Top Three Unexpected Benefits to Learning How to Swim

As summer approaches and the weather heats up, our minds naturally are drawn to water. Swimming has many advantages, below are our top three unexpected benefits of learning how to swim.

Learning to swim is a life saving skill. Drowning is one the leading causes of death for children. During swimming lessons children learn to have a healthy respect for water. They are challenged to learn how to follow rules which indirectly save lives and prevent tragedies.

Learning to swim gives children a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities. Learning to swim isn’t easy. When a child figures out how to swim, their confidence grows and swimming becomes fun! We often see children begin lessons terrified of the water and within a matter of weeks they are loving it. Supporting them through this challenge (not bailing them out) is key to their ability to adapt, learn, and succeed.

It’s not always easy to get kids excited about exercising, but when they’re in the pool they barely notice how much exercise they’re actually getting. Have you ever noticed how hungry you get after swimming? It’s a positive strain on the body without really noticing it.

Contact our office at (480) 404-6191 to inquire more about swimming lessons at EVO Swim School.

Level Up! Learning the Levels of Competitive Swimming

Good PIcCompetitive swimming is a great way for swimmers to take their skills to the next level and meet lifelong friends. Once your child is ready to graduate from swimming lessons and dip their toe into the competitive waters, how do you determine which level is right for them?

Every business organizes their levels in a different way. At RIO Swim Club, the competition side of EVO’s Gilbert swim school, we offer two main levels: Development and Competitive. Each level has several teams made up of swimmers of similar ages and skills so they can swim with their peers.

The Development Team

RIO’s Development Team is designed for swimmers who are new to the sport, currently developing their skills, or who are not yet ready to fully commit to a competitive team.

This program will not only develop the fundamental skills they need to be great swimmers, but also give both parents and children a taste of the full commitment required to be on a competitive team.

If your child plays multiple sports or is involved in other activities, this is a great team to be on because it allows them to keep up with swimming while still having time for work or other extracurriculars. They’re encouraged to attend swim meets, but it’s not required.

This team has four age groups:

1. Advanced Stroke Group: For swimmers who have graduated from our swimming lesson program or who can perform the very basics of all four strokes. This group focuses on helping children learn the skills needed to be ready for Development 1 and larger group training settings. Practices are one hour long, 1-3 times per week.

2. Development I Group: For swimmers 13 years and younger who can perform all four strokes by legal USA Swimming standards and do a flip turn with a streamlined push off the wall. Practices are one hour long, 2-3 times per week.

3. Development II Group: For swimmers 13 years and younger who can perform all four strokes, starts, and turns proficiently and by legal USA Swimming standards. Practice gets longer at this stage, so swimmers must able to complete 1.5 hours of training, 2-3 days a week.

4. High School Development: For swimmers 13 years and older who are working to become smoother and more efficient in the water. These swimmers most likely won’t swim in college, but they still want to swim in high school and further their skills. Practice is held 2-3 days per week from November through July.

The Competitive Team

Our Competitive Team is designed for serious competitive swimmers who can meet certain performance standards and commit to regular training. All swimmers sign a performance and practice expectation contract with their coach that’s reviewed each season, and they’re expected to regularly compete in swim meets in the highest championship level they qualify for.

This team has three age groups:

1. Age Group I: Our entry-level competitive program is designed for swimmers 9-12 years old who try out or are invited from our Development Program. This team focuses heavily on proper technique in all four competitive strokes, as well as starts and turns. Practice is held 3-4 times each week and includes both in-water and dry-land exercises to build up their strength and endurance.

2. Age Group II: For swimmers 12 years and younger who have excelled in Age Group I and receive feedback from their coach that they’re ready for more intense training. This team continues the combination of in-water and dry-land exercises that began in Group I. They practice 4-5 times each week.

3. Senior Group: For swimmers 13 years and older who want to maximize their potential, swim in college, and/or are looking for the next level of training and competition. All Senior swimmers practice 6-9 times each week.

For details on EVO/RIO’s Gilbert swim school and which competitive level would be best for your child, give us a call at 480-539-2660.

Ask David: When Should My Child Wear Board Shorts and Rash Guards?

Jack and DallinSigning up your child for Gilbert swimming lessons unleashes a wave of excitement, questions, and maybe even a few concerns. When should I start teaching them how to swim? How many lessons do they need? Should I buy any gear or equipment?

At EVO Swim School, our goal is to offer the very best aquatic instruction for infants, children, pre-competitive swimmers, and adults. Part of that instruction includes helping people be knowledgeable and confident swimmers, so over the next few months, EVO’s owner, David Tait, will be answering some of the common questions he receives from parents and students at our school.

