Frequently Asked Questions
Starting your child, especially an infant, in a swimming program can be stressful. If your question isn't answered below, please email, call, or text. Better yet, arrange a time to stop by with your child in person.
What Is Midlothian Aquatic Survival Training?
Midlothian Aquatic Survival Training (MAST) is a PediaSwim Certified comprehensive swimming program that teaches infants, toddlers, and young children to swim - float - swim for safety. Teaching your child to self rescue swim is our one goal, but to achieve that lessons are structured to keep your child engaged, happy, and confident with their abilities in the water.
Where are Lessons Taught?
All infant and child survival swim lessons are taught in our private, heated backyard pool in Midlothian, VA. We are located in the Triple Crown Subdivision off of Hull St and Deer Run Rd; exact Address to be given upon registration.
When are Lessons Taught?
Survival Swim Lessons are taught spring through fall in our heated pool. Lessons are available throughout the day with an added emphasis on afternoon and evening classes. We understand that many children have parents who work outside the home, or have other commitments during the day, and we strive to make sure teaching your child to swim is within everyone's reach.
What Will My Child Learn?
Your child will be taught self rescue swimming according to their age and physical abilities. Infants aged 6 months and older will learn to roll over from a facedown position and hold a calm, sustainable float. Toddlers will learn to roll over from facedown to a calm float, roll back to a propulsive facedown swim, and then roll back to a sustainable resting float. They will be able to repeat this sequence until they are able to reach the wall, steps, or ladder. Older children will learn the above sequence as well as how to exit the pool on their own once reaching the edge, steps, or ladder. Age is not the determining factor. Your child will be taught the highest level of self rescue swimming that they can physically perform. As our emphasis is on self rescue swimming, each child will be taught to master these skills in the event that they enter the water accidentally. This includes being able to complete these tasks fully clothed in summer and winter attire.
Will My Child be Afraid of the Water After Lessons?
We don't want any child to fear the water. Fear creates panic and panic can cause us to act irrationally. Our goal is to prevent childhood drowning by giving your child the skills necessary to self recue swim. This means teaching your child to understand the risks associated with water as well as their - learned - abilities. Your child will not be "thrown into the pool", "dunked" or "held under". They will gradually be introduced to challenges as their skills progress and as their comfort and confidence with those skills increases. As your child learns what they can and cannot do within the water they will appreciate and respect the inherent risks.
How are Lessons Structured?
Midlothian Aquatic Survival Training lessons are private, one-on-one. Lessons are scheduled for 10-minutes per day, 4 days per week for 5 continuous weeks. Our survival swimming instruction is designed to teach the child through repetition while preventing fatigue and frustration. Young children, especially infants and toddlers, have a short attention span and limited endurance for swimming. By structuring lessons in 10 minute increments your child will be kept engaged, safe from fatigue, and able to gradually master new skills with each lesson. As our pool is outside, lessons Monday - Thursday allow us to retain Friday as a weather or illness make up day.
Do Parents / Guardians Get in the Water With Their Child?
Initially all lessons are taught with just the instructor and your child in the pool. As your child is learning new skills we want them to be focused on the instructor while also becoming self reliant in the water. The goal is self rescue swimming; your child will learn what to do if they find themselves alone in the water. Once your child has confidently mastered their new skills, you are welcome and encouraged to enter the pool to learn how to play while reinforcing their survival swimming.
What if My Child Has Completed Survival Swimming?
All students who have completed their survival swimming are eligible to attend regular Maintenance Lessons throughout the season and in subsequent years. Swimming is a perishable skill, especially in young children who are not regularly given the opportunity to practice correctly. We recommend young children swim - correctly - at least once a week if not twice. If you're unable to do this either at home or in your local pool you're welcome to schedule ad hoc or recurring Maintenance Lessons with us. If your child has completed a similar survival swim program they are also eligible to schedule Maintenance Lessons following an assessment.
Do You Offer Discounts?
Yes. 50% of the registration fee is waived for the children of teachers, first responders, health care workers, active duty military or veterans, or those that sign up with a sibling or friend during the same lesson schedule.