Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Some basics for all parents when thinking about Water Safety

Featuring: Coach Dave Kelsheimer –  Team USA Swim Coach Rio 2016, Head Coach Team Santa Monica Swim Club 
Cheryl’s #SupportLocal pick: Team Santa Monica Swim Club

I grew up with a pool, lived near the ocean, and later on my family moved onto a big lake in NH (yeah big for NH but not “Great Lakes” big). I could swim as long as I can remember – diving off the board at age 3. While the New Hampshire coast line is short – the waves can be big, the weather can be random and the undertow can be fierce. I remember a time when I was being pulled by the undertow, not sure of what was up or what was down-my dad grabbed me and pulled me up. He understood the variables and stayed close. Thanks Dad. While not a big deal to him, as it happened to him as a kid; it burned a memory into my mind. It was then that I learned to respect the water, the ocean, the lakes and pools. As a parent, an aunt, a friend - I have always put a tremendous value on children and adults learning to swim. 

My daughter Daniela just turned 9 in April, but at about the time she turned 2 I felt the urgency/need to have her learn to swim. I did some digging and found some programs around town (Santa Monica to Culver City) . She learned the basics and became water safe. I still sat poolside during all of these lessons watching her, feeling like my “2nd set of eyes” was critical to her being safe. 

Oddly, one day a friend asked me if I had heard about TSM (Team Santa Monica). I was unaware of TSM – asked more about it.  Apparently, right in my back yard (Lincoln Middle School) Santa Monica had a club swim program – Pre-Comp starting at about age 4 and Competition Level starting at 6+. I did a little research and set her up for an assessment of her swim skills. During her conveniently scheduled assessment - she was assigned to some team, named after some sort of aquatic character based on her level. It was all cute and made her feel like another character from “The Little Mermaid”- so all good.  Times for classes were accessible based on school schedules. Pricing was fair given the quality of the coaching - the quality of the coaching is amazing!

This is where I have to pause and praise what we have in our very own backyard. Team Santa Monica’s coaches are the absolute best, they care about the kids, they treat them with respect, and they teach them about commitment to excellence and each other. Whether you want your child to be water safe or become an Olympic Swimmer, I encourage you to check them out. 

I’m feeling especially proud of this team right now as they are sending off one of their swimmers, Jordan Wilimovsky, and their head, Coach Dave Kelsheimer, to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio in just a few weeks. Yes, Team Santa Monica has an Olympic Swimmer and Coach! They understand the importance of this milestone accomplishment with the other kids and share with them that “this could be you”. It’s a powerful program which is why The Pump Station & Nurtury is proud to support this local business!

Like everything in the parenting world – every child and every parent is different – this may not be for you – but I encourage you to check them out.
Learn more about Team Santa Monica

By Cheryl Petran, CEO of The Pump Station & Nurtury®

Swim Safety - 5 Back Yard Water Safety Tips

Coach Dave Kelsheimer –  Team USA Swim Coach Rio 2016, 
Head Coach Team Santa Monica Swim Club 

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