I tell them that the kids cry like crazy and hate it at first but they are going to learn to swim and that is the point! I love Ms. Cathy's ‘tough-love’ approach to swimming. That is why she has never met a person she could not teach! We love her and are thankful for her and recommend her to everyone!!”
“We wanted our son Gus to be happy and confident in the water, so when we heard of Ms. Cathy's classes and the incredible results they produce, we signed up immediately. Gus was just over a year old when he first took them and I have to confess I was not prepared for how hard the first week would be on us! When I turned up, a few minutes late, all I could hear was the sounds of kids crying. Hmmm . . . Gus was not fazed; he walked around to our 'spot' on the pool side.
Moms sat there and would each pass their child to Ms. Cathy (who was in the water) as their turn came up. Ms. Cathy would take each child, one at a time, and gently put them under water, walking backwards, creating a current towards her, so the child would 'swim' towards her. They naturally held their breath, no explanations were necessary, and doggie paddled their way to her. Gus was startled in his first experience, and by the second one he was crying. Then, as each successive turn came up he became more terrified, pulling away, screaming, and wanting to run away. It was horrible to hear him so desperate and so scared. And I worried: the last thing I wanted to create was a water trauma! I left that first class very upset and called my husband immediately on the way home - was this the 'right' way to teach him to swim? Later that day I spoke to a good friend who is a mother of young children and a swim instructor in LA. She reassured me that no water trauma was being created, and that truly, this was a very effective way to create a confident water baby, and a completely normal and natural response at the beginning.
The next day was worse. Gus was beside himself and I was so upset, not knowing if this was good for my child or terrible. On day three I insisted my husband come to check out whether it he too felt this it was too much. Of course, by day three Gus was doing much better. There were only a few tears. By day four they had stopped. We went to the pool each day of the three-day break, and just had a blast. Gus could not get enough of it. The next four sessions he did not shed a single tear and the rest of the summer was just blissful. Gus was comfortable and happy in the water - diving for rocks (with us) all the time.
Ms. Cathy taught us how to handle him correctly in the water (I suggest both moms and dads are present for this class because you have to be confident in how you handle them), so we were fully confident with him in the water. Unfortunately, we completely stopped swimming in the winter so by this summer we felt we should do the classes again. This time he was just over two years old. Lots of crying on day one, but by day two he'd resolved to be a 'big boy' and was super brave and shed only a few tears. Since then he's just too excited to go diving for his 'rocks and torpedoes.’ We're only half-way through the course and yesterday he and I spent the afternoon in the pool diving for over an hour and a half and he was giddy with excitement the whole time! 'I want to go under, I want to go under!' He simply cannot get enough of swimming and diving these days. Thank you Ms. Cathy. It was hard going at the beginning, but completely worth it! We have a very happy water baby!”
“My parents never learned to swim. I learned to swim in my teens. I now have a 2 year-old with a pool in my backyard. People try to scare me about this and I think to myself, "That is fear-based thinking." I'm not going to be afraid, but I am going to be responsible and cautious with my son, Luke. I took Cathy's class because I wanted to instill confidence in Luke--not fear. I want Luke to know that if he gets into a situation that is not ideal for him that he has the skills to get out of the situation and into safety. I'm so amazed with his abilities now. Luke took classes from Cathy at age 1 and 2. He'll be back again at Cathy's swim class at age 3. Luke knows how to swim to the steps or to the side of our pool by reaching up for the ledge. I can't tell you how much comfort this gives me. I have broken the cycle of fear in my family. And, my son has the skills to be a confident little boy in the water. I don't think that I'm asking for trouble. I think that I'm asking for knowledge and peace.”
“I heard about Ms. Cathy from my neighbor – a mother of 5 kids, some of whom swam in our pool with my eldest child. As a recent mother with post-partum (a large part of which came from my fear of my youngest crawling right into our pool when net was off or when staying at our lake house), I started my middle child in swim lessons with Ms. Cathy when I heard her story of why she became a swim teacher and why she practiced the ‘swim in 8 days’ program. I immediately knew I was in the right place and asked her if there was any way my 10 month-old could join the following week. She was empathetic to my post-partum fear of water around my children.
