The summer Snapper was 4 we started her in swimming lessons. Our friend Cheryl from work gives free lessons to staff kids. It's a real blessing for us, because lessons are so expensive! Snapper's lessons that year were a nightmare. She would not do anything Cheryl asked her to do, and alternated between screaming and crying the whole time. By the last day she would willingly put her head under water, and jump into the shallow end.
Last summer, Snapper was more cooperative, but still fearful and reluctant. By the end of the summer she would swim a frantic half-lap, and then freak out if I wasn't right there by her. She also got up the nerve to jump off the diving board, but she was always afraid, and panicked as she swam to the side of the pool. She was by no means water safe.
This year, our community pool offered swim team for ages 5 and up. We decided to give it a try in the hope that it would help Snapper overcome her fear, and become a stronger swimmer. It has done just that. We joined the pool on June 10th. On that day, Snapper was not able to swim the width of the pool. One month later, she has sprouted fins and gills. She swam in a swim meet 2 weeks ago, and placed 2nd in freestyle, and 3rd in backstroke. On Tuesday, she swam in another meet, handily winning her age division in freestyle and coming in a very close second (0.1 second behind first place)! Cheryl is giving Snapper and Pepper lessons again now, and Snapper is a different kid from previous summers! Now Cheryl has moved on to teaching Snapper some stroke technique. She is proficient in freestyle, capable in breaststroke, and is growing in her backstroke ability. She also dives fearlessly off the diving board, and is working on improving her racing start dive.
Our goal is to get Snapper onto a year-round swim team, starting in September. We have found a good team that is reasonably priced and has s great practice schedule. Snapper is beside herself with excitement! She loves to swim. Loves practice, loves lessons, and lives for her Tuesday swim meets! We are so proud of her, and SO glad to have finally found an activity that is a right fit for our quirky, fearful girl.
Here are a few pictures from the first meet. I was a timer for the second meet, so I didn't take my camera to that one.
Warm-ups with the team
Last-minute racing dive instruction from Coach Jim, while Coach Caitlin looks on
The first ribbons she has ever won!