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How to Pick a Good Swim Instructor

Updated on November 23, 2013
Picking a swim instructor who fits your needs is important.
Picking a swim instructor who fits your needs is important. | Source

If you or your child is interested in taking swimming lessons or competing, you are probably wondering what is the best method for picking a good swim instructor.

Here are some things to consider when picking the right swim coach.

Consider Your Goals

The first thing to think about is what you want to accomplish in swim lessons. If you are looking to give yourself or your child swimming skills so that they are safe at the pool, lake or beach then you may want to look for group lessons offered by a city, community or church.

Sometimes there are also people that give lessons out of their home to groups.

But if you or your child is hoping to join a swim team or looking for certification then your goals are more specific.

Check for certifications from places such as the United States Masters or the Red Cross.

Consider Personalities

What kind of person do you work best with? Are you more of a no-nonsense kind of person? Do you need a coach that will push you to excel.

Or are you looking for a more casual experience in a relaxed atmosphere?

Coaches often offer different kinds of classes based on your needs. Don’t be afraid to contact the coach and explain what style of lessons you are looking for. If that coach does not offer the lessons you are looking for they are likely to be able to point you to someone who does.

Check the Website or Social Media Page

Most coaches and swim classes have webpages or a social media presence. Often these groups are open or public.

Join one or read the site and get a feel for the style of the class, the kinds of people that are taking the class and how active the coach of facility is.

Check for what kind of information is offered and what classes are available.

Put your city and state into google to get a list of swim classes available.
Put your city and state into google to get a list of swim classes available. | Source

Consider Facilities

It is also important to understand where you or your child will be swimming. Is it a shared pool with a roped off section? How much actual swim time will you be able to get if you have a large class and only two lanes?

Does the facility require a membership above and beyond the price of the lessons? Is it accessible? Clean? Will you feel comfortable swimming?

Consider where you will be swimming.  Does it meet your needs?
Consider where you will be swimming. Does it meet your needs? | Source

Ask For Opinions

Find other people that are taking the classes and ask for their opinions. Parents will often give you an honest assessment of how the class is going and whether or not they feel their child is truly progressing.

If you are an adult swimmer, discovering the rapport that the coach has with the adult swimmer and their ability to translate their coaching to the needs of the adult swimmer is important.

Ultimately, it may take a while to find the right swimming instructor for you. Don’t be afraid to admit that it’s not working and look for a change. The experience of taking swim lessons should be as fun or as challenging as you want it to be.

Being able to swim and enjoy the water offers you a lifetime of fun possibilities.

Checklist To Help With Researching Swim Instructors

(click column header to sort results)
Small Group
Adult Instruction
Learn to Swim for Recreation
Swim Team
Personal Fitness
Perfecting Strokes
Private Lessons
Summer Lessons
School Year Lessons
Use this table to help you decide what kind of swimming lessons to pursue and to give you a guideline of what to ask when you contact the coach.

Below is a list of websites which contain national databases of certified swim instructors. This will give you the information you need as well as explain what each certification means and how that will affect the coaching you or your child receives.

National Website Databases for Certified Swim Instructors

(click column header to sort results)
Information Available
Information on swim schools in the area with certified instructors
FINA certified swim instructors
larger database of certified swim instructors
set up private lessons at home or at a community pool.
Find the Certified Instructor that fits your needs.

What supplies will you need for your class?

Although instructors may vary their requirements, most will use the following basic equipment during class:

  • bathing suit
  • good swim goggles
  • swim fins or flippers
  • kick boards
  • good beach towel
  • swim cap for long hair

Ask your coach for any other specific needs or requirements.

There are many aspects of a good swim instruction class to consider.

Knowing up front what your needs are and what kind of coaching experience you want will save you or your child from disappointment.

Happy Swimming!

What is the most important part of a good swim instruction experience for you?

See results

Kids Enjoying Group Lessons at the YWCA


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    • LCDWriter profile image

      L C David 4 years ago from Florida

      Yes, you truly can learn to swim at any age. Some coaches will do private lessons with adults as well.