Swimming lessons. Two words that in my opinion seem fun and enticing for a 3 year old. However, when I first muttered the words, I got the exact opposite reaction from my little guy. Fear, anxiety, and a good amount of flowing tears filled JZ’s face but hey, we live in Arizona- being able to swim is a huge safety precaution living in the desert. I’ll be honest, we tried a couple different swim schools that didn’t work for my strong willed little fishy. They were either too intense, not intense enough, or the teacher turn over was making it difficult for him to establish a relationship and trust in an already overwhelming situation.
We had friends recommend Hubbard Swim School after JZ was born but there are about 5 children’s swim school closer to our house so we tried those first. If you know anything about me, I’m all about efficiency! 3 years and a handful of Hubbard recommendations later, we made it through Hubbard’s door and haven’t looked back. Although JZ still had anxiety about going to his swim lessons, it only took a few weeks before the anticipation anxiety settled down and he would actually look forward visiting “Coach Tim.” We on the other hand love watching his self-assurance grow every week. (Yes, a trip to the snack bar for a sugary treat after each lesson might be his favorite part, but hey- he’s enjoying the overall experience and so are we.)
The first few times we arrived there were tears. 3 year old tears and mommy tears. It’s hard watching your child do something they don’t want to do but you know it’s in their best interest. I know there will be more scenarios like this while raising a child so we all might as well get used to it. The instructors at Hubbard are absolutely incredible. They made our whole family feel comfortable and didn’t pressure JZ to do anything he didn’t want to do. They encouraged him, used positive reinforcement, and let him lead the pace of his progression with a little creative encouragement. The small student to teacher ratio was appealing to us and the theory of teaching with love aligns with our parenting style.
By lesson 3 he was going underwater. Not independently but not totally hating life which was a major improvement from week 1! The Hubbard teaching method of encouraging the swim students to advance but not pushing them until they’re ready is what my little guy needed. Fast forward 4 months later and he has hardly any anxiety about getting in the pool, he goes underwater nearly 20 times throughout his 30 minute lesson and floats assisted without any hesitation. Of course, he still counts on his visit to the snack bar but when he comes out saying “That was fun!” and “I’m so brave!”, that absolutely warrants a pack of sour skittles. Sometimes I get teary, but this time in a good way. I’m so proud of where is now and how he got there.
This whole “parenting” thing is hard and I wanted to share just one of what is sure to be many stressful growing pains. In this case, it all comes down to the wonderful staff at Hubbard helping to improve our little man’s confidence one lesson a time. Recognizing student’s milestones with ribbons, applause, and high fives after each class is just a small portion of why this positive environment has been such a blessing in ours and JZ’s life. Seeing you kids confidence grow might be one of those most amazing things I’ve witnessed in the past 3.5 years and I’m SO happy to have found Hubbard and share our expierence with you!
Hubbard Swim School has 3 locations in the valley. To find out more information, see the current schedule, and register your child click HERE