Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Swimming Lesson Questions

How was the Wallen Swim Philosophy and Curriculum developed?

Our philosophy is developed by the owners Steve and Kaleb Wallen who together have over 50 years experience teaching swimming lessons, coaching swim teams, and competing at the NCAA collegiate level. Our research and experience includes working with babies, kids, and adults of all skill levels. From learn to swim students to competitive swimmers, our experience allows us to tailor our swim program to meet the specific need of each student.

At what age should my child begin swimming lessons?

We believe children are born with an innate love of the water. The earlier they start to swim (SWSS recommends as early as 3 months); the chances of “outside factors” affecting their attitudes are lower. Parents who begin later on, for instance, find it harder for their child to feel comfortable to get their face wet. It often takes longer for the child to get used to the environment and to get used to submersion. An older toddler has probably reached a more “clingy” stage, is more reserved, and is less willing to try new things. It is easier to acclimate a baby to the water environment, but it is much better to begin later on than not to begin at all. Starting your child young is important. Get your baby enrolled in baby swimming lessons and teach him/her good habits around the water that will last a lifetime. Our swim instructors are very consistent in teaching your children to know their way around the water.

How long will it take my child to learn to swim?

Many variables affect how rapidly a student will learn to swim, such as age, comfort level in the water, whether they are in a group or a private lesson, and whether they have been or will be exposed to a traumatic water event. It is important to remember that every student is different and follows a different learning curve. Once a student starts the process of learning to swim, consistency is key. Swimming more than 1 day per week, especially in the early developmental stages, will result in faster progress and lead to a student learning to swim sooner. The more practice a student has, the faster they will progress. We highly recommend regular weekly swimming schedules, especially during the fall and winter months, in order to help students retain developed skills and make swimming a fun, year-round activity.

Do you recommend floaties or other flotation devices?

To begin, there is no substitute for supervision during water activities. Throughout the “learn to swim” phase, we highly recommend that parents get in the water with their children during any non-swim lesson time in the pool. This is important because it allows children to learn to swim independently, without the use of any flotation devices. These devices create a false sense of security for both child and parent and cause children to become dependent on swimming with them; therefore should be used cautiously.

Another key negative with using floaties is that they lead to developing bad swimming habits and do not promote the prone, horizontal swimming position. Floaties promote kids being vertical in the water with their head up in the air, creating a lot of drag and exhaustion. If a child falls or jumps in a pool, it is important that they know how to float and/or put their face in the water, without the aid of a flotation device, and swim to the side of the pool.

In addition, the Coast Guard does recommend and many states require wearing only Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices like life vests when doing water activities such as water skiing, boating, and rafting.

Why should my child swim year-round?

SWSS believes that swimming is not only a fun activity but a life skill that everyone should practice routinely. We highly recommend taking classes 1 or 2 day(s)/week throughout the year, especially during the fall/winter months when outdoor pools are too cold, in order to stay in the water and retain developed swimming skills. Through our experience, we have found that students with more consistent attendance and skill repetition retain more skills as well as gain higher confidence in the water. Our state-of-the-art indoor facilities in El Dorado Hills and Roseville are equipped with oversized heated pools offering an ideal atmosphere to foster the greatest potential of any swimmer.

Do you see any benefits of swim lessons on early childhood development?

Through our experience, we have found that there are many benefits:

  • Safer & more confident in the water due to constant learning and practice during physical growth and maturation.
  • Improved health due to consistent exercise of the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Increased strength and coordination leading to better performance in other physical activities.
  • Accelerated brain development, which has scientifically been linked to movement patterns used in swimming.
  • Higher intelligence and problem solving, which helps early schooling.
  • Greater self-discipline plus motivation and confidence to succeed.
  • Increased attention span and alertness in school from listening skills and processing series of complex instructions.
  • Greater self-respect from consistent goal setting, learning and achievement.
  • Valuable socialization skills from interaction with classmates.

When can I start my swim lessons?

Anytime! Our lessons are offered year-round and are broken down into 12 different sessions. We believe that a consistent year-round approach to swimming is necessary for students to learn how to swim, be safe and confident in the water, and get the most out of their swimming.

How much do classes cost?

All prices are based on 4 classes of 30 minutes. Swim classes are the same cost per class for drop-in classes as well as if you take classes 2 days per week which is 8 classes in a session.

  • Private Swim Lessons – $180
  • Semi-Private Swim Lessons – $120
  • Group Swim Lessons – $100
  • Swim Clinic – $100
  • Baby and Me Swim Lessons – $80

How do I register for swim lessons?

Registering for swimming lessons at Steve Wallen Swim School is easy. You can register online, contact us by phone or email, or stop by our facility for a tour. If you need help deciding which class is right for you or have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our staff will be happy to help. Payment is not due until the first day of class. We only require a credit card on file to reserve your spot.

What happens if I need to miss a class?

We offer make-up classes for students that give advanced notice of missing a class. We ask for a minimum of at least 6 hours in order to fill the class with another student.

  • Missed make-up lessons cannot be made up if we are not notified prior to the lesson.
  • In lieu of a make-up lesson, you may choose a complimentary admission for another student to Family Swim.
  • Make-up swim lessons cannot be used as a credit for future sessions.
  • Make-up swim lessons with specific teachers cannot be guaranteed.
  • All missed private or semi-private lessons may not be able to be made up in a private or semi-private lesson.

My 2 ½-year-old is completely potty trained; does he or she have to wear a swim diaper?

Yes. Our policies require that all students under age three wear a disposable and reusable swim diaper. This ensures the health and safety of all students and instructors should there be an accident.

Can I sit in the pool area during classes?

We have a policy, no parents in the teaching area during lessons (except for parent-tot classes). We do have a large parents viewing area where you can sit to observe classes, and students can see you.

Will there be a problem if my child has two different instructors during the week?

It’s just fine! All Steve Wallen Swim School swim instructors go through the same training program and teach the same methods. We believe it is important for your child to be able to swim with more than one person. Our instructors work closely with one another and will communicate anything beneficial to your child’s progress.

Is there anything I can do at home to help with my child’s learning process?

Yes, practicing at home will help tremendously! If you have a pool at home, you should practice as much as possible. If you do not have a pool, many skills can be practiced in the bathtub and shower.

Do you teach more than learn to swim and water safety?

Yes! Our swim instructors are trained to work with babies, kids, and adults of all skill levels. Once students learn to swim, they will then progress to more advanced skills and training to develop proper strokes and stamina. Our experience allows us to help swimmers develop all 4 strokes, starts, turns, and other racing strategies. We also offer competitive swimming lessons for competitive swimmers and triathletes as well as video analysis classes that give swimmers instant, real-time feedback of their strokes.

Do you offer levels?

We believe that levels categorize students too much and can push them too much or hold them back. We offer our SWSS Milestone Ribbon Program which helps students progress through major milestones of learning to swim and develop proper techniques.

  • Face in the Water is Magic
  • Breath Control
  • Streamline
  • Backfloat
  • Jump, Turn, Swim
  • Rollover
  • Freestyle
  • Backstroke
  • Butterfly
  • Breaststroke