Current Client FAQ
All swimmers are required to wear a swim cap unless they have very short hair that does not go past their ears or into their eyes. ALL children under the age of 4 must wear a tight fitting reusable swim diaper to prevent fecal accidents. Click here for recommended diapers. A bathing suit is required and don’t forget to bring a towel. Goggles are NOT required.
The first thing you should do when your child experiences anxiety in the pool for more than a class or two is talk to the manager so you can start an open dialogue about what is going on. Some children won’t verbalize to the instructors what they are scared of, but they will tell you at home so it is important that we know. You and your child will feel more in control of the situation if you know you have a team of people working with you to help you through the fears and that we are all committed to the goal of being safe in the water!!
As a parent you want to maintain an extremely positive attitude so that your child knows that you are proud of them for facing their fears. Putting rewards systems in place to let them know how proud you are when they come to swim class and try their best is often a great incentive for young children. Rather than giving up, continue to communicate with your child’s class manager so that everyone is on the same page.
If your child is complaining about having to go to swim class or having a severe reaction to going to swim class, there are a number of things that we can do to help. First, it is important that you know that it is not uncommon for children to go through phases like this and staying consistent and supportive is the most successful course of action.
We believe strongly in growth mindset and in the powerful messages of “I think I can” and “not yet”. Children have this amazing ability to adapt and excel when given the right support and environment as long as you are consistent. By working closely with the students and their parents, our managers are able to guide your family through each goal that is set for your child.
“Giving up” or not coming to class would never be our recommendation so please reach out to us. We are happy to support you and work together towards your child’s success. Since every child is different you will want to get in touch with your child’s specific lesson manager so that you can try to determine why your child is upset and then come up with some strategies to help your child persevere. There are many different strategies that we use depending on your child’s age and level. Showing your child, at the earliest of ages, to “never give up” will empower them to develop determination and “grit” which are lifelong skills that everyone needs in order to be successful.
Our staff is highly trained to work with children who are scared of the water. Communicating your child’s fears and concerns to the managers so that together we can come up with a plan that will help your child face their fears is very important. We will be there to give you and your child all the support that you need. Our approach is based on parent support, consistency, and positive reinforcement from everyone involved.
In cases of extreme fear we will slow your child’s progression through the steps to spend more time getting him or her comfortable with the skills they are scared of. We will work on building trust and confidence by creating an environment where they know exactly what to expect.
Please be aware that your child’s class size can fluctuate depending on current enrollment and weekly attendance, BUT the class size will never exceed the ratios that were published when you registered for your class. Our standard max class sizes are listed below.
- Infant/toddler: (30 min) 3 students per instructor
- Learn to Swim: (30 min) 2 students per instructor
- Stroke Discovery (30 min): 3 students per instructor
- Stroke Development (30 min): 3 students per instructor
- Stroke Clinic (30 min): 4 students per instructor
- Private lessons (30 min): 1 student per instructor
At Swim Tank we believe in team teaching so your child will not maintain the same instructor year round. Our goal is to keep the instructor the same for an average of 3 months. When instructors are absent a replacement instructor will be automatically substituted when possible.
Children at Swim Tank get a more well-rounded swimming experience because they learn from a team of highly trained swim instructors, rather than learning from just one instructor. If a child will only swim comfortably for 1 teacher, that child might not be able to swim with confidence when you bring them to another pool with other people. Our goal is to create strong and confident swimmers, no matter what the situation is.
We have also found that students can become too comfortable with one teacher, and they sometimes refuse to challenge themselves to the next level. They find it easier to “opt out” of certain skills with certain teachers, but other teachers might be able to motivate them more. It is easy for a student to get stuck on a certain skill when they are learning to swim. Every one of our instructors offers a different perspective. Introducing a new instructor offers a fresh set of eyes, which can help get a student over his, or her individual hurdles. The practice of rotating a child’s teachers results in a team of well-trained teachers working together to get each child to the next level.
Unlike other swim programs, Swim Tank’s lessons follow a very specific curriculum and all of our instructors go through a rigorous training process, under the guidance of our managers, before they can run a class on their own. Therefore, all of our teachers are teaching the same skills, in the same order, and using the same words.
