It has been almost two months since my daughter began taking swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School – Garden City. It is fairly new to the community, celebrating its one year anniversary just last month. But, that does not distract from the fact that this swim school has teaching kids of every age and skill set the basics of swimming and swim safety down to a science. And I was able to get more insight on the school from the facility’s General Manager, Daniel Snyder. In addition to being a GM, Dan also chips in with swimming lessons from time to time.
Beauty and the Bump (BATB): What brought Goldfish Swim School to Garden City? Do you think the franchise will expand to other locations on Long Island?
Dan Snyder (DS): Garden City is a fast-growing community with many young families. We know parents are looking for ways to teach their kids to be safer in and around water and Goldfish Swim School is close to home.
BATB: What separates Goldfish Swim School from other schools in the area?
DS: One of the most unique benefits of Goldfish Swim School is our perpetual lessons model, which encourages water safety skill building year-round. This is also convenient because families can pay month-to-month and do not need to worry about booking block sessions. From an amenities standpoint, Goldfish Swim School offers a warm, fun and inviting environment for kids with tropical décor and a 90-degree pool, small class sizes and a state-of-the-art water purification system.
BATB: I see that Goldfish Swim School begins lessons as early as 4 months old, for parents who may think that is too young, please explain why you believe starting so early is beneficial?
DS: Participating in Mini classes with babies as early as 4 months old is a great way to help familiarize them with the water and build a variety of skills. Through parent-child activities, babies will learn the grasp reflex and eventually how to get out of the water safely: “elbow, elbow, tummy, knee.” Babies also will learn the building blocks of swim skills, like pulling the paddle, a “Superman” glide, floating on their backs and kicking.
BATB: For how long do you think a child should take swimming lessons?
DS: Goldfish Swim School offers lessons up to age 12 to help establish consistency. Our goal is to eliminate the mentality of seasonal swim lessons because this approach usually leads to the loss of gained swim skills. After progressing through Pro Levels, kids have the opportunity to continue on with Swim Force swim team.
BATB: After a child has successfully completed each level, what is the next step?
DS: After completing the Pro Levels, students can opt to participate in Swim Force, the fun, and friendly competition team. As a member of the Swim Force, in-water coaches help experienced swimmers between 5-12 years old gain greater proficiency in the four major swim strokes – Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. Swimmers participate in a one-hour swim meet each quarter to showcase their skills.
BATB: What techniques does Goldfish Swim School use to teach that are unique to the school?
DS: Goldfish Swim School teaches kids everything they need to know about swimming and staying safe in and around water. Some of the techniques we cover include:
- How to get in and out of the pool safely, avoiding jumping and potential injuries
- Using the wall for safety and support. Something as simple as teaching kids how to do a crab walk on the wall should they ever become overwhelmed in the pool. This becomes instinctive.
- Going underwater. It’s important for kids to get their face wet and be able to hold their breath underwater so they can properly learn swim strokes.
- Breath control. We practice going underwater little by little. As early as our Mini classes, swimmers must have 5-second breath control in an underwater dip to advance to the next level — where we help them have breath control for 10 seconds. Older kids practice swimming underwater for 5 feet, then 10 feet, then gradually work up to swimming a width of the pool while doing rollover breaths along the way.
- Roll onto their backs. If a child is too overwhelmed or young to know how to tread water, they will be able to roll onto their back – and this is a skill we practice over and over so they know what to do if they are sinking or struggling.
BATB: The first thing my husband and I noticed when we walked into the facility was the design and how bright and open the space is. What inspired the decision for the décor, etc.?
DS: The bright, tropical décor gives an immediate sense of relaxation and comfort. Introducing children to the water can sometimes be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience for parents and children. We wanted to diffuse this with the inviting décor.
DS: Progress reports were the idea of Goldfish Swim School’s founders Chris and Jenny McCuiston. They are given quarterly and include a detailed description of what each child has accomplished and what they’ll continue to work on in the coming months. The thought is that we know leaving your child in the care of a new adult can be nerve-wracking. We want to commit to building a trusting relationship with families by meticulously sharing what skills kids have accomplished. They also make parents aware of where their child is at to build the parent’s own awareness of their child’s capabilities.
BATB: I personally love that the pool and pool area are kept warm. Colder pool temperatures are what kept me from going back to another swim school. Is there a science behind the water temperature chosen for the kids?
DS: Yes! When you’re in the pool for a long time, you don’t want to be shivering. The water helps keep kids comfortable and eager to get in. We also know it can be chilly to get out (especially in winter) so the air is also set to a balmy 90 degrees.
BATB: The pool only goes up to 4’ is that enough depth to learn to be safe even in 10” of water (or more)?
DS: We know that some young swimmers can be intimated by deep water. Our pool is purpose-built for teaching kids ages 4 months to 12 years and allows our instructors to build essential safety and swim skills with kids.
BATB: Let Beauty and the Bump readers know why Goldfish Swim School is the right choice for new swimmers.
DS: We have a passion for changing – and saving – kids’ lives by teaching them to swim. Safety and skill building are our top priorities. Our unique amenities of perpetual lessons, a 90-degree pool, individual changing rooms and inviting décor add to the exceptional experience. We offer convenient lesson times and easy make-up scheduling. We would be honored if you gave Goldfish Swim School Garden City a try.
It will be nearly two months since my daughter began taking lessons at Goldfish Swim School – Garden City. Since taking lessons here, she has progressed and gained tremendous confidence with swimming and with being in the water. You should have seen her while we were on vacation recently. She did not want to use her life jacket even in the deep end, but we made her anyway. We are very happy to have this opportunity for our daughter to learn to be a better and safer swimmer at Goldfish Swim School. We encourage parents to check out the Goldfish Swim facility is in your area. Your kids will love it. Don’t believe me? Just check out my Instagram to see how much my daughter does.
Disclosure: Swimming lessons were provided complimentary in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own and are honest.