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1071 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 8:56 PM by Helotes Swimmers
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Jul 26, 2011 8:16 PM

Northside ISD--Swim America at NISD Natatorium Reviews

Share your experiences with the Northside ISD--Swim America at NISD Natatorium below Back to event details page.

  • alsimpson Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 26, 2011

    ABSOLUTE WORST CLASS EVER AND EVEN MORE AWFUL BUSINESS PRACTICES!!!!! I enrolled my 3y/o child in classes although she has been going to our gym pool for over 2 years. First day of class was choatic, over crowded (kids were shoulder to shoulder on the wall, not even enough room to swim), water was freezing (they claim its a heated pool), and classes were taught by teenagers who most of the time looked at each other shrugging their shoulders. We attended 2 of the 8 classes and I refused to take my child back after she cried and begged not to get back in the pool. I immediately requested a partial credit for unattended classes due to dissatisfaction with the program. I attempted to contact the head of the dept for 3 weeks and only received a call back after leaving a message  threatening to call the Better Business Bureau. I was denied by SCOTT S. who stated that refunds were not given simply because this was printed on the application sheet. So, in conclusion this business finds it acceptable to provide terrible service and doesn't think they are obligated to give refunds for doing so simply bc they typed the words NO REFUNDS on their application. Shame on you Northside ISD Aquatics. Just FYI, my daughter swims just fine without hesitation and no additional lessons at our gym pool.

  • understand Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 30, 2012

    I am warning the public to not enroll in this program. It is very poorly run. I enrolled my 4 y/o in the parents/tot class. It was hard for my daughter because the swimming pool was freezing. Nevertheless she got into the pool. Half the battle is trying to adjust to the freezing temp in the pool. The teachers seem like high school kids that are just there for the summer to make a buck. They were awful teachers and did not teach anything appropriately. I wanted to take my daughter out but this program is all about taking your money. She got a different teacher for each of the 8 sessions and most of them were not kid friendly. The other mother in my daughter's class complained and did take her 3 y/o son out of the classes and lost her money. I will be looking for different classes but Swim America at the Natatorium is just plain awful.

  • Helotes Swimmers Rookie 2 posts since
    Feb 21, 2009

    I have a different perspective than the other reviewers...my kids are 7 and 9 and have been in the program consistently for the last 3 months. I (mom) am a certified lifeguard by both the American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America, but have never taught any classes myself. My kids have also taken classes at the YMCA and Lifetime Fitness. My swimming "upbringing" was through the YMCA and also a brutally tough community program at an outdoor pool in upstate New York. It was tough because the program was free to residents of the city, but there were a limited number of slots, so when they said "get in the pool" when it was 60 degrees outside, we did, because anyone who didn't was kicked out. When you advanced to a certain level, you got to go to the indoor pool at the high school, so there was significant incentive to get through the strict program as quickly as possible. The YMCA hasn't changed in 100 years...the lessons today are the same as when I was a kid, and way before that. The lessons are relatively expensive, and with 4-5 kids in a 1/2 hour session, new swimmers get a collective total of about 5 actual minutes swimming as each one takes turns with an instructor. At that rate, it takes FOREVER to advance, but at least there is training going on. The instruction at Lifetime Fitness is similar, with the added twist that they want your kids to have a fantastic time so that the parents will shell out the $$$ for as long as possible. They really don't care whether your kids learn anything or not, and when it comes to correct form, they stared at me blankly when I requested that they work on that more with my kids. After all, they might not have a good time if they did that. Now, while the program at the NISD Natatorium is not perfect, I have to say I do like it much better than the YMCA or Lifetime. Pros: they have defined levels for the kids to pass, they fully utilize the 1/2 instructional time, and unlike some of the other reviewers, I feel like they run the program like a well-oiled machine. It has structure and the kids quickly learn how to line up behind their number to wait for their upcoming class to start. The instructors spend time making sure the kids learn the proper form for each swimming skill. Class sizes are limited, so I don't really understand the comment about classes being overcrowded. Yes, they sit close together before the class starts, but they each have plenty of personal space. Ok, now for the cons (yes, there are some): I agree that they are uncompromising when it comes to their policies and rules, so be prepared for that. Don't ask for make up lessons or any other special accommodations. The pool is maintained at the standard temperature for lap swimmers, which is a few degrees cooler than what is comfortable for a younger, less experienced swimmer that is not swimming constantly during the lesson. The solution to that is to get your kiddo a "shorty" wetsuit. Hey - I know cold, the water temperature in this pool is not unbearable, and it's only for 30 minutes. It builds character. The biggest con for me is that I do have to prod the folks in charge to make sure they work on ALL the skills for the level my kids are in so that they can advance; if they don't get a chance to learn the skills, they'll never advance. This IS a "for profit" group running the program, so you do have to let them know you're watching. I find that annoying, and feel they should be embarrassed when I have to remind them, but they're not. Again, no program is perfect. The opinions I've presented may not be shared by all, but I've attempted to be fair. I hope it helps you pick a program that's right for you or your child.

