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Our Swim Lessons at Tom Dolan Swim School

Swim Lessons At The Tom Dolan Swim School

The summer season is here and that means pool time! We absolutely love spending our days at the pool. Unfortunately, this season also brings the stark reminder that drowning is the number one cause of death of kids between the ages of 1-4 according to the CDC. This statistic is downright frightening to me. My parents have a pool and we visit our community pool often so I want my kids to have confidence when in the pool.

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Tom Dolan Swim School here in Loudoun County, Virginia. I had heard of the school and their excellent reputation for teaching water safety and confidence to swimmers so I was excited when they reached out to me and invited us to try a swim class and learn more about the school. I took both Xander and Elise because although Xander can already swim I want him to have more confidence and be safe while in the pool.

About Tom Dolan Swim School

The Tom Dolan Swim School was founded by Tom Dolan who is a two time Olympic Gold medalist who wanted to bring a unique swim school to Loudoun county where everyone can learn the fundamentals of swimming all while having fun doing it! Their motto is “Swim thru life” meaning their goal is to develop in each person a lifelong and lifesaving skill of swimming.

Their unique approach to teaching kids how to swim is what caught my attention. They explained how children may have a fear of water and how they want to them feel comfortable in the water so they always have their pool temp at a nice 91 degrees as opposed to a colder pool that can cause you to shiver and not be comfortable. I also loved that they had custom pool ledges so that Elise could stand in the pool and hold onto the edge to build that confidence she needed.

The walls in the school are also designed to keep the noise out so that there is no distraction and you can clearly hear the instructor. I think that helped a lot while Xander was taking his lesson and Elise had hers because  Xander wasn’t distracted by the noise of the little ones he was able to focus on what his instructor was telling him.

Swimming is much like riding a bike where it is a skill you learn and just know how to do. Having swim lessons helps you to build that muscle memory for life. That is something I find necessary for everyone to have. As a Mom, it is vital to me that my children feel confident and safe in the pool and at the Tom Dolan Swim School they will develop that. The Tom Dolan Swim School strives to have everyone who swims through their pools achieve confidence and skills in swimming to carry them through their life.


Our Swim Lesson Experience

Xander was naturally eager to get in the pool but Elise, on the other hand, was a bit nervous.

Xander got right in with his instructor and began working on his strokes and breathing techniques. It was nice to see him having the one on one instruction and watching it “click” as he learned these new skills. Xander did such a great job with his breathing and you could see his confidence grow! Xander told me that he really enjoyed the lesson and couldn’t wait to go back! He was so proud of himself and couldn’t wait to tell his Dad about the new breathing technique he learned that day.

Elise was most definitely nervous getting in the pool. This is really her first experience with the pool since last year she was too little to remember. She clung to the instructor with all her might! I was nervous that she wasn’t going to be able to complete the class because she started to cry and ask for me but her sweet instructor was EXCELLENT at diverting her attention and getting her comfortable with the water. They used pool toys to get the little ones engaged along with familiar songs that they sang together. I think Elise’s favorite part was taking a ride on the alligator float where she got to practice her kicking. By the end of the class, her confidence had grown 100% all thanks in large part to the wonderful instructor she had that eased not only her fears but mine as well.


We absolutely enjoyed our visit to the state of the art Tom Dolan Swim School. From the clean and safe environment right down to the excellent and engaging instructors, the Tom Dolan Swim School is top in our books. We cannot wait to go back see our children improve their swimming skills. As parents, we feel confident in choosing the Tom Dolan Swim School to teach our children the invaluable skill of swimming and safety in the water!


We were generously gifted swim lessons at the Tom Dolan Swim school in exchange for a blog review. My opinions and thoughts are of course my own. Thank you to Tom Dolan and his staff for this awesome experience!



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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Shaydee | theshaydeelife
    June 8, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Aww I love this post. Such an important thing to learn

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