Quality swim classes for 9yo who loves the water?
We've tried ALL the swim classes in the East Bay. My kid loves being the water but learns nothing. Why is it so hard to find swim classes with good quality instruction? Where can we go to just let him play? Is it possible for a kid to be TOO comfortable in the water?
I'll admit that my kid is Not the best student in the pool... He gets a little overstimulated and hyper, just wants to play, and spends most of the time bobbing under the surface where he can't hear instructions. He seems strong in the water but uncoordinated. To be clear, we're not trying to create an Olympic swimmer here. But it's a waste of time and money if he's not making progress. Better to just let him splash around!
We've tried classes at the Berkeley Y, EBRPD's Roberts Pool, Emeryville Parks and Rec, Aquatech, Ohana, and Strawberry Canyon. No matter how small the class, the instruction generally seems lackadaisical. Enrolling is a crapshoot because you never know which instructor you'll get. For us, the most successful class was Noodle Ball at Cal Rec. Every swim school has their own levels. (Does "Otter" mean he's learning to blow bubbles or learning the butterfly?!) In our experience, there are few private instructors who can articulate what exactly a child needs to do to move on to the next level. Haven't yet tried Temescal Pool or OPR classes b/c their summer sked is limited and not friendly to working parents. This is all so much harder with all the public pools closed right now...
So I have two questions:
First: Where can we find good quality instruction? Should I be looking for an American Red Cross program? Should we just shell out for private lessons? Does he need to join a swim team to refine his stroke? I don't think he's ready for that... Do we have to drive through the tunnel to find a good swim teacher?
Second: Where can he just swim and play with other kids? Get all that energy out and swim for the fun of it? We'd love to join a swim club but can't afford it.
Thanks and happy swimming!