The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Breaking News! SLU Awards Bracelet & Water Safety System is available to YOU!

Get your students and parents hooked with the Swim Lessons University Bracelet System!   Instantly recognize and reward your students by punching out the star besidethe skill you just taught your pupil with our handy ¼” star puncher!

Parents and children will absolutely love the way you will reward them for their progress!  Not only will parents appreciate how you are teaching their child, but also there is even more to be excited about!  Here are just a few of the unique features:

  • It’s fast & immediate! The reward for progress is immediate, which leads to motivated students.
  • It’s motivational! Students are sure to give their best in order to earn more stars and eventually a new bracelet.
  • It’s convenient! You don’t have to get out of the pool to print card, stamp certificates, etc.  Simply punch out the star beside the abbreviated skill.
  • It’s a time-saver! No more long, tedious testing days.  You update progress bracelets as progress occurs!
  • It’s a lifesaver! The water safety component helps educate parents about how to protect their children.

Most importantly, the Swim Lessons University Awards Bracelets allows you to focus on doing what you love most—teaching children to swim and making them safer in and around the water.

For details on how it works, the safety component, what skills are abbreviated on each bracelet, and on HOW TO ORDER the Swim Lessons University Awards Bracelets for your students or swim school, visit Swim Lessons University today!

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April 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm Comments (0)

Will I see you at the National Drowning Prevention Symposium?

I will be heading up to my home state of Pennsylvania next weekend to attend the 9th Annual Drowning Prevention Symposium on April 26th and April 27th.  Many of my friends know that I am a Johnstown, PA native and did my undergraduate work at California University of PA, not to mention that I spent half my youth at swim meets in Pittsburgh!  At any rate,  I’m looking forward to visiting my family and friends on Friday and Saturday before heading to the NDPA event on Sunday.

If you are attending I look forward to you visiting with me.  I will have all my Swim Lessons University DVD’s, as well as my new Swim Lessons Awards Progression & Water Safety Bracelet system available at my exhibit. Mention this blog and I will give you an automatic 10% discount on any of the Swim Lessons University educational tools!

Hope to see you at the Sheraton at Station Square!

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April 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm Comments (0)

NEW Awards Bracelets for your Learn-to-Swim Students!

You are going to absolutely love our upcoming latest addition to Swim Lessons University. It our brand new “paperless” Swim Proficiency & Water Safety Awards System.  Here’s a brief summary of how it works:

Each child gets a silicone bracelet (Lance Armstrong type) which features 6 major skills that he or she will be working on in your class.   The moment your student masters the skill, you use our 1/4″ Star Punch to punch out the star representing that he/she mastered that skill!   Once all the stars are punched out, you award your student a new bracelet which is also a new color, representing the next level.   How cool is that?  No paperwork and immediate reward!

After three years of refining this system at The Swim Lessons Company in South Carolina, I have decided to make these available for all my Swim Lessons University teachers and friends.  The bracelets will be available soon and I will announce it as soon as they are up on the website.  Each bracelet will be just $ .95 cents!  I will also have the “Star Punch” available for $9.99.

To learn more details about this exciting new addition and how it works, from both a skill AND safety standpoint, visit our local Swim Lessons Company website.  Under “What’s New,” you can see the bracelets and read more and see what the bracelets look.  I have modified them some and you will see the new ones you can purchase at the Swim Lessons University site as soon as the bracelets arrive.

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April 7, 2010 at 10:47 am Comments (0)

American Swimming Coaches Association announces Learn to Swim Clinic in Washington, DC

Mark your calendars for April 10th, 2010 to attend a terrific  one day conference.   The clinic will be held near Washington, DC in Gaithersburg, Maryland and costs just $49.00!

Speakers include

  • Jim Reiser, “The Swim Professor” &  founder of Swim Lessons University
  • Steve Fenning, Owner of Vero Beach FL SwimAmerica
  • Steve Haufler, Head Coach of the Orinda Country Club/Head Coach Orinda Aquatics.

What will you learn  and what is the schedule like?

