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Swim Communications: Helping Everyone Know What is Happening

Toward Better Swim Communications

Photo by Rinke Dohmen on Unsplash

I have spoken before about swim communications and things you can say that help students understand better what you are asking them to do; particularly young students:

Excellent communication is indeed key in teaching, especially when it comes to instructing swimming classes. It can significantly improve the learning experience for both students and their carers. Here's a summary of the key points for effective communication in a teaching environment, particularly in swimming classes:

For Children and Parent/Caregiver Groups

Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)

Use short, clear, and simple language when dealing with young children. Their limited attention spans and developing language skills require concise instructions.

Visual Demonstrations

Supplement verbal instructions with visual demonstrations and non-verbal cues to help children understand better.

Explain the "Why"

For classes with active parental participation, provide explanations for the skills and drills. Engage parents by helping them understand the purpose of each activity.

Involve Parents

Encourage parents to participate and assist in their child's learning. Ask for their input on what motivates their child and how they discipline them, building trust and rapport.

For Children in Group Classes

Build Relationships

If transitioning from parent-involved classes to independent classes, focus on building relationships with the new students. Get to know their interests and preferences.

Set Clear Expectations

Establish ground rules and communicate class expectations to maintain a safe and productive learning environment.

Short and Sharp Instructions

While these students may have better language skills, their attention spans can still be limited. Keep instructions brief and supplement with visual cues.

Explain the "Why"

As students progress into more advanced classes, explain the reasons behind certain skills and drills to enhance their technique.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

For Non-Participating Parents:

Keep Them Informed

Ensure that parents are kept informed about their child's progress and any relevant class information, even if they're not in the water.

Engage Parents

Use deck supervisors or administration staff to interact with parents during the class. Provide visible non-verbal cues like thumbs up and shout-outs.

Utilise Technology

Send email or text messages with feedback to parents if it's an acceptable practice in your facility.

Show You Care

Maintain open lines of communication to assure parents that their child's aquatic experience is valuable and that you care about their progress.

General Communication Tips:

Volume and Tone

Consider the volume and tone of your voice, especially in noisy pool environments. Project your voice rather than yell.


Stay close to your group and maintain eye contact to gauge interest and understanding.

Equal Attention

Provide feedback to all participants continuously. Use non-verbal cues, generic verbal feedback, and swimmer-specific verbal feedback.

Non-Verbal Cues

Utilize non-verbal cues such as high fives, thumbs up, and hand signals to ensure effective communication, especially in a noisy environment.

Constructive Feedback

When giving corrections, sandwich them with positive feedback to maintain a positive learning environment.


Collaborate with colleagues to brainstorm new communication techniques and phrases to improve your classes.

Effective communication is a skill that can greatly enhance a teaching experience and ensure that students receive the best possible instruction. By implementing these tips, swimming instructors can create a positive and productive learning environment for their students and their parents.

Which I think show the level of importance I give to communication with students about their swimming.

So when I came across this article called Communication Is Key, it was obvious that my interest would be peeked.

The author give some excellent guidelines on:
  • Children and parent / career giver groups
  • Children in group classes
  • Non-participating parents
This is followed by some general communication tips to incorporate into your thinking when talking to people about your swimming lessons.

It's a worthwhile read


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