I just love this video that Ethan’s family made of him in their backyard pool. It is so cool and so fun! My friend Jake, Ethan’s step-dad, made the video and shared it with me. When he was interviewing him in his chair eating breakfast he realized that Ethan had his Waterworks On Wheels tee shirt on. This is a shirt we give to our swimmers who have been with us for a year or more.
I will not forget the first day Ethan came to our lessons just over a year ago. He was just turning four. His dad brought him to our Chandler pool. Ethan was leery of the water, shy and very apprehensive. Dad sat on the deck by him for a big part of the class. We discourage this, but it happens! Once students are in the “big boy” class without a parent, we like to be in charge, build the relationship, earn the trust and be the disciplinarian unless outside assistance is needed on occasion.
In the beginning, Ethan would barely put his toe in the water. He was not holding his breath well and he certainly was not swimming. I was told that when he was three, he was in lessons and that he swam; however, a young child can’t go nine months without being in the pool and retain swim skills. So not only did he regress, but his personality changed and fears took over.
As time passed, Ethan got more comfortable with our instructor and our lessons. It was also approaching summertime, and Ethan’s home has a pool. Jake and Ethan’s mom, Dionne, swam with Ethan at home quite a bit, practicing things Ethan had learned in lessons and keeping him familiar with his safety skills (and comfort level in the water!). This is when Ethan really started to soar! He was definitely swimming independently (and very well!) by the end of last summer. I thought they might stop lessons because he was swimming, but they did not. I am so thrilled to see that Ethan is still with us once a week for maintenance and stroke work and to keep up his skills, safety and confidence. Kids who practice at home and who continue with lessons after the basics are the safest, BEST swimmers!!
I had to share this fun video with you. I can’t believe how long Ethan can hold his breath! He just turned five and is a cute, outgoing little guy. Jake and Dionne have a pool fence and they keep it locked, but we all know that Ethan and his family can really enjoy swimming together in a relaxed way. We also know that if Ethan fell into the pool, he’d be able to get to the side easily and climb out (unless he hit his head). That being said, they would NEVER let him swim alone or keep the fence unlocked. Remember: there is NO substitute for eye-to-eye contact – even if you’ve got a little fish like Ethan!