Teaching swimming is by far the most rewarding job role I have had in the leisure industry. As a swimming teacher you have the important role of teaching a swimmer a life skill. The journey of taking a swimmer from beginner to advanced and seeing their reaction when they achieve something new is priceless. Admittedly, teaching swimming is not always a plain sailing job and there are challenges along the way. Nevertheless, the challenging can be the most rewarding!
What does it take to become a swimming teacher:
Before you decide to invest in training, firstly decide why you would like to become a swimming teacher. To be a swimming teacher the following characteristics are important
- Ability to be flexible and adapt quickly
- Prepared to always learn – your courses are the foundations, use experience and the course knowledge to find the best ways of teaching – you cannot teach every swimmer the same way as everyone is different
- work well in teams – your colleagues can be a fanatics support mechanism, especially when you have a challenge and need to ‘pick their brains!’
- Enjoy what you do and incorporate fun, not necessarily through games but through your language. Speak to the swimmer in the language for their age. Include stories, television programmes – a Peppa Pig adventure (helping Peppa and George scoop ice creams for their friends (teaching front crawl arms) always goes down well!
- Time – similar to patience, allow swimmers to progress in their time and learn when to push and when to offer more encouragement.
- Praise – you are shaping their character, if a swimmer believes you then they will believe in themselves – give them the confidence
I could add so much to this list!
How do I start to become qualified?
The following qualifications/documents are required for becoming a swimming teacher – marked with mandatory and desired. Please note that there are two providers who train swimming teachers; Amateur Swimming Associations (changed to Swim England in April 2017), courses provided through the Institute of Swimming (IoS) or the STA.
- National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) or Teacher Rescue (preferred, some employers will specify either and whether they are mandatory) – these are your rescue qualifications
- Level One Teaching Aquatics (IOS/Swim England) http://www.theiosonline.com/
- Level Two Teaching Aquatics (IOS/Swim England) http://www.theiosonline.com/
Supporting courses are:
- Adult and child (parent and baby)
- Rookie Lifeguard
- Discipline specific – water polo, synchronised swimming….
- Pool Plant Operator
- Trainer Assessor
During and after your courses, I strongly recommend that you seek experience with a variety of swimming lesson providers. Always continue your personal development and learn the various scenarios you can face! Knowledge and experience are key to becoming a successful swimming teacher!
If you would like further guidance, interested in becoming a swimming teacher, contact Nicole today.