Swim program gives complete workout

Tanika Snyder

Front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, butterfly or sidestroke. Add some excitement to that same, boring work-out routine and attempt a full-body water workout.

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers many programs for swimmers of all levels.

Saturday was the start of the center’s Learn to Swim program. This program includes seven different group-instructional classes and will run every Saturday for 10 weeks.

“We also offer a Tuesday/Thursday session,” Aquatics Supervisor Sean Tobin said. “We have a very big return rate, especially Saturdays.”

Learn to Swim ages range primarily from infants to teens. All swim classes are taught by certified American Red Cross instructors, and it is required that each class level has a ratio of at least one instructor for every six participants.

“We normally have two instructors for each level,” Water Safety Instructor Brendan Jeter said. “Most of us have been on swim teams and started swimming at a young age. To instruct, you have to be certified above level six and thoroughly know all the strokes.”

The first class in the Learn to Swim sequence is Diaper Dolphins. This class is for children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Next is the preschool class for 3- and 4-year-olds. After passing these classes participants are placed, depending on their swimming abilities, in classes ranging from Level I-Introduction to Water Skills through Level V-Stroke Refinement.

“Participants can be bumped up to a level higher when the instructors think they are ready,” Tobin said. “If there is no room for them in the next level’s class, we will work them at a higher level in their current class.”

Tobin said the first day of class is used to test the participants on their swimming abilities to determine class placement.

“The program is more than just learning how to swim,” Tobin said. “It’s an emphasis on water safety, giving you skills you can use the rest of your life. Our biggest thing is the safety of all the swimmers.”

A second Learn to Swim session will begin March 29. Sessions cost $35 for students, $40 for members and $50 for nonmembers.

The center also offers adult beginner, intermediate and advanced swim lessons and clinics.

New to this semester is Personalized Swimming Workouts, a program designed specifically for each individual’s personal fitness goals.

“Most college students think of swimming as a recreational thing,” Aquatics Coordinator Mindi McBride said. “They don’t see it as a workout. If they weren’t swimmers at one time, they don’t really know how to do a swimming workout.”

McBride said participants of Personalized Swimming Workouts must first go through a fitness assessment. Based on the assessment and what the individual desires to get out of the program, a detailed workout will be assigned to the individual.

The workout will include recommendations for cardiovascular and resistance training in the water. Proper techniques and drills will assist participants in achieving their desired fitness goals.

“The program is ongoing throughout the semester,” McBride said. “We give you the information tailored to your specific needs, and you work on your own. For a more coached swim program, we have the Masters Swim program.

Masters Swim also promotes swimming as a form of exercise. This program includes coached practices, organized swim meets and open water training and competitions.

“Since Kent State doesn’t have a swim team, Masters Swim is kind of like Kent’s swim club,” Tobin said. “You can attend as little or as many practices as you want.”

Cost for Personalized Swimming Workouts is $10 per student and member and $14 per nonmember. Cost and practice schedule for Masters Swim can be found at www.recservices.kent.edu.

For more information about all aquatic programs, call the rec center at (330) 672-0480.

“The programs are available to everyone,” Tobin said. “It’s a service we love to offer. Swimming is a valuable skill and if anyone needs help, we’re here.”

Contact fitness reporter Tanika Snyder at [email protected].