There are many swim schools out there to choose from, some are better than others.  This post is designed to help you consider what a swim teacher should be doing for you, so you know you are getting what you’re paying for.

Have you ever seen your teacher swim?

Perhaps an odd question.  But consider this – there are many swimming teachers out there that can’t actually swim.  Would you choose a driving instructor that can’t drive?  Probably not.

Does your teacher teach in the water?

As a swim teacher myself, I am often surprised by the number of teachers that stand on pool side, seemingly afraid to get a drop of water on them, shouting commands and instructions at a poor student in the pool surrounded by swimmers pounding out lengths.  Your teacher should be in the water!  If they aren’t, ask yourself why.  There are a number of reasons this is important:

  1. If they love what they do, why wouldn’t they be in the environment that they are trying to educate you about?
  2. We all learn in 4 different ways.  Visually, auditory, reading and kinaesthetically (VARK).  To teach anything effectively, your teacher should be applying their skills based on all of these learning styles.  Simply put, they should explain (auditory learning), they should demonstrate (visual learning) and they should give you a chance to practice (kinaesthetic learning) and provide feedback.  This can’t be done outside the pool.
  3. If you are nervous of the water, your teacher should be right by your side, instilling confidence and support to help you overcome these fears.  I’ve seen so many teachers on poolside shouting at nervous swimmers in the water.  It’s humiliating for the learner and therefor unproductive.
  4. Teaching swimming is a hands-on skill.  Sometimes a tactile approach is required for support and guidance.  This cannot happen if the teacher is dry on poolside.

So these are some simple points to look for.  In short, if your swimming teacher won’t get in the water, it really is time to look for someone else.  

Does your teacher appear passionate about their job?

Lots of people end up in jobs that they don’t like.  Swim teaching is no exception.  Your teacher should exude a passion for their role as that will rub off on you.  The learning process should be enjoyable, engaging, fun, interactive and productive.

Does your teacher focus on you for the whole lesson?

You’re paying a lot of money for expertise.  That is what you should get.  Once again, there are many swim teachers, standing on pool side, playing with their phones or smart watches as you are trying to learn (particularly in private gyms).  If your teacher is more interested in their phone than you, time to find a new teacher!

Is their advertising genuine?

I’ve come across swim school websites that say things like, “learn to swim fast, with us, in only 5-6 lessons’.  Check they mean what they say and don’t try and sell you a package of about 15 lessons.

We hope this helps you find a great swimming teacher.  Enjoy your time in the pool.