Coach Highlight - Kailey Morris Swim School Director
On any given day in our Aquatics Center, children coming to swim class are greeted with a beaming smile, a high five and warm words of welcome from Coach Kailey, our Swim School Director. Someone who loves kids and teaching, Coach Kailey gives the same patience, care and guidance to our littlest swimmers as she does to the swim team kids she coaches. We sat down with Coach Kailey to hear how she found her love of swimming, her favorite thing about teaching kids to swim and how she developed the learn to swim program at Chelsea Piers.
What was your first experience with water/ learning to Swim?
When I was 5 months old, my parents took me to Florida to visit my grandparents. My mom put me in a flower swim suit to try the water for the first time. Both she and my dad didn't really know what to expect as I was their first child and had ear issues. Instantly, I was in love with the water. When we returned home, my parents started looking into options to keep me in the water.
Has swimming always been a part of your life?
Swimming has always been what I have known and loved. Through life's ups and downs, swimming is one of the main things which has remained constant in my daily life. For me, there is nothing like, jumping into the pool and being able to take a break from all the busy moments of the day. I swam at a fairly high level through college and looking back I am not quite sure how I ever put in the number of hours I did to train. However, to this day, I can honestly say I still love swimming as much as I did when I started.
Why did you become a swim instructor?
I have three main passions- swimming, children, and helping people. My goal is to help children (and adults) find the same love and comfort in the water that I feel.
What is your favorite part about being a swim instructor?
I love seeing the expression of joy /amazement/accomplishment on a child or a parent when something new is achieved.
What is your proudest moment as an instructor?
It is hard to sum up one single moment. Each day, I try to make as much of a difference as I can- whether it is behind the scenes working on a new program, or in the water with a 3-month-old. I am proud of the overall program we have created and the difference we are making in children's lives.
If you had to sum up learning to swim at Chelsea Piers in 3 words, what would they be?
Safe, Productive, Enjoyable
Why did you decide to create your own swim curriculum?
I always try to think outside of the box as to what can help the greatest number of people in the shortest time frame. The Chelsea Piers Swim School's curriculum is a result of countless years of work and research which started long before Chelsea Piers Connecticut opened and continues through my daily swims.
You spent a lot of time developing the class method. How is it different from other’s?
We take the time to really teach the children the proper way to swim. Whether they are just beginning their swimming journey or are working on butterfly, our instructors are in the water with them, helping them work on the smallest details which can result in the biggest gains. One of the things which sets the Chelsea Piers Swim School apart from all others is our program progression. We have a class/practice and teacher/coach for our youngest little ones all the way through Olympic Trials qualifiers. There is no limit to what your child can achieve within the aquatics department at Chelsea Piers CT.
What is the biggest misconception parents have about children and water safety/ learning to swim?
It is never too early to start the process of teaching a child to learn to swim. The sooner children are exposed to the water, the less likely they are to develop any fears. It is also very important for children to be given continued exposure to the water throughout the school year even after they can swim independently in order to not just maintain, but also advance their skills.
What is it important for kids to learn to swim at a young age?
Swimming is a skill that can save your child's life. Where we live geographically, it is extremely important we teach children to learn to swim so families can enjoy their time near water knowing their children are safe.
Click here to more about Kailey and the rest of our swim instructors.
For more information on learn to swim classes at Chelsea Piers Connecticut click here or call 203.989.1300.