I have two kids. One can’t wait to get in the water every single week and one hasn’t touched a toe in the water for a lesson in 6 months. And so it goes. I don’t want my kids to be Michael Phelps, I just want them to be able to swim to safety. I want them to enjoy the pool and the beach. I want them to have great memories in the water like I do, but they have to learn first. Enter, Goldfish Swim School.
THE LITTLE FISH
We started lessons this fall and swam weekly for a couple months. In that time, she went from no skills or awareness to comfort in the water, holding on to the side of the pool and crawling out, and floating briefly on her back. Watching closely, this was a result of the careful attention she had from the instructor. With SMALL CLASS SIZES (4:1) she was very active nearly the whole class. We took a couple weeks off because we were swamped with things to do (which was no problem, because they are all about FLEXIBILITY – you just give them a heads-up and you take some time off and call to schedule again when you are ready).
We restarted in January and within 4 weeks she was ready for the next level. Now she’s working on doing more things independently, and last week she actually swam, pulling her arms and kicking her feet, from the middle of the pool to the side. What’s been interesting to watch is not only how her skills have improved, but how excited she is to try the next thing. On more than one occasion she has announced what she’s going to do that day and then she’s done it. She’s encouraged to try, challenged to push herself, and her CONFIDENCE is growing as a result. And if you look under the surface, you can see that the confidence stems from how much she trusts them.
THE FISH OUT OF WATER
My bigger kid was excited to start lessons, and I don’t know if it was all the adrenaline or what, but within 30 seconds of sitting on the pool edge the very first day he started sobbing. His excitement turned to terror in the blink of an eye. We were floored. He had been begging to go and here we were, and it was not good. Enter, Goldfish Swim School. They were calm and collected. They did not swarm him. They did not come get me. They did not kick him out. One of the instructors sat down next to him and started to talk to him. They began to ask him questions and show him pool toys. They took the focus off getting in the water and removed all the pressure from him. Watching from the other side of the glass was hard, but I remember saying to my husband “They’ve got it. They are doing exactly what I would do.” I have watched them manage other struggling kiddos with GRACE and PATIENCE on many occasions.
He’s been in the water there three times since – all for FAMILY SWIM events, which happen weekly. These are a great way for him to get in the water with us and get more comfortable until he’s ready for lessons (and for his sister to practice her skills). In the meantime, they CONTINUE TO INVEST in him. Every week he brings something new to show the staff while we watch his sister swim. They talk and engage and build trust with him, even out of the water. When he’s ready, we know they are waiting.
THE MAMA FISH
So, why Goldfish? For our family it’s the people. Don’t get me wrong – the facility is incomparable. The cost is worth every penny. The small class sizes are great and the flexible scheduling is wonderful, but it’s the people. Sometimes I actually forget that we chose them, because it sure feels like they chose us.