Many families on the north side of Indianapolis are familiar with Stony Creek Swim Center. For years, it was the only unique place to take children to learn to swim. They have been in business almost 20 years. Their success is proof that their program, which focuses on comfort in the water as well as respect for the water, is different from a traditional gym or school program that tends to herd learners through the classes.
Stony Creek has two pools. There is a focus on teaching young children to swim. The smaller pool is shallow on one end with a limited deeper end. This is so important. My daughter has been through many swim programs but being able to touch the bottom of the pool has propelled her level of trust in the water and her ability to attempt skills beyond her comfort level. The second pool is a lap pool and used for upper level classes as well as stroke training, water aerobics, and synchronized swimming.
The second component that makes their program successful is the water temperature. It is warm. A bit warmer than bath water, having been in the water for a mommy and me class, I can attest to the waters temperature being almost too warm for my taste. However, it is great for children’s comfort level, they can focus on skills rather than being cold and shivering.
The third component to a successful program is the teacher student ratio. Typically it is four students to one teacher. The ratio does vary in different programs but for the youngest children learning to swim, this is the ratio found for classes. Having the same instructor in the class each week also assists in the child’s comfort and trust. We have been in programs where the teacher is different each week. Children need consistency.
After one class, my daughter came out the 30-minute lesson saying that this was the best class ever and she wanted to come again. And we have. They teach children without float devices like a bubble or vest. The emphasis is on being in the water and not relying upon other objects for your ability. I have seen measurable improvements on a weekly basis. Their techniques work.
While the swim lessons are fantastic, there are a few areas open for improvement. The front desk is a bit chaotic or rather scattered. I have been dropped from classes; I’ve had phone conversations that were frustrating at best resulting in me having to call back. I can’t imagine the amount of office work tracking all the classes, students, teachers etc… but I believe they can improve. And although they are nice, I wouldn’t classify them as friendly or soothing to someone seeking a out a program they know nothing about. I have been put off in the past and didn’t enroll in their program the year prior because of the office staff alone.
There aren’t any schedules. I understand that things change and change often but they know typically classes are given on certain days or around certain times. This information isn’t published anywhere, you have to call and speak to someone in the front office if you want to reschedule or change a class. Given my comments in the above paragraph, this can become frustrating quickly. Maybe it is the price we pay for great in the pool experiences.
The bathrooms are small and they appear to be going through some repair work. The floors are scrapped of their paint and a bit more rubber matting would be useful. The floors always seem to be wet and puddle with water. Larger locker spaces would be useful. What is available are small cube sized lockers that seem to be used mostly by the instructors. While they have added bathrooms right off the viewing area as well as curtained off areas to help the transitioning swimmers from wet suits to street clothing, the original bathrooms need upgrading.
The swim programs come highly recommended and they are always at the top of the list when discussing swim lessons for children. If you are interested in more information, there is limited content on their website.
Stony Creek Swim Center is located at 15550 Stony Creek Way, Noblesville IN 46060 and their phone number is 317-773-7399. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a good phone conversation!