Swimming Ideas Podcast 014: Teaching Adults to Swim

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Be patient


Ask where they are comfortable, drop down the checklist:

  • Go underwater?
    • Face, eyes, blow bubbles
  • Front Glide?
    • With Face in
  • Back Glide?
    • Relaxed ears in water
    • Hips near surface
    • Legs kicking
  • Front Crawl
  • Back Crawl


Remember be patient Start slow, be gentle and give clear incremental directions.



  • Doing a front glide
    • Common issues:
      • Fear of falling
      • Fear of not being able to breathe
      • Fear of not being able to stand up
    • Work on how to get underwater and glide AND how to recover
      • How to recover is just as important
        • Teach how to rotate and push water with hands to get feet under you
      • Do exercises where they learn how to push the water to move their body.
        • May seem trivial but necessary to learn
    • After teaching how to be comfortable getting feet underneath them move onto next incremental step.
      • How to get body line and position
      • How to kick
      • Right placement of face: look straight down.


Important to remember: Start at the beginning, teach things you may think are trivial. Be explicit, take it slow, and attempt to identify fear or pain points. Use repetition and a gentle support to prod them through to next step. Break down each skill until you find their hesitation and do a repetitive action to address that fear directly.


Better swimming.
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