My summers are relaxing. My days at the pool are VERY relaxing. I am able to sit in my lounge chair and read the latest magazine or chat with a friend as I casually glance up at my kids swimming away. My kids are 7 and 4 and they can out-swim just about anyone I know, including me. Just this summer, my 4-year was dying to go down the big slide at the pool but had to take the dreaded swim test. The lifeguard told me that her little body had to tread water for one minute in the deep end and swim the length of the pool without stopping. “No problem”, I said. The lifeguard had his doubts for sure. But then she jumped right in… astonished them all as she did the freestyle from one end of the pool to another and treaded water without hesitation. Needless to say, she went down the big slide a couple of minutes later and down in history with that lifeguard.
Sure, we started our kids in swimming lessons early and often. I am a firm believer in year-round lessons because not only has it taught them water safety, but also it has made them incredible swimmers! For a couple of years we put them in various swim schools around Charlotte and they learned to float on their backs and how to make bubbles… all the cute things that 2 years olds do. But for the past two years, we decided to step it up a level. We headed to where the real fish swim.
Let me introduce you to the 2014 Charlotte Smarty Pants Winner for “Best place for swimming lessons for elementary (and up), SWIMMAC! Welcome to the big show kids. When I first walked in, I was a little intimidated. I had read the articles about SwimMAC and knew that many famous faces graced these pools. Ryan Lochte ring a bell? The glass cases are full of trophies awarded to SwimMAC athletes, including state, regional and national championships, as well as several past and current Olympians. Then there are all these little ones walking around in Speedos, swim caps and goggles from the Swim Shop. In the deep end of the pool, there were rows and rows of high school kids with bodies of steel who were exploding off the blocks and swimming like future Gold Medalists. The front of the pool was reserved for our swim school, with little ones swimming their little hearts out like fish in the ocean.
My kids were assessed immediately and assigned to a small group of children in their ability level. They were constantly assessed as their teachers spent 2 days a week for 5 weeks teaching them everything from swimming basics to building a solid foundation for stroke techniques. Each week I would sit behind the glass and watch in amazement as my kid’s swimming ability would double and triple. Every couple of sessions they were moved on to the next group, after mastering the techniques from the current group. They were constantly being challenged in their swim abilities and they were soaking it up like a sponge. Not only was my 4-year old blowing me away, but also my 7-year old had me picking my mouth off the ground.
He has always been a good swimmer. But now that I’m watching him at SwimMAC, I realize I am watching them build him into a competitive swimmer. He is mastering the freestyle, the backstroke, the butterfly, and the breaststroke. You should see his dolphin kick! He officially passed me in swimming ability. I was honestly so excited to watch them both swim each week that I eagerly signed them up for session after session. They loved it. I loved it. We couldn’t get enough of it.
The thing that makes SwimMAC different is that they build such a solid foundation of swimming fundamentals in all four strokes. (We aren’t just blowing bubbles here ladies.) Water safety is a critical component of their program, but they developed a way to combine those skills with a focus on proper technique from the beginning, which creates a better stroke. This sets their swimmers up for success, should they decide to continue into a more competitive form of swimming.
And if you are ready for competitive swimming, this is the place to be. They have JSL (Junior Swim League) as well as a competitive team that has been named the top swim club in the country by USA Swimming for the past three consecutive years. Not to mention the Team Elite programs who train the swimmers that grace your televisions in the Summer Olympics. Yeah, they are that good. Needless to say, they have a swimming level for every single swimmer out there.
Trust me when I say that this is a no brainer. The facility is incredible, the staff is experienced, and your child’s swimming abilities will amaze you. Every year when we line up our extra-curricular activities, we know that SwimMAC has a place in every single season. I get so much enjoyment when I watch them swim all year long, but especially over the summer. I get to relax a little and smile from a distance as I watch them swim laps upon laps in the pool knowing that they are safe and confident swimmers, thanks to their lessons at SwimMAC. J
SwimMAC offers lessons for ages 6 months and up. They have locations at the SwimMAC Training Center at Charlotte Latin School, Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics and now is offering summer swimming lessons at the Charlotte Christian pool on Sardis Road. Registration for summer classes is open now and fall registration opens July 1st.