Don’t Wait for Summer for Swimming Lessons

The Arizona Department of Health Services has released their annual report for 2009 water-related incidents in Maricopa County.

While progress is being made on the number of drowning each year, one is too many. In 2009 Children 0-4 years of age accounted for 59 of the 103 serious water related incidents, 47 of which occurred in swimming pools. Of the 59 young children, 14 are known to have died (10 due to incidents occurring in pools). We would encourage all parents to read pages 3, 8, 9 & 10 of this report.

We don’t believe in using scare tactics to drive business, but these statics speaks for themselves. Our customers will tell you, we have the very best instruction for children ages 1 – 4 years old.

We also don’t believe in calling any child “water safe”. This would give parents a false sense of security when all children should be supervised around water no matter the conditions. However, our little ones actually swim! We don’t waste time with games or less aggressive teaching techniques. We get down to business and our young students actually learn to swim!

Ava – 2 years old

Ava started in our parent-tot class and was fearful and crying for many of her first few lessons. We stuck to it, helped Ava overcame her fears and she progressed very quickly. Now she is swimming across the pool without assistance at 2 years, 9 months of age. We are proud of her!

Jeanine, Ava’s mom had this to say…
I am so amazed and grateful for the progress Ava has shown.  She started lessons at just barely two years old, and quite fearful of the water.  The instructors at EVO are first class and the reason that we didn’t give up.  Although at times it seemed as though she would never get through a lesson in Starfish (parent-tot) without crying, the EVO instructors were always calm and reassuring, while still helping her gain skill.  After months of perseverance, and letting Ava set her own pace, she turned a corner and seems to have left any fears behind.  After only a few months in the Otter class with Jennifer, she is now in Seal and loving her swim lessons each week.  Instead of “no swim” with tears, I now hear “yeah, swim class!”  I can’t tell you how proud I was the first time I saw her go from one end of the pool to the other all on her own.  She is doing amazing things at only 2 years old because of the EVO staff.  Thank you so very much.

Dillon – 3 years old

Dillon started taking lessons with his mom started in our parent-tot class close to 1.5 years age and now can display total independence in the water.  He is another great example of what a consistent approach combined with great instruction can do for young kids in our program.

Jason, Dillon’s dad, had this to say…“We originally enrolled Dillon at Evo with a concern for his safety since we had numerous family and friends with swimming pools and we own a boat.  Working with Jennifer, Dillon met our original expectations of being able to float, tread water and safely reach the edge of the pool sooner than we expected.  I can also say I honestly didn’t expect to see Dillon cross the entire length of the pool with full arm strokes and no coaching at three years old but with Lorraine’s training, that is what he did Tuesday.

I have been impressed with the instructors understanding of the different personalities and the different approaches required for the individual children.  I have watched children begin their program and cry the entire class but eventually become relaxed with their surroundings because of the extra attention given by the instructor.  Other children, one in particular that I know, can get too comfortable with their surrounding and require a different form of “extra attention” which is also handled very professionally by the instructors. We have been very pleased with Evo Swim School and the progress that Dillon has made.”

Christopher – Special Needs Student

Christopher is one of our special needs students. He came to EVO Swim School for swimming lessons one year ago. After an evaluation we had no problem putting him in a regular group lesson and welcomed the challenge of teaching him just like any of our other students. Christopher’s spirit of determination made it easy for us to move him through our Otter, Seal, and Sea Lion class levels within one year.  He has worked hard and we are proud of him.

Anne, Christopher’s mom, had this to say…“Christopher was born prematurely at 25 weeks.  He weighed 1lb 12oz and was 13 inches long.  In the NICU he had multiple surgeries for PDA, NEC and his eyes.  He had a trach (tracheotomy) until he was 4 and was medically fragile until he was 5 (including recuperation from multiple surgeries to have the trach removed by taking out an inch of his trachea and sewing the two pieces back together again).  Christopher has fine and gross motor delays, severe oral motor/speech delay, a G-tube and may fall somewhere on the Autism spectrum but alll we know is that he is the cutest little guy in the world!  He’s the one you’ll see smiling away with his instructor, “Miss Lorraine”.

You’d think that going in the pool (he never went in or near large bodies of water until he was 4 due to the trach) would be a scary thing for him but Christopher loves the water.  He can do alot of things in the water that his body won’t let him do on land.  We are doing some CCDT ( therapy with him and the pool water is great for his sensory system.  The most calm/organized times we’ve ever seen Christopher experience are those when he’s floating in the pool on his back.

EVO Swim School has worked with Christopher for 1 year now and they have shown the firm guidance with compassion that Christopher requires.  They have listened to his parents and learned how best to work with Christopher so that he can give his very best.  He loves the praise that EVO is good about giving the kids.”

