Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Swim Teacher or Coach What is The Difference?




So what is the difference between a swimming teacher and a swimming coach?

No they are not the same.

To start with although I have no statistic on this, in my experience, most coaches don't teach new swimmers. They are mostly concerned with improving a swimmers fitness and efficiency in the water. 

Good coaches spend endless hours observing their swimmers taking note of small faults, or sometime large ones and fixing them. They often spend similar hours researching performance tweaks that they can pass on in the form of drills or sometimes games. 

They are interested in getting maximum performance out of a swimmer and to that end are often, though not always, much more qualified than the average swim teacher.

In contrast although most students will never choose to go that far, a swim teachers job is to take someone form total non or poor swimmer to the point where the coach can take over. In other words they are about giving a student basic skills

It is not uncommon for teachers go on to become coaches and you can of course be both but the preference is to specialize as either a coach or a teacher.
Swim coaches usually get paid way more than swim teachers, but they also put in a lot of unpaid hours learning and preparing for what they do.

A good swim teacher is worth their weight in gold to a coach. Good ones will spend hours researching better ways to communicate basic skills. This is often one of the most difficult challenges yet also often the most satisfying. Since new students by definition have no knowledge of basic swim strokes, a teacher has no common reference to use to explain what is needed and how to do it. A good teacher will spend a lot of their own time researching different ways to explain the same thing to different students; since what communicates clearly to one may not mean the same to an other. Thus a good teacher sometimes requires high level communication skills and a lot of patience sometimes greater than that of a coach.

Some like myself despite regular requests may not be interested in being a coach. Very few coaches get to watch babies bond with there parents through water play and gain a respect and love for the water that they may never be able to any other way. 

Very few coaches get the chance to watch a child or and adult go from being terrified of the water to confidently and safely moving through the water.
Most importantly most coaches know a lot about swimming and are a great resource for swim teachers like myself but more than a few know very little about swim teaching. 

Swim teachers and coaches are a great complement to each other but they are defiantly not the some.

Enjoy
Richard

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts