How To Teach Swimming

Never underestimate the impact learning how to teach swimming has on the lives of others.

Imagine yourself as a swimming teacher for a moment.  

Little Jonny has just swum his first few strokes unaided.  His face is filled with a mixture of surprise and pride.  Surprise at what has just happened and pride brought on by the praise you have heaped onto him.

That pride and praise is equalled by his mother, looking on from the poolside with tears in her eyes, beside herself with joy at witnessing her son taking his first steps to mastering one of the most important life skills he will require for personal survival.

Who is responsible for creating this picture of achievement, pride and elation?  You, the swimming teacher.

You met Little Jonny a couple of months ago when he was bought to you on the poolside frightened, nervous and crying.  Clinging to his mothers leg with no desire to go near the water whatsoever.

After gently coaxing him into the water, he clung onto you scared as he ventured into the unknown.  You then spent the next few weeks installing his trust in you and his confidence in himself, as he built up the strength and stamina to make his own way through the water.

Now for Little Jonny, his swimming lesson is the highlight of his week as he walks with great speed and enthusiasm along the poolside to meet YOU, his friend, his teacher and the person who has taught him how much fun swimming really can be.

Is Teaching Swimming Really Like This?

Yes it is.  When it comes to teaching swimming lessons every child and adult you meet that wants or needs to learn to swim is different.  Some come with no fear and have confidence built in whilst others are very scared and may even have a genuine fear of the water.

With the right skills and personal qualities that you have learnt from a recognised swimming teachers course and from reading the right books, you can nurture and teach anyone to swim.  Helping people to learn one of the most important life skills whilst having fun at the same time is a very satisfying and proud feeling, and the added bonus is that you get paid to do it!

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:

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' - The Definitive Guide To Becoming A Successful Swimming Teacher, and learn:

Learn how to teach swimming

Effective methods of communication

How to motivate pupils

Lesson planning tools

82 Separate Pool exercises including relevant teaching points

Click BUY NOW to download your copy, or click here for more details

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.
› how to teach swimming