I know choosing any teacher can be hard. In a way, you’re putting your future in their hands. Your teacher has a degree of influence over what you are thinking and who you become as they pass on their knowledge to you. Now take that and add a physical skill that involves something many people are afraid of – water - and you have to take extra care in choosing a swim instructor. As a previous swimmer I made a checklist of what you may want to consider before choosing your next swim teacher.
This one might be obvious, but a lot of people overlook this and don’t check their instructors qualifications before they dive right in (pun totally intended). A swim instructor should have at least 2 years of experience, taken the specified courses and completed Red Cross courses as well. You definitely do not want an under qualified person in charge while you are learning how to swim as this can be incredibly dangerous.
Does their personality click with yours? Are they the type of person that loves working with people your age? It sounds silly, but your instructor’s personality has a lot to do with your enjoyment of the sport. If you have an instructor that is constantly bitter and angry, you will correlate swimming with the unpleasant feeling and you may not want to go back. They should also have a level of energy that will make you excited to swim. After all, any sport is better when you have a team and coach that get you pumped and motivated to keep doing better.
You definitely want someone who is passionate about swimming. Try to find an instructor who is a huge swimmer themselves, one who competes or loves and genuinely enjoys it. These instructors can relate to how you’re feeling and will transmit the same passion towards teaching you. If they love it, it is more likely that you will too. They’ll make you see why they love it so much!
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the pool, it is great to have a fun teacher, but it’s also important that they’re responsible. You want someone who will be able to act properly in any situation. Anyone who is accountable for your safety and learning needs to responsible for what and how they teach. You should be able to look up to them and they need to provide you with help whenever it is needed.
A swim teacher is a big responsibility. On the swimming side of things, you have to take care of people in the water and deal with potentially dangerous situations, but you can also ignite a passion for the sport and create a fun atmosphere. On the teaching side, you have to be able to mould the minds and bodies of the people who want to learn the sport in a way that is challenging and requires a lot of attention. Remember to always pick a swim instructor that will fulfill both areas of their job and will meet your specific needs. Don’t settle for anything less!