It was so liberating for me and my two younger kids, seeing them develop the courage to go underwater, take breaths on their own, kick and get out of the pool on their own. It was great to see their independence grow and my fear diminish. My 10 month-old was basically able to get to the wall or steps and get out after 8 days, and one year later, he is standing on the top step, diving into the water, kicking and using his arms, all in a very coordinated fashion. I have to help him lift his head to get proper air, but he is so proud of himself and so am I. I would encourage you to conquer your child's fear and allow them learn to swim in 8 days.”
“I can’t say enough about Cathy’s ability to teach swimming. Living near the lake and having friends and family with swimming pools, it was imperative my kids were good swimmers. Cathy was able to make them competent swimmers by the age of three. I completely attribute their ability to Cathy and her instruction.”
"We went on vacation last week and Will and Kate were swimming SO GREAT! Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher for them. On the way home from vacation, Will said, 'Mommy, will you call Ms. Cathy and tell her what a great job I did swimming?' He was so proud of himself! We could hardly keep them out of the pool - they are loving it. Below are some pictures from our trip. You are a miracle worker - we all know how resistant Will was to swimming, but now he is a little fish - amazing!"
"I wanted to share my experience with Cathy as my children's swim instructor. My first introduction to Cathy was by witnessing the results of other children who'd been to her for instruction. I was amazed at how young they were and how at ease and skilled they were in the water. We had just bought a house with a pool and I immediately signed my son up for Cathy's classes. At the end of his first week, he was swimming to the side and steps of our pool.
3 years later it was time for my daughter to learn the same skills. Even though she was only 1 and a half, she did quite well. She resisted a little the first couple of classes, but got the hang of it by the end of the 2nd week (see pictures below). But something happened in the year off and when it came time to get in the pool this season, she wouldn't even put her bathing suit on. She wanted nothing to do with it. I called Cathy. On our first day back this year, my daughter was carrying on so loudly I was sure we'd be asked to leave! Cathy convinced me to bring her back the next day and to let her be the "bad guy". Even though the next two classes weren't a breeze, they were definitely easier. And by the last day of the first week, my daughter couldn't wait for her turn to come around. (see pictures) She's swimming to the steps and side of our pool again with no problems.... She loves the water again and I'm so pleased!"
"Ms. Cathy was able to help my 5 year old son overcome his fear of putting his face under water after other attempts to do so had been unsuccessful. I was initially apprehensive and he was upset during the first two days of classes, but those two difficult days were worth the love he has for swimming now, and more importantly, the confidence I feel in his safety. He told me on the last day of class that he loved Ms. Cathy for teaching him how to swim under water, and wanted to know if he could continue going to swim lessons! Our experience was definitely a successful one!"
“I went to Ms. Cathy based on a very high recommendation that she had been teaching for 30 years and could teach my child to swim in two weeks (8 days). I was a first-time Mom the first year I went to the two week session (2005) and I have to admit it was a bit tough to watch my precious almost two-year old cry and be so afraid at first. We kept with it knowing that we had a beach house and were around water a lot and it was imperative he learn basic survival skills. By the end of the 8 days, he was swimming! We kept practicing and other parents were amazed. We attended again in 2007 with my second son and he learned to swim as well.
I have recommended Ms. Cathy to many friends and acquaintances who marvel at how well my now 2 and 4-year olds can swim. By the end of the two-week session both boys could swim the length of the pool and dive down to retrieve toys. I would say for their age, they are far and away the best swimmers I have seen. My husband and I joke that when we get to a big crowded pool and let them go, parents give us some really funny looks as if we aren't watching them close enough, until they start swimming. Then almost every time, someone will ask "where did they learn to swim like that?” I really enjoyed being with Ms. Cathy and think she is a great teacher and a great person!”
