FAST swim lessons prepare kids for swim team


Photo by Riley Gearhart.

Kids on the Pre-Team use kickboards to warm up at lessons on Feb. 13.

Kids jump into the water, excited to learn more about swimming. The Community Health Network Learn-to-Swim Program Powered by Fishers Area Swimming Tigers (FAST) allows for kids ages 4-14 to learn the basics of swimming and skills needed to prepare them for the FAST swim team in the natatorium. With high school instructors that have previous swimming experience, the kids learn important safety and stroke skills while having fun.

Swim School Director Garland Wilson stresses that one of the main things she wants kids to gain from the experience is to learn to both love and respect the water. She wants to ensure that kids know how to be safe in the water while also gaining a new set of skills that come with swimming and learning more about them.

“Kids are set up for success a lot better because they have these skills and they know that they can take things to the next level and start competing,” Wilson said.

The six different levels offered to kids allows for them and their parents to decide what would be a good starting point with each level having more challenging skills taught. If kids pass the final level, they can choose to join the Pre-Team to help them further develop their skills before joining the FAST swim team. Junior instructor Quinn Manford says that trust in their instructor and in the water is what helps kids to continuously progress.

“There are definitely students who just go after it and it’s really fun to watch,” Manford said. “Some kids take a little longer, and that’s alright. You just have to work with them, but they all progress pretty well.”

Instructors put in lots of time planning what they are going to teach kids and what skills they want them to learn. This process, however, helps to lay a foundation of skills for the kids and allows them to feel confident in themselves when they join the swim team.

“It’s been a lot of work for sure, but it’s very satisfying to see it all happening,” Wilson said. “I think that our instructors overall are doing a great job.”