The instructors at Waterworks Aquatics believe anyone can learn to swim, no matter their age. This belief drives each instructor-led session, accommodating everyone from babies as young as 3 months old who are just getting acquainted with the water, to older children learning more advanced strokes and adults learning to swim for the first time. The instructors focus on teaching stroke techniques that utilize muscle memory and rhythms that are easy to grasp, while cultivating a fun, relaxed environment to help reduce students' anxiety. They lead private, semiprivate, group, and Parent and Me lessons, all of which move at the pace of the swimmers' abilities. Beyond bestowing swimmers with efficient form, the lessons also help them stay safe in the water by teaching them how to control their breathing, reduce unnecessary movement, and stay completely still in the presence of pool krakens to avoid begin seen.
The rising sun bathes the expanse of turquoise water in a golden glow, and a lone figure breaks its still surface during her morning swim. So begins another day at the Ventura Aquatic Center, where meticulously maintained facilities and engaging programs coax swimmers of all ages into the refreshing depths. A 50-meter competition pool fields the backstrokes of lane swimmers, and a 25-meter recreation pool enables laid-back play sessions. Delighted squeals and giggles drift from the kids’ activity pool, where splashes of water keep little faces smiling and a pair of water slides facilitates high-speed entries. Throughout each day, a crew of American Red Cross–certified lifeguards patrols the premises to ensure the safety of all those frolicking in and around the pools.
Dedicated to educating and entertaining patrons, Ventura Aquatic Center’s seasoned instructors also host group and private swim lessons and water-safety classes. Synchronized-swimming lessons teach pupils the art of tandem movement, and lifeguard training prepares would-be rescuers for real-world rescue situations. Diving and water-polo teams unite players for in-pool athletics, and aquatic summer camps stave off the boredom and nostalgic re-readings of last year’s report cards inherent to the summer months.
Boot Camp H20 is not your average water-fitness class. In fact, if it were possible to work up a sweat in a pool, this is where it would happen. Each fast-paced, high-intensity, waterlogged workout combines strength and cardio training to build muscle and burn fat quickly. Led by a qualified instructor, these challenging classes—which take place in an indoor pool—incorporate swimming strokes, water polo, modified plyometrics, water aerobics, and strength exercises.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
To win his final of four gold medals, champion swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg overcame the odds, which seemed to be stacked against him. During the two years before the 2004 Athens games, he had to undergo both a shoulder surgery and a knee surgery and recover in enough time to compete with the United States in Athens. Due to his determination, he was able to recover, and along with his three relay teammates, he stood atop the podium once more.
Now retired, Krayzelburg created his eponymous swim academy to help kids beat the odds in what might otherwise be dangerous situations by becoming water-safe. Since the company's founding in 2005, Krayzelburg's crew has taught thousands of children how to be safe, proficient swimmers. During group classes, private lessons, and parent-tot sessions, the team uses a seven-level SwimRight method to build proper form. The approach is based on 40 years of swim-instruction techniques, and it graduates students from basic water-safety skills to more advanced strokes.
In addition to the two locations in California, the academy offers lessons at eight partner sites across the country. The Los Angeles academy is located on the premises of the Westside Jewish Community Center within a remodeled aquatic center with two swimming pools, a 90-degree kids' pool, and a lap pool that is kept at a cozy 85 degrees.
As a veteran swimming instructor, Andy Gattuso knows how to teach kids to swim, but as a dad, he knows how important it is. At My Little Swimmer, he blends his expertise and paternal instinct to help babies, toddlers, and school-age children master the water. During Baby and Me classes, he emphasizes fun through bubble-blowing, back floating, and underwater swimming with the help of a parent. With Group Aquatics, he teaches basic safety skills and swim moves.