Goldfish Swim School – Swim Force

This article is sponsored by Goldfish Swim School Urbandale. All opinions are my own.

More than just Swimming Lessons

I always thought the purpose of swimming lessons was to teach my children how to swim so they wouldn’t drown. But when we started swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School Urbandale, it became so much more than that.

In the past, we’ve done a couple of weeks here and there in the summer of swimming lessons. Nothing too intense, nothing too serious. Just enough lessons to make sure my two kids don’t end up as thirty-year-olds who can’t tread water. I have friends who live in warmer parts of the country who are part of “swim communities” meaning that they take swimming very seriously. Their kids compete in neighborhood swim teams and spend hours a day in the pool.

Not us. Aside from recreational swimming at grandparents and some splashing in nearby pools, our lives are largely devoid of swimming for the majority of the year. Imagine my surprise when my oldest child, Lucan, started passing level after level at Goldfish Swim School week after week. He quickly started learning more challenging skills, like the butterfly and how to do flip turns. Until finally, we were at the very last class level and his swim instructor started asking me how I felt about the next step: Goldfish Swim Team – Swim Force.

Students who progress through Pro Level swim classes at Goldfish receive a unique opportunity to join Swim Force. This fun and friendly competition experience provides children with the motivation they need to continually improve their swim skills at a higher level. During the hour -long class, In-water coaches help more advanced swimmers between the ages of 5 and 12 improve their proficiency in the four major strokes: Freestyle, Breaststroke, Backstroke, and Butterfly. Students also learn exciting racing skills like turns and finishes.

goldfish swim school swim forceSwim Force is great for many reasons:

  1. Skill Improvement. It’s a nice intermediary step between competitive swimming at a school or club level and swim lessons. While I don’t know if we’re going to pursue competitive swimming in the future, it’s good to know Lucan will have the foundational skills to build upon. His swim coach helps him with his stroke technique and teaches him valuable things like turns and race finishes.
  2. Endurance. One night a week, Lucan is swimming the length of the pool (twenty-five yards) over and over again for an hour. There are hardly any other sports at his age that call for continuous motion like that. I love knowing that swimming is building up his off-season soccer stamina and baseball throwing muscles. Needless to say, on swim nights, he sleeps well!
  3. It’s both an individual and team competitive sport. During his swim lessons at Goldfish, Lucan was mostly in small group classes by himself. Now he has a small team of other Swim Force team members he has gotten to know and swim against.  Yes, swimming is still a sport where he is largely dependent on how well or fast he can swim. But now he’s also learning team relay skills and getting to challenge himself against his other Swim Force team members.
  4. Confidence. It surprises me to see how much confidence Lucan has built up because of swimming. Goldfish Swim School has allowed Lucan to excel individually at a sport. It’s up to Lucan, and no one else, to do well. And knowing Lucan has to be accountable for himself has ultimately led him to be more responsible for his actions.

So while you might consider sending your younger child to Goldfish Swim School so they can learn to swim, you ultimately might be surprised when your older child wants to explore competitive swimming because of the skills they learned there!

Goldfish Swim School Urbandale offers classes for all skill levels for all children – whether that looks like a child who is learning to feel comfortable in the water or a child who wants to participate in the sport of swimming. Their goal is to ensure your child makes continual progress through their program! 

Connect with Goldfish Swim School

3771 86th Street, Urbandale, IA 50322

Two Goldfish Swimmers, Two Different Stories




If you are interested in learning more, call to schedule a free trial swim lesson and make sure to mention Des Moines Mom!

swim force

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Kara Knaack
Kara originally hails from northwest Iowa where she met her husband, Lance, through a 4-H fashion show. After a decade of living in central Iowa, Kara is still figuring out which way is north. Wearing the hat of “wife, mommy, employee, chef, ribbon tie-er and family calendar organizer,” Kara knows a bit about juggling life and work. Kara became a boy-mom in June of 2011 to Lucan and a girl-mom to Gracelyn in December of 2014. Most days you can find her mixing up metaphors and oversharing life’s moments via social media. Kara enjoys yoga, reading, gardening, cooking, sewing in straight lines and singing along to musicals. A spender by nature, but thrifty by necessity, Kara is always in hunt of a bargain. She’s an active member of Northpoint Church and a resident of Grimes. Her vision for life includes “doing the best we can with what God gives us.”


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