This month, David shares his advice about two pieces of swim apparel that kids love: board shorts and rash guards.

1. When should children wear board shorts?

David: Most boys like to wear board shorts because they’re comfortable and are the farthest thing from a “speedo” that you can find. However, there are actually a few drawbacks that may hinder them during swimming lessons.

Board shorts are baggy, produce lots of drag, and make it harder for any swimmer to move through the water efficiently. It’s fine if children want to wear board shorts during swimming lessons as long as they fit tightly, but they should never be worn during swim team activities. Would you put 10-pound shoes on your feet and go running? Then don’t wear big, baggy shorts when you swim!

2. How about rash guards? When is it appropriate for children to wear them?

David: Rash guards are less of a problem since they’re normally skin-tight. They can help keep younger children warm in the water, but much like board shorts, we recommend making sure they fit tightly and only wearing them during swimming lessons, not swim team practice.

3. Are there any specific features parents should look for in the board shorts and rash guards they buy for their children?

David: The smaller and tighter they fit, the better. Otherwise, the child will have a harder time swimming, are less buoyant and will fatigue faster.

4. Are there any brands that EVO recommends?

EVO doesn’t have one preferred brand for board shorts or rash guards because, much like any type of clothes, it’s a personal choice based on style and fit. As long as they’re form-fitting and comfortable, that’s all that matters.

If you’re interested in more advice from David about children’s swim products or Gilbert swim lessons, stay tuned for future blog posts, or contact EVO Swim School at 480-539-2660.


EVO Swim School is an evolutionary learn-to-swim facility with complete resources to offer the very best in aquatic instruction for infants, children, pre-competitive swimmers, highly competitive swimmers, and adults.

Learning to swim has evolved in two ways. First, our progressive approach to instruction is more than just bubbles and back floats. Our students actually learn to swim, are confident in the water, and emerge as happy and safe swimmers.

Secondly, from babies all the way to college-bound student athletes, we have the ability to offer the very best in aquatic instruction for every age and at every level.

EVO is the first step in our evolutionary approach to swimming. EVO Swim School will teach your child to swim and introduce them to the competitive strokes. Beyond that, our club swim component, know as the RIO Salado Swim Club, manages the competitive side of swimming. Our Pre- Competitive Swim Team is a great way to introduce your child to the world of competitive swimming. As our athletes develop their skills, they have the opportunity to train and compete with our Competitive Squad where are goal is to help athletes prepare to swim in college.

Wherever your child fits into our program, our ultimate goal is to teach them how to swim for safety first, then for backyard fun, then for fitness…and finally for competition.

We are so confident in our highly trained staff that we offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not fully satisfied after your first four lessons.

With several locations in the east valley including Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, there is a convenient place for your child to participate.

This is why EVO Swim School is the place “Where Learning to Swim Has Evolved”!

Long Time EVO Student Making Waves Since 2010


Karson Leavitt, Age 9, has been swimming at EVO Swim School since 2010. He began in our Otter class (first level of swimming lessons) and is now a member of our Competitive Swim Squad with RIO Salado Swim Club (EVO’s competitive swimming component).

Karson is a great example of what the EVO/RIO system of instruction is designed to do. Karson learned how to swim with us, learned the competitive strokes with us, experienced our Development Swim Team, and is now among the ranks of our Competitive Swim Team. We hope to see Karson swimming in college one day and at the rate he is going, he can do it!

We recently took a moment to ask Karson a few questions about his time here at EVO/RIO and what he loves about swimming:

Q: What do you like most about swimming?
A: I love the water! Swimming is calming, smooth and feels great when gliding through it. Nothing feels better in the Arizona summer than swimming.

Q: What do you like most about EVO Swim School?
A: I loved my instructors. Kelly, Jordan, Ben, Chris, Andrea and of course our man, Patrick! All of them taught me a lot along the way. You also get a certificate and small toy every time you graduate to another level. Ringing the bell is pretty cool too!

Q: If you had to describe EVO & RIO using one word, what would you say?

Q: What were or are some goals you currently have in swimming?
A: A past goal I achieved was breaking 40 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Three future goals I have are to: 1) get state times before I’m ten, 2) make the varsity high school swim team freshman year and 3) swim on a college team and make the United States Olympic team.

We also took a moment to ask Karson’s parents a couple of questions about their time at EVO Swim School:

Q: What do you like most about EVO Swim School?
A: Great Instruction!!! The instruction was comprehensive and complete. The school achieves this by providing an excellent learning environment along with a staff that understands swimming and how to help your child find success.

