During college, I had the opportunity to go sailing on a man-built lake in my hometown, Oroville. The day turned out to be bright and beautiful, but not very windy. So my friend and I decided to take a dip in the lake. As I was floating around in the cool, glistening water, I began to drift further and further from the boat. But when it was time to make my way back, I realized that my swimming skills weren’t strong enough to get me back to the boat. Scary.
Luckily, my friend is a strong swimmer, and he made it back and brought the boat to me. The realization of my not-so-great swimming skills frightened me enough that I enrolled in a swimming course.
As a child, I was exposed to a shallow water pool but was never taught proper strokes. The class I took taught me enough swimming skills for me never to be afraid that I will be unable to swim to safety again. But as I look at friends who learned proper swimming methods as children, I realize I may never be as good at swimming as them. The muscle memory for swimming techniques gives them a strong advantage.
Unlike other sports children learn, swimming can save their lives. It can also give them more confidence in situations where water is involved. Being able to safely and confidently engage in water play at oceans, lakes, rivers and pools starts with the ability to swim.
As my son, now 10, recounts his adventures in the ocean after going toJunior Guards each day this summer, I am sure that he will never face the water with fear.
Hundreds of Santa Cruz County kids participate in Junior Guard every summer, but . And for parents who need to improve or gain swimming skills, it can be a fun and healthy thing to learn together.
Jim Booth Swim School has open enrollment, meaning you don’t have to wait for a new session to start to enroll. The school operates at twoWatsonville locations (Ducan Holbert Pool and Lifestyle Fitness). Lessons are available during the week or on Saturdays. Adult and children can learn strokes and water confidence at Jim Booth.
There also are aquatics classes and open pool time at the WatsonvilleFamily YMCA. And, during the school year, students at many elementary and middle schools in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District can take swim lessons through the .