Private Lessons- Do I need them?

Since arriving a month back, I have been faced with lots of new and exciting challenges. I am trying to use the blog to share my thoughts on different topics in order to support you, as parents, with the crazy world of swimming.

Private lessons are a hot topic at this school and we are very lucky to have a talented team of coaches with good knowledge to support the needs of our community. But are the private lessons being participated in for the right reasons? Are they necessary? Or are they being set up because ‘others do it’?

As a coach, I try not to recommend private lessons and I make efforts to give athletes who want extra help, that help in practice. But, there is no doubt that one-on-one time makes teaching and learning easier. I make sure to not teach anything in lessons we don’t cover in workout so that nobody feels lessons are necessary to have the advantage. Each stroke will be practiced in training and each stroke will be refined there also.

Here are a few tips if you’re interested in private lessons for your swimmer:

>Talk to your coach or the Head Coach.

It’s ideal to have lessons reinforced in practice, so your child’s coach is usually who you want for private lessons. Also, the coach may be able to spend a few minutes after practice helping with a particular skill. If you decide to go to a coach outside your team, be sure to let your coach know what your swimmer is working on. They may have entirely different philosophies or ideas about technique and it may confuse your child to get conflicting messages.

>Is your private lesson coach outstanding?

If you’re going to spend money on private lessons and make the time commitment to add one more thing to your family’s schedule, you’ll want to have a coach who is knowledgeable about technique and can communicate with your child. There are all levels and abilities of coaches and some are better at technique and instructing than others.

>Lessons can help your child catch up or breakthrough.

If your swimmer is newer to the sport, learning proper technique in a one-on-one setting can definitely help them catch up to other swimmers their age.

>Lessons should be lessons, training sessions should be training sessions.

Huge amounts of planning goes into the weekly schedule for swimmers and ensuring that different training types are covered within that. Private lessons should not cross over into this as they can often end up putting strain on energy systems which may also be used in the next training session. Keep the lessons for working on specific skill related weaknesses.

Coach Rich

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