Olivia – 2 years old

Olivia started her lessons when she was 2 and a half years old. The videos below were taken just before her 3rd birthday and display her independence in the water after taking a solid six months of lessons. She cried through her first 2 or 3 lessons but caught on quickly as you will see in the video below.

Karin, Olivia’s mom, had this to say…“I wanted to express my enthusiasm in having Olivia enrolled at EVO Swim School.  As a first time Mom, I researched every swim school in the east valley -literally- looking for the right mix of fun and structure. We tried a few of the well known schools, the results were disastrous. With the constant chaos of kids screaming and instructors yelling, forget learning to swim, she would no longer even get in the pool. About to give up, I learned EVO had opened and, after only 2 or 3 lessons (she had to learn to trust again) I saw a marked improvement not only in her level of swimming, but most importantly in her confidence and overall desire to learn. Understated, she simply can’t wait until her next lesson! EVO Swim School is a first-rate operation. From its hands-on owner who clearly cares about making a difference, to the hand-picked teachers who treat each child like they were family, the beautifully designed pool/viewing room and the progress blogs – all carefully designed to help each child develop a life-long love of swimming. I can’t wait for my newborn twins to begin classes! Now isn’t that what it’s all about?”

Andrew – 3 years old

Andrew is a 3 year old who has displayed exceptional swimming ability for his age. He has outstanding use of his arms and he is seen here swimming in our third lesson level (Sea Lion class). Check out his freestyle “big arms”.

Beth, Andrew’s mom, had this to say…“We love EVO and the top -notch instruction that our kids receive there. Andrew has so much fun, loves the teachers, and has learned so much. We couldn’t believe it the first time we saw him do freestyle and backstroke – he was only 3 years old! It is exciting to see what he has accomplished at such a young age under the instruction of highly qualified teachers. It’s amazing to watch him grow. We owe it all to EVO Swim School.”

Taylor – 9 years old

Taylor stared taking lessons at EVO Swim School less than a year ago. When she started we noticed right away that she was fearful yet willing to learn. We spent the first few lessons building her confidence and it was all down hill from there. She graduated from our first and second group level on the same day she progressed so quickly. Now she is swimming all four strokes and is getting ready to swim competitively in our Advanced class.

Kurt, Taylor’s dad, had this to say…“Amazing! That is how we would describe Taylor’s progress at EVO. She got a slow start in the pool, age wise, due to the tubes we had put into her ears when she was younger. After the tubes came out and she could go under water, we started trying to teach her how to function in the pool so that at summer camp she would be able to hang out with her friends in the deeper areas of the pool. Well, we could not get her to keep from holding her nose with one hand. So, we started her at EVO.

We would like to thank you and Lorraine for being the early influences that have helped her, we think excel, at swimming in such a very short eight (8) months. We believe she has had every instructor at least once and all of them have been nothing short of excellent in their support and praise. The support and praise, we feel, are the things that encourage her to continue to strive to really learn swimming.

Things we will always remember about these first eight months: (1) The smile on her face when you gave her a high five the first lesson. (2) The smile on her face when she passed two levels in her first advancement test after her 3rd week. (3) The smile on her face, and the proud look she had shown, when at one lesson, Lorraine moved her from third in line to first in line for a backstroke drill, and said “Taylor, go ahead. Now, everybody, watch how she does it”. Lorraine may not remember that, but we do, and Taylor talked about that all the way home that night. (4) The amazement of the instructor when she did the dolphin kick perfectly the first time, with the comment to me, “she’s a natural”. And then in the same lesson, the “oh my” thought we had when she did her first butterfly stroke excellently. (5) The “oh my gosh” look she gave me, and how much she talked and text messaged about it to friends and family, when you asked to do the video and blog about her. (6) The huge smile and the “Yes! attitude” she had in her eyes after passing Dolphin to move to Advanced, and how she was talking and laughing with her classmates afterward.”

Clara – 3 years old

Clara has been at EVO Swim School for about a year and a half. She is another example of what consistency can do for your students over longer periods of time. She has complete independence in the water and we are proud of what she has accomplished so far.

Beth, Clara’s mom, had this to say…Clara started just after her 2nd birthday and was already really into swimming, but no where near an independent swimmer.  Sometimes progress seems slow, but I have to remind myself that she’s barely 3 ½ and can independently swim across the pool and has been able to for a year (with the instructor needing to be less close over the year).  On vacation last summer just before her 3rd birthday, we got lots of stares, questions asking how old she was, etc. as she happily swam between mom and dad in the Disneyland pool loaded with much older kids and their floaties.

The consistency and routine has been good for Clara.  With other swim lessons we have taken, you sign up for a “session” and then often start over at the start of a new lesson.  At EVO, the routine is consistent and consistent between levels as well, so that when you move to a new level, you just add a skill, but continue with the same routine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that kids are not developmentally ready to swim until at least age 4, given what I’ve seen at Evo, I don’t think this is the case.