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How To Become A Swimming Teacher

Start Thinking About Yourself And Your Career

With millions upon millions of people currently under lockdown restrictions in their own homes, now is the perfect time to start thinking about yourself and your career.

How To Become A Swimming Teacher
Become A Swimming Teacher

Whether you’re at the very start of your career, are looking for a side job to take on, or are thinking of a complete career change, it’s important to work in a role that encompasses your passions, interests and – of course – pays well for the courtesy.

If you have a particular love of sports and enjoy passing your knowledge on to other people, then becoming a swimming teacher could be a highly rewarding option. While you may think you need to be an expert swimmer to become one, you don’t, but it obviously helps knowing how to handle yourself properly in the water.

As with any kind of teaching job, working as a swimming teacher requires plenty of time and energy, and it can take years of practice to get good at it. In fact, while it may sound like a simple thing to do in practice, teaching someone to swim is teaching them a potentially lifesaving skill. Therefore, if the level of teaching is not up to scratch, then the level of learning won’t be either, which could have dire consequences.

With this in mind, join us as we take you through the three key skills you will need to get started as a swimming teacher.

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1. Qualifications

As with pretty much any other job, getting the right qualifications is imperative. These will not only demonstrate to potential students that you are a legitimate expert in your field, but it will also help ensure you get hired somewhere – a leisure centre, country club, gym, or all three – in the first place.

But, which qualifications should you focus on learning? Well, in England, there are two major awarding bodies from which teachers can receive their qualifications: the STA and Swim England (formerly known as ASA). Let’s start with the STA.

Image of a swimmer starting their breaststroke glide in a pool
Breaststroke Glide

In order to get started on your path to becoming a swimming teacher, you will first need to gain a qualification with the STA, to get paid employment. Starting on the STA Level 2 Award in Teaching Swimming, you will then progress to the STA Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Swimming where you will develop your vocational skills and ability to independently teach your own small classes.

The courses available with Swim England, on the other hand, include the SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant award, the SEQ Level 2 Swimming Teacher award, and the SEQ Level 2 Teaching Swimming to Babies and Toddlers award. Depending on how experienced you want to be, generally the more of these awards you can complete, the better.

2. Resolve, Patience & Understanding

Typically, swimming teachers work with younger children, teaching them the skills they need to become a capable swimmer throughout the rest of their life. With this in mind though, children aren’t always as receptive to teaching as an adult might be, meaning you will need to have a great deal of resolve, patience and understanding to teach them effectively.

As a teacher, it will be your job to motivate and encourage others to want to better themselves. In order to do this well, you will not only need to be enthusiastic and energetic, but you’ll also need to be understanding of the exact needs of each student you work with.

Not all students will be the same, after all, so it’s important to recognise when you will need to alter your style of teaching or offer more tailored advice, depending on the scenario at hand.

3. Organisation

Being able to deal with the demands of small groups of students requires a significant level of organisation. After all, you will not only need to keep a regular record of your classes, but you'll also need to plan in advance of each session to determine what you want to achieve.

As we've mentioned already, each student will learn at a different pace from one another so it's important for you, as their teacher, to recognise that and set time-appropriate, realistic objectives for them to achieve.

Final thoughts…

Becoming a qualified swimming teacher can be hard work but, with the right level of determination, enthusiasm and effort, it can be an incredibly rewarding career.

By taking the time to invest in each student you work with, you’ll not only help them feel more comfortable while in the water but you’ll also provide them with a ton of fun, laughs and enjoyment as well.

Author’s Bio

Mike James is from Redhill in the United Kingdom and has been a freelance writer since 1999. In this article, he is writing for Wickwoods country club and spa.

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