Our managers are constantly tracking each student’s progress and overseeing the lessons so that they can make the very best decisions about what will help each child succeed. Our instructors also know what each child is capable of, based on the child’s achievement level, the notes on the class roll, and their own observations and hands on experience. Information is also shared between managers if the child comes on 2 different days
Water adjustment begins when you give your child their very first bath and this experience can often set the tone for how your child will adjust to the water over time. It is important to use this time to get their body and the child’s head and face adjusted to water. We do not recommend that you avoid getting water on your child’s face. Instead, before you add any soap, gently use your hand to cup some water and pour it over their head and face. Consistency and honesty are crucial so always warn your child first by saying, “Ready, go” before you get water on their face. Try this at least once or twice every time they are in the tub and be sure to smile and coo at your baby so they view this as a positive experience. Even if your baby cries, simply smile say “good job and yea” in a calm and happy voice. Teaching children to “blow bubbles” a common mistake that people make. Once a child expels all their air the natural instinct is to breath again and if their mouth or nose is near the water they will inhale the water.
This water adjustment is a crucial part of learning to swim, and the earlier your child is exposed to this process, the better. Children can start swimming lessons as early as 4 months old to continue their water adjustment and learn those early swimming skills like kicking, floating, and putting their face in the water correctly. For more information about the Infant/ toddler classes click here.
Generally, most fears will begin to emerge in your child at around age 2, so acclimating your child to the water should begin earlier than this. If your child enjoys the bath/shower and is happy to have water on his/her face they will likely adjust well to lessons even if they do not start them until the age of 2.5 or 3 years old. Children under the age of 3 ARE capable of swimming independently and saving their own life if they fall into a pool. They are also old enough to understand the dangers that water can present. Swimming lessons prepare them to avoid those dangers and to react appropriately when accidents occur. Children are never too young to start learning about water safety.
If you have a child who has a fear of water or doesn’t like getting their face wet, it is best to address that fear as soon as you can. If you wait until your child is older it can become increasingly more difficult to overcome those fears. Most fears will not go away on their own, they need to be addressed. Swimming becomes less natural for children as they get older and it can take more time to gain confidence. It’s never too late for a child to learn to swim, but waiting too long can present challenges! Swimming is a life saving skill that every child should master, and it is also a wonderful sport that can be enjoyed throughout one’s entire life.
If you don’t get the opportunity to enroll your child in lessons while they are young that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn. We specialize in teaching children of all ages to be safe and efficient swimmers.
Below is a progression guideline, but please keep in mind that every child is unique, and so is his/her swimming journey. It is NOT uncommon for some children to fall outside the “average” time frames listed below, and some students will progress at a much faster rate. Learning to swim is like learning to walk and talk. Every child will progress differently based on their emotional and physical development.
The guidelines below are based on “sessions” which are typically 10 to 12 weeks long. Please be aware that your child’s rate of progression will depend on many different factors. It is not uncommon for us to encounter slower rates of progression when there are any water phobias, sensory reactions, separation anxiety, or emotional/physical delays. Please do not be alarmed if your child is effected by any of these since we have a lot of experience in helping children face and overcome these challenges. Good attendance and practice multiple times a week can make all the difference!
Starfish, Krill, Hermit Crab, Fish & Clownfish
- If you attend class 2x a week you will typically earn one per session
- If you attend class 1x a week you will typically earn one badge within two sessions
Swordfish, Octopus & Otter
- If you attend class 1x a week you will typically earn one badge within two sessions
- At this level coordination demands increase and being able to follow multi-step directions becomes crucial
Seahorse, Seal, Stingray, Frog, Dolphin, Whale & Shark
- If you attend class 1x a week you will typically earn one badge within three sessions
- At this level your child’s attention & level of coordination will directly affect their progress
Swimming 2x a week will result in a faster progression and is highly recommended when first learning to swim. If your child’s progression is not falling within these “average” time frames your class manager will contact you. Your manager will update you on the skills that are most challenging for your child. They can also give you some simple drills, which you can practice at home if you are interested. The more frequently your child gets to practice, the quicker he/she will learn.
Attending class 2 times a week at the Learn to Swim level is highly recommended and it has a big impact on how fast your child learns to swim. In every level, the more you practice the faster you will progress. However, the most crucial phase of your child’s swim development is the Learn To Swim level, and that is why it is so important to attend more than once a week
When you take your child swimming this summer, please do not expect them to mimic the swimming they do at Swim Tank. Your children are very comfortable, both physically and emotionally, in our pool. They are very familiar with their instructors, the rules, boundaries, and expectations at Swim Tank. The instructors are able to get so much out of the students because they know exactly how to hold them, where to stand, and what to say. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot get them to do the same things. If your child is going to camp where they will swim every day you might want to let the camp know what your child’s swim abilities are. Print out the badges that they have earned with the descriptions so the pool director at camp knows what they are capable of.
