How To Teach Swimming to Adults and Children

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Learn how to teach swimming and you will open the door to one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.  Having the knowledge, patience and knowhow to install one of life's most important skills and changing lives, is truly awesome.  

how to teach swimming to adults and children

The Basics of Teaching Swimming

Before you start teaching actual swimming strokes, your pupil needs to learn some basics first.  Those basics include:

  • Submerging underwater
  • Breathing out into the water
  • Floating on the water surface (not everyone can actually achieve this)
  • Gliding from the poolside
  • Standing up mid swim

All of the basic skills above are best practiced with an assistant or yourself, the teacher, in the water with them.  This will add some reassurance and confidence to their learning.  You can also demonstrate exactly how each skill should be performed.  This is especially important if you are teaching children. 

The Secret to Success: Character and  Personality

How is your character and personality?  Ok, it's a personal question, and one you may have never really considered, but when it comes to learning how to teach swimming, it is essential.  The successful swim teacher MUST be:

  • patient
  • calm
  • reassuring
  • understanding 
  • warm and friendly 

All of the above, collectively form a character who is perfect at helping to guide someone to conquer fears, overcome hurdles and make positive steps towards achieving their goal of learning how to swim.  

Once again, teaching children will be a whole lot easier if you have these personality traits.  They make building trust and rapport with a child much easier and believe me, without the trust of a child you're in an uphill battle. 

The magic ingredient in a successful swimming lesson is FUN.  Make your lessons fun and children will learn.  It's as simple as that!

Essential Qualities of a Swimming Teacher

There are many essential skills needed to be a successful swimming teacher.  Some of the most important when learning how to teach swimming include:

  • Effective methods of communication
  • How to motivate pupils
  • Effective lesson planning

Communication When Teaching

Have you ever thought about HOW you communicate, when teaching?  Some  points to think about:

  • How clear and concise are you?
  • How appropriate is your teaching to the age of your pupils?
  • Are you interesting and enthusiastic?
  • Do you ask your pupils questions or do you just bark orders?

For more information on these questions and others, click here.  

Pupil Motivation

Do you plan for motivation?  An essential skill for a swimming teacher is to be able to motivate their pupils, and that comes from a careful combination of planing and communication.  Consider adding the following into your planning:

  • Goal setting
  • Praise
  • Feedback

All of the above are great forms of motivation, when used correctly and appropriately.  Click here for more details on these essential aspects of motivation.  

How To Teach Swimming - The Essential Guide

Discover my book 'How To Be A Swimming Teacher', and get all the planning tools you will ever need, including  82 separate pool exercises covering all four basic swimming strokes.

$12.99

Click BUY NOW to download your copy of The Definitive Guide To Becoming A Successful Swimming Teacher, or click here for more details

Alternatively, click through to buy from Amazon.

Have You Got A Success Story About Teaching Swimming?

Tell us and share it with others to help inspire and encourage others learning how to teach swimming...

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Default Breaststroke Leg Kick 
I have a problem with default breaststroke leg kick with some of my pupils. I'm a level 2 swim teacher a have 2 boys age approx 8 and 10 that default …

Teaching Butterfly - where to start and preventing potential faults Not rated yet
In response to those who seek advice on teaching the butterfly stroke to young swimmers, I would like to offer the following notes for their consideration. …

Teaching Swimming and Water Safety to Children Not rated yet
One of the most important life skills Teaching swimming and water safety can be an enormously rewarding job. Being able to swim gives us the opportunity …

Teaching Toddlers To Swim and Water Safety Not rated yet
Teaching toddlers to swim: Safety in water It is said, babies are good swimmers. They have a pair of reflexes, which is also known as bradycardic …

How To Teach Push and Glide Not rated yet
How can I teach gliding to an 8 year old girl who is afraid to push off from the wall or bottom in shallow water. She won't extend her legs to lay out …

Tips For Teaching Swimming Not rated yet
I would like some tips for teaching swimming. I have a pupil with really good breast stroke legs but try as i might i cannot get him to flutter kick for …

Difficult Time Coming Out To Breathe Not rated yet
Do you have any tips for a swimmer who's body position is causing her to have a very difficult time coming out to breathe? Her head is very low in the …

Lost Confidence As A Swimming Teacher Not rated yet
I have lost confidence as a swimming teacher. I qualified as a swimming teacher last Feb but did not actually start teaching until November & feel that …

Teaching Kids How To Breathe When Swimming Not rated yet
I have a problem knowing which is the best way of teaching kids how to breathe when swimming. I need to know what is the best way. Do I teach bubble …

Head Rotation When Swimming Freestyle Not rated yet
I teach adults to swim, and am having problems with head rotation when swimming freestyle with a class of middle-aged men. 3 of the 4 are having trouble …

Teaching Swimming Lessons Not rated yet
My question is how to teach beginners to swim. I need an A to Z plan Sir. Please Help me... Teaching swimming is one of the most satisfying jobs in …

Teaching Teenage Girls To Swim Not rated yet
I would like some advice on teaching teenage girls to swim. I have volunteered to teach some teenage girls at my school how to swim. I am an English …

Shoulders Lifting and Rolling When Kicking Not rated yet
I have an adult beginner who has all the freestyle techniques OK and can put it together well. However he has a problem with his shoulders lifting and …

Teaching Butterfly Stroke Not rated yet
Many of the teachers at my pool have different qualifications to me, and many of them use woggles when teaching butterfly stroke. I was taught never to …

Parents Interfering With Swimming Lessons Not rated yet
I have a problem with parents interfering with swimming lessons. I teach at the local YMCA in my town. I have 2-3 year olds. Some of the students are …

Sinking When Swimming Freestyle Not rated yet
I have a problem with a pupil sinking when swimming freestyle. I'm trying to teach a young lady freestyle, but she tends to kind of sink when we add …

How Can I Correct My Pupils Kick? Not rated yet
I am wondering how can I correct my pupils legs kick? One of the new kids on my team this year is now able to swim freestyle, but her kick is still incorrect. …

Afraid to Breathe When Swimming Not rated yet
My student is afraid to breathe when swimming. She has controlled breathing and can stay in the water. Unfortunately, she is afraid to breathe on the …

Swimmer Moves Nowhere Not rated yet
I have encountered two swimmers who have a problem with front crawl back crawl leg kick. When asked to kick, their legs are kicking too deep and too …

How to Hold a Swimming Float Correctly? Not rated yet
I am wondering how to hold a swimming float correctly? My son is seven and has swimming lessons and that is my query. I have noticed whilst learning …

Teaching Adults How to Swim Easily? Not rated yet
I would like some help teaching adults to swim easily. Can you give me some teaching tips please? By “swim easily” I will assume that you mean teaching …

Click here to write your own.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
  1. Swim Teach Home
  2.  ›
  3. teach swimming