Pool school: How to choose swimming lessons in Tallahassee
Her 18-month-old son was silent when he slipped into the water on a cold, winter day. But when Shanin Tia Speas-Frost saw him, she was calm. “He was working on flipping over to his back when I saw him. I went over and kind of brushed water under him so that he could complete the turnover and picked him up out of the pool after he was successfully floating on his back,” she says. “I was so incredibly grateful for those lessons; I still am.”
It could have very likely been a different outcome had she not been proactive about water safety. Shanin had enrolled both of her children in ISR swimming lessons as infants, just one of the options available in Tallahassee for swimming safety in and around the water.
In Tallahassee, we can enjoy the pool, and miles of beaches, almost year-round. That also means we face the potential dangers of water: nearly 1,000 children die from drowning each year.
Options for swimming lessons are plentiful in Tallahassee, but choosing one is not so simple.
Sveta Khakhlova, a swim instructor at Swim Lessons Tallahassee and three-time Olympian, shared her recommendations for parents in between lessons at Maclay School. “The first thing to consider when choosing a swim program,” she said, “is your goal as a parent. You know your child the best, and what they will respond well to. Don’t just sign up for what is convenient. Talk to the instructor to make sure their classes will meet your needs, whether it is to help your child feel comfortable and overcome fear or to build on existing skills and work on technique.”
What Should a Parent Consider?
There are a variety of swim programs to choose from, but one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Consider this advice from the United States Swim School Association:
• Observe a lesson that represents one your child would attend. Pay attention to how the students seem after a lesson, especially those who were anxious or afraid before or during the lesson.
• Choose an instructor who communicates openly about your child’s progress and gives you feedback that is helpful.
• Ensure that the teachers are CPR certified and trained as swimming instructors. Just because someone knows how to swim does not mean they know how to teach swimming!
• Do the math: class size should not be more than six students per instructor for beginners. In addition, students should be grouped by skill level rather than age.
• Look for a lifeguard. One should always be on duty in addition to the class instructor.
• Find a teaching style that encourages students and focuses on positive reinforcement.
What is Available in Tallahassee?
In Tallahassee, you will find opportunities for several approaches to swimming lessons, each suited to a different level of comfort, skill, and convenience to the student.
Mommy (or Daddy) and Me
Designed for infants, toddlers, and children with special needs, these classes are the perfect introduction to water with a focus on comfort, blowing bubbles, and playing. Lessons are readily available through the City of Tallahassee or the YMCA and are offered at multiple times of day. But don’t get too comfortable; once your child is smiling, splashing, and having fun in the water, it is time to advance to a more structured lesson.
Group swimming lessons
Group lessons are the perfect approach for kids who feel comfortable in the water and are ready to incorporate kicking and movement into their floating skills. Coach Sveta explains, “for some kids, group lessons provide positive reinforcement when they see their peers swimming. It gives them confidence to try it, too.” But for others, she warns, group lessons may not be enough time in the water or may cause them to become discouraged if they are not learning as quickly as others. In those cases, private lessons can customize the process.
Private swimming lessons
Private lessons are available at community pools, private clubs, and even in your own backyard. Arranging for private lessons ensures one-on-one attention to a child who may need to build trust and confidence without the pressure of a group’s observation or an adult who never learned to swim earlier in life. While private lessons do tend to be more expensive than group lessons, the focused approach could mean learning more quickly.
Is It ever too early to learn?
Coach Sveta urges parents to get their children into the water as young as possible. “Babies are natural swimmers,” she says, “they will rely on their instincts before they become afraid.” The American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend against swimming lessons for children under the age of 4, but research now indicates that early exposure gives children the opportunity to learn the skills they need in order to swim safely and effectively.
The almost year-round swimming weather in Tallahassee provides another benefit: consistent and frequent exposure to the water builds strong, confident swimmers. Shanin Tia Speas-Frost’s two active children now swim year-round on a local team and participate alongside their mom in triathlon events.