Swimming outdoors has a variety of different variables for your child to contend with. The pools you will frequent this summer or on vacation might be colder than the 87-degree water at Swim Tank. Most young children do not swim as well in cold water. The sun will also make it harder for them to see, especially when they are trying to float. Large crowds of children and adults in the pool will be a different experience for your child. People might be bumping into them or causing large ripples in the water that splash them in their face. It can be loud, disorganized, and chaotic. It is not uncommon for a child to be reluctant to swim in an unfamiliar pool. It will take time to get adjusted to this different swimming environment.
At Swim Tank there is very little “free swim”, and the instructors are always in the water giving the students specific directions. We try to condition them to have the proper reactions when they are in the water, and we practice the skills over and over again in the hope that they will automatically respond appropriately when they are swimming on their own. However, we very rarely get to test how they will react if they get into a situation where fear and panic set in.
- Choose someone to be the “water guardian” if you are swimming at a pool with no lifeguard
- It is extremely important to make sure someone is watching the pool at all times
- Do not assume an adult is watching, even if there are several around the pool
- Assign one person to be the “water guardian”, and make sure that they know that if they leave the pool area they should pass the responsibility off to another adult
- Drownings happen quickly and silently. It only takes seconds, so if an adult looks away or leaves the pool deck for a minute you could easily miss a child slipping under the water
- Make sure backyard pools are secured or properly monitored at all times
- Backyard pools are very fun, but they are extremely dangerous, especially if they are left unattended or open.
- Have a secure locking system for your pool gate so no one can get in without permission.
- When children are swimming in your pool you cannot take your eyes off of it. Even stronger swimmers can get into trouble.
- If you are having a big gathering of children in your pool, consider hiring a lifeguard to watch it.
- Explain the boundaries at the pool
- Get in with them and show them where they can stand and where the pool gets deeper so they don’t slip under unexpectedly.
- Have them swim out to a certain point and then back to the wall so they know how far they can swim and still get back to the wall safely.
- At each new pool show them where they can and cannot swim safely before you allow them to explore.
- Reinforce and go over all of the pool rules
- Go over all pool rules (no running, diving, grabbing other children).
- For younger children make them wait for permission to get in the water. You do not want your child to jump into a pool when you are not looking. This is extremely important and should not be taken lightly. We have a lot of young students who are very comfortable in the water, but they need to know their limitations. It is NOT funny to have a child jump in the pool without permission. It is your job to reinforce the safety limits that we have set for them all year long. Be sure to explain those limits to anyone who is taking your child swimming.
- Limit the use of a floatation device
- When a floatation device is over-used it will give your child a false sense of security which can be a recipe for disaster as they will have no concept that they are unsafe without it
- Obviously if you are not in the water with your child you should have a flotation device on them BUT you MUST take the time to show your child what it is like to be in the water WITHOUT that device on
- Children will be curious about the water and will want to go in it, especially when they are overconfident from the constant use of a flotation device
- You need to show them that without it on they go under and you need to show them how to get to a safe place like a wall or stairs
- We suggest NOT using a flotation device for at least 30 min every day that you are in the pool with them, use it as a reward for practicing their swimming skills with you
- Make sure your child knows when he/she does or doesn’t have it on. For example when you take it off say to them “you do NOT have your float on” and show them! Tell them “you need mom/dad to help you in the pool when you don’t have that on”. Make them repeat it so you know they understand that they cannot go over and jump into the pool without you.
- Be sure to use an appropriate device based on your child’s age and ability and be sure to watch your child even if they have a device on as they are not 100% and accidents can still occur
- Be aware of the potential dangers when playing in a “baby pool”
- Our students are not used to swimming in a pool that they can walk around in, so if they slip under they may not know how to get back up. Show your child how to put their hands on the floor and get their feet down so they can stand up.
- Take note of any potentially hazardous pool floats that could trap a child.
- Children can get stuck under floats or fall off of them the wrong way and hit their heads on the wall. Consider taking them out of your pool or having an adult in the water to monitor them. Safety before fun!
- Reinforce life saving skills
- Swimming back to the wall – if your child likes to jump in the pool ALWAYS have them swim back to the wall instead of swimming out to you. You want them to know where to go if they fall into a pool.
- All pool ledges are different so please make sure your child is able to reach the wall at your summer pool to ensure their safety.
- Floating – if your child is comfortable on their back practice it often!! Even stronger swimmers will get tired. If you see your child start to get tired and they are not near the wall tell them to roll over and float.
- Don’t trick your children
- If you say you are going to catch them when they swim to you, please follow through. Don’t keep backing up to see how far they can go. If they get scared they will lose trust in you and themselves.
