At Puddle Ducks we are passionate about the journeys our swimmers go on, from the moment they join us, to when they leave as confident, happy and beautiful swimmers. Every journey is different, not just because of the different ages and abilities of our Puddle Ducks when they join us, but because every child is different, and is taught accordingly.
We are always delighted to hear about our swimmers' journeys, and here are a selection from our Hampshire and West Sussex swimmers to help you understand what to expect from your lessons when you join us. If you have a journey to share please email at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd love to hear from you!
Daisy aged 4
"We were looking to for swimming lessons for Daisy at an early age as we believed that it an essential life skill. This is especially so as we live on the coast. Daisy went to her first Puddle Ducks session at 6 months where we were in the water with her and she learned to float and breathe. As we were in the water supporting her, it was building on the trust that she had in us and that in turn gave her confidence in the water.
Over the weeks, the trepidation in the water vanished and through fun she learned the basics as her stamina, buoyancy control and skills grew. The periods of time she was out of our hands and in the water working herself also grew.
As she moved through the classes, we saw how she was forming the techniques of swimming both on the surface and amazingly, under water! She learned to get into the water safely, about discipline around water how to use woggles, and a number of basic life saving skills that I had not looked at until I was into my teenage years. She then achieved her 5 metre badge.
Now Daisy has started in Swim Academy and we are no longer in the pool with her. It was a big moment and I think that in the end it was us that had greater trepidation about this than she did. We sit at the side and watch how her skills are being developed. She has started to learn proper strokes, including butterfly (that I still can not do!) backstroke and breast stroke. She dives for items on the bottom of the pool and has learned to turn and roll in the water. She has been shown to use item to assist people in trouble in the water and she can float while conserving energy.
We took her on holiday and during the week she was seldom out of the water. Each day she swam further unaided, she dived and spent longer under water and she was truly comfortable with it and so were we, even if I did not get sunbed time!
So that is Daisy but, it could not happen without the instructors. From the first day, it has been about having fun. The activities around the learning points and the way they are delivered have been the key. Every one of the instructors that Daisy has had have come across as living and breathing Puddle Ducks. They understand and are patient with the quirks of the children and spend time individually when needed. They allow for the different learning rates and while time may be spent on an individual, they always have an activity going for the rest so you are never standing around doing nothing.
We believe that Daisy’s journey has been phenomenal she is now approaching five years old. and understands and respects the dangers that water can pose whilst having the confidence to enjoy it safely. She can swim and climb out, she understands submersion and what it means for her breathing. And now she is here, we look forward to her building on these and progressing to the next stage of the journey.
As a an astronaut once said ‘What a ride’! "
Grace Aged 4
This is a lovely story, and especially important to note that even a child who has swum with us since birth can have periods of varying confidence around water. The key thing is the perseverance that both Grace and her parents displayed, which has paid off as Grace has turned into a beautiful swimmer!
"Grace has been swimming every week in term time with Puddle Ducks since she was just eight weeks old. This was such a special bonding activity to do together, especially in the early days. We love the small class sizes and pool location as well as the relationship that she has built up with her swimming teachers.
Grace's favourite part of swimming lessons has always been the songs and actions that go with them. She particularly loves that the songs and action change and evolve as the lessons progress and you move up through the classes.
Grace is super excited to have started Swim Academy. The highlight of her first session being having to wear a swimming cap and going into the deep end for the first time. She is also very proud to be big enough to go into the pool by herself.
As with most children Grace did go through a phase of seemingly not enjoying her lessons and for a number of weeks cried upon entering the pool and was not feeling confident to do all the activities asked of her. However, with the support and encouragement of the fantastic Puddle Ducks team we persevered and thankfully soon over came this hurdle.
We believe that swimming and confidence around water is one of the most important skills young children should learn and if we only signed Grace up for one activity swimming with Puddleducks would be it - it is definitely money well spent."
Alexander aged 4
Alexander has a great story to tell - from not being keen from his first few lessons as a baby, to getting his 10m badge at the age of 4 - go Alexander! Wherever you are in your journey, it might seem as though you aren't getting anywhere, but at Puddle Ducks we are in it for the long haul, and appreciate that all children develop at their own pace, and then before you know it they are swimming across the pool all on their own!
"We started swimming early on as Alexander wasn't keen to be in the water at all as a baby and we thought it was an important skill to learn as soon as possible. Puddle Ducks gave me the confidence to take him swimming on our own. Now we now if he were ever to fall in the water he has the skills to get himself out of danger, so we don't need to panic.
Alexander has made fantastic progress with Puddle Ducks. He was moved into the next class at the right time, having dealt with phases where he didn't want to be underwater, or swim on his back, or wouldn't put his face in the water at all!! He tells me his favourite part now is jumping in, but 'jelly on a plate' has remained a favourite throughout!
The structure of the classes has helped his development, and he is now good at listening and understanding instructions,which means at the age of 4 he was ready to go to lessons without us in the water with Swim Academy classes. We are really proud of his progress and appreciate the encouragement and support throughout from the Puddle Ducks team."