Why is it taking my child longer to learn how to swim properly?

There are many factors that affect your child’s learning curve when it comes to swimming. Typically, most 3-5 year olds learn how to swim in twenty to thirty lessons at AquaMobile, and most 6-9 year olds take eight to twenty lessons. Another popular theory suggests that learning how to swim requires at least 10,000 correct repetitions, or 10,000 strokes in the pool.

There is no simple answer to this question, because a child’s journey to learn how to swim is affected by many factors that varies case by case.


Here are 5 things that may affect your child’s learning curve in swimming and what you can do about it:


  1. Frequency of lessons and practice sessions

There’s no doubt practice makes perfect. If your child is only taking swimming lessons once per week, he or she will likely produce weaker results than a child who swims every day.

Solution: Consider increasing the frequency of swimming lessons or practice sessions for your child, keeping in mind that the goal of each practice should include as many correct repetitions of the desired movement (such as the breaststroke or freestyle) as possible.


  1. Motivation (or lack thereof)

Not all children are inherently interested in swimming. However, swimming is an important life skill that could potentially save his or her life in the future. (CDC data reveals that on average 10 people die of drowning every day from 2005-2009)

Solution: Introducing water games and toys can turn swimming into a fun activity that your children look forward to. Read more about ways to make swimming lessons fun here.


  1. Past Experiences

If your child associates swimming lessons with negative memories (such as a bad scrape on the knee from the pool), he or she will be unlikely to enjoy swimming. If your child is afraid of the water, he or she may spend half of the lesson screaming and crying, which will decrease the effectiveness of lessons or practice sessions.

Solution: Find ways to comfort your child at the pool. For example, bring along his or her favorite bathtime toys to the pool. Some children are more comfortable in water when parents or siblings are in the pool with them as well.


  1. Number of students per class

Your child’s performance may be hindered if his or her class is too large or too small. Some children need to learn alone in private lessons. They may be embarrassed to swim around their peers, or simply require more personalized lessons from the instructors. On the other hand, some children learn better when they are accompanied by classmates.

Solution: Find out what works best for your children, keeping in mind that the ideal number of students in a group lesson is around 2-3 children per instructor.


  1. Class Structure

Some children need to learn in an environment where the instructor is strict and the classes are structured. Some children on the other hand, prefer to learn by fun-oriented drills. If your child requires lenient instruction, he or she will not benefit from a rigorous lesson and might dislike swimming overtime.

Solution: If your child isn’t progressing at an ideal pace, ask your instructor to try a different instruction style. One of the many benefits of private or semi-private swimming lessons is the flexibility. Instructors are able to customize their classes to better cater to the needs of individuals.


Did we miss anything? What are some of the difficulties that your child faced while learning how to swim? Let us know below in the comments section!