Luke's Story

"All the teachers are nice and kind, and after each session I feel proud of myself, especially when I learn a new stroke.”

What Mum says...

Swimming I always thought would be a joy for my son to learn (a life skill)

My son is 7 and has developed phobias with the skimmer holes and water feed jets in the swimming pool. Before Luke joined Keith Arnold Swim Schools, he was with another swimming school. Here he had massive panic attacks and would not swim. I felt desperate & helpless as a mum and I wanted to help him overcome this!

Keith's school had been recommended by another mum. Speaking to Keith over the phone, he acknowledged Luke's fear. Keith had experienced similar issues with other children. I instantly felt comfortable to book my son into Keith's lessons.

At the first lesson Luke was crying wrapped around me saying please mummy no please (heart breaking!) the holes mummy (it can be the large square holes to the small jets under the water). Luke was very anxious & had developed twitching in his eyes & a coughing / clearing sound of his throat which became loud and especially noticeable when his stress levels were high.

Straight away Luke’s concerns were acknowledged by Keith's staff. Keith came over & took my son ! He spoke to Luke about what it was that was upsetting him so much ( the holes) then said ok let's go & look at them from outside the pool (this reducing the fear). Keith then used a float & jammed the float in the hole, “They won't bother you now”, Keith said. My son had stopped crying & was in the water. By the end of the lesson my son was beaming with a smile & said mummy I love it here with Keith, what a feeling of relief, fantastic I thought!

Keith and his staff at the swimming school are extremely welcoming to both new and existing clients , their adaptation to a child's individual needs are outstanding. These guys gain the children's trust, treat them all as unique individuals and get the most from them during the lessons to enable them to learn to swim properly.

My son now says, “Mum am I swimming this week”? He is excited and is building in confidence week by week.
He is full of smiles, is happy and loves this swimming school and the teachers. He no longer has ticks associated with stress and is undistinguishable within the class group, as a happy smiling child should be.

I would Like to take this opportunity to thank Keith , Emma and Candice for their continued commitment and emotional support helping to teach my son to swim. You guys are AMAZING! Luke loves Keith Arnold's swimming school.

What Keith and his team say...

Anxiety manifests itself in many ways, from negative behaviour, distress to out and out fear. It is important to accept that any child’s fear is real to them. It is of no consequence what an adult’s rationalisation of a situation is. Their child is frightened, and that is what we must deal with.

We once taught a young man who was convinced there were Crocodiles in the swimming pool! Luke had a fear of something he perceived in his head that lurked within the skimmer holes.

The simplest thing to do was show him what was inside! I took off the inspection plate and showed Luke what was inside the hole he was afraid of, a plastic basket to catch things. In this case a plastic ball bobbed about lost and confused. We laughed and he saw something factual, not something imagined. To help with the transition into the water I bent a float to hide the skimmer hole, but still let it function. Then told Luke he can stay away from the hole if he wanted. We began kicking with a kick board and never looked back. The lessons continued and over the weeks Luke has progressed to doing bi-lateral breathing on Front Crawl. He even makes a point of putting his hand over the underwater jets now. “It feels nice”, he says.