9:00 – 10:00             Jim Reiser “Teaching Babies Better”

10:15 – 11:15          Steve Fenning “Teaching Beginners Freestyle and Backstroke”

11:30 – 12:30          Steve Haufler “Teaching Butterfly and Breaststroke”

12:30 – 1:30             Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30               Jim Reiser “Presenting a Water Safety Lesson”

Pool Demonstrations

2:45 – 3:45               Steve Haufler “Teaching of Butterfly and Breaststroke”

4:00 – 5:00               Steve Fenning “Teaching of Freestyle and Backstroke”

Location:  Quince Orchard Swim & Tennis Club, 16601 Roundabout Drive, Gaithersburg, MD  20875.

For more information or to register, call Julie Nitti at 1-800-356-2722!

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January 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm Comments (0)

How to Teach a Water Safety Lesson to Children without a pool!

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

How can you teach water safety to children without a having a pool? Here are some ideas and video highlights that will help you get started!

Steps

  1. FREE PRIZES. When I am asked to “take the stage” at an event like a Safety Fair or Children’s event at a mall, park, or children’s fair–the first challenge is always getting the kids to the stage. You can answer that challenge quite easily with a handful of free prizes. I usually have some economical goggles, pool toys, etc. and announce . . . “Girls and boys, children of all ages, come on up to the stage for a free water safety presentation. Bring your mom or dad with you too! I have stickers and lots of prizes too! Did you hear that boys and girls . . .free prizes! Come on up now! You’ll gather a crowd of children in a hurry!
  2. STICKERS AND BALLOONS! The moment the children come up to the stage, we start putting stickers on the children and handing them helium balloons—all with our logo and contact information, along with a handout of the SAFER KIDS song (which you will use in a few minutes). Everyone loves free stuff and this certainly does the trick to stir up the excitement.
  3. START YOUR PRESENTATION WITH QUESTION: Once you’ve gathered your audience. You want to engage them by asking a question. I like to ask, “How many of you are SAFE in the water?” Most of them will raise their hand. Then you really pull them in when you shock them with an animated “NO!” I usually act a little silly so I don’t scare them but stress and hammer home this point: “No one . . . not you, not your mom or dad, not even I am safe in the water!” And I can swim across the lake, I can swim a mile without stopping, and I’m even a swim teacher and a lifeguard—but that doesn’t make me safe. What we can be, you and me, is “safer.” Everyone say that . . . “Saferrrrrrrr.” The “r” in safer stands for “risk.” Where there is water, there is risk. But today, I’m going to teach you how you can be safer by following the Safer 3, a layered approach to water safety (that technical comment is aimed toward the parents but we are going to teach it to the children).
  4. TEACH WATER SAFETY WITH A SONG. Continue the presentation by saying, “You have a song sheet with the words to the Safer Kids Song by Jim Reiser. I’m going to teach you that song so you can learn everything you need to know so that you can be safer when you’re in or around the water. Here’s how we’re going to do this: I will sing a verse of the song. Then you will sing that verse with me. Then we’ll talk about what we learned in that verse. Then after we learn each of the verses, we’ll put it all together. Ready, here we go with the first verse (same tune as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star): “Learning to swim is really cool, so you can have fun playing in the pool, but always make sure there’s a grown up watching you, that’s a safety tip that’s oh so true.” After you sing it, you talk about it. I may say, for example, “So you all agree learning to swim is really cool, right?” They say “yes!” “But what was that really important thing we learned in the first verse? To always make sure there’s a?” They all yell “grown up watching you!” So that’s the idea, and from there I move on to the next verse .
  5. GIVE MORE PRIZES! In addition to keeping the children engaged during the 20-minute presentation with questions and participating in the singing, I will also throw out prizes, i.e., goggles, toys, t-shirts, temporary tattoos, to the children that answer the questions correctly. This technique really keeps them sitting on the edge of their seat!
  6. GIVE CHILDREN HOMEWORK THAT CAN SAVE LIVES! Once I finish teaching the song, I get their attention again: “Now it’s time to give you your homework!” There are two parts two your homework. Part one; this song is my gift to you. Your homework is to practice this song every day until you can sing it without looking at the words. That way I know that you really know the safety rules. Part two . . . I want everyone to close their eyes. Now think of a relative or friend that you really care about (pause). Okay, open your eyes. I want you to teach them the song, just like I taught it to you. Then give your friend your copy of the song as a gift, and give them homework just like I gave you!
  7. SHOW CHILDREN HOW THEY CAN SAVE LIVES BY DOING THEIR HOMEWORK. Over the course of the year, I will teach 2000 children the Safer Kids Song and I will give 2000 children this homework. Here’s a math word problem for you. If 2000 children learn this song and do their homework, thus teaching 2000 more children how to be safer in the water, how many children are now safer in the water? “4000!” I continue this example until we get up to 64,000, sometimes even 128,000, and make my point (plus get them to think and work on their math).
  8. THANK YOU! Lastly, I enthusiastically thank everyone for coming and tell them I hope to see them in one of our “learn to swim” classes soon!