Q: What are you most proud of regarding your son in relation to swimming at EVO Swim School?
A: My son of 9 years old has learned that hard work, persistence and patience pays off when you are focused on goals. For the last six months Karson has been in the the “CJ” (Competitive Juniors) training group with Rio Swim team. His past and present instruction has enabled him to achieve being in the 100 yard butterfly finals at the Lost Dutchman Invite (the largest meet in AZ) and qualified for six races in this year’s Age Group Regional Championships. He would not have been able to do this without the proper form.

Q: Do you see/does Karson strive to go to the College/Olympics one day for Swimming?

A: Definitely, what a great sport swimming is! The atmosphere created by EVO and RIO has inspired my son to set and achieve goals while having the time of his life. He currently wants to swim for ASU and represent us in the Olympics. Thank you for the positive impact this organization has made in my son’s life.

We are rooting you on Karson! We hope to be a part of your continued success for years to come.

EVO Staff Spotlight: Head Site Coach Andrea Courtney

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Meet Andrea Courtney, the Head Site Coach at EVO’s competitive Gilbert swim school, RIO Swim Club. We recently sat down with Andrea to learn more about her and help our students get to know her better, too.

David Tait, owner of EVO and RIO: Hi, Andrea. Thanks for chatting with us! For those who don’t know you, tell us about your role at RIO Swim Club.

Andrea: As the Head Site Coach at the Hamilton pool, my primary role is running practices every night for four different groups, helping our competitive swimmers with their technique on all of their strokes, and working with them on their turns and dives. I also run monthly evaluations to see what they could improve and determine if they are ready to move to the next group.

David: You’ve coached some of our best students, and I know you were a competitive swimmer, too. How long have you been swimming and coaching?

Andrea: I started swimming competitively when I was 6 years old and continued swimming through high school. I hurt my knee and wasn’t able to continue swimming, so coaching allowed me to stay with the sport. Once I got involved with coaching, I fell in love with being able to help others improve in a sport that I enjoy so much.

Now, I have been coaching for almost 13 years! I have coached high school swimmers since I graduated, led a swim team at a local gym, and I have been coaching at RIO for three years.

David: We’ve loved having you as part of our team. Out of all of your time in swimming, what has been your fondest memory?

Andrea: I started swimming in Colorado during the summer while I was visiting my grandparents. I remember the first time I won the 100 backstroke at a championship meet. It was the same meet where our co-ed relay took first! It was a huge accomplishment for me and pushed me to continue. It also was awesome to do it with my friends that I had been swimming with for so long.

David: Wow, I bet that was an amazing moment! Outside of swimming, do you have any special talents or fun facts that most people don’t know about you?

Andrea: I don’t really have any special talents, but one thing that a lot of people don’t know is that I am a survivor of cancer. It has helped me be who I am today and given me a huge appreciation for my family and friends. We spend a lot of time together going to sporting events, concerts, and camping whenever we can.

David: We’re so glad you’re healthy now and thankful to have you as part of our Gilbert swim school.

Andrea: Thanks, Dave. It’s been so much fun helping kids reach their goals, and I love working with the EVO/RIO team. They feel like part of my family!

Benefits to Early Age Swimming Lessons


Here are our top 5 benefits to early age swimming lessons:

1. Water Safety
Tragically, drowning is one of the biggest causes of accidental death among children. Learning the basic skills of rolling to your back to breathe and swimming from point A to point B can give your child a significant advantage to survival in the water.

2. Confidence Booster
Providing your child with swimming lessons by the age of three can help to prevent a fear of water developing later in childhood. Over coming this fear paired with exercises that involve moving independently in the water will give them a sense of accomplishment and confidence that they can do things that appear to be hard in the beginning.

3. Promotes Bonding
This applied specifically to our Parent-tot groups. Active participation between you and baby promotes bonding and trust. Skin-to-skin contact strengthens the bond between you and your little swimmer.

4. Promotes Physical and Mental Health
Swimming is a great way of getting little ones exercising while engaged in an activity that is fun! Being in the water helps improve coordination while using their whole body in dynamic ways during swimming lessons.

5. Supports Learning and Success
Many children thrive in environments that offer structure and routine. Swimming lessons are ideal in providing both structure and routine. Success can be realized as they graduate from one level to the next when master skills are developed.

Stop into any of our three locations for a tour or to observe one of our classes. Click HERE for a class schedule or call anytime with questions.

