Musician Gary Clausing once said that, “Every experience is a stitch in the fabric of your character.” We couldn’t agree more here at Sea Otter Swim Lessons, which is why we not only strive to provide every swimmer with the best possible lessons in water safety skills, introduction to swim, and advance stroke development, but also incorporate lifelong character building traits into each lesson.
All around the world top educators are beginning to understand the important role character plays in a school aged child’s ability to succeed scholastically. We are seeing that children bring their ability to succeed with them to the classroom in the form of their character, and that each child’s character matters more to their success than the actual classroom environment or curriculum.
At Sea Otter, we teach to the ‘whole child,’ and provide skills that can be carried into every other area of their life as they develop and grow. Here are 7 great examples of how Sea Otter Swim helps build strong, healthy character traits through swim lessons:
Courage is the ability to confront fear and uncertainty. Our teachers help build this every day, particularly in our fearful swimmers. Our little swimmers become more calm and comfortable in the water, and build confidence through overcoming fears and challenges, increasing their belief that they can do it!
The practice of learning any new skill– piano, physics, tennis, swimming – requires a brave approach into the unknown, and the ultimate courage to accept a new challenge. Courage in a practical application will allow students to overcome fear in a classroom and raise a hand to ask a question, or stand up for themselves when they know they are right, and need to defend their position.
The safety of the Sea Otter Swim lessons platform provides a secure place for kids to try, fail, and try again, ultimately succeeding and ingraining courage into their natural set of character traits.
Teachers build trust by following through with what they say to their swimmers. The ability to trust can help students in the future by allowing them to engage in more fulfilling and rewarding relationships.
By building this mutual trust between teacher and swimmer, students learn that they can trust their instructor, and in turn learn how important it is to be trustworthy.
In the absence of a strong sense of honesty, negative character traits such as deception and self-deception can be allowed to take root. Tendencies toward these negative character traits can hinder growth and development, and ultimately success in school and life.
Being a learner requires honesty because it demands that the child admit to not knowing something. Honesty helps inspire confidence, attract goodwill, and gives children the tools with which to gather the information they need to grow.
We practice honesty with our students, instructing clearly, and then offering honest, positive feedback in a space that is small enough (due to our small class sizes and teacher training) that students feel safe enough to express themselves. We get to know our swimmers very well on an emotional, developmental, and educational level, which is why so many swimmers are so bonded with their instructors.
4. Self Discipline & Perseverance
Mastering a new skill takes a lot of time and practice. Our swimmers learn that working toward a goal takes determination and patience. Persevering to reach a goal teaches that great discipline reaps great rewards.
It takes a lot of mental focus to stay the course during a tough task, and swim lessons help teach those skills using a multitude of learning skills. In the classroom, this translates to more focus and better grades.
We offer positive encouragement and help the swimmers work through their lessons and learn to listen, absorb, and think about how they will tackle the next task, and how they’ll overcome the obstacles. This helps develop great learning skills, and the discipline needed to persevere in the face of adversity.
5. Love & Caring
We strive to create an environment full of love, happiness, and enthusiasm. Our teachers show each swimmer kindness, compassion, and sincere caring. From this, students learn to take that same approach in their own life and show those same traits to those around them.
In a world where we are trying to raise our children with the strength to successfully encounter all the tests and trials they will inevitably face, it might sound soft and squishy to put such emphasis on love and the general ability to enjoy life, but we do.
We believe that helping our little swimmers to learn to accept affection and be connected to other people helps foster the growth they need to tackle anything life will throw their way.
Each teacher consistently shows each swimmer respect throughout their lessons, in hopes that they will learn to show respect to others.
Instructors demonstrate respect through patience, encouragement, support, and trust. Whether working on a new skill or conquering an old one, we approach each situation with mutual respect.
Children learn resilience; it isn’t innate. They learn it through trial and failure with the right reinforcement after that failure, and their strength grows each time they confront their ultimate humanity.
We play a big part in helping our students to learn resilience. For some, a swim lesson might be their very FIRST independent activity away from mom. It might be their first activity in water at all!
They may have to overcome something emotionally, physically, even socially in the lesson with the teacher. We are here to encourage and facilitate teaching the message that “not getting something” right away is only temporary. We offer encouragement through the trials and celebrate big time when the kids finally triumph!
Both in the classroom and at home, or in other sports or social activities, the character we embody not only helps us to succeed and thrive, but sets us apart as outstanding individuals that others want to be around. These traits must be intentionally and practiced daily to become ingrained in our personality.
At Sea Otter, we’re proud to contribute so greatly to the development of the character that our students carry with them off the swim platform and into every other area of their lives.
Contact us online or call today at 916-660-9492 to find out how you can enroll your child in Sea Otter Swim lessons and give them a jump on building their outstanding character!