Questions You Should Ask Your Swim Instructor

Swim lessons should be fun and enjoyable, yet you also want to have an instructor that focuses on safety and knows how to help you reach your fullest potential. Parents also want to know that their child’s first introduction to swimming is conducted in a way that allows them to develop a lifelong love for spending time in the water. As you begin your search for the right swim program, use these questions to help you identify the ideal coach to fit your preferences.

What Kind of Training and Experience Do You Have?

A quality swim class in NJ has standards in place that outlines the certifications and training that an instructor must have before they can teach classes. You should look for an instructor that is certified in First Aid and CPR. A professional swim instructor may also have a background in competitive swimming along with experience in trusted organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the YMCA.

What Age Groups Do You Normally Train?

Swim instructors are usually qualified to teach water safety to people of all ages. However, if your child is very young, you may prefer an instructor that is used to working with children. Knowing that the swim instructor knows how to use child-friendly strategies to encourage your child’s comfort in the water will help you feel more confident when you take your child to their class.

What Is Your Coaching Philosophy?

Swim instructors should keep lessons positive and provide gentle encouragement that pushes your children to continue to strive toward improving their skills. However, you may want to look for an instructor that fits your child’s learning style. For example, if your child is aiming to swim competitively, you may prefer an instructor that is highly motivating. Alternatively, if your child is a hesitant swimmer, you should look for a coach that works at a student’s own pace.

What Skills Are Taught First to Beginners?

Although you might be excited to start swimming like a true athlete, effective swim coaches know that safety must always come first. New swimmers should be taught safety skills such as how to float on their back and call for rescue before they are shown how to perform a dive off of the diving board. This is especially true for children who may not be able to swim at all. Once your child knows the basics such as how to hold their breath under water, they’ll be more confident as they learn other swimming skills.

Do You Offer Private Swimming Lessons?

Private swimming lessons give you or your child an opportunity to work one on one with a coach. Since these lessons are tailored to fit the individual swimmer’s needs, it is possible to make greater progress in a shorter amount of time. While you may still enjoy taking group lessons, you should also have the option of taking private lessons as they are needed to refine your skills.

Swim instructors love what they do, and they take on this role out of the desire to help others learn to love swimming just as much as they do. By knowing how to assess a prospective instructor’s ability to fit you or your child’s needs, you can look forward to having the proper guidance to develop the necessary swimming skills for success and fun in the water.

Who To Chose For Your Swim Lessons: Where, When, and How Much?

The reasons for deciding on a swim school can be overwhelming at times. The amount of choices is abundant, but for many parents the decision they make usually comes down to where the swim lessons are, when the classes are, and how much they cost.

Though those are reasonable concerns, there is quite a bit more that should be considered and unfortunately, these questions below are rarely asked:

Experience of the Instructors

The amount of experience an instructor has says a lot about a teacher. It lets you know the passion the instructor has for teaching swimming lessons. It also lets you know that the instructor has had enough time to figure out what works and what doesn’t.  More than anything, it shows they have had ample time to learn how to relate to all kinds of students and what motivates them. Often times, lack of experience can be hidden by grouping teachers together, but at Into the Swim, we have never hire a teacher that doesn’t have at least three years experience. Additionally, most of our instructors have been teaching for longer than three years.

Guaranteed Class Ratio

Large group classes can be a nightmare. The amount of hands-on instruction to correct all of the students’ needs is next to nothing. With that, the safety concerns regarding large groups are highly at risk. A teacher can only keep an eye on so many children at once and the possibilities of unintentionally submerging underwater without being within arm’s length of a teacher is much greater than that of a small class.

Private lessons are not always a necessary alternative. Into the Swim only recommends private lessons to those who need them, such as students with special needs or those with extreme fears of the water.  Private lessons tend to put an unnecessary amount of pressure to perform on the student which doesn’t ever bring out the best in a student.

Into the Swim offers small group classes that are guaranteed to have two students to one instructor ratio. We believe the students get the best of both worlds in this type of class. Students receive the safety and attention of a private lesson combined with the group atmosphere, which relaxes students and brings some competition.

How Often the Classes Are

The idea of the “quick fix” regarding learning how to swim always seems to be a hope for many parents, especially during the spring and summer seasons. Many times, students sign up for multiple classes a week hoping they will learn two to three times as fast, but this is a common misconception. Most students do not retain what they have learned unless they stay acclimated to the water regularly and the proper techniques have become second nature to them. With that, year-round swimming is the key.

The Safety Conditions

Make sure safety is a main concern. It is recommended that all teachers should be certified lifeguards and teach in a safe, secure environment. Making sure you can observe the classes is also important.

The School’s Philosophy

Often times, swim schools don’t have a true philosophy, which causes instructors to teach any way they want. Be sure the swim school you choose has a philosophy that fits your beliefs and that the philosophy is more than simply stating they teach the way of the Red Cross. It is important that the school has a philosophy of their own.

 

5 Qualities to Look for in a Swim Instructor

swimmer

Are looking for a swim instructor for your children and don’t quite know where to begin your search? There are certain criteria that should be examined before your final decision as to which professional to use is made. A good swim instructor should possess the following qualities:

Training

A swim instructor should not only have expert knowledge in swimming but great interpersonal skills as well. Each student is different and a great teacher will be able to relate and adapt for each student’s level and personality. It’s a great sign if the instructor holds a lifeguard certification as well. You can rest easy that your child will be in a safe environment while learning to swim. Often, training within the company is a regular practice. This is wildly important as it ensures that there is a unified vision where everyone teaches the exact same approach.

Experience

Inquire as to how much experience this person possesses. The instructor should be able to tell you how many children have benefited from their lessons and how many different places they have worked. It is not necessarily a negative if the instructor has little experience. Sometimes that type of individual will have more enthusiasm and commitment to the job. You may have to monitor the lessons though to ensure that all bases are covered.

People Skills

A good instructor needs to know how to deal with students and parents alike. Their communications must be clear and articulate. Instructions should be delivered in the manner that the child can understand. An instructor can be very knowledgeable, but if he or she does not know how to effectively pass on that knowledge to the student, it may be best to keep on with your search. In mommy and me swim classes, an instructor would have to deal with both parents and children at the same time.

Reliability

The best instructors are reliable. They are available when they say they will be. They show up on time and sometimes even earlier. They work with your schedule to provide the best in services.

Specialization

Consider the reasons you want a swim instructor for your child. It may be to prepare him for a competition or teach him the basics of swimming. Whatever the case, it is important to look at what the instructor is best at and what age groups they are most experienced in dealing with. Some instructors truly enjoy teaching toddlers to swim, while others are most proficient at preparing tweens and teens for upcoming competitions.

As you can see, choosing a swim instructor or attending swimming classes does not have to be an incredible challenge. Just ensure that the preceding attributes are in place before making your first appointment. You want your child to benefit from the instruction and you want to have the peace of mind in knowing that you are getting what you are paying for.