- We typically use counting for skills so that the child knows exactly when the skill is over.
- If you go on any type of boat / kayak please put a life jacket on yourself AND your child
- All swimmers should wear life jackets! It is good to reinforce this rule when your children are young.
- Lakes are very dangerous because they are dark and you have very little visibility, so if your child goes under the water you may not be able to see them
At Swim Tank we feel that once students earn their Turtle safety badge and are over 5 years old they are strong enough, and mature enough to play comfortably and safely in the water. Since, even the most experienced swimmer could become distressed in a pool, your child should always be properly supervised.
As far as technique and form go, you can look at our achievement levels and decide what badge coincides with your goals for your child. We would like all of our students to know freestyle and backstroke, but after that swimming does become more of an “optional” sport or extracurricular activity, rather than a life saving necessity.
Those students who really enjoy swimming and have the drive and determination to pass every level at Swim Tank can stay until they earn the Great White Shark badge. After reaching this level they can continue to work on speed and endurance.
There is a renewal week mid-way through every session.
All families have to do to renew their child’s class from September through June is submit payment during renewal week.
Once renewal week has been completed, all current clients will have the opportunity to try and change classes. If there are openings in a day/time/level that works for your child you will have to submit a request form on change request day. We will do our best to accommodate as many change requests as possible, but we can’t make any guarantees.
The only session that students can opt out of is the Summer Session. Should you decide to not renew your child’s class for any other session he or she will no longer retain registration priority. You are welcome to rejoin the mailing list and register for future sessions as a returning/ new client.
Siblings of current students will have the opportunity to register for classes once renewal has been completed for current clients. We will post the list of openings for the upcoming session on sibling request day. If there is a class listed that works for your child you will have to submit a class request form.
- Refunds/credits are not offered once the session has begun
- Prior to the session starting we can try to re-sell your child’s class if you notify us in writing that you cannot attend
- Class resales are not guaranteed and are subject to a $100.00 fee
- Swim Tank does not offer refunds or credits for any missed or cancelled classes
If your child is struggling with adjustment or is unhappy in class please speak to the manager as they will be able to support you through any transitional challenges that you and your child may be going through.
- How to video
- Log onto your Parent Portal
- To see if your child is eligible for a make up pass please click “view child” and click on “absences”
- If your child has an eligible for a make up, Click on the “Classes & Events” tab at the top of the page
- Click “Find Events”
- Under “My Location” make sure “All Locations” is turned on
- Below you will see a list of all the available make ups
- You can scroll though this list OR you can filter the list by clicking on “ADD A FILTER”
- If you are filtering by class type, please remember we have add JR Special Events and Special Event Make ups. Students who have their starfish badge – octopus badge can do the JR. Special Events. Students who have their otter badge – shark can do the Special Event. These are both 30min semi private make ups.
- Once you see a day/ time/ location that works for your child click on the event
- Review the event information to make sure this is the correct level, day, time, and location that you want
- If all is correct click “Enroll in this Event”
- Select the child/children you would like to enroll in the event and click “Enroll”
- A confirmation email will now be sent you to via email. If you have registered in the incorrect level the office will notify you via email with 48 hours
Please note that this policy will be strictly enforced since accidents cause pool closures and class cancellations. The swim diapers that we sell and recommend do not look or feel like a diaper. We recommend that parents refer to them as “swim pants” and NOT swim diapers. We even sell bathing suits for both boys and girls that have the “swim pants” built into the suits so that the child is unaware. It is crucial that we are proactive in the prevention of any fecal contamination of the pool and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation!
- Regular diapers are never allowed in the pool and can damage the filter system
- Pull ups and disposable swim diapers are also never allowed in the pool
- ALL children under the age of 4 must wear a tight fitting reusable swim diaper to prevent fecal accidents
- We do have reusable swim diapers available for sale at both facilities
- If you would like to purchase one on your own, we recommend the Iplay or Finis diapers
Swim tank is not a “drop off” program so we ask that you stay on site in case your child needs you.
- Patrons are not allowed to photograph or videotape any child, including their own while they are in the pool area
- This policy is in place to protect the privacy of both our students and our instructors
- We ask that you respect this policy as it will be strictly enforced
Classes can be cancelled whenever there is a mechanical or weather related concern that affects the facility. Please be sure to “text opt in” on the contacts tab of your parent portal so you can receive a text notification whenever class cancellations occur. Cancellations of this nature are out of our control and often occur without a lot of notice. If your child’s class is cancelled you will be provided an additional make-up pass. Credits and or refunds are not offered for any emergency closures.