Swimming & Technique

3 Reasons Why Learning To Swim Benefits Children

Swimming, it’s a skill for life.

As New Zealanders, we are spoilt for choice with our aquatic landscape. From sandy beaches and solid surf breaks to public pools and lakes, we are a nation never far from the water’s edge.

Swimming is not just a life-skill, it is an activity which encourages young and old alike to grow confidence and push personal boundaries.

Whether it is a toddler submerging for the first time or a child swimming their first lap, swimming can dramatically enhance confidence both in and out of the water.

Though the list could go on, here are a few specific benefits of swimming for children;

  1. Increased cognitive function for developing children
  2. Children learn to accept and respond to feedback
  3. Effective measure for discipline and goal-setting

1) Increased cognitive function.

For young children especially, swimming has undeniable benefits. The skills acquired from swimming are evidently physical, but the mental benefits from swim lessons are also widely documented.

Increased cognitive function in young children has proved beneficial in the classroom. Parents want to watch their children grow and excel, swimming is certainly a way to encourage mental and physical excellence. An extensive study by Griffith University in Australian has affirmed the academic advances in swimming children, which includes mastering areas such as reading, writing and counting faster than their non-swimming counterparts.

2) Responding to feedback.

While children who swim tend to excel in the classroom, they also learn to take and respond to feedback. Young swimmers adapt to new information and progress through more advanced levels as their skills develop. Accepting and responding to feedback is an invaluable life skill, in and out of the water.

3) Discipline.

The commitment and effort taken to master swimming skills help to discipline both young and developing children.

Children who commit to swimming a number of times a week are rewarded by progress such as more lengths, new strokes and faster times. Swimming is great for tracking results. Time, distance or even technique are effective measures for evaluating success.

There are numerous studies that attest to the mental and physical benefits of swimming, but the potential for establishing a foundation of confidence and self-assurity are surely enough reason to start regular lessons.



  1. I was amazed to hear that when children learn how to swim, it actually increases cognitive function. I have been thinking about signing my daughter up for swimming lessons, and wondered if it was worth it. If she could both learn the skill and do better in her studies, I would be very happy. Thanks for the amazing read.

    1. Hi Rachael,

      It really is amazing how much benefit there is for children learning to swim! There are a number of studies out there now documenting the impacts on motor skills, coordination and improved learning.
      I hope your daughter enjoys her swimming lessons!

    2. I would recommend that you definitely sign your daughter up for swimming lessons ASAP! I wish I had done the same when my children were young. A piece of advice I will give all moms and dads when they first have a baby is to get them swimming as soon as possible. It makes it much easier for them to swim from the get-go as opposed to trying to coax them in to the pool in their later years.

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