“We came to Cathy to teach our son (Nicolas) how to swim as a result of a near-tragedy. Our family went to a pool party at a friend’s house and thought that, although Nicolas was very young, he would be safe since we were nearby with at least 20 other adults and he was limited to playing in the Jacuzzi part of the pool. That mistake nearly cost our son his life. While chatting with some friends, I glanced over to check on Nicolas and was immediately engulfed in horror when I saw him totally helpless under the water with his eyes and mouth wide open. I quickly ran over and pulled him out of the water - thank God I was in time to save him!
We vowed then and there to teach him how to swim. Unfortunately, he was now afraid of the water and, as a result, he was determined to stay out of the pool. We tried to teach him how to swim but failed miserably. We even used professional swimming instructors to teach him but they likewise failed because they were unable to deal with his fear of the water.
Finally, we came to Cathy for her help with the expectation that our son would never be able to swim. Fortunately, she approached our son with an unrelenting determination to ensure that Nicolas would overcome his fear of the water and flourish in the pool. Nicolas kicked and screamed during his first lesson to the degree that his mom could no longer maintain her composure and had to leave the pool for the remainder of his
lesson. In addition, Nicolas refused to ever return to Cathy or her pool. Cathy’s patience and genuine concern for our son’s well-being motivated me to take him back for his second lesson - this turned out to be an excellent decision. Despite the struggles, the remaining lessons culminated in a miraculous breakthrough for Nicolas ... the more he swam the more his confidence grew and his fear of water went away. Our son was eager to swim by the date of his final lesson and even ran to hug Ms. Cathy - they formed a bond of love and appreciation which remains to this day!
Cathy has a remarkable God-given talent which she uses to ensure the safety of young children in and around the water. We are eternally grateful to her for the kindness, compassion, and personal attention which she showed to Nicolas - this enabled him to overcome his fear of water and allowed him to join the other children in the pool. Her personal commitment to our son made all of the difference in the world. We encourage you to utilize Cathy’s services and talent to teach your children how to swim!”
"My four year-old daughter Lauren is currently in Ms. Cathy's swim class. Prior to the class, Lauren was already very comfortable in the water but did not know how to swim without water wings. Almost immediately after the first lesson with Ms. Cathy, Lauren could swim a few feet on her own. In her second week, she is now swimming the length of the pool all on her own. She is also able to swim down into shallow water and pick up stones from the bottom of the pool. Ms. Cathy has a very straight-forward technique and has a very good re pore with the students in her class. She can sense if a child is scared and adjusts her teaching skills to that child's needs. I highly recommend Ms. Cathy to anyone who wants their child to swim with confidence! Oh, and I forgot to mention that Ms. Cathy has the coolest pool in Austin! And I don't mean the temperature." ~Jennifer, Lauren's Mom
My 10 yo autistic son went from being highly scared of the water and pools to swimming under water in 8 lessons. She was very considerate and pushed him just enough every time. Thank you Ms Cathy! Sally A.
My grandchildren, 2 and 4, just finished their two week swim class with Ms. Cathy. It was the best thing that I have ever spent my money on! She is absolutely magic. The 4 year old is swimming like a fish and the 2 yr. old is now jumping in and swimming to the stairs. The peace of mind that Ms. Cathy has given us is invaluable and I can not thank her enough. We will be back next year. I can't tell enough people about Ms. Cathy and her unique talent of teaching children to swim! Nancy M
"My 20 month old son does so much better in the pool since our two weeks of lessons with Ms. Cathy. Her approach is fantastic and we loved that the lessons were everyday so he really got acclimated to the pool and swimming. The first few days of lessons are emotionally hard for the parent and child but sometime around day 3 the light switch went off and he loved it!" Holly Whichard
"Thanks for all the great lessons with Linc. It was Amazing to see him take breaths. Now he is trying to tread water and dive under water for dive sticks. We feel much safer knowing he can at least get to the side. Take care. He was only 18 months old when he began taking lessons." The Cassidys
