Without swimming skills, people can't partake in aquatic adventures such as doing cannonballs off the high dive and punching mermaids. Partake in all of life's majesty with today's Groupon: for $79, you get one month of group swim classes for children and adults, plus registration fees at Swim Jim. Classes meet once a week and are held at three Manhattan locations—Columbus Avenue between 97th and 100th Streets, 10th Avenue at West 49th Street, East 66th Street at 1st Avenue. and East 96th Street and 3rd Avenue.
Swim Jim's systematic, attentive approach to aquatic education works for aspiring amphibians of all ages, imparting confidence, spatial awareness, and muscular control in the water to pupils. The high instructor-to-student ratio throughout a range of classes cultivates a safe environment in which paddlers progress at their own levels. For aqua-tots of 16 months to 3 years, a swimbabies class employs songs and games to instill breath control, floating ability, and basic motor skills. A beginner swimkids lesson, featuring a four-to-one student-teacher ratio, introduces submersion and movement to splashers aged 3 years and up, and the swimjimmers class caters to more evolved tadpoles, fine-tuning the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and submerged golf stroke. Lessons are conducted in a clean, bright indoor pool with the supervision of first aid- and CPR-certified instructors.
Swim Jim also offers one-hour courses for adults at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. These lessons are ideal for those wanting to learn from scratch, brush up on maritime mechanics, or not drown.
It’s safe to say Catherine Fox knows her way around a pool. She won an Olympic gold medal for her ability to find her way from end to end. Partnering with Swim Jim owner Jim Spiers, a trainer for 2012 Olympics Bronze medalist Lia Neal, the pair transformed their expertise into a curriculum that helps others learn to love the water as they do. The resulting program, titled the Underwater Schoolhouse, forms the cornerstone of every class held at Swim Jim.
Teachers take on students of all ages, focusing first on helping to cure land dwellers’ inherent nervousness around water. To do this, they use a combination of encouragement and humor, never pushing a student further than they’re willing to go. Once students take the plunge, the coaches focus on teaching the mechanics of a variety of strokes, such as how to kick during breaststroke or how to emerge gracefully from the chrysalis before butterfly stroke.