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Progress Trumps the Badge

Working hard to reach a goal and not achieving the results you were hoping for is frustrating to say the least. It can be especially defeating when comparing yourself to others and feeling as though you’re further behind from everyone else. Rest assured, these discouraging thoughts are not at all a reflection of reality! In swimming lessons (and most other parts of life), the journey is so much more important than the destination, and we strive to help our students and families remember that.

At Russell Aquatics, we love to celebrate the little victories!

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Without the small moments of success, the bigger ones are simply not possible. That’s why we believe not nailing something on the first try is not always a bad thing. We often hear concern when a child needs to take a second or third attempt at a level, but there’s no shame in this! In fact, sometimes it’s for the best as it allows a student even more opportunities to reinforce and perfect their skills.

Students and parents at Russell Aquatics have been introduced to skill trees, which are an online record of the skills and progress completed in the level they are working towards. Instructors update skill trees online throughout the session and parents are able to log on and see the progress made by their child within a session. This allows parents to see that their children are making progress throughout a session even if they don’t complete a level and get a sticker or a badge. Parents are also emailed big milestones within a level like making an endurance swim or doing their first roll over so they can celebrate the successes with their children as well!

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There are so many reasons why progress is more important than the final badge. A badge signifies the completion of a level, and each level is comprised of a series of progressions that the student must make their way through. Without the progressions made in each level, skills within the next level would not be able to be achieved and the foundation to build on with new skills like front crawl would to not be an achievable goal.

Finally, the most important reason comes down to why we take swimming lessons in the first place. Ultimately, swimming is a necessarily skill that everyone should know. Accidents and deaths caused by drowning are almost entirely preventable by knowing how to swim. That’s why progress is so fundamentally important – it shows a continued dedication to keeping yourself and/or your children safe. If we rush to get through each stage of the program, we may end up missing the bigger picture.

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This is why we aim to consistently recognize all milestones at Russell Aquatics, not just the biggest ones. Whether it’s a moment of courage or the completion of endurance swim, we have a ribbon that commemorates any accomplishment! We always want our students to feel proud of their achievements, no matter the size or the frequency. Success comes in all shapes and sizes, and that deserves to be celebrated at every step of a student’s swimming journey – and it’ll make getting that well-earned badge that much sweeter.

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