Whether your goal is to be safe in the water or to become a competitive athlete, it’s never too early to learn to swim. Dive into the options in Tallahassee to have a safe and fun summer on the water.
Find a Swimming School in Tallahassee
AquaMobile Swim School is a private swim school that offers high-quality swim instruction at private homes across Florida. www.aquamobileswim.com
Bob Ruth Aquatics believes that teaching swimming effectively is a delicate art. Class size is 4-5 with an individual teacher; 6-7 with a teacher plus 1 assistant, or 8 with a teacher plus 2 assistants. Sessions run 2 weeks, 4 days/week, 40 min/day (specific days/exceptions noted on the schedule). [email protected]
City of Tallahassee offers parent/child classes for children 6 months to 3 years old as well as group lessons for swimmers from preschool toadult.In addition, water safety skills are taught to increase personal comfort levels around aquatics facilities. www.talgov.com
FSU Campus Rec Aquatics Department offers numerous classes each year for children to learn to swim. Youth classes are offered during the summer semester only. Certified American Red Cross instructors teach all classes. Enrollment for classes is limited in order to maintain quality instruction and an optimal teaching environment. Registration is on a first-come,first-serve basis and is only available to FSU students, FSUfaculty/staff, and FSU Campus Recreation members. www.campusrec.fsu.edu
The Hosford Swim School brings their years of knowledge and experience to the pool to create a fun and safe experience for your swimmer. www.hosfordswimschool.org
ISR Swim School teaches infants between 6 months and 1 year old to use the rollback- to-float sequence. Lessons are geared towards each child's abilities and all children learn at different rates and typically take about 4 weeks to learn depending on the child. More advanced classes are also available. www.isrswimtlh.com
Tallahassee SwimSchool offers private lesson at Trousdell, Forestmeadows, Killearn Country Club or in your Home. 9 one-week sessions. Classes are held Monday through Thursday. www.talswim.com
Capital Region YMCA Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety program teaches water safety courses and presentations including Parent and Child Aquatics, Preschool Aquatics, Learn-to-Swim and Adult Swim courses for individuals of different ages and abilities. http://capitalregionymca.org
Swim Lessons Tallahassee provides private lessons for swimmers from beginner to competitive athlete. A team of Olympic swimmers, passionate about the process of learning to swim, customize lessons to the needs of each student. www.swimtallahassee.com
South City Multi-Sport Club serves south side children ages 9-14 years of age, ensuring that all children have access to swim lessons. For more information: Contact Coach Dontrell Russell (352) 551-8112 or Courtney Atkins, Whole Child Leon (850) 544-3024
The Aquatics Department offers numerous classes each year for adults and children to learn to swim. Certified American Red Cross instructors teach all swimming classes. Enrollment for classes is limited in order to maintain quality instruction and an optimal teaching environment. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The cost of each session (includes all lesson days in the session) is noted below.
- $70 per child for currently-enrolled FSU students (enrollment verified at time of registration)
- $80 per child for Campus Recreation members
- $90 per child for Non-Members who are FSU Faculty / Staff
- $100 per child for Non-Members who are not affiliated with FSU
Refunds: Refunds will be issued upon request for cancellations made at least 10 days before the registered session starts. Requests made later than 10 days before the session starts will only be issued if the registered participant provides medical documentation of an injury or illness.
Class Location: All lessons are conducted at the Leach Recreation Center Pool.
Class Length: Classes run 30 minutes to 45 minutes in length depending on the level.
Make-Up Days: Classes are not automatically canceled during inclement weather. Make-up classes are only offered if FSU Campus Recreation must cancel the lesson for any reason.
Spectator Policy: Guardians of swimming participants in levels 1-6 are required to wait in the stadium seating off the pool deck. An elevator is available for use. Guardians of swimming participants in Preschool Levels are allowed to remain on deck in specific viewing locations.
What Should I Wear: Proper swimming attire is required. Swimmers of all ages must wear actual bathing suits. “Basketball style” shorts are allowed. Female suits can be one or two-piece; however, sports bras and thongs are not permitted. All children in diapers must wear a swim diaper.
