How I Creating a Positive Mindset Swim Lesson.(PMS)lol

     When teaching new students I alway’s lead with positive language. The moments of youth I remember clearly was competition with my Dad. He called me Jean The great, over and over. It was his way to inspire me to race to the car, the chairlift ,or the end of the pool. The goal was to win/impress Dad and show off. It also helped me really feel proud of myself. Seeking a parents approval, is most kids goal. I use lots of toys and equiptment for success. When you have a high achiever child, it can be challenging, as it should be no one walk’n over your kid! But when they don’t want to do something you know it. Tiring doesn’t even describe it. Does your sweet angel look like these brothers?


     Dad’s smiled when I was the strongest, fastest, bravest even rebellious. He never let me win, I had to earn it. One of my best tips is if your kid doesn’t sit still, I can work with that.I only ask questions that I know I’m going to get “yes” as the answer. I’m working with the caveman brain, save yourself , skillsets. I do a lot of racing with younger kids. It makes the lesson more fun and structured at the same time. They’re in competition with me… their teacher, someone 2 x 3 times their height, weight, and experiences in racing. I’m always talking about swim team in their future. Using a positive mindset of talking about all the fun they will have in water, before they even put their faces in, works wonders.They rise to the top, on their willpower to improve and be stronger than everyone else. When they focus on training and winning, there is no stopping them. This is my goal in class to coach and guide each child to be their best.

    My lessons sometimes sound like therapy, and I do have swim therapy for some students who have extra fear or blocks that need a warm up point before the lesson starts. Some kids need more time.  This is not all kids, this is probably 50% with DNA<parenting. But 20% no matter their situation, they are braver, stronger, more rebellious, or shy, scared and fearful. Basically everyone is different, and we have control of very little. I help kids be aware of the things they do have control of, making a plan before they start running for the pool.


     As a master swim instructor ,I’m a tough cookie, no rhetorical questions, “crying is healthy”, and practice is super fun.  When a kid is losing his or her mind, I’ll change the subject’What are you having for lunch or dinner?, is one of my favorites. I really do talk to everyone as If I’m their mother, sister, grandmother. But either way, I’m saying the same thing, which is I only reinforce good behavior, and you can get out  when the 3 skill sets are finished. As a reward you can stay and play, if it’s ok with your parents. Keeping toddlers on point is a skill I have in spades.  After teaching swimming for 30+ years, I have heard it all.  These funny conversations , provide me with great joy.  Kids say what on their minds at this age. Here are a couple of my favorite student video’s. They’re working on various skills and all beginner lessons.

     Creating a positive environment and mindset are key to success, in swimming lessons and in life. I consider myself the first life coach of your kids. Teaching important skill’s that will be used outside the pool setting.I’m blessed to see the same students week after week, year after year. With relationships of trust at a very young age. Most kids haven’t been told what to do by someone besides their parents. Kids think that their parents are going to save them, if they cry run away are throw a tantrum. This is a rude awaking when they hear the words “Miss Jean is in charge.” The first lesson is the hardest for everyone. This is when  habits to “get out of something,” doesn’t work. Keeping it positive and reminding them they can pick which skill they want to do first. They can ask for” a moment” or “wiggle time’. I give lots of breaks, but we always complete the skillsets.

     I tell all my parents that their kids will be working as instructor and lifeguards for me some day.  Teasing that they will get all their money back spent in lessons when their kids turn 16. You can become a lifeguard /swim instructor at 16. It gives them a chance to dream big.  To think about their future, to visualize. All my children where lifeguards or swim instructor’s in their teens. I love pointing to the lifeguard chair and say”that’s my son lifeguarding over there. Lifeguards are hero’s  like policemen ,or firemen someone you look up to and have to listen to. In fact most hero type jobs, start with teenagers who work for park and recreation jobs. I have some many parents tell me they where swim instructors, camp counselors and lifeguards themselves. I’m so blessed to do my life’s work right now, so proud of everyone out there trying to be themselves to the best of their ability at that moment.

Miss Jean

CEO of Missjeanswimming, in Marin, and Bay Area. Operates at Northbridge Recreation Center, San Rafael, Ca.

Are puddle jumpers killing our children?

To puddle jump or not. I’m on the fence I have recommended them in the past but she makes so really good points. I still like them and will use them, but they can give parents and students a false sense of confidence. We always have to be super aware.

I watched this video this morning, It was recommended to me because we are part of the Kelsey Kode. Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 11.56.59 AMA Like-Minded people who have come together to support the mission to save 185,000 lives from drowning and over 1 million lives from non-fatal drowning worldwide by June 15, 2029, following a Code that is set by understanding risk and participating as a collective community to support one another in the overall goal and mission.

Through The Kelsey Kode, you have the ability to learn from some of the industry leaders and to quickly and easily tell thousands of other members about who you are and your Company, Business, and Organization, how you provide solutions to the problem giving you the opportunity to educate people.

 I run a swim school in Marin County, Ca. and an Master in my field. While my method of survival teaching varies from hers the idea is the same. Help kids to survive in the water by teaching skills that help them roll for a breathe. Which requires them to have their ears in the water. Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 1.59.01 PM

As you can see from the video the baby crys a little, a wimper really. That’s a good sign believe it or not. Crying for a baby in the pool is an alarm. You would rather hear your child cry instead of not crying. Most parents can’t stand to hear their children cry and will pull them from lessons saying they will bring them back when their “more ready”. Just like learning to crossing the street , it takes practice. Little kids are not known for good listening skills. More ready is now. Here’s a video of my swim swim roll skill set from a few years ago.

As lifeguard trainer for 20 years and a swim instructor for 30 + years, teaching is my mission in life. I have kids start at 3 months just 10 minutes a couple of times a week. We practice 3 skills sets 10 times in private lessons.

Tips for getting kids used to water in their face before putting them into a pool.

  • Putting children in the shower is great way to get them used to water on their face. I had 4 children is 5 years so If i took a shower most of the kids where in with me or just in the bathroom. I had the bath chairs that suctioned to the bottom of the tube and give them toys to play with.

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  • Putting googles on them in the house, Call them bravery glasses or magic.
  • Use a mirrior with your child so they can practice closing their mouth, some kids are copy cat learners. So my turn your turn works well.

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If your child is fearful of going under follow up here. I believe everyone can learn to swim. For more information on missjeanswimming check out my facebook page.

How I teach kids to swim even when they are crying.

As a swimming instructor for over 30 years crying kids is a real thing in my life daily. I don’t take it personal. Kids crying is a fact of life, I had four kids in five years and that experience as made me  immune to crying. I hear crying and I understand why they are crying but I keep going thru the lesson as if they aren’t crying or my favorite ” encourage them to cry loader. Letting them if they cry they will learn twice as fast. Telling them it’s ok to cry because crying makes you feel better. There are many reasons kids cry in lessons , water in ears, eyes in the water, blowing bubbles, the deep end, it goes on and on. but his is not the first or last place your child will out right scream bloody murder. I find wearing googles helps a lot with fear.

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 1.31.30 PM It’s o.k., it’s normal based on why some children scream bloody murder all the time and some don’t ever cry. I find kids that scream or cry need to be heard. I let them know I hear them and that I’m  here to help, just ask for help. This of course leads to calm.  I was trained to teach kids to float on their back. Now I teach from the first lesson how to backstroke start from the wall. I would like to spend 1/3 of  the class with backstroke drills and practice. There is crying at this stage with some kids , I push thru that stage with lots of practice and trying .  I tease my parents my parents that they got the top of the line alarm system with this kid.lol

Read about how I create a positive mindset for my swimming lessons.

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