Steffi Saul-Ketzler

BabySeals Swim Academy

California, United States

“My journey to become an Infant Aquatics℠ instructor started in summer of 2006. A tragic drowning accident claimed the life of a little 3-year old girl that went to the same daycare as my 6 months old daughter. A family based daycare with only 6 families, all neighbors, more or less. The little girl drowned in the family-pool, with mom at home and the pool gate supposedly locked. Ever since I was on the search for swim lessons that could help even very young kids to learn how to swim.

It took another couple years before I ran across a video of a toddler getting out of the house, unsupervised, waddling toward the pool. He falls in, rolls over and floats.

Immediately I was trying to find this program in my area. My older daughter was now 2.5 years old, and I had another baby girl of 6 months. After learning that the closest instructor is about 2 hours away I was ready to put my job on hold and enroll my kids into the program, which was several weeks long. Then I learned that instructor would only be there for a few weeks in summer and it dawned on me that I needed to become an instructor.

After a little bit of research, and a long phone call with Judy Heumann in Boulder, Colorado, the closest training instructor I could find, I was ready to visit her for a few days to see how lessons are conducted, how a training would look like, and learn everything that this would entail.

This short visit left me with the determination to become an instructor. My husband and I planned as much as we could; we knew it would be difficult since I had to put my job on hold and leave the state for 6 weeks, leaving him with 2 kids.

The training was challenging, mentally and physically. Long hours in the water, the constant worry about babies and very young kids in the water (this was all new to me), having to study after half a day of teaching lessons, me missing my family like crazy (my baby had just turned one when I left), and, I’m not going to sugar coat this, Judy’s high expectations.

As difficult as the training was, I left Boulder with a great sense of accomplishment, ready to jump into it. I started teaching for a few days a week over the weekend, still working as a research biologist. My daughters were my first students; they learned to swim at age 14 months and barely 3 years. Needless to say they are amazing swimmers now.

After 1 year I decided to teach the IAS program full time. It has become my career and my fulfillment. I do believe I have found my purpose in life.

Judy has not only given me the opportunity to find what I love to do but also taught me how to run a business. She asked a lot of me during the training, and I asked a lot of her- endless questions and worries. Now I am grateful to have taken the leap to a new path in my life.

Judy’s support and ability to teach are amazing, and even after 6 years, I am able to pick up the phone or send a quick email with a question, and it gets answered almost immediately.

Thank you, Judy, for who you are and what you do.

All of your help is much appreciated.

Love you!”

Survival Swimming Instrcutor Training