Register Online or In-Person: Registration takes place in Rec Connect, our online portal, or in-person at the Leach Recreation Center during normal operating hours. For assistance with Rec Connect, please visit our Rec Connect Help Desk.
Multiple Registrations: If you are planning on registering multiple dependents for the same session, please be sure to add them as dependents on your Rec Connect account. For assistance, please call 850-644-4531 or 850-644-0548.
Check back soon for more information about Spring 2021 lessons. Youth swim lessons only happen during the Spring and Summer semesters.
Swim Lesson Levels
Parent and Child Aquatics Levels 1 & 2
- Must be 6 months – 3 years old to participate.
- Introduces basic skills to guardians and children. Guardians learn how to safely work with their child in the water, including supporting and holding their child in the water appropriately and preparing and encouraging their child to participate fully and try the skills. Children receive an introduction to basic skills that lay a foundation for learning to swim. In addition, guardians are introduced to several water safety topics.
Preschool Aquatics Levels 1, 2 & 3
- Must be between 3 – 5 years to participate
- Level 1 skills may be performed with full support from the instructor or a flotation device. This level is designed to orient young preschoolers to the aquatic environment and to help them gain basic aquatic skills. In addition, participants start learning about how to be safe around water.
- Level 2 skills may be performed with intermittent assistance, such as the participant performs a skill unsupported but may begin and end the skill with support from the instructor. Preschool Aquatics Level 2 builds on the basic aquatic skills and water safety skills and concepts learned in Level 1. Participants begin to perform skills at a slightly more advanced level and begin gaining rudimentary propulsive skills on both the front and the back. This level marks the beginning of independent aquatic locomotion skills.
- Level 3 skills are performed independently. Participants are able to perform basic aquatic skills with greater proficiency for longer distances and times. In addition, previously acquired water safety knowledge and skills are reinforced and expanded upon.
Learn-to-Swim Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills
- Purpose: Must be at least 6 years old to enter Learn-To- Swim
- This level is for those who have nerve taken lessons, are hesitant in the water, or have minimal skills. This level begins with wat acclimation and builds to submersions, floating, and more.
- Exit Skills Assessment to move to Level 2:
- Enter independently, using either the ramp, steps or side; travel at least 5 yards; bob 5 times; then safely exit the water.
- Glide on front at least 2 body lengths, roll to a back float for 5 seconds and recover to a vertical position. (This part of the assessment can be performed with assistance.)
Learn-to-Swim Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills
- This level marks the beginning of true locomotion skills. Participants learn to glide and float without support and recover to a vertical position. Participants further develop simultaneous and alternating arm and leg actions on the front and back, laying the foundation for future strokes. New water safety topics are introduced, and previously acquired water safety knowledge and skills are reinforced.
- Exit Skills Assessment to move to Level 3
- All Learn-to-Swim Level 2 exit skills are performed independently:
- Step from side into chest-deep water, push off the bottom, move into a treading or floating position for at least 15 seconds, swim on front and/or back for 5 body lengths, then exit the water.
- Move into a back float for 15 seconds, roll to front, then recover to a vertical position.
- Push off and swim using combined arm and leg actions on front for 5 body lengths, roll to back, float for 15 seconds, roll to front, then continue swimming for at least 5 body lengths.
