Swim Lessons

Our final round of summer lessons is coming up next week already!

With the change in season, there will also be a few other changes around the pool. Some of you may know that I am leaving BAC in September to pursue a degree in Film at Eastern Washington University! However, with Eastern located all the way across the state, it means I must say goodbye to all of my friends and students at BAC. I have enjoyed every minute of the 5 years (my, how the time flies!) that I have been teaching at BAC. You all have changed my life for the better and I’ve learned just as many things as I’ve taught over the years. We’ve all had a lot of fun in the pool, and I want to charge each of my students with a new challenge: Take the patience, joy and skills that you’ve learned here and bring them with you into the future! You may find yourselves swimming in places you could never imagine, so remember all of the important things you learned to get you there! And when you do, send us a photo of all the cool places you’ve swum. I will miss each and every one of you, and I want to thank you for making the last 5 years an absolute blast! I know you will all excel in the months and years to come. I’ll still be around for another few weeks, so feel free to tap me on the shoulder and say goodbye – I might even get the chance to teach some of you again before I go!

And now, on a less sentimental note, check out the schedule for the next round of swim lessons! As usual, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns. I’ll see everyone around the pool, have a great end of summer! Brittany

Next Lessons are August 8-29 (3 weeks/6 Lessons)

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Parents Supporting Swimmers

Summer is the season for swimming lessons, and the pool is busy! As a parent, it can be tough to know how to best support your student in their learning. Here are some tips for helping your child focus during class, and for supporting them outside of lessons!

During the lesson

If your student is anxious, it can be tempting to approach them during their lesson and provide verbal support. However, this can be distracting to your student as well as others in the class, since it pulls their attention away from their teacher, who may be trying to demonstrate or explain a key skill. We encourage parents to support silently from the benches during lessons. Your child may very well want to show you their skills during class! If this happens, a thumbs up and a smile can communicate your support without pulling attention from the class.

For young children, the basic separation from parents can also be unnerving. Sometimes having the parent in the pool area can cause a conflict for the child – the reminder that you are present but not participating in class with them can make this separation harder. We may encourage parents in this situation to take some space from the class by heading into the lobby for the duration of the lesson. We have found that this both decreases anxiety for the child, as they are able to concentrate completely on their lesson, and helps them to learn that they are able to participate even when mom is not in the room.

Come prepared for class! Many families who are new to lessons simply do not know what their child needs to succeed! Here’s a shortlist of things that most students need for their lessons:
Swim Suit
Goggles (Dolphin +)
Hair tie or swim cap for hair longer than shoulder length
Swim Diaper – if not potty trained yet

Ask them questions about their lessons! Did they learn anything new today? Have them explain a skill they worked on during their lesson! When your student is able to recall details about their classes, it will be easier for them to remember those skills the next time they have class!

Outside of Class

The best thing you can do to support your student outside of class is just to swim with them! Help them practice some of the skills they have been learning in class. Swimming can be a fun family activity and seeing their parents embrace the skills they have been learning can be incredibly validating for kids! Here are a few skills from each level to practice with your little fish:

Beluga: Mouth and nose bubbles, Listen for the fishies (Snap your fingers underwater and ask them to put their whole face in to listen), big jumps to you, ice cream scoops

Clownfish: Underwater bobs, ice cream scoops out to you, chicken/airplane/soldier, kicks on tummy and back

Dolphin: Scoops to you, practice rolling over to breathe, backstroke to you, kick w/ board (you could even do a kickboard race!)

Flounder: freestyle or backstroke races, underwater dolphin kick challenge (see how far they can go swimming underwater from the wall)

Jellyfish: Freestyle, backstroke, or breaststroke races, somersaults in the water, dive for rings

Manatee: 200-yard challenge! Have them swim 12 lengths without stopping, using any stroke. practice flip turns, treading water

Swim Lessons

The summer has been absolutely idyllic, I hope you are all outdoors taking advantage of the weather! The next round of lessons is 3 weeks long, with no breaks or missed days, so if your kids could use a quick mid-summer touch up on their skills, check out our lesson schedule!

