30 Minute Swim Lesson Plan

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A typical 30 minute swim lesson plan should include some key elements.  Elements that come together to make a swimming lesson that  is professional and ensures progression.

'Prior planning prevents poor performance'

Swimming lesson plans are essential to the success and outcome of even the most basic swimming lessons.  The planning of a swimming lesson takes place in advance and helps the teacher to focus on the aims of the lesson ahead. 

Lesson plans help new or inexperienced swimming teachers to organise exercises and activities for the lesson as well as to gather equipment required prior to the start of the session.  This then allows the lesson to flow uninterrupted from one activity to the next in a structured, professional way.

10 Essential Parts Of A 30 Minute Swim Lesson Plan

The basic components of a 30 minute swim lesson plan should contain essential information about the overall session, details about each exercise and an easy way to calculate the length in time of the lesson. 

Swimming lesson plans typically contain the following information:

  1. Lesson type: the part of front crawl that this lesson focuses on. For example, Front Crawl Breathing Technique.  
  2. Level: who the lesson is aimed at if they are beginners, intermediate or advanced level. For example, Child Beginner. 
  3. Previous learning: the aspects of swimming the pupil is expected to have covered before this lesson. For example, basic front paddle. The pupil is not expected to have completely mastered an aspect of swimming but should have had some experience of learning it. 
  4. Lesson aim: the lesson objective or desired outcome of the lesson. For example, ‘to learn basic breaststroke leg kick’
  5. Equipment: the equipment you will need for this lesson. For example, ‘floats, buoyancy aids and hoop’.  The use of buoyancy aids for any lesson is at the discretion of the teacher.  Some pupils may need more than others. 
  6. Entry:  the type of entry into the water used by the pupils.  This should be relevant to their ability and confidence levels.
  7. Warm up: the warm up should be a swim or movement through the water that is well within the class ability level and should last approximately 2-3 minutes.
  8. Main theme:  contains the bulk of the lesson content and should be made up of practices and activities relevant to the aim of the lesson.  The main theme should be the longest part of the lesson.
  9. Contrasting activity:  this part can complement the aim and main theme of the lesson or introduce a new activity in preparation for future lessons.  Examples of contrasting activities could be sculling, treading water, retrieving an object from the pool floor, star floats or diving (if the depth is safe).
  10. Exit: pupils can leave the pool via the poolside or the steps.

The list of practices and exercises used in the lesson is also divided into the following:

  • Teaching points:  these are the actual instructions given to the class, usually verbally, by the teacher enhance each practice.  For example "point your toes", "keep your fingers together" or "kick from your hips".
  • Organisation:  how the class will carry out the practice, for example 'all together' or 'one by one'
  • Duration:  the duration of each practice or activity should be estimated and then added up at the bottom to give the total duration of the lesson.  This ensures the lesson time is used efficiently and effectively and that classes do not run over time or are not long enough. 
Example 30 minute swim lesson plan for beginners aiming to build confidence.An example 30 minute swim lesson plan for beginners.

Click here to download a FREE blank template.

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101 Swimming Lesson Plans

swimming lessons book

Ready-made lesson plans for swimming teachers that take the hard work out of planning.

Discover every swimming lesson from first entering the pool and building confidence to swimming in deep water, including plans written explicitly for adults. Ensure progress with sequenced lesson plans for each part of front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly,  aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced swimmers. Each plan also has an assessment grid so that you can monitor and measure the progress of each of your swimmers quickly and easily. These pre-made lesson plans are ready to go leaving you to focus on the individuals in your classes and fine-tune your practice as a successful swimming teacher.  Click here for more details. 

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