What Makes a Good Swimming Teacher?

When you have finally decided that you want to learn how to swim or improve your swimming technique, the next thing to do is to find a good swimming teacher. But how exactly can you tell if you have found a ‘good’n?   In this post I list the qualities you should look for in a good swimming teacher to help you develop on your swimming journey. Every teacher has there own style, but here’s my selection of important strengths to look out for.  

Positivity 

  You should get the vibe that your swimming teacher wants to be there and that they get enjoyment from helping you to swim. They are not just there for the money, they are there because they want to help and have a clear passion for swimming that is (hopefully) contagious.  

Expertise

  You should know within the first 10 minutes if your swimming teacher has a wealth of knowledge from the swimming specific terminology they use and their full body demonstrations. They may use layman terms to help aid your understanding (for example ‘rocket shape’ rather than ‘streamlined’) and explain the reasons behind why you do certain motions in the water as this often helps to bring about correct technique, better safety in the water and more empowered student. Knowledge is power after all.  

Patience

  This is especially important for students that are slower to get the hang of things, who struggle more with body coordination and those that have water phobia. A good swimming teacher will notice when a student is taking longer than usual to adopt correct swim techniques and will try different approaches to see which way works best for the student. They will never rush the student and will go at their pace.  

Understanding

  As well as being patient, a good swimming teacher will listen carefully to what you would like to get out of your swimming lessons and your main swimming goal(s). They will adapt their teaching to work towards your shared goal(s). They will not try to diminish your legitimate concerns or fears of the water, however they will help by empowering you with knowledge about how swimming is different to any other sport and how it can be a hard sport to master at the beginning, but with practice and dedication it can become the most enjoyable and worthwhile (as well as being a potential life saver).

Supportive

  An encouraging swimming teacher will tell you ‘great work’, ‘keep doing that’, ‘your doing great’, ‘your nearly there’. They will fill you with never-ending verbal support as well as appropriate support in the water, which may include holding a float whilst you hold it too, holding your hands whilst you swim on your front or supporting your back using their arms whilst you attempt to do a star float or swim on your back.   

Honest

  In addition to being supportive, they will set realistic expectations and give constructive criticism where needed. They will never tell you that you have mastered something if in reality you haven’t. They will be honest and let you know where you are going wrong and how you can get better. If they think you will need more time to develop an aquatic skill they will let you know and give a realistic idea of how long it can take to achieve it.   

Analytical

  An experienced swimming teacher will be able to quickly spot faults in your technique and quickly alert you to what you need to do to improve. They won’t let you continue to keep practicing the same faults as they will know that muscle memory plays a big part in swimming technique. Instead they will stop you, show you what you were doing and then show you what you should practice to be better. This way good technique is what is practiced and good swimming becomes part of your muscle memory and eventually you will be swimming correctly without thinking.   

Responsible

  A good swimming teacher will be able to control the lesson and for the main part stick to what they had planned, whilst being flexible if extra time needs to be spent on mastering skills before moving onto the next skill. They will be a comfort to the student to know that if they got into any trouble in the water that they would be there to help them immediately. Students learning how to swim put a lot of trust in their swimming teacher to look after them and help them be the best they can be, and a good swimming teacher will not take this trust for granted. They will treat the student with the respect they deserve to earn and keep their trust.   

About Me (Robyn)

  Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am new to the Swim Now team and am eager to get to know new clients from complete beginners to those who want to develop their stroke technique. I am based in Leicester at the Hilton Hotel. If any of you would like to book an assessment with me (Robyn), please contact Swim Now on 0333 016 5894.