Behind the Scenes at Elixr Swim School

In the same way that every business has its own values and culture, so every swim school has its own practices. And there are excellent reasons for them, too. Here’s a look at the way we do things – and why.

We have set swim school levels.
The reason? Simple, our swim school levels help parents understand the progression and flow of our swim school and give our students something to work towards. If you’re not sure which level your child is currently on, take a look at the enrolment email we sent you at the beginning of the term, or contact our office to find out. And if you’d like a little more information about our levels and the skills each one focuses on, please take a moment to read through our Levels Guide.

We don’t take online bookings.
And here’s why: If we gave you the option of booking a class online, you wouldn’t have any understanding of the class context – you’d simply be offered an available timeslot. By booking your slot over the phone however, we’re able to take the following into account:

• Which other children are already in the class.
• How the class is made up – is it a mix of boys and girls? Just boys? Or just girls?
• The general age and ability of the class.

We believe that doing things this way keeps our classes as balanced as possible and allows us to put each of our swimmers first.

Mornings are for littlies. Afternoons are for big kids.
There are two reasons we teach younger children during our morning slots and older kids during our afternoon slots. The first is that toddlers and pre-schoolers usually swim better in the mornings – over the years, we’ve found that little kids often wake up from their afternoons naps a little less chirpy than we’d like them to be. The second is that since we only have two lanes at any given time, we keep both lanes open for children of school-going age after 3.30pm as this is the only time they’re available to swim during the week.

Did you know?
We have weekend classes which cater for mixed age groups, but they’re often full as people don’t tend to cancel them.

We match ability with ability.
From time to time, we get requests from parents to put their child in a group with stronger swimmers. While we understand that children learn from their peers and that it’s important that they have a higher level to aspire to, it’s tricky putting a weaker swimmer in a class of stronger swimmers as the parents of these stronger swimmers often feel that their children are being held back.

Squad vs. lap classes
There’s been some confusion in the past regarding squads and lap classes, with parents requesting that we include their child in a squad, when in fact, they actually want them included in a lap class. Here’s the difference:

• Our 25 m lap classes form part of our swim school level 5–7 programs.
• Our squads are fitness-based and aimed at kids who love swimming and want to keep doing it as a form of cross training, but don’t want to train as often as other squads demand – usually 2–3 times a week.

Generally, if a child has swum consistently from early on, they should be ready to join a squad around the age of 10. We accept swimmers into our squads at the point that they need little or no stroke correction – nothing that can’t be corrected by a drill – and are able to swim 150 m (that’s six laps) per stroke back-to-back without a break between strokes.

Our squads have an excellent track record, with our swimmers often qualifying for zone and regionals swim carnivals.

Starting early pays off.
Given the high standard of our Learn to Swim program, we find that most children who start with us at an early age progress very quickly and typically skip a few levels when they move up to our afternoon slots. On the other hand, we tend to find that those children who join our swim school at school-going age are at least 2–3 terms behind in their swimming ability.