How the BackFloat Cost me Hundreds of Dollars!

Teaching kids to swim well is a hot topic for me. My younger sister nearly drowned when she was 18 months old, and I dragged her struggling body from the pool. 

It was about that same time that I stopped taking swim lessons. Because I couldn't "dive" not because of my sister's drowning. But the two events forever changed how I feel about swimming. #1 - Parents should always be on alert around water and #2 - It's important to teach kids to swim WELL.

Since I couldn't dive, I couldn't progress to the next level. I tried once more, and then my parents decided I was done. So my swimming ability stayed at that level forever (or at least until I start a swimming class next fall - woo!)

So imagine my frustration when my children proved to be marginal swimmers. I took them swimming every week when they were babies and toddlers. I signed them up for lessons as soon as they were old enough to be in a class on their own.

And each time, they kept having to repeat the same class. Diving??? No, for them (both of them!) it's the back float. They both tense up like rigid star fish and refuse to float. 

So we repeated the same classes over and over and over again. My husband and I tried in vain to teach them on our own. I even hired a private teacher to come and give lessons to my son in our pool. Nothing.

I can't tell you how many hundreds of dollars went to swimming lessons. Imagine a 5 year old boy swimming under the water and all around the a baby class. Bobbing around in floaties with his 3 year old classmates and at the end, not passing because of the @#%&%  back float! 

We did group classes, one-on-one classes, and private tutoring. It was money down the drain. Not to mention the hours of sitting there watching, the fighting to get showered, dried and dressed, and the wet yucky mess all winter long. 

But we finally broke the curse. Or so I thought. I enrolled our children in an extremely expensive swim school. This school turns out impressive swimmers, and that's what I wanted for my kids. 
They made huge strides during their first season and I was very pleased. They graduated to the next level! This was a first and a very good thing, but I felt like my son was in a class that was too easy for him. 

My daughter has made massive improvement and even competed in her first swim meet. My son still can't really float on his back, but he can swim the crawl stroke and back stroke for the full length of the pool. And he can flip between strokes quickly and efficiently. He can even swim using only one arm.

And so the new season begins and I feel like my son is "swimming with babies" again. The other children are not as fast, efficient, or strong. He can certainly swim farther than any of them and with better technique.

But the truth is the truth - and I saw the reason again during this season's assessments. While he was undergoing his evaluation, I saw the look on the instructor's face. Then there was some arguing, and some more swimming. And......

He passed. But just barely. Can you guess why? The @$%#@% back float! I mean COME ON! Is this kid going to be able to swim 20 laps of the butterfly and still be dealing with the back float?!?!?!

I already know the answer. I still can't dive. But I'm not letting him quit. He has the makings of an amazing swimmer. And so does my daughter. They are lean and fast. And they enjoy it.

We are going to keep pressing on, and back float be damned, my kids will learn to swim! Just don't ask me how much it has cost. I might just lose it!


Midnite Skys said...

When I was younger I was afraid to go in to deep water.. I went to swimming lessons oh yea and when the moron "teacher" Teen wasn't looking some older kid held me under water and I got yelled at for coughing and gasping during his "teaching" I refused to go in the water after that... plus My mom went crazy at the manger on duty, so she didn't puch it and we got a free year to the park...

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