 A couple of quick clarifications for those who may be new or out of the loop on lessons:

Hot Tub Tips:

  • Try to save hot tub time as a treat for after lessons! When students hop in the hot tub before class, the water in the pool can be difficult to adjust to, and waiting for after lessons give them something to look forward to!
  • Please do not bring toys into the hot tub. Save those for class!
  • It is unsafe for students to spend more than 5 minutes in the hot tub, or to swim with their face underwater in the hot tub. Kids do not have fully developed temperature regulation systems, so they can overheat easily.
  • When your student is using the hot tub, please stand close enough to see them. We do not have a lifeguard assigned to the hot tub, so while all of our instructors are lifeguard certified, keeping an eye on the hot tub is up to the parents. This is why students can use the hot tub during lessons, so let’s preserve this perk!

While it is important for your student to learn to adapt to having water in their eyes, feel free to bring goggles with you for lessons! It can be helpful to have a tool to keep water out of their eyes during lessons.

Please do not allow your student to swim in the pool before their lesson starts. It’s not safe for students to swim without a lifeguard on duty, and we want to keep everyone safe.

We do not provide bath towels for non-members who come in for lessons, so please remember to bring a towel with you if you’re not a member of the gym.

Sometimes swimming lessons can be scary! This can lead to distraction when Mom or Dad is in the room. With younger students, we may ask parents to wait in the lobby to allow their child to concentrate on the lesson. Please know that this will help your student become comfortable in a class environment, and help them to focus on the skills they are learning, plus they will be so excited to tell you about their lesson! We will work individually with families to provide the best learning experience possible for your student.

Next Lessons are July 23 – August 8 (43 weeks/6 Lessons)

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Life Jacket Safety

How to properly fit and use a life jacket

by Brittany McIntosh, Aquatics Director

Did you know that in Whatcom County alone, there are 26 lakes, 21 rivers, and 2 bays? That adds up to quite a few opportunities for swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking. Since we are so active around water this time of year, it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge on boating safety. Check out our tips below and enjoy all the beauty the Northwest has to offer this July!

Always wear a life jacket

In Washington State, all children under the age of 12 are required by law to wear a life jacket while on board a vessel. However, it’s recommended by the US Coast Guard that everyone on board wear a life jacket – even if you’re a great swimmer! For tips on fitting a life jacket, take a look at our handy infographic.

Know or learn how to swim

Everyone on board should know some basic survival skills. The more comfortable you are in the water, the better your chance of survival should an accident occur. We offer group and private lessons for both adults and children on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Ask at the front desk for scheduling or visit our website at www.bellinghamathleticclub.com for more details.

Let someone know where you’re going

If you don’t have a Float Plan, let someone who’s staying ashore know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Write out all relevant location information including phone numbers, a description of the boat and all communication equipment on board, and an accurate location of the destination and home ports.

Assign at least one adult to supervise all children

As we always tell parents in our Angelfish classes, once you teach your child to love the water it acts as a magnet, drawing them close. You won’t be able to keep them away, so make sure they’re supervised in their play!

Carry extra supplies and safety equipment

This could include extra food and water supplies, life jackets, a cell phone, blankets, and a well-stocked first aid kit. Additionally, make sure passengers know where these supplies are located and how to use them.

Avoid alcohol

While we all want to have fun in the sun, boats are not the place for alcohol. It can affect balance, judgment and reaction speed – three things you will definitely need out on the water. More than half of all boating accidents in the US involve alcohol – don’t be a statistic! Leave the party on the shore and stay safe on your vessel.

Be wary of heat exhaustion

Wear lots of sunscreen, and bring extra water bottles. It’s also important to remember that sunscreen does wash off, so always reapply after a dip. Hats and sunglasses are always a big help, especially if you’ve got kids on board.

Swim Lessons

Summer will be in full swing by the time this next session starts, and school gets out this week, so if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, consider Swim Lessons! We are offering additional times in the Morning, afternoon and evening on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so take a look at our expanded classes.

