their badge scheme! But that feels a long way off right now.

Back at the pool side the first lesson hasn’t started yet. I’m relieved. A quick last minute nappy change at home has made us late. We had to rush here. Luckily I got our bag ready the night before. Didn't want to forget to pack the essential swim nappy.

The instructor Bev waves us to join the group. I spot Debbie and Luke, who is happily splashing. Meanwhile the instructor notices Dominic isn’t a happy bunny. Anxiety! But Bev assures me it is very common for kids to be fazed and that we can take it steadily. So we do.

We start off singing some nursery rhymes, "this is the way we splash our face, splash our face”. There is no music with it, which I find surprising as it can have a soothing effect. And Dominic is not having a fun time. During the whole half hour he shakes and grips me around the waist with his legs like a baby koala. 

I couldn’t help feeling a little bit disappointed. All the other children were smiling and splashing but the only smile from Dominic was when Bev handed out some floating fish to play with. Still, at least he wasn't crying! 

In the changing rooms after the lesson it was really handy to have Debbie around as we took it in turns to watch the boys while we nipped to the loo. That playpen really came in handy too! Then it was time to get out the juice and raisins for the kids. Dominic cheered immediately, causing me to think.

Had the first lesson gone so badly because he was hungry? He gets really grumpy when he's hungry. I’m sure the rush to get here had unsettled him as well. So, a few things learned from the first lesson for next time:

  • Ensure Dominic won’t be hungry during the lesson
  • Don’t worry about being late. It really doesn’t matter!
  • Always go with a friend. Debbie and I have agreed to make it a permanent fixture, so bookmark this page to learn how we get on!

Useful?

Go Swimming has everything you need to know about swimming. If you are a parent, a non swimmer or just want to improve your technique this is the section for you.

In British Swimming you will find information about the world of high performance sport, including the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Para-Swimming.

The ASA is the governing body for the sport in England. In this section you will find all you need to know about joining a club or competing in England and becoming a swimming teacher or coach.

The IoS delivers the ASA’s courses and is a member organisation. Whether you are a teacher, coach, employer or club you will find everything you need to know about qualifications or educating your workforce.

Accessibility - Text Only - Display Options - Accessibility

© 2014 British Swimming & The ASA. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy