Although our swim schools have been returning back to normal schedules and learning over the past few months, for some families, fall quarter will be their first time back in the pool in a year and a half. Even among families who returned over the past year, some take the summer off from swim school to accommodate travel or other activities. As we return to a normal fall schedule for the first time in two years, we are hearing families ask: Have we missed too much time to come back?
The short answer is no. By its very nature, swimming is a skill where a person can always improve, no matter what their history or experience level. Also, our Swim Path® approach is designed to ensure swimmers always can find a class of students their own age and level with whom to learn. Each new skill incorporates parts of previous skills, so there will be refreshers and practice that will warm students up for learning even if they’ve been away a while.
Here are a tips and reminders to keep in mind as you get ready to enroll for fall classes:
1. Sign up for your swimmer’s next natural class
If your student progressed the last level he or she took, and was planning to enroll in the next level, simply enroll in that level. If they were slated to revisit the level they were in, do that. Your family account should have the record and recommend the right class by default. The only exception is if your student has aged up – a student who has had a birthday may have moved from Middle to Big classes, and the numbers change, so instead of Middle 2, for example, the next class may be Big 1. Not sure? Call us!
2. Don’t be surprised if you see a step back skill-wise
We encourage you to be patient with your swimmer. They may need to shake off some rust or re-learn skills, but we’ve found that post-pandemic most kids just need a little time to get back up to speed. And remember – everyone had a gap along the way. Our teachers are good at recognizing who needs a little extra help, and small class sizes allow them to give it.
3. Students don’t need to be re-evaluated for their swim level
Even if this will be the first class in 18 months, we are confident in our students’ ability to retain and recall their lessons. There may be some nerves at first, but our experience is they usually pass quickly. You don’t need to come in for a re-evaluation. We do realize there are some exceptions and some kids may be less ready to pick up where they left off – if this applies to you, call your school and we’ll discuss options.
4. Sooner is better than later
Even though it’s never too late to get back on the path, it will be easier the sooner you make the move. First, we are still in a period of flux where many students are in the same boat, and our classes are naturally adapting to accommodate. As fewer and fewer students are returning from a long gap, fewer students will refresh skills together. Second, more time off is more time for memory and form to fade. We really are confident it will come back, but it may take longer the longer the break.
The swim learning gaps of the past year and a half that every single student experienced were a bump in the road – but a shared bump. We are all in this together, and our staff and teachers understand it might take a little extra effort to get students back where they want to be in terms of learning and skills. We are ready to put in that extra effort.
For you and your student, getting back on the path means jumping back in and letting remembered skills come back. You may even find that a little time away has created some anticipation and rekindled a love of swimming. We know it did for us, and we can’t wait to share it! See you at the pool – and back on the path!