Written by: Rylie Shore
With “Swim to Shore” branded as the business name, a giant hole in the ground being plastered in the backyard, and an unwavering passion to teach swim lessons, Casie Shore was only missing two things to start her business: students and a business license. Pennies pinched, her advertising tactic was to print flyers and disperse them at the gym and bowling alley’s kid’s clubs, while she simultaneously applied for the proper certifications. When summer finally rolled around, it brought with it a business license with her name on it and a sum of a dozen students.
In hopes of helping boost Swim to Shore’s clientele, Casie’s brother developed a website just in time for the following summer’s heat to arrive. The online presence increased the community’s awareness of her business, but as community members called to enroll, she found that about 90% of her new customers heard about Swim to Shore through word of mouth. As the number of students increased, word of her business spread like wildfire.
Within three years of opening her dream, she reached the maximum number of hours she could teach in a given week. Unwilling to keep interested students from learning water safety, she brought another instructor into the backyard, and not too soon after, the demand for swim lessons required yet another instructor. The backyard pool not big enough to hold more than one lesson at a time, and one of three instructors in the water all hours of daylight Monday through Friday, Casie’s startup business reached its maximum capacity within five years of its opening.
Being the passionate dreamer that she is, Casie stubbornly refused to accept that interested customers could not receive swimming lessons due to limited pool space. If that was the only hesitation to serving the needs of her customer base, all she needed was a larger pool, right? Well that was what she thought, and that was all it took to set her dreams to wandering outside the confines of her backyard space.
Written by: Rylie Shore
Though innocently disguised in bright reds and blues or patterns of flowers, water wings (also known as “floaties”) are one of the more dangerous “safety” devices and can actually hinder a child’s process of learning to swim. It is ironic, we know, that the flotation device you buy to keep your child above water can actually be a drowning hazard. But before you trust the blow up device you slip over your child’s arm, here are a few things to consider:
- Water wings give parents a false sense of security. When children have on water wings, parents are less likely to watch their children swimming in the pool. However, water wings easily slip off a child’s arm because they are not secured to their body, and accidents can happen when parents are not attentive.
- Water wings are also not well designed to keep a child upright. If the water wings shift slightly or a child gets off balance while wearing them, the flotation device can actually keep a child face down in the water. Because the water wings limit a child’s range of motion, it is difficult for children to get themselves upright again.
- Water wings give a child confidence in the water that the child associates with their ability to swim rather than the flotation device keeping them above water. Even when they are not wearing the water wings, they oftentimes still believe they can swim and will attempt to do so without supervision.
- Water wings force children into a vertical position, but people are most buoyant when they are horizontal in the water. The help of the flotation device takes away the ability for a child to feel their body float naturally in the water.
- Water wings can stunt a child’s process of learning how to swim. Because they give children false confidence and force their body into positions that are unnatural in the water, it can be difficult to re-teach them a healthy relationship with the water.
Though we know it is tempting to throw some water wings on the kids and let them move freely about the pool, it is not worth the risk of drowning. When enjoying a day in the pool, avoid the water wings by swimming with the kids or getting them into swim lessons early. In instances where a flotation device is absolutely necessary (such as a lake), use a life vest instead of water wings. There are so many ways for you and your children to enjoy the water, even without the water wings, so we hope to see you out in the pool this summer!