Additionally, we are still running our swim lesson raffle! Just come into family swim 3x throughout the month of June and turn your completed family swim pass to the front desk. They’ll have you fill out an entry form and you’ll be entered in a raffle to win a free round of swim lessons! It’s worthwhile if your kids are in the pool for lessons, and gives the whole family an opportunity to enjoy the pool.

June 25 – July 18th (4 weeks/7Lessons)

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Into the Pool

by Brittany McIntosh, Aquatics Director

With summer coming up, more people will be in the pool trying to get their cardio in! Many of our lap swimmers find workouts online, or write themselves a workout. If you’re feeling a little listless about what to do in the pool, take a look at the whiteboard posted on the pool deck. You’ll see the Swim Team workouts from the week! We will be posting two new workouts every week, which are available for everyone to use at their leisure. However, for those who are working around an injury or other limitations, these  workouts can seem daunting. Never fear! There are ways to modify the workout for any swimmer. Here are a few tips to make your workout work for you!

Adjust the Lengths Provided
Most workouts will include distances of 50, 100 or 200 yards at a time. If you aren’t able to swim a prolonged distance without stopping, cut down the yardage. If the set says to swim 8 x 50’s, cut it down to 4 x 50’s, or 8 x 25’s (1 length). You’ll still get the benefit of the variety of distance without aggravating an injury.

Change the Stroke
Our sets also specify which stroke you should swim for a certain distance. If you don’t know all four strokes or are unable to do a certain stroke, substitute something you know! Here are a few suggestions:
• If Butterfly is listed, do Dolphin kick instead. Feel free to use a kickboard for support!
• If Backstroke is listed, do Elementary Backstroke, or any kind of swimming on your back that feels comfortable
• If Breaststroke is listed, try side stroke instead. Side stroke is a little easier for those with knee issues and mimics the movement of Breaststroke.
• If Freestyle is listed, modify your stroke! If you’re uncomfortable putting your face under water, try swimming freestyle with your face up, or using a pull buoy to add some support to your stroke.

Take Extra Rest
Most of our workouts include a specific amount of rest between each new set. If a set says to take 30 seconds rest, feel free to extend to 45 seconds, or 1 minute. Just remember to stick with the same amount of rest throughout the set so that you the full benefit of the rhythm of the workout.

Enjoy your summer, folks, and remember that with the pool becoming busier, we all need to share our space! Circle swim if you know how, or just scoot over to allow more space for swimmers. We all want to enjoy the pool, so let’s work together to make sure it’s accessible for everyone!

Swim Team Workout 1

Warm-up: 200 IM, 100 Kick, 100 pull, 100 sprint

Main Set: Sprints :20 Rest

16×25 (1 length) swim, IM order

      1-4= Butterfly

      5-8= Backstroke

      6-12= Breaststroke

      13-16= Freestyle

(All 100% effort, all out sprint!)

1×200 choice easy

8×50 freestyle

Odd Numbers= Sprint!

Even Numbers= Pull, focus on elongating strokes

Cool Down: 1×200 freestyle at easy pace

Jump In!

by Mike Locke, Fitness Director

1. Reduce overuse injuries. The repetitive stress of intense, specialized training contributes to overuse injuries. Depending on water depth, aquatic training can reduce impact up to 85%, resulting in less stress and reducing the likelihood of injury.

2. Supplement land training. Many land moves can be mimicked in water, and clients can practice movement patterns without worrying about impact. Shallow water is beneficial for vertical jump training, transitional depths are good for racquet sports training, and deep water is valuable for long-distance training.

3. Add variety or overcome training plateaus. Water provides resistance in multiple planes of movement, allowing for new types of overload. Working in a different environment reduces boredom and adds fresh challenges.

4. Increase muscle strength. Cardiovascular and muscle endurance training can occur concurrently in the water. Correct training techniques and equipment make it possible to build strength.

5. Supplement speed and sports training. Coaches can teach sport-specific moves in the water. Aquatic training improves core muscle recruitment to stabilize the body against the water’s forces.

6. Facilitate post-workout recovery. The hydrostatic pressure from immersion increases circulation, reduces swelling, and enhances recovery. Water training provides a comfortable environment for active-rest workouts.