Video

Watch Swim Lessons University’s Jim Reiser teach a group of 2nd graders using many of the strategies discussed in the above article.

Sources and Citations

  • Original Source: www.swimlessonsuniversity.com
  • All proceeds from the SAFER KIDS WATER SAFETY BOOK AND DVD are donated to the Swim for Life Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization that teaches the Safer 3 to prevent childhood drownings.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Teach Children Water Safety Without a Swimming Pool. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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December 21, 2009 at 8:03 pm Comments (0)

Super Swim Teachers are not found–they are made!

Here is a recent email I received:

Coach Jim,
I don’t know where you find your swim teachers, but I’ve got one thing to say… “Keep up the good work!”

My son Zach has been w/Ms Kali at Still Hopes on the Saturday am class. She has worked the class well to suit his needs.   Due to his autism, sometimes he can have trouble w/things as I am sure you can imagine.  He LOVES the water though, so we wanted to take the opportunity to utilize that to our advantage.

Zach works so hard for Coach Kali & has grown a lot over the last few weeks.  We will all miss swim class until January comes!  It is so awesome as a parent watching him striving for something & be able to acheive it.  I know it would not be possible though, without a dedicated teacher who wants to see my son excel as much as I do. This is Zach’s 2nd class & at both classes he has had wonderful teachers.

I just had to write you & let you know how pleased we are & for you to please give Ms Kali & BIG high-five & a “thank you!”  Please contiue to keep up the GREAT work!!!
– Crystal & John T.

Jim comments:

There is nothing more  rewarding than getting emails like these . . . . but these emails are not an accident.   At The Swim Lessons Company, we don’t find great teachers, we make them!  Yes, we do find good people but that is really the easy part.  The hard part is putting together a staff of teachers who will consistently earn you the testimonials like the one you read above.

HOW DO YOU DO YOU PUT A SUPER STAFF OF SWIM TEACHERS ?
Swim Lessons University was developed to do just that.  In fact,  the DVD video Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder was instrumental in the comments above on Coach Kali.

Yes, you can find a good water safety instructor here or there.  But if you want to grow your school and create a swim school where you can actually guarantee “learning and laughter,” you can’t expect just to find great swim instructors–you have to make them!  And www.swimlessonsuniversity.com holds the key to your success!

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November 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm Comments (2)

Aquatic International Wanted Me to Invite YOU!

I want to make sure all my Swim Lessons University members, water safety professionals, and swim school friends know about Aquatic International Connect. Make sure to visit AI Connect at: http://aiconnect.ning.com

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November 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm Comments (0)

Will I See YOU in Fort Lauderdale?

I am honored to be a featured speaker for the second straight year at the SwimAmerica Business Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The conference will be February 19-20, 2010.

I will speak from 6PM – 7PM on February 19th on how to make your swim school office run more efficiently and profitably!

On February 20th, my 9:00AM -10:00 AM presentation will teach you how to GROW your swim school business and how to develop a staff of swim instructors that will keep your customers coming back!

