Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre

The top 5 unexpected benefits of learning to swim

Read about the amazing hidden advantages of having your kids participating in a learn to swim program.

Sun, 30 July 2023,
posted by City of Sydney

We all understand the importance of kids learning to swim. They have a skill for life, it reduces their fear of the water, improves their fitness and could potentially save their life.

But there are other benefits for your kids which may not be as obvious but are just as important.

1. Swimming makes children smarter

True story - research has found that children who learned to swim at a young age have more advanced physical and cognitive abilities.

A study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research in Australia found that young children who participate in early swimming achieve a wide range of skills earlier than the normal population.

The study found that three-to-five-year old’s who participated in swimming lessons scored higher in reading, oral expression, mathematics, story recall, visual motor skills and understanding directions.

As well as achieving physical milestones faster, the swimming children scored significantly better in visual motor skills such as cutting paper, colouring in and drawing lines and shapes.

The Griffith study states the skills developed by being involved in swimming helped children be prepared for the transition to pre-school or grade school.

This confirms the importance of swimming lessons beyond water safety alone. It proves swimming truly does provide added capital to children’s lives by helping them socially, physically, cognitively and emotionally.

2. Physical and mental benefits

We know that swimming is a great way to improve your child’s fitness, strength and stamina but there are lots of non-physical benefits too.

Compared to non-swimmers, swimming improves your child's mood, self-esteem and reduces stress. This has a flow on affects such as improving their mental well-being, helping them sleep better and giving them more confidence - in and out of the water.

3. Be the star this Summer

There is nothing worse than being invited to a pool party only having to sit on the sidelines because you are unable to swim.

Swimming is a great social activity and a fantastic way for children to bond with their family and friends.
Swimming teaches you confidence in the pool and open water and this can carry through all areas of life.

Plus swim lessons provides an ideal opportunity to meet other kids and make new friends.

4. Active kids grow up to be active adults

For a lot of people, exercise is not fun, a chore and something to be avoided at all costs. Often this is due to a negative experience in the past which has put the individual exercising in the future.

However the benefits of exercise far outweigh the negatives, so it is important to instil the value and importance of exercise to your kids.

Providing your kids with a good and fun experience will help them approach exercise with a more positive outlook in the future. If they associate swimming with something they enjoy doing, it is more likely they will continue as they get older.

5. Kids learn to be resilient

It is not a simple process learning to swim, especially for young kids. With consistent swimming lessons and lots of practice, it often takes 12 months or more for a child to learn how to swim on their own.

The relatively long process of learning to swim builds perseverance - the ability to stick to a task and not to give up when the going gets tough.

One of the greatest benefits of swimming is the challenges and the opportunities for rewards and accomplishments. Through achievable tasks and a step-by-step learning process, children become more confident and understand the importance of practice and perseverance.

This is yet another important life skill your child learns from learning to swim which will help them succeed in other challenges they will face in life.