Thursday, August 20, 2015

Learning swim strokes at foss swim school in chanhassen.

When we decided to come home to Minnesota from Singapore for the summer, one of the first things I did was sign Linna up for swimming lessons at Foss Swim School in Chanhassen. Linna took her first swimming lesson at Foss Chanhassen with Teacher Lorrie when she was just 7 months old. Since then, she did another session when she was 2 years old, and now at 3 years old. Linna completed the the Littles Level 4 Summer Camp with Coach Marie this time around, and I am so impressed with all that she learned in just eight, 30-minute lessons.

Linna has always been confident in the water. She loved bath-time as an infant, grew up with a swimming pool in her backyard when we lived in Singapore from 2012-2015, and started swimming without floaties at just 21 months old. I honestly credit Foss for Linna's love of the water. From day 1, they taught both of us swimming skills and safety, and they make being in the water very fun!

During this summer's 2-week camp, Coach Marie introduced Linna and the two other girls in her class (a 5 1/2 and a 6-year-old) to the front and back crawl. Day 1 was a little rough for Linna, as we've never really worked on these strokes before. It was really hard for Linna (she's only 3 years old) to get the feet-kicking and arm strokes coordinated, along with trying to figure out the front to back body-flip/float. This is video of Linna on her first day of camp...

This is video of Linna's 2nd day at camp, where you'll see that Coach Marie still had to help Linna coordinate the kicking and arm movements...

But by day 7 of camp, Linna was doing the front crawl all on her own...

She still has more to improve on, but I am so impressed with her progression at just 3 years old. During Linna's evaluation on day 7, her coaches decided to keep her in the Littles Level 4 class, so she'll repeat it either this fall or winter. 

Other than the front crawl, Linna also learned the back crawl, and the class worked on back-kicking, back-floating, diving, etc. Coach Marie really emphasized swimming safety, including teaching the kids not to fuss with their wet hair in their face when rolling from the front to the back float. This way, if the kids ever fall off a dock, into a lake/pool, etc., their first instinct is to float on their back, and not struggle to swim while pushing their hair off their face. She also had the kids start the class without goggles on, since they probably wouldn't have goggles on in a potential drowning situation. Coach Marie made sure the kids were always on the bench in the water when one of the other kids took turns working on a swim skill with her. I really appreciated her focus on safety during each class. She's been with Foss for almost two decades, so she knows what she's doing!

Linna at 7 months old and age 2 with Coach Lorrie, and age 3 at Foss Chanhassen.

At the end of each class, if the kids were good listeners, they got to pick a game or fun thing to do for the last few minutes of class. Every day, a different class "leader" got to choose the game, and most of the time the girls chose "chop chop timber" or the "magic carpet". These things made the kids look forward to coming to class every day. 

(Linna, age 3, working on her back stroke with Coach Marie.)

I also really like the idea of the camps at Foss. While it's nice to spread out once-a-week classes over a few months, I think our 3-year-old learned more quickly during the Monday - Thursday, 2-week camp this time around. I guess it all depends on your personal schedule, but I think we'll stick with a camp next session. We are looking forward to our next session with Foss in Chanhassen, as Linna asks when we're going back every day!

Linna, age 3, with Coach Marie at Foss Swim School in Chanhassen.

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