I was dumbfounded this morning as I watched two former competitive swimmers, now swim instructors, do freestyle demonstrations with their eyes closed! These were great age group swimmers. In fact, one of them was even a state champion!
Ironically, later this afternoon I received a call from the assistant superintendent of the school district, where we teach group swim lessonsto over 1800 second graders every year. He asked, “Jim, we don’t have a rule about not allowing goggles, do we? We had a parent call and complain that one of the teachers told them they couldn’t wear goggles.”
After what I saw today, I had to laugh and shared my story. I went on to explain when goggles are and are not appropriate for swim lessons. After the following explanation, the professional educator responded: “That makes perfect sense.”
Swim Lessons University Instructors are trained that if a child is comfortable opening his eyes underwater, he is welcome and encouraged to wear goggles. If he is not, then we strongly recommend against them.
Why? Because most accidental drownings occur when a child unexpectedly falls into a residential pool, lake, river, or some body of water and they are not being supervised. If the child only sees himself as a competent swimmer when he is wearing goggles, what is going to happen? You guess it! Odds are that he will panic, and potentially be faced with a life or death situation. On the other hand, if we teach the child to be comfortable swimming with his eyes open underwater first, and then allow goggles only after that comfort level has been obtained, we are doing the child a huge favor! One so big that it could save his life!