We first met Kerry 2 and half years when she became my children's swimming teacher. At the time, my son was 7 years old and my daughter was 5 years old and both of them were unsure of the water and their own swimming ability. My daughter had higher anxiety levels in the water as she had not been attending swimming lessons as long as my son had. We had recently moved their lessons to a new pool and the change of teacher and location affected both my children. Kerry recognised this immediately and began to support my children in improving their confidence and easing their worries. She gave them constant reassurance and proved to them that the water was of no danger to them.
As a parent, I only want my children to be happy and safe - and I feel that swimming is such an important life skill to have. Each week, my daughter would cry, fight against me and refuse to get into the water. Even when I used to put her in the water, she would cry the whole time she was swimming. It broke my heart to watch this on a weekly basis and I questioned whether this stress was all worth it. Kerry was not just there for my children but she also supported and guided me with how best to deal with the 'melt downs'. I made small changes like getting my daughter in her swimming costume before we left for the pool and ensuring I had given my daughter plenty of warning that swimming was going to happen so she had time to prepare for what was going to happen. I even pulled silly faces at the side of the pool to try and keep my daughter relaxed in the pool. Over time, my daughter has gone from strength to strength with her swimming because Kerry has shown her that there is nothing to be frightened off. The best thing Kerry ever did for my daughter was showing her that it was impossible to sink - this immediately took the fear factor away from my daughter and now she is ready to push herself and wants (to) succeed. Kerry makes my daughter feel energised!!
When we changed location for their swimming lessons, my son was more worried about the change in adults, different children in his group and the new pool. He too used to have "melt downs" because he didn't like the change. It was a very difficult time for myself as I take both my children to lessons on my own. My emotions were pushed to their limits and as my son is two years older, he knew exactly what to say to hurt me. Cue Kerry to the rescue again!! She spoke to Alfie on his level, reassured him and encouraged him constantly as he swam. Little things, like she knew he preferred having the red noodle/floats to help him with his swimming (as it's his favourite colour), this immediately made my son feel at ease. Now my son enjoys swimming and he can't wait to jump in the pool and show off what he can do! I soon learnt from working with Kerry that Alfie's trigger was change and the way I manage those moments e.g. when he changes groups, is that he has to watch the first lesson so he can suss out the expectations of the group and the children. Then the following week he would happily jump in and join his new group.
Kerry has been absolutely amazing for my children's confidence and making them feel at ease. It is not just about teaching children to swim for Kerry, it is about taking children's fears and anxieties away! She shows the children how to enjoy swimming and that the water is not a danger to them. Swimming is a life skill and Kerry definitely teaches the children this! She has a passion that I have never seen in any other swimming teacher and has helped my children and myself get through some intense times. I honestly believe that she has helped shaped my children and I am so thankful to her (for) everything!