480-404-6191 SanTan Gilbert Location
480-539-2660 North Gilbert Location
480-404-6191 Queen Creek Location

EVO Endorsements: Our Favorite Goggles for Kids


Over the years, our instructors have taught thousands of kids and adults how to swim with our Gilbert swimming lessons. During those lessons, we’ve tried tons of different equipment and experienced what works best firsthand. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing our top picks for training equipment, learn-to-swim tools, and accessories to help you or your child learn the right technique and have fun!

This month, we’re gabbing about goggles for kids. Here are some of our favorite brands.

**Finis H2 Jr.

Who these goggles are good for:

Ages 5-8

Why we recommend them:

We like that these goggles are comfortable and come in cool colors that kids love. Their soft frame and silicone eye gasket create a watertight fit without hurting their sensitive faces, and the silicone strap and back clip allow easy adjustment.

**Finis Fruit Basket

Who these goggles are good for:

Ages 3-8

Why we recommend them:

The Fruit Basket goggles have the same benefits as the H2, and they smell good. Children can pick their favorite out of four scents, so don’t be surprised if they start begging to go swimming once they have these goggles!

**TYR Kids’ Swimple Goggles

Who these goggles are good for:

Ages 2-6

Why we recommend them:

These goggles are so simple that even young kids can put them on without help. They come in multiple colors, and the single strap splits into two straps behind the head for a secure fit.

**TYR Qualifier Goggles

Who these goggles are good for:

Kids moving from swimming lessons into development swim team

Why we recommend them:

Qualifier Goggles are racing goggles that are a bit bigger to help swimmers see better in the water. They also have the same strap as the Swimple Goggles, which keeps them tight yet comfortable.

All of these goggles, plus our other favorite swimming equipment, can be purchased at EVO’s pro shop. For more goggle recommendations or details about our Gilbert swimming lessons, contact EVO Swim School at 480-404-6191.

What Should I Expect At My First Parent-Tot Swimming Lessons?


We are thrilled to welcome your little swimmer to their first experience with swimming lessons. This will be the start of their journey in water safety and development.

Upon arrival you will be greeted by your Site Manager. He/She will give you a tour of the facility and introduce you into our program.

Your swimming lessons will begin with introductions and a small description of what to expect. We will start off slow to allow time for your child to acclimate to the environment. Crying is normal and expected, but not to worry. We will move slowly and perform consistent drill sets in order to encourage comfort through routine.

Goals for your first 1-3 lessons:
• Comfortable introduction to the water
• Small amounts of water poured over the head
• Water gently introduced to the face, eyes, and lips
• No tears before getting out of the water

Goals after confidence is achieved (no more tears or tension):
• Holding breathe while being submerged
• Kicking
• Back Floats
• Wall Exercises
• Passes to and from the instructor
• One on one interaction with the instructor (preparing for a group lesson without Mom or Dad)


Please stop into any of our three locations for a tour or to observe one of our classes. Click HERE for a class schedule or call anytime with questions.

480-539-2660 North Gilbert Location
480-404-6191 SanTan Gilbert Location
480-404-6191 Queen Creek Location

Myth Busting: Is It Safe to Swim After Eating?

eating-to-swimAt EVO’s Queen Creek swim school, we often overhear the same words of warning from protective parents and caretakers: “You just ate! Wait a few minutes before you get in the pool.” But is their sage advice accurate after all? Let’s see if they’re sharing facts or fiction.

There are two common concerns about eating before swimming:

1. You won’t be able to swim as strongly.


Blood flows to your digestive tract after eating, so many people think this takes away blood flow to your arms and legs, and inhibits your ability to swim. According to Mark Messick, MD, a family doctor with Duke Primary Care, “The body does supply extra blood to aid in digestion, but not enough blood to keep your arm and leg muscles from properly functioning.”

2. You’ll get a stomach cramp.


This one could be true, but the stomach aches and cramps are likely due to strenuous activity, not the fact that you’re swimming after eating. As long as you listen to your body and don’t push yourself too far, this shouldn’t be an issue.

So, while there is a relationship between eating and exercise, having a snack or meal before jumping in the pool is perfectly safe, and it may even help you. For the best results, doctors recommend eating a healthy snack that has both carbohydrates and protein 2-3 hours before swimming. If you swim first thing in the morning, be sure to have a small snack — even if it’s not a full breakfast — to fuel your workout and burn as many calories as possible. Also remember to drink water before and after swimming to stay hydrated.

For now, we can consider this myth (mostly) busted. For more information about water safety or lessons at our Queen Creek swim school, call EVO at 480-539-2660.