Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Swimming Lesson Questions

Our philosophy is developed by the owners Steve and Kaleb Wallen who together have over 50 years of experience teaching swimming lessons, coaching swim teams, and competing at the NCAA collegiate level. Our research and experience include working with babies, kids, and adults of all skill levels. From learn to swim students to competitive swimmers, our experience allows us to tailor our swim program to meet the specific need of each student.
We believe children are born with an innate love of the water. The earlier they start to swim (SWSS recommends as early as 3 months); the chances of “outside factors” affecting their attitudes are lower. Parents who begin later on, for instance, find it harder for their child to feel comfortable to get their face wet. It often takes longer for the child to get used to the environment and to get used to submersion. An older toddler has probably reached a more “clingy” stage, is more reserved, and is less willing to try new things. It is easier to acclimate a baby to the water environment, but it is much better to begin later on than not to begin at all. Starting your child young is important. Get your baby enrolled in baby swimming lessons and teach him/her good habits around the water that will last a lifetime. Our swim instructors are very consistent in teaching your children to know their way around the water.
Many variables affect how rapidly a student will learn to swim, such as age, comfort level in the water, whether they are in a group or a private lesson, and whether they have been or will be exposed to a traumatic water event. It is important to remember that every student is different and follows a different learning curve. Once a student starts the process of learning to swim, consistency is key. Swimming more than 1 day per week, especially in the early developmental stages, will result in faster progress and lead to a student learning to swim sooner. The more practice a student has, the faster they will progress. We highly recommend regular weekly swimming schedules, especially during the fall and winter months, in order to help students retain developed skills and make swimming a fun, year-round activity.
To begin, there is no substitute for supervision during water activities. Throughout the “learn to swim” phase, we highly recommend that parents get in the water with their children during any non-swim lesson time in the pool. This is important because it allows children to learn to swim independently, without the use of any flotation devices. These devices create a false sense of security for both child and parent and cause children to become dependent on swimming with them; therefore should be used cautiously. Another key negative with using floaties is that they lead to developing bad swimming habits and do not promote the prone, horizontal swimming position. Floaties promote kids being vertical in the water with their head up in the air, creating a lot of drag and exhaustion. If a child falls or jumps in a pool, it is important that they know how to float and/or put their face in the water, without the aid of a flotation device, and swim to the side of the pool. In addition, the Coast Guard does recommend and many states require wearing only Coast Guard-approved personal floatation devices like life vests when doing water activities such as water skiing, boating, and rafting.
SWSS believes that swimming is not only a fun activity but a life skill that everyone should practice routinely. We highly recommend taking classes 1 or 2 day(s)/week throughout the year, especially during the fall/winter months when outdoor pools are too cold, in order to stay in the water and retain developed swimming skills. Through our experience, we have found that students with more consistent attendance and skill repetition retain more skills as well as gain higher confidence in the water. Our state-of-the-art indoor facilities in El Dorado Hills and Roseville are equipped with oversized heated pools offering an ideal atmosphere to foster the greatest potential of any swimmer.
Through our experience, we have found that there are many benefits:
  • Safer & more confident in the water due to constant learning and practice during physical growth and maturation.
  • Improved health due to consistent exercise of the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Increased strength and coordination leading to better performance in other physical activities.
  • Accelerated brain development, which has scientifically been linked to movement patterns used in swimming.
  • Higher intelligence and problem solving, which helps early schooling.
  • Greater self-discipline plus motivation and confidence to succeed.
  • Increased attention span and alertness in school from listening skills and processing series of complex instructions.
  • Greater self-respect from consistent goal setting, learning and achievement.
  • Valuable socialization skills from interaction with classmates.
Anytime! Our lessons are offered year-round and are broken down into 12 different sessions. We believe that a consistent year-round approach to swimming is necessary for students to learn how to swim, be safe and confident in the water, and get the most out of their swimming.
All prices are based on 4 classes of 30 minutes. Swim classes are the same cost per class for drop-in classes as well as if you take classes 2 days per week which is 8 classes in a session. For pricing options, please visit our Pricing Page.
