Rob Knight's Swim America

                                             Nervous Beginners (NB) Program 

Purpose of the NB Lessons:  Prepare children for Group lessons and begin the “Learn to Swim” process in Lane 1 in a quiet, controlled atmosphere.  We can often accomplish this in three (3) or four (4) small group lessons.  We like to begin Group lessons immediately following nervous beginner lessons, when possible.  That depends on our class availability, and yours as some families need to come after work and those lesson times are harder to secure!  NB’s are typically scheduled on Friday evenings & M/W mornings in the summer, and Friday nights Saturdays during the school year.    

Who should Enroll?  This transitional program is ideal for children who cannot pass our Lane 1 test (see video online) and/or exhibit some of the following:

  1. Do NOT like putting face in the water, or avoids getting head under when swimming
  2. Often wears floaties or swim vest.
  3. Previous negative experience in the water.
  4. Never been in an organized swim class without Mom or Dad.
  5. Separation issues – not confident without a parent in the Pool.
  6. Age 3.5 – 6.5 years old.  Physically able to transition to Group Setting.

Goals:  The #1 goal of NB lessons is to address the issue of submersion. If you “try your best” we can overcome this obstacle together.  Trust is a big factor, and we will try to gain your trust in the process!  For some it is easy, while others are a little more reluctant!

The goal is to “pass NB” in three (3) or four (4) consecutive. If the child does not pass after four semis, they are not ready.  At that point, we suggest swimming for fun for a while and take the swim test when they are more comfortable with the skills required to pass.  Once they pass NB, there is NO test needed.

There are two issues we often encounter: (1) children not wanting to get their face/head wet, or (2) parent separation issues.  The ‘water’ issue is pretty easy for us provided they are willing to “try their best” and follow directions.  The Separation or Control issue is more complicated.  Parents are encouraged to support them, but not negotiate with them; we like to give them choices.  Also, we will not pick up a swimmer who is refusing to enter the pool area.  Our administrative person will take their hand if they want, and escort them into the pool IF they are not crying.  Once swimmers are in the water, we can address their concerns about the water!  We are very experienced with handling water issues once they get in, so parents need to be sure their children are able to walk into the pool area. For some children, that is the hardest task. 

Parents’ Responsibilities:  Parents ARE OUT of the water, and NOT involved in the lessons.  The parents will bring them out into the pool area where we’ll escort them into the pool, and then parents go to the observation area in the pool lobby where you can observe the lessons through the windows. Parents cannot be out on the pool area initially – we like to wait until separation issues are over, and they are following directions and sitting safely.  We do have parents come in at the end of every lesson when we are doing jumps. 

  • After their first lesson, if the parent can practice the skills learned in the lesson, the swimmer will have a positive feeling about the water and our rate of success rises.  Teamwork is the key to success!
  • All swimmers will have their head wet during the first lesson. Please prepare them.  We never mislead; getting your head wet is the first step to learning how to swim!  We begin with pouring water over their head, so it is helpful to practice this at home in the bathtub prior to lessons.  90% of the swimmers go under water the first lesson

Smiles are contagious, but so is crying.   It is our job to calm them, build trust, and help them through the process. Our goal is to keep them in the water, and try to turn their fear or crying into laughter.  While it rarely happens, if there is excessive crying we may have the deck person have the swimmer step out of the lesson for a few minutes and ask you to come out to the pool area and try to calm them.  We don’t want the other swimmers think they should be scared as well, and start to cry. Parents should communicate with us at registration if their child had a previous negative experience/scare so we are prepared. 

The skills we work on include:  Several relaxed complete submersions, retrieving treasures (rings), back float with assistance, jumping into the water independently, and 10 relaxed bobs.  These are the requirements to pass the Swim Test and enter Group lessons in Lane 1.  Lane 1 swimmers are between age 3.5 & 6.  We have five (5) lanes, or ability levels, at our facility. You are welcome to tour our facility and/or observe a Group swimming lesson in advance.  Whatever it takes to make the swimmer more comfortable! 


  • Lessons must be prepaid, and we accept:  Check, Cash or Credit Card.        
  • Lessons are 30 minutes, with up to 3:1 ratio, and $25 each.  We cannot reschedule classes.
  • We like to schedule a tour of the pool area (at Four Seasons) in advance to make Day 1 more positive.  We can also finish the registration and payment as well. 
  • Swim Suit, Goggles, (cap for girls), and Towel are required for all lessons.  If you are a Four Seasons’ member, they have towels on hand.  We prefer swim suits to NOT have sleeves. Sleeves are great for outdoor swimming to keep you warm and help protect you from the sun. But this facility is around 88 degrees, so plenty warm and those sleeves pull the swimmer UNDER and fill up with water and slow them down.
  • You do not have to be a FS’s member to join, but if you are, the $25 annual membership fee is waived.

Fees:  It’s best to schedule 4, unless your swimmer has had a lot of experience going under waterYou’ll pay for the 3-4 lessons in advance.

  • 3 Lessons -  The cost for each lesson is $25, plus the $25 registration annual fee for non FS members.$75 or $100 total.
  • 4 Lessons -  The cost for each lesson is $25, plus the $25 annual registration fee for non FS members.$100 or $125 total.