My last presentation on February 20th will be from 4:15 PM-5:15PM and will be worth the wait. Fast paced and information loaded, you will learn how to become a recognized authority in learn-to-swim, how to get on the news, how to set yourself apart, how to work smarter not harder, how to develop your brand, how to preserve relationships . . . and more!

For details and/or to register, contact Julie Nitti at the American Swim Coaches Association at 1-800-356-2722.

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November 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm Comments (0)

How Parents Should Choose a Swim Instructor or Swim School

How to Choose a Swim Instructor

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Do you know what to look for in a swim instructor or swim school? Because of the safety issues involved, your swim instructor or swim school choice is absolutely critical. Here are my 10 RULES of THUMB:

Steps

  1. The instructor should be a member of at least one of the following organizations: US Swim School Association, World Aquatic Babies & Children’s Network, American Swim Coaches Association, and/or United States Swimming.
  2. The instructor takes a “child-centered” approach vs. a task oriented approach.
  3. The instructor is knowledgeable and can help the child improve skills, but more importantly, positively reinforces things the child does well. Positive reinforcement will give the child confidence to improve and make corrections.
  4. If your child is under the age of 3, the instructor uses a pool with a minimum water temperature of 87 degrees. If the child is between 3 & 5, the water temperature should be at least 85 degrees, and if the child is between 6 & 12, the water should be at least 83 degrees for swimming instruction. Competitive swimmers (usually age 6 and over) can practice in water as cool as 78 degrees (although 80 – 82 is ideal) because they are working harder, getting their heart rate up, and will actually even sweat in the water from the intensity of the workout.
  5. The instructor SHOULD use Lesson Plans.
  6. The instructor should promise a particular teacher; student ratio. Here are some excellent guidelines: 6 – 36 months: Parent & Me format, up to 6:1 ratio is okay since parent is in the water. 3 – 4 year olds: No more than a 4:1 ratio IF a buoyancy device is being used. Without a buoyancy device, no more than a 2:1 ratio. 5 – 6 year olds: Up to 6:1 ratio if a buoyancy device is being used. No more than 4:1 ration if no buoyancy device. 7 – 12 year olds: Up to 8:1 ratio if the children can stand and/or have a buoyancy device.
  7. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WATCH EVERY SECOND OF EVERY CLASS! If the instructor says you can’t watch, you need to find another program. I would NEVER leave my child alone with anyone. PLUS–you are an extra set of eyes making sure your child is safe in the water. Constant Supervision is one critical aspect of drowning prevention.
  8. In general, you would want a teacher who is at least 18 years of age (there are exceptions).
  9. If the instructor has a “no refunds” policy, you better do some extensive observation of the instructor before hiring him/her. Find out what they will do if you miss class due to illness. If a make-up isn’t offered, a credit for a future class is a good option.
  10. Make sure the water is tested regularly for appropriate chlorine and PH levels. No chlorine is your biggest concern, and low PH will actually cause the eyes to get sore. Tip: You can buy a test kit at Walmart and test the water yourself. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!


Video

A sneak preview of the author’s information library of DVDs and lessons on Learn to Swim and Water Safety.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Choose a Swim Instructor. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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November 10, 2009 at 12:46 am Comments (0)

Baby Swimming to Butterfly

I just submitted my final edit on Teaching Babies Better to my editor.  If you already ordered your “Teaching Babies Better” DVD, I should be able to ship it out sometime late next week!  Of course the video is now available at Swim Lessons University, my online library of instructional swimming videos, www.swimlessonsuniversity.com

For those of you who have been asking about when my Learn to Swim Butterfly DVD would be produced, the answer is now!  I have already shot all the footage and have written most of the production.   Starting this weekend I will start piecing it together.  I see no reason that it shouldn’t be ready before the holidays!

If you don’t already get my Swim Lessons University newsletter, go to www.swimlessonsuniversity.com and sign up today!  I will be sending out a special early buy discount on the Butterfly 301 DVD to all my customers soon!

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October 29, 2009 at 7:17 pm Comments (0)

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