Swimming is an essential, lifelong skill. Not only is it critical to learn how to be safe in the water, but it’s also a great way to stay active: Swimming conditions the heart and lungs and builds muscular strength and endurance.
Life Time offers options for kids (and adults) to learn and play in the pool. They can start by gaining the safety skills they need, then advance to participating in recreational or competitive programming.
We asked Alicia Kockler, senior vice president of Life Time Kids and Aquatics, to answer some commonly asked questions about Life Time Swim so you know what’s available.
What types of programs does Life Time Swim offer?
We offer group, semi-private, and private swim lessons for ages 4 months through adults. After they gain the skills they need through lessons, kids ages 6–18 can join our recreational or competitive swim teams, while adults can participate in our master’s swim program.
Don’t let the name “master’s” intimidate you: As long as you can swim two lengths of the pool without stopping, we’d love to have you join us. People join the master’s program for various reasons. Some are looking for a low-impact workout, for instance, while others are training to improve the swim leg of a triathlon.
All of our programs are offered year-round except for our summer recreational swim team.
Can both members and nonmembers participate in Life Time Swim?
Our swim programming is exclusively for Life Time members. The only exception is our standalone swim school in Maple Grove, Minn., which is open to both members and nonmembers.
Is Life Time Swim available at all Life Time locations?
We have programming available at many of our Life Time locations, but not all of them. Check your club’s programs page to see if swimming is offered at your location.
How long do kids typically participate in swim lessons?
That depends on how old your child is when they start lessons and how consistently they attend. We recommend enrolling your child in swim lessons as early as possible. Research shows that when children start to learn to swim before the age of 1, they react more naturally to the water because they remember the water environment of the womb.
However, your child can certainly be successful in lessons if they start later. Consistency is really the key: It’s better to come once a week for a full year than it is to come three or four times a week for a few weeks during the summer. Swimming requires muscle memory, so if you aren’t regularly practicing, the progress you make one summer could be lost by the time you get to the next summer.
We suggest attending a lesson once per week so your child maintains that practice. The nice thing about our lessons at Life Time is that you pick the day and time that works for your schedule. If your kids’ activities change throughout the year, you can always move your child to a class on a different day or at a different time, we just ask for 30 days’ notice.
What qualifications and credentials do Life Time Swim instructors have?
All of our swim instructors complete a 20-plus hour training and certification program to ensure they’re equipped to help your child learn to swim in the best way possible. We also require them to be CPR certified.
Many of our instructors are also certified lifeguards, while all of our swim coaches are required to hold that certification. All team members at Life Time also undergo background checks so you can feel comfortable and confident in who is teaching your children.
What other safety precautions are taken?
Children’s safety is our No. 1 priority. In addition to the training and certifications required for instructors, during swim lessons, we either have a lifeguard on duty or an instructor in the pool who is lifeguard certified. Just because a child is a good swimmer doesn’t mean that accidents can’t happen, so we ensure our team members are equipped with the right level of training to respond if it’s ever necessary.
When families come to the pool to enjoy family swim, we follow a 25:10 rule: If a child 11 years of age or younger cannot swim 25 yards or meters — the typical length of our lap pools — without stopping, then a parent or guardian must remain within 10 feet of the child at all times while they’re in the pool.
When kids participate in swimming during summer camp or school-break days, we require all non-swimmers to wear a life jacket and employ a 1:3 ratio of team members to non-swimmers to ensure everyone’s safety.
What differentiates Life Time Swim from other swimming programs?
First of all, it’s convenient. Parents can choose a day and time that works for their schedule and cancel or change that at any time by giving us just 30 days’ notice. Other siblings can also partake in lessons at the same time.
Secondly, our programming is customized. Instead of a set session timeframe, your child will progress through all of our levels, moving to the next skill or level when they are ready rather than having to wait until the start of a new session.
And lastly, we offer competitive options. Once kids graduate from our lesson program, they can go right into our USA competitive swim teams, which offer further conveniences that other teams don’t, such as consistent practice locations and times.
Are there any benefits parents can take advantage of while their kids are swimming?
During swim lessons or swim team, parents are not required to remain on the pool deck, so they are welcome to use that time to fit in a workout, dine in the LifeCafe, or enjoy a service at the LifeSpa.
If the parents have other children who are not in swim lessons or on a swim team, they can take advantage of the up to 2.5 hours per day of childcare that’s included in a Junior Membership. Many clubs also offer a Kids Academy with classes that kids can partake in.
Kids who participate in our summer camps are able to complete their swim lessons during their camp day, which means parents to have one less activity to fit into their busy schedule during the evenings or on the weekends.
How can interested parents sign up or learn more?
Visit my.lifetime.life/swim. Click “register now” and log in with you member login. If you click “register now,” you’ll be asked to answer a few questions about your child’s swimming ability. A recommended class level will then display for you, along with open days and times for lessons. You’re able to complete the registration process right there and we will charge the monthly swim lesson fees to your membership account.
To register for or learn more about swim team or adult lessons, visit my.lifetime.life/swim and choose “swim team” or “adult swimming.”