"Ms. Cathy swim was amazing! My 5-year-old who learned how to swim last year was scared to leave the step this year. After Ms. Cathy's class he is jumping in the deep end and swimming the length of the pool AND he learned how to dive for toys! BUT the most incredible story is about my 2.5 year-old daughter who had never had a swim lesson. After 6 days of Ms. Cathy's classes (in the rain and all), my daughter fell in the pool while the babysitter was watching the children. Just as the sitter was about to jump in-fully clothed- Savannah swam to the side and got out with no assistance! That right there made every penny, every cold, rainy day worth it! I highly recommend Ms. Cathy to anyone at any age!!!" Thank you Ms. Cathy, Kate Braddock
“All three of my children learned to swim from Ms. Cathy. This summer my two youngest (4 and 2) took class together. After 8 sessions, my 4-year old swims freestyle confidently across the pool and will surface dive in the shallow end to pick up a toy. My 2-year old leaps joyfully off the side of the pool, turns around and paddles himself back to the edge. He too loves putting his head into the water to get a toy at the bottom of the pool. People at our community pool are surprised to see a little guy smile under water. After having other people teach my children to swim with negligible progress, I returned to Cathy. She is firm and friendly. Her experience and commitment to teaching swimming are evident. I recommend Cathy to parents who don’t want to wait or can’t risk waiting to have their child actually manage him/herself in water.” ~Erin O’Toole Murphy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~“At 3 1/2, my daughter only loved the water if she had a life jacket on AND either me or my husband was holding her. Since we were expecting our second child and we own a very deep pool, my friends talked me into letting Ms. Cathy teach her how to swim. I had heard several horror stories of all the screaming and crying and begging that would ensue, so I almost cancelled at the last minute. But I realized that keeping my eyes on her and a newborn would be difficult in our pool and everywhere else that there was water.
The first day was every bit as awful as that - Isabella cried and screamed for me to help her every time Ms. Cathy got her in the pool. I wasn't entirely sure that I could handle another 7 days of this!
The second day was a little better, but there were still a lot of tears and fears. But by the third day - even before swim class - Isabella wanted to get in our pool and 'practice.' On day four, she and daddy were in the pool by 7:15 am and then two more times after that! She was jumping in and swimming longer distances - head under the water and all! She not only became very comfortable in the water, but was becoming an accomplished little swimmer!
I think that Cathy is a perfect choice as a swim instructor for any age - my 11 month son is currently learning from her!”
~Felicia Nash, MD
To view a video of Felisha's son learning to swim click here.
“After Ms. Cathy’s swim lesson my four year-old is surface diving underwater for toys and my 20-month old is swimming with minor assistance. Before coming to Ms. Cathy, my four year-old wouldn’t even put his face in the water. Blowing bubbles in the water had only happened a few isolated times after a full month of swim lessons at a nationally known facility.
Ms. Cathy was so calm, patient and firm with my boys. I just knew from lesson one that her method would work for my family. I do have to admit that it was quite exhausting the first three days. I spent the majority of the first few lessons handing my 20-month old to other mothers in the class while I wrestled my four year old back to the pool for his turn in the water. There is actually a picture of my 20 month old on Ms. Cathy’s website with another mom.
My four year old has sensory issues that make him over sensitive to touch as well as sound, so I knew he needed a teacher that was calm and firm. As much as he wanted to have fun in the water, it was not possible before Ms. Cathy’s lessons. Even hair washing at bath-time was a screaming nightmare that never seemed to end, but now he only gets mildly irritated.
Our family can now go to the neighborhood pool and have a blast. My children laugh and have a ball in the water. People often comment on how amazed they are that our baby boy swims to the pool stairs, climbs out, and jumps back in from the side with a huge smile on his face.
Thank you Ms. Cathy!”
To view a parent video testimonial click here!
**** ANY VIDEO SHOWING CHILDREN IN GOGGLES IS FROM THE SECOND WEEK OF SWIM CLASS. GOGGLES ARE NOT ENCOURAGED DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS.
Read more testimonials and recommendations on Ms. Cathy Swim Austin's Facebook Page or visit her Ms. Cathy's Yelp Page
Dear Ms. Cathy,We just loved your class so much, and we truly can't thank you enough for teaching Drakeson how to swim. This is our 10 minute video, compiled from all 8 lessons from the June 2nd 10:00 am class. We didn't want to sugar coat anything, so it has lots of screaming. We've been recommending you to all of our friends. All best,Lan and George(George is a Pediatrician at Dell Children's hospital. He shared that there is at least one drowning victim a week brought to Dell. This is why it is so important that his child can swim and get out of pool.)
