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MPSS Blog

Brynn
Brynn
Wed, May 25, 2016 10:35 AM

Doing the Rocketship Swim (and other skills to be excited about this summer)

We have a talented and smart group of swimmers at the Michael Phelps Swim School. The Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center opens this weekend for summer members, and we wanted to know which swimming skill our swimmers are excited to practice this summer. Here is what they had to say:


“Freestyle!”


“Butterfly and Backstroke.”


“Freestyle arms with breathing.”


“This summer I will practice moving my arms and legs.”


“Corkscrew.”


“Floating.”


“Doing the rocketship swim (when I’m doing the streamline underwater).”


Sounds like a busy group of kiddos! It is rewarding to hear our swimmers this excited to practice their strokes and skills. This excitement is why our program exists. We want our kids to have fun and get excited about swimming. One of our instructors was recently told by a parent that their 5 year old son came home after lessons and said, “Mom! I swim fast - just like Michael Phelps!” Mom thought it was cute, but we think it’s awesome.


Whether your child is excited about doing a rocketship swim or swimming fast like Michael Phelps this summer, have fun.


And keep us posted on what your family is doing this summer. We’d love to hear what you’re up to.


Need some tips on how to sharpen your child’s swim skills? Read this post. Brush up on water safety here. Learn more about swim group lessons and summer pool memberships by calling Meadowbrook at 410.433.8300.

Brynn
Brynn
Wed, May 18, 2016 1:47 PM

Summer Swimming: Practice makes perfect

Our spring swim lessons end on May 27th, and we’re gearing up for summer lessons. Starting in June, we’ll have a variety of group, semi private, and private classes available for those looking for summer swim options. We’ve had a number of parents that want to take advantage of the extra pool time this summer and have asked our instructors for a few tips on what they can work on to further their child’s swim skills this summer.

First, start with safety. Last week, we talked about water safety and how to promote it this summer with your family. Let’s do a quick recap:

1. Never swim alone.
2. Swim with a buddy.
3. Swim in a safe area.
4. Look before you leap.

We want to remind parents that passing a deep water test or having a year’s worth of swim lessons is not a substitute for parental supervision. Kids get excited and impulsive, and they sometimes end up tired or out of bounds. Until you are certain that your child can make good decisions about the water, please keep an eye on them. Spend some time talking about being in the water and being in a place where they can stay relaxed and have fun.

You can also work with them on a few skills that all skill levels practice in lessons. Swimming is a skill that requires practice, and playing in the water doesn’t always mean that children are practicing good swim skills. Here are a few that you can do with your child:

1. Blow bubbles. We never, ever hold our breath while we are swimming. Hold your child’s hands, have them go underwater and slowly blow bubbles. You want them to come up for air, take one breath and go underwater again. Repeat this a few times. “Bobs” are an essential building block to every stroke and swim skill.

2. Head position. We want to keep our neck in line with the spine when we’re swimming. For freestyle, our face should be parallel with the bottom of the pool. For backstroke, our chins should be up looking at the sky/ceiling.

3. Streamline. Put your hands together, one on top of the other, and extend your arms above your head. Your arms should fall to the back of your ears. This is the arm position for streamlining. Have your child keep their arms like this and kick on their front or back to practice their streamline. Remember to look for good head positioning!

4. Experiment with floating and flipping. Have your child float on their front, and then flip on their back. Or, have them float on their back, and flip on their front. We want to make sure they roll their body to the side and keep their spine straight (...we want to keep those shoulders and hips in check!). Have them practice doing a somersault in the water. Pro tip: blow bubbles while flipping. Kids like to hold their breath and end up with a nose filled with water.

5. Have fun! Swimming should be fun, not a chore. You don’t have to run a swim lesson, so find a fun way to work on these skills. The more your child is in the water having fun (and practicing), the stronger they will become at swimming. 

Want to know more about our summer swim lessons? Email us at info@mpswimschool.com or call us at 410-433-8300.




