My little girl has been having weekly swimming lessons for a couple of years and loved them. When she turned 3, I no longer had to be in the water with her, the nursery rhyme accompaniment stopped and the hard work began. Needless to say, she no longer enjoyed the lessons but I was delighted as my role was just to watch with the other mums from the cafe window!
We started to read The Deep End by Rebecca Paterson at bedtime which sparked her interest in the swimming pool, particularly searching for the plaster in each illustration. We decided that we would give each other the thumbs-up sign, just like the teacher in the book, each time she completed one of her swimming tasks.
It's worked perfectly and she is now happily putting her face in the water, concentrating and zipping along with the teacher's help.
It's worked so well in fact that now all her classmates and their mums are giving each other the thumbs-up too!