One thing to improve your swim instruction

There are so many different things we can talk about that can improve your swimming instruction. We could detail how using a formula like “Activity, Activity, Challege,” allows for more deliberate practice and lessons full of fun and excitement.

Or, I could outline how you should be self-evaluating your performance during each day and looking back on your actions with a critical eye to determine what went well and what needs to improve.

Both are excellent things that will help you improve your ability to teach swimming.

What is the one thing above all else?

Be engaging. Interact with your swimmers. Involve yourself in the teaching process. Be an active participant that gives commands and instructions but reacts and adapts to the effort and behavior of your swimmers.

You need to be present. You need to be there. You need to “do” stuff and then continue acting in furtherance of a goal: improving your swimmer’s ability to swim well.

Engagement is the lifeblood of effective swimming instruction. It isn’t simply about the drills and exercises swimmers execute; it’s about the connection forged between instructor and student. As an instructor, the most critical aspect of your role is to be genuinely interactive. This means maintaining a dynamic presence in each lesson that captivates and maintains your swimmers’ attention.

The Art of Interaction

It’s paramount to understand that interaction does not stop at giving commands. Genuine interaction means continuously observing and responding to each swimmer’s efforts, tailoring your feedback and guidance to their individual performance and mindset. The more connected you are with your swimmers, the more responsive you can be.

Involvement in the Teaching Process

Active participation goes beyond merely demonstrating techniques. Involvement means you are consistently part of the learning environment: praising accomplishments, offering corrective advice, and adapting your teaching strategies on-the-fly. This hands-on approach fosters a robust learning atmosphere where swimmers feel supported and motivated.

Presence and Responsiveness

Being present is more than physically showing up to the pool deck; it’s about being mentally and emotionally invested in your swimmer’s progress. Your presence translates into energy that fuels the session. Your focus should mirror the dedication you expect from your swimmers, as you “do” stuff — demonstrating, correcting, and enthusiastically participating.

The Goal: Improving Swimmers’ Abilities

The ultimate objective of being an engaging instructor is improving each swimmer’s ability to swim well. This is the yardstick by which your success is measured. It’s not about the drills you plan; it’s what happens as a result of your engagement with each swimmer. Being present and engaging ensures that every instruction, every piece of feedback, and every encouragement is part of a concerted effort to elevate your swimmers’ performance.

In conclusion, the most crucial element in swimming instruction is being fully engaged, which translates into every action you take as a teacher. It forms a continuous cycle of learning, progress, and enjoyment for both you and your swimmers, ultimately leading to more effective and meaningful swimming lessons.

We can’t force your actions, but we can help!

#1 Download the FREE Lesson Plans and Guides:

#2: Use these blog posts as a guide for teaching better lessons:

The benefits of each of the posts listed on this web page are:

  • Do you want to electrify your swimming lessons?: This post teaches you how to use two “super powers” in your swimming lessons to create a fun and engaging learning environment for your swimmers. You will learn how to use praise and feedback effectively to motivate and inspire your students.
  • The Teaching Swimming Workbook PDF: This post offers you a valuable resource for teaching swimming lessons. The workbook covers 15 essential swim skills, effective teaching methods, and swim program management. You can download the PDF for free and use it as a reference guide for your lessons.
  • The Lesson Coordinator Handbook: This post introduces you to another useful resource for running a swim lesson program. The handbook provides you with tips and tools for coordinating, supervising, and evaluating your swim instructors and students. You can also download the PDF for free and use it as a handbook for your program.
  • You can change swimmer’s physical behavior with your words: This post shows you how powerful your words can be as a swimming instructor. You will learn how to use positive language, specific instructions, and clear expectations to help your swimmers improve their skills and confidence.
  • We review the green section for professional development found in the Lesson Coordinator Handbook: This post reviews one of the sections of the Lesson Coordinator Handbook that focuses on professional development. You will learn how to set goals, assess your performance, and seek feedback as a swim lesson coordinator. You will also get some examples of professional development activities that you can do.

Better swimming.
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