Registering for swimming lessons at Steve Wallen Swim School is easy. You can register online, contact us by phone or email, or stop by our facility for a tour. If you need help deciding which class is right for you or have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our staff will be happy to help. Payment is not due until the first day of class. We only require a credit card on file to reserve your spot.
We offer make-up classes for students that give advanced notice of missing a class. We ask for a minimum of at least 6 hours in order to fill the class with another student.
  • Missed make-up lessons cannot be made up if we are not notified at least 6 hours prior to the lesson.
  • Make-up swim lessons cannot be used as a credit for future sessions.
  • Make-up swim lessons with specific teachers cannot be guaranteed.
Yes. Our policies require that all students under age three wear a disposable and reusable swim diaper. This ensures the health and safety of all students and instructors should there be an accident.
We have a policy, no parents in the teaching area during lessons (except for parent-tot classes). We do have a large parents viewing area where you can sit to observe classes, and students can see you.
It’s just fine! All Steve Wallen Swim School swim instructors go through the same training program and teach the same methods. We believe it is important for your child to be able to swim with more than one person. Our instructors work closely with one another and will communicate anything beneficial to your child’s progress.
Yes, practicing at home will help tremendously! If you have a pool at home, you should practice as much as possible. If you do not have a pool, many skills can be practiced in the bathtub and shower.
Yes! Our swim instructors are trained to work with babies, kids, and adults of all skill levels. Once students learn to swim, they will then progress to more advanced skills and training to develop proper strokes and stamina. Our experience allows us to help swimmers develop all 4 strokes, starts, turns, and other racing strategies. We also offer competitive swimming lessons for competitive swimmers and triathletes as well as video analysis classes that give swimmers instant, real-time feedback of their strokes.
We believe that levels categorize students too much and can push them too much or hold them back. We offer our SWSS Milestone Ribbon Program which helps students progress through major milestones of learning to swim and develop proper techniques.
  • Face in the Water is Magic
  • Breath Control
  • Streamline
  • Backfloat
  • Jump, Turn, Swim
  • Rollover
  • Freestyle
  • Backstroke
  • Butterfly
  • Breaststroke
We can’t tell you how many times we get asked these questions. Does your school offer drown proofing classes? Do you teach “survival” swim classes to make kids drown proof? Our answer to this is that nobody is 100% drown proofed. Even Michael Phelps. There are multiple levels of protection that need to be in place in order to be safe around the water. In our professional opinion, some of the “survival” swim classes in our industry are risky. They can promote a false sense of security in adults and can cause trauma to babies and toddlers. We believe there are great programs in every curriculum channel, but with that, “survival” swim programs have a consistent reputation among our industry for being very aggressive, even abusive, in their methods. Each swim instruction model is different and we all should be careful about over categorizing… but in our opinion… some of their practices are outside of the code of ethics we embrace. Honestly, some of their practices should be reported. And we are shocked at times at what parents allow their children to endure based on what some ‘expert’ promotes as being the proper way to teach. Learning to swim is already a big life step for children. There is no reason to implement methods that have no regard for fear. A child’s water survival depends upon the adults in that child’s life. our goal is to help adults recognize the incredible diligence required in keeping babies safe and we believe it is of utmost importance to help babies to learn to swim in a gentle, steady manner that fosters a life long love of the water.
Swim lessons are extremely important as a layer of protection against drowning, but there are no guarantees. Did you know: Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children ages 1-4. The following layers of protection are a great way to prevent drowning (Safer 3):
  1. Safer Water: means identifying where the risks are with any body of water (bathtubs, pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans) and learning how to reduce those risks. For example, installing barriers such as isolation fencing around a backyard pool would reduce the risk of unauthorized access to the pool by young children.
  2. Safer Kids: covers the behaviors necessary for both kids and parents to promote water safety. These water safety tips include constant responsible supervision by adults, along with swimming skills attained through ongoing qualified instruction for kids.
  3. Safer Response: overviews emergency response techniques and emergency action plans as a path to water safety. Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid, as well as having a phone by the pool at all times, are just a few of the water safety tips covered here.
Over time, we believe enrolling in swim lessons and putting these layers of protection into place, will dramatically lower drowning incidents, possibly even eliminating unnecessary deaths altogether. With your help, we can realize that goal sooner rather than later.