Last summer, we enrolled Big B in swim lessons. I had been bugging hubby about it but he said that he will teach Big B himself. He had done a great job teaching since Big B has been “swimming” without floaties for two summers. However, a tragic event in our home city convinced my husband that we should put him in more extensive training than he’s had at home. He started in a group class and after two sessions, we put him in semi-private. I’m sure he would have done okay in group, but he really excelled in semi private lessons. We are considering putting Little B in swim class as well.
Little B and I had an opportunity to visit SwimLabs OC for a media event. The notion I had about an indoor swimming school was not what I saw at SwimLabs OC at all. In my mind I pictured a warehouse facility with really warm temperature, a large pool with dividers running up and down the middle, and the overwhelming smell of chlorine. That was not the case at SwimLabs OC.
From the moment I walked in, the facility was totally not what I had in mind. The waiting area is a glass door away from the swim area. There are monitors for each of the small intimate pools. Each monitor shows a front and bird’s eye view of the swimmers. As a parent, it’s very comforting to see your child in the water at all times, especially when they don’t know how to swim and you are not there by their side.
The technology was also not what I expected from a swim school. There were cameras, front and top, pointed at the swimmers to help them with their technique. The video has a seven seconds delay so that by the time the student sees him/herself on the monitor, they can correct and perfect the technique. There is a mirror at the bottom of the pool so when the student is facing down, he/she can see what they are doing.
SwimLabs OC programs
- Kids swim lessons:group, private, parent tot, 100 stroke club
- Competitive swimmers
- Triathlete training
- Adult learn to swim
- Special needs
- Birthday parties
Little B had a lot of fun. I was surprised at how quickly he trusted Brett. Little B usually is attached to my hips everywhere we go. However, Brett made him feel very comfortable and at ease in the water. Although Little B got a taste of the private lesson, during group session, other students would stand on the bench that line the entire pool while your child is getting one-on-one attention. You can see the bench in the picture below, it’s that dark grey block against the inside of the pool wall.
Swim Labs OC prides itself as a swim school that caters to special needs swimmers. The small pools, small class sizes, available technology, and skilled instructors all create an environment conducive to pool safety and learning to swim for special needs swimmers.
Water safety tips from SwimLabs OC
1. Learn To Swim! This is critical and can save so many lives per year.
2. Do not swim alone. Always have a buddy with you.
3. Be aware of the ‘too’s ‘—too cold, too tired, too far away from safety, too much sun, too much exertion
4. Always use a feet first entry when getting into the water
5. Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.