  • Helotes Swimmers Rookie 2 posts since
    Feb 21, 2009

    I have a different perspective than the other reviewers...my kids are 7 and 9 and have been in the program consistently for the last 3 months. I (mom) am a certified lifeguard by both the American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America, but have never taught any classes myself. My kids have also taken classes at the YMCA and Lifetime Fitness. My swimming "upbringing" was through the YMCA and also a brutally tough community program at an outdoor pool in upstate New York. It was tough because the program was free to residents of the city, but there were a limited number of slots, so when they said "get in the pool" when it was 60 degrees outside, we did, because anyone who didn't was kicked out. When you advanced to a certain level, you got to go to the indoor pool at the high school, so there was significant incentive to get through the strict program as quickly as possible. The YMCA hasn't changed in 100 years...the lessons today are the same as when I was a kid, and way before that. The lessons are relatively expensive, and with 4-5 kids in a 1/2 hour session, new swimmers get a collective total of about 5 actual minutes swimming as each one takes turns with an instructor. At that rate, it takes FOREVER to advance, but at least there is training going on. The instruction at Lifetime Fitness is similar, with the added twist that they want your kids to have a fantastic time so that the parents will shell out the $$$ for as long as possible. They really don't care whether your kids learn anything or not, and when it comes to correct form, they stared at me blankly when I requested that they work on that more with my kids. After all, they might not have a good time if they did that. Now, while the program at the NISD Natatorium is not perfect, I have to say I do like it much better than the YMCA or Lifetime. Pros: they have defined levels for the kids to pass, they fully utilize the 1/2 instructional time, and unlike some of the other reviewers, I feel like they run the program like a well-oiled machine. It has structure and the kids quickly learn how to line up behind their number to wait for their upcoming class to start. The instructors spend time making sure the kids learn the proper form for each swimming skill. Class sizes are limited, so I don't really understand the comment about classes being overcrowded. Yes, they sit close together before the class starts, but they each have plenty of personal space. Ok, now for the cons (yes, there are some): I agree that they are uncompromising when it comes to their policies and rules, so be prepared for that. Don't ask for make up lessons or any other special accommodations. The pool is maintained at the standard temperature for lap swimmers, which is a few degrees cooler than what is comfortable for a younger, less experienced swimmer that is not swimming constantly during the lesson. The solution to that is to get your kiddo a "shorty" wetsuit. Hey - I know cold, the water temperature in this pool is not unbearable, and it's only for 30 minutes. It builds character. The biggest con for me is that I do have to prod the folks in charge to make sure they work on ALL the skills for the level my kids are in so that they can advance; if they don't get a chance to learn the skills, they'll never advance. This IS a "for profit" group running the program, so you do have to let them know you're watching. I find that annoying, and feel they should be embarrassed when I have to remind them, but they're not. Again, no program is perfect. The opinions I've presented may not be shared by all, but I've attempted to be fair. I hope it helps you pick a program that's right for you or your child.

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