Brynn
Brynn
Wed, May 11, 2016 12:12 PM

Water Safety: 4 Rules and How To Keep Your Child Safe

May is National Water Safety Month. We know that water safety is important, and one of our main goals is to help children to become comfortable and safe in the water. In our lessons, we teach children about the properties of water and how their bodies react to the water as well as instilling proper swim skills. This knowledge will help swimmers become water safe.


However, learning these skills takes time. No one becomes a proficient swimmer overnight. It can take months or years to become a good swimmer; it all depends on the child and how they learn. Like most skills, learning to swim is a process, and isn’t always fast.


It may take time to learn swimming skills, but learning pool rules is quick and easy. We work with our swimmers to learn pool rules and how to be safe in the pool environment. Here are a few rules we work on in our lessons:

1. Always swim with a buddy. Swimming alone is dangerous. We teach our swimmers learn to have an adult (parent, babysitter, lifeguard, swim teacher, etc) with them while they are in the water.

2. Swim in a safe area. Make sure children know where the deep water begins and always make sure a lifeguard is supervising the area.

3. Walk, walk, walk! Being at the pool is exciting, and children get carried away. You’ll often hear our instructors saying, “Walk!” whenever they see a child running.

4. Look before you leap. Jumping into water is a favorite activity at the pool. We want children to make sure no one and nothing (pool toys, kick boards, etc) is in the way before jumping or diving.

Our goal is to create a water safe, independent swimmer, but we can’t do that without the help of parents. We need your help to help reinforce these rules and skills. Swim lessons and floaties are not a substitute for proper supervision. Spend time talking to your children about being in the water and how they can have fun while being safe. Encourage them to try new things and broaden their horizons. Next week, we’ll have a few tips on what you can do with your child this summer to strengthen their swimming skills.

Brynn
Brynn
Tue, May 3, 2016 2:31 PM

Why Choose the Michael Phelps Swim School?

Summer is around the corner and thoughts typically turn to swimming. The Michael Phelps Swim School (formerly known as the North Baltimore Swim School) have been helping children learn to swim and feel safe in the water for over 20 years. Our location at Meadowbrook in Mt. Washington enables our school to work on swim skills year round - not just in the summer.

Why choose the Michael Phelps Swim School? Why focus on swimming year round instead of the few weeks prior to the summer?

Our philosophy is focused on blending how children learn and grow with the four B’s of swimming (buoyancy, balance, body position, and breath control). To us, swimming is a process that takes time, much like learning a math skill that can be built on and further developed. It is more than learning to swim for the summer. It is about developing a skill that can be used for life.  

As we teach we think about how children learn and grow. We think about:

Why do children do certain things at certain times?

What are they thinking?

What is fear and how can we work through it?

How can we build trust?

How can we give each swimmer time to feel comfortable with a skill before challenging them to to the next level of comfort?

Learning to swim is a process.

The first step to that process is to help our swimmers (young and old) to understand the properties of water. It is our goal to teach our swimmers how the water will help them swim and how the water can keep them safe. Teaching a child to swim with their head in the water is one of the first steps to allow them to feel comfortable and in control when in the water.

All of our instructors are versed on the best swimming techniques and skills. They know that helping a swimmer find their own buoyancy in the water and showing them how to make subtle changes to ensure comfort is of utmost importance when learning to swim. They know that correct body position sets up the ability to perform proper strokes. Stroke dynamics may change as a child grows, but with a true understanding of buoyancy, balance and good breath control, the stroke changes are relatively simple to make.

At Michael Phelps Swimming, we are working to make sure children and adults are comfortable, confident, and safe in the water. We know that every swimmer has different goals, and we work hard to give them the tools they need to improve. Learning to swim is a process - and it’s fun!

License the Method

 

521 Piccadilly Rd | Baltimore, MD 21204
410-963-0400  | cplears@aol.com

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