How quickly can a child learn to swim?

How quickly can a child learn to swim?

By the time they’re five years old, the average child can learn to swim a decent distance in about twenty to thirty lessons – and that’s assuming they have 45 minutes lessons at least twice  week.

Older children, between six and nine years old, can usually learn basic swimming skills from eight to twenty lessons.

How do we even define ‘Swimming’?

We all have a good sense of what swimming is, but if you ask several different people what their idea of a competent swimmer is, they might give you very different answers. There’s also the fact that even a few months of growth in small children can make a major difference in their ability to move around. Here are some of the more important benchmarks:

  • 12 Months: At this age, a trained child can perform a brief swim underwater.
  • 24 Months: Here, a child can go from a seated entry into the pool, then get themselves back out.
  • 3.5 Years: A child can use swimming techniques to come out of the water and breathe.
  • 4 Years: A child can use the freestyle technique and travel 25 meter.
  • 6 Years: A child can perform the basic 100 meter medley – twenty-five meter each in the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly techniques.

HPSC trains children ages six an above up to a level at which they are mastering the freestyle, backstroke(s) and breaststroke. We are expecting this minimum level of competency for children of any age above six. For children younger than that, swimming lessons are mostly about making them water safe and creating love for the water and building the foundation for future lessons.

The child’s capabilities

Many things can affect how long it takes a child to learn how to swim, but their basic physical capabilities are one of the most important considerations. Young children literally do not have the body strength for long-term swimming – that’s why their expected capabilities are so low – while older children are often affected by how much they’ve exercised in the past.

Once they get started on swimming, though, all children quickly start to get into shape – after all, swimming is full-body exercise! With enough time in the pool, any healthy child can become a competent swimmer – even those who don’t seem like they have any natural talent. It’s far more important to praise the child, use positive language and do what you can to motivate them – this will help them learn faster and retain that knowledge.


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