Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Swimming Lessons - Thank you, Coach Jackie Nelson Doyle

Dear Coach Jackie, 

This is long overdue. Originally, I was going to mail you a thank you card but I also wanted to share it here so that one day when Ava and Elle ask who taught them how to swim, they can read all about it here. 

I am not even sure where to begin this post.
I remember it like it was yesterday. A swim instructor had come to our Mommy&Me class when Ava was a year old and was talking about her ISR swimming program. I knew that the ISR program wasn't going to be for us (even though I hope it works out well for those who choose to).
 I wanted Ava to have the life saving skills but I wanted something different and I didn't know what that was just yet. I went with my mother in law's recommendation and looked you up. You  taught her sons, my two little brothers in law (not so little now that they are 14 & 16!)  how to swim. Now, the oldest is an amazing swimmer for Cardinal Gibbons. You'd be so proud. 

I started talking to other moms and finding out that you were all the great things that my mother in law had said and more. You had been teaching for over 30 years, taught hundreds (if not thousands) of children how to swim, had a father that was a former Olympic swim coach himself, etc. It is basically in your DNA to swim and teach others how to swim!  ;) 
I also knew that I wanted private lessons because  Ava would be even more afraid if she heard other children crying and that would only make it worse for her. When I found out that you still did these private lessons, I couldn't call you fast enough. 

I am not going to lie: I was a wreck that first few days. As a new mom, it was really hard to watch Ava cry like that. She was with a new person and learning new skills when she was only used to being with me all day, every day. I may or may not have been crying on the side of the bushes as I hid to watch the lessons unfold. I knew that Ava was going to cry with whoever taught her so if she was going to be scared, we needed the best of the best to teach her these life saving skills. 

We stayed because I watched you remain calm with Ava.  I watched you reassure her and keep her safe at all times. You encouraged her and cheered her on.  As hard as it was hearing Ava cry, I couldn't help but notice that you have truly mastered your craft. You are about repetition, encouragement, safety, and skill. Watching Ava improve minute by minute was truly impressive. After 5 days, Ava knew how to swim! Of course, this came with following your instruction that we practice again with her for 30min each evening  throughout those 5 days of lessons and thereafter. We followed your instructions and kept at it. Practicing was key and her confidence and skill soared because of it. She was no longer crying but singing your praises. "I love Coach Jackie! I swimming!"  she would say and would look forward to her hard earned stickers at the end of her lesson. 

Once Elle came along, there was no doubt that we would be calling you back. Elle did amazing with you as well and now we have two confident swimmers. I say confident and not just two swimmers because there is a difference. A big difference. Kids can have lessons anywhere, but if they don't want to continue swimming after those lessons, then it leaves a parent guessing if they can really handle a life threatening situation.
Kids cry and it stinks for a parent to hear it. I can't imagine how to you do what you do... You stay loving and encouraging through each lesson and, in the end, you have set a child up for success in the water. 
Thank you for what you do. Fort Lauderdale's next generation of amazing swimmers thank you as well. 
Whether Ava and Elle wish to continue swimming only for fun or competitively one day like like uncle Tommy, our girls will have you to thank for their love of the water. Mark and I appreciate you  making it as easy as possible on us.  I can be a big wimp sometimes but having a true expert with our girls helped reassure me that they would thrive in the end. And they did. 

I could go on and on about you for days.
 I hope that all of my friends go to you once they have children. Thank you again for being such a sweet instructor even when the little ones are afraid and doubting themselves (and for being reassuring and sweet to the emotional moms like myself! haha) 

You have truly made a big impact on the McGuire family. My husband may not have been there to witness you teaching our girls like I was but he thinks the world of you as well. The proof is in the pudding and our kids are confident swimmers now. They love the water and that alone is priceless. 
Ava and Elle still ask about you and are excited to see you again when it is time to learn different strokes and become more advanced. 

We love you, Coach Jackie. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 
The McGuire family 







Hugs for Coach Jackie
Ava and I watching Elle's lessons from the window
Learning to "kick kick kick"
Go Elle Go! 
Coach Jackie Nelson Doyle's Swimmers 

Some common questions that I have gotten so far are:

Does Coach Jackie teach babies?  Yes, she does. The sooner the better! She teaches all ages - adults as well. 

How long are lessons?  Lessons are 30 min a day for 5 days. Coach Jackie also strongly recommends that you practice with your child later on each of those days for another 30 min.  (I recommend planning your lessons on a week that you can devote to those daily practices because they are truly important and necessary for success. 

What is Coach Jackie's contact info?

Call or text: (954) 242 - 8918

What if I don't have a pool for lessons? Coach Jackie actually prefers teaching from her own pool in Fort Lauderdale. Ava did her lessons in Coach Jackie's pool when she was 1 year old and it worked out just as great. She can also go to your own home if you have a pool for an additional fee. 

What is the cost for private swim lessons with Coach Jackie? Her specialty is teaching your little one to swim in 5 days. For 5 days at her home it is $250. (I believe you mail in $100 to save your spot as a deposit and you pay the remainder once your week begins.) For the 5 day lessons at your own home it is $100 extra. So $100 upfront and $250 once your week begins totaling $350. Worth every penny and more! 

Where is Coach Jackie's primary pool if we drive to her? 
3120 NW 67th Court Fort Lauderdale 

I hope this helps for those who have asked about Coach Jackie Nelson Doyle's info!  As you can tell, we think the world of her. 


  1. Wow, thank you Christina! You know I love teaching swimming. Thank you for trusting me with your girls, and for the very thoughtful words. You have a beautiful family, looking forward to seeing you all again soon! Love, Coach Jackie

  2. That's so nice that your children had such a great swim instructor!

    1. Yes, we absolutely loved our experiences with Coach Jackie! She is a rockstar to the McGuire family! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  3. Originally, I was going to mail you a thank you card but I also wanted to share it here so that one .... What is the cost for private swim lessons with Coach Jackie?



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