Do you or your child want to learn to swim, but aren’t quite sure about the commitment it will take? Unfortunately, the answer might not be as straightforward as you might be hoping for. That’s because everybody learns at different rates. Here are 5 factors and variables that can impact how long (or how short) it might take.
Fear Experiencing fear can be a huge hurdle for any new swimmer. Getting acclimated to the water can take time, which thus extends the learning process.
Consistency/Frequency Learning new things takes consistent practice. Keeping pool time and swim lessons consistent will increase the acceleration of your learning and compound valuable skills. And just like going to the gym, showing up more frequently will help you to get stronger and learn faster.
Motor Skills Are you or your child naturally athletic? If so, you could potentially learn to swim faster than someone who isn’t very active or has an inclination for sports. If you aren’t active or coordinated, that's ok too! Give yourself some grace and time to learn, it will be worth it!
Readiness Level Much like most developmental milestones for children, they reach a point where it “clicks”. A child at age two might not be able to swim despite lessons. However, at age three, one day they just take off. An adult who has water trauma might need to overcome some mental obstacles before they are ready to actively try certain skills. Be patient and give it time!
Quality of Instruction An excellent and experienced swim instructor can help get you and your child to meet their swimming goals more quickly. It’s important that the instructor understands things like child development and how to meet the unique needs of the swimmers they work with. Ask for recommendations and do your research before finding the right instructor.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that will affect how long and how many lessons someone needs to learn to swim. Having these variables in mind will hopefully keep children and their parents from getting discouraged and inspire patience along the way.