- All Learn-to-Swim Level 2 exit skills are performed independently:
Learn-to-Swim Level 3: Stroke Development
- Purpose: Participants learn and practice survival floating and learn to swim front crawl and elementary backstroke at rudimentary proficiency levels. You introduce the scissors and dolphin kicks and extend the time duration for treading water. Participants also learn rules for headfirst entries and begin to learn to enter the water headfirst from a seated position at poolside (if the water is 9 feet deep or deeper)
- Exit Skills Assessment to move to Level 4
- When participants complete Learn-to-Swim Level 3, they have achieved basic water competency in a pool environment. They are starting to show stroke proficiency in the front crawl and elementary backstroke. They have begun learning the breaststroke and the scissors kicks and can tread water for 1 minute. They demonstrate comfort in deep water and can enter the water headfirst from both the sitting and the kneeling positions
Learn-to-Swim Level 4: Stroke Improvement
- Purpose: Participants improve their aquatic skills and increase their endurance by swimming the strokes learned in Level 3 (i.e., front crawl, elementary backstroke) for greater distances and with more advanced proficiency. Participants add arm actions to the previously learned scissors kick and breaststroke kick to perform the rudimentary sidestroke and to learn the breaststroke. Participants also begin to learn the back crawl and butterfly and the basics of performing a simple open turn at a wall.
- Exit Skills Assessment to move to Level 5
- When participants complete Learn-to-Swim Level 4, they are starting to demonstrate effective and efficient strokes in the front crawl and elementary backstroke. They are beginning to show stroke proficiency in the breaststroke, back crawl, butterfly and sidestroke. They can enter the water headfirst from both compact and stride positions.
Learn-to-Swim Level 5: Stroke Refinement
- Participants refine their performance of all six strokes (i.e., front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke and sidestroke) and increase the distances that they swim. Participants also learn to perform flip turns on the front and back.
- Exit Skills Assessment to move to Level 5:
- When participants complete Learn-to-Swim Level 5, they are starting to demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency in all strokes. They are starting to work on endurance through longer swims that require using open and flip turns. They can enter the water using the shallow-angle dive and can then continue swimming.
Learn-to-Swim Level 6: Swimming and Skill Proficiency
- The objective of this level is to refine strokes so participants swim them with greater efficiency and effectiveness over longer distances. Level 6 offers three options to meet specific needs and interests—Personal Water Safety, Fundamentals of Diving and Fitness Swimmer. These options focus on preparing participants for more advanced courses, such as the Water Safety Instructor course or other aquatic activities such as competitive swimming or diving. We Customize this level to meet the objectives of the participants.
- Exit Skill Assessments:
- When participants complete Learn-to-Swim Level 6—Personal Water Safety, they are able to swim all strokes effectively and efficiently. They are able to swim continuously while using the appropriate turns for the stroke. They also have a solid understanding about how to be safe in, on and around the water.
- Swim 500 yards continuously using at lease 3 different strokes
- Retrieve objects from the bottom of the pool from 7-10 ft in depth.
- And more.
AquaMobile Private Swimming Lessons Tallahassee, FL
See Your Child Succeed With AquaMobile Private Swim Lessons in Tallahassee!
Looking for quality swimming lessons?
AquaMobile Swim School offers private swimming lessons in Tallahassee and surrounding areas including:
- Havana swim lessons
- Quincy swim lessons
- Thomasville swim lessons
- Crawfordville swim lessons
Our home swimming lessons in Tallahassee are conducted in your backyard or condo from our professional, experienced and mature AquaMobile swimming instructors.
Having the lessons come to you and taught by a high quality instructor provides you with the comfort and convenience that has increased the pace at with many of our clients have learned how to swim.
Check out our featured instructors in this area:
We have swim lessons available in Tallahassee for a wide range of ages and skill levels. We offer classes for students as young as 6 months to adults.
We offer a full range of swim programs including learn to swim, pool safety course, and training for triathletes and competitive swimmers. Each student participating in our learn to swim programs will receive report cards and awards.
Aside from our learn to swim levels, we also offer CPR & First Aid Instruction and Lifeguarding services for your next pool party or event.
Don’t have a pool of your own but want to have fun in the water? You and your family can enjoy the following local pools to stay fit and have fun!
Tallahassee FL public swimming pools
Walker Ford Pool
Trousdell Aquatics Center
Book online through our registration system or call our office staff to begin swimming with us as soon as possible!
Water Safety Tip #8: To keep your goggles fog-free, rub toothpaste on the inside of your goggles, rinse and voila!
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