"Julia, age 4.5 and Will, age 21 months. We've told EVERYONE we know about 'Ms. Cathy'. People at our neighborhood pool ask how does Will know how to swim so well already, and friends with 5+ year olds look at Julia's swimming and say "This is what she can do after just 8 lessons?! Man, we got ripped off by Emler." But most importantly, I feel safer when we take them to the pool and we can have more fun Thank you for everything you do for all of the kids. You really do have a gift and we will be back again next summer." - Jennifer
“Ms. Cathy taught both of my girls to swim. It only took two private lessons for Delaney – who was 3 at the time and is 7 now – to learn to swim. Before we took her she was afraid to get her face wet and would hang around the entrance to our pool. She would not go in with anyone. She went to Ms. Cathy and cried the whole first lesson and was swimming by the end of it. Then the next day she was swimming, confident and not afraid of the pool or Ms. Cathy. Now Delaney is on the swim team and winning ribbon after ribbon.
Marley who is 3 1/2 just finished her last lesson of the two-week session. Prior to her lessons, Marley didn't even want to be in the pool. She was afraid to go under. She cried the first three days of the lessons and then never again. She is an awesome little swimmer now. Again Ms. Cathy gave her the confidence she needed and showed her how to swim. Marley is kicking properly and using her "big puppy arms" and doing a fantastic job.
I have recommended Ms. Cathy to several friends. We have a pool so it was very important that my girls learn to swim and learn how to get out of the pool. People always ask ‘where did she learn to swim like that and so young?’ and I always give out Ms. Cathy's name and number. Then
“I first took my grandson Charles, age 4, to Cathy's swim class two years ago, when he had a fear of the water. The first few days of the class were filled with shrieking kids and overprotective parents, but by the fourth day the kids were swimming like fish, using their arms and legs, going underwater, retrieving objects from the bottom, floating, getting safely to the side of the pool. Cathy has the perfect combination of being totally the boss and also being sensitive and affirmative. She can be trusted completely, and has one end in mind: to make the kids safe in the water, and even enjoy it! Two years later my grandson is 6 and I signed him up for more lessons from Cathy, to make even more progress. She knows how to take a child from wherever he is and guide him along to the next level. And her pool is the coolest pool I've ever seen; you've got to see it! She designed it herself. We are so fortunate to have Cathy in our neighborhood. She is a treasured resource that we should take advantage of! And don't wait--even little babies can learn to swim, and without any fear at all.”
“We moved to our neighborhood about 5 years ago. I was nervous to be living by the lake with a two year-old who did not know how to swim and showed no signs of any fear of the water. I was also expecting another baby any day so I wasn't really sure of what I should do. I knew of the YMCA and other baby swim classes but I had never really heard of any type of success. Then I heard there was this lady in the neighborhood who could teach my child how to swim in eight lessons. I wasn't really sure what to expect when I showed up but I knew I wanted her to be able to swim. The first day was horrible (the screaming that came out of my daughter). I wasn't sure that she really could be learning anything. But slowly as the days went on I would take her down to the pool and what do you know, she could swim! And as the lessons went on and we practiced more she got better. I truly could not believe that my little girl was swimming and swimming well. I knew that by the end of the lessons she could save herself if she ever fell in the lake.
By the time my son was fifteen months-old he too was swimming with Cathy and now we have a third child who is fifteen months old who just finished with Cathy and is loving swimming with her older sister and brother. Our oldest is now on the swim team and is doing a great job. She just broke the pool record for the butterfly this past week. I thank Cathy for giving them such a strong and successful start to swimming. My older two love Cathy and love seeing her down by the lake. She has taught them confidence and safety in the water and I could not be more grateful. Know that if you are thinking of signing your child up for Ms. Cathy's swim lessons you are making a great choice. “
~Kandi Endres ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~