Swimming Teacher Training: A Ripple Effect

Have you ever had a bad swimming lesson? I know I’ve given a few. 

Swimming teachers can fall into a trap that causes us to fail our pupils. It starts on training courses.

We’ve been trained to tell people what to ‘do’. Most of us swimming teachers are (subconsciously) comfortable and (more consciously) well coordinated in water ourselves. Wrongly, we tend to emphasize giving people skills for the less important latter quality.

If you’re learning to swim, whatever your age, your teacher needs to help you feel comfortable in water. If you can make progress with that, the moves don’t matter, you’ll work them out for yourself. Like a holiday maker with a snorkel who’s more interested in looking at the fish than the style of their stroke.

The thing that teachers and pupils need to remember is that there’s nothing to ‘do’. Swimming, moving your limbs to propel you forward, is secondary to being happy in water, underwater. You don’t become happier by learning the right moves. 

There are a few, very basic, skills you need, which you can build on to develop competence. But they’re really not very technical. Learning to swim for an adult isn’t a technical problem, it’s more of an emotional, or even a philosophical, one.

Swimming teachers are trained to plan lessons, with outcomes. But the only criteria for success should be, is the learner feeling happier in water? If teacher and pupil work along those lines, things will continue to go well. 

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