5 minute read
Have you ever sat poolside and wondered what it takes to become a swimming teacher/coach? Well, let me share all the details with you and open your eyes to a whole new world (and possibly a new career).
Who can become a swimming teacher/coach?
Anyone (over 18 years old), who has a passion for teaching or working with people! Apart from specific qualifications such as the Swimming Teacher courses from Swim Ireland or Water Safety Ireland, there aren’t other pre-requisites.
At Diana’s Swim Academy we recruit people who aren’t fully qualified and have only the Level 1 Assistant Swimming Teacher qualification but want to work with us. We help people to get the right qualifications and extra inhouse training is given to every swimming teacher/coach that works with us. Currently, all our swimming teachers/coaches are fully qualified as either a swimming teacher, coach and/or baby and preschool swimming teacher. They’re also qualified lifeguards, insured, garda vetted and have completed child protection courses alongside extra inhouse training. Some of our team didn’t know much about swimming at the beginning but believe me, they’re now fantastic swimming teachers/coaches. The children and parents absolutely adore them and they’re delivering great results teaching babies, toddlers, children and adults.
What makes a good swimming teacher/coach?
Passion!! Passion can’t be taught. It’s part of who we are. Someone can be highly qualified with lots of experience, but if they’re not passionate about teaching that’ll show. Swimmers definitely know if their coach is genuinely excited about their job or if they’re just doing it for the sake of it. The passion, energy and enthusiasm of a swimming teacher/coach has a big effect on the swimmer so a positive attitude, enthusiasm and passion are a must! Technical skills can be learnt, but passion can’t be.
To understand the physical developmental stages and techniques. All swimmers are different, so teacher/coaches need to know how to adapt to swimmer’s different needs. This can be taught.
Being open to feedback and continuous learning. A good coach must enjoy learning and have an interest in psychology and understanding why people do what they do and feel how they feel. They must also know how to respond most effectively. Being aware of people’s body language and learning styles are all traits that make a good swimming teacher/coach.
Aside from technical knowledge, coaches need skills like teamwork, time management, creative thinking and communication. On a daily basis, coaches can speak with swimmers, parents, teammates and venue staff so they need to have strong communication and problem-solving skills.
Slightly different skills are needed when teaching different types of lessons. For example:
Baby/Toddler & Parent Swimming Lessons – coaches must be confident with babies as well as well as able to respond effectively to parents who are often parents are just as nervous as the babies. A good coach will also know which tone to use depending on the baby’s mood and how they respond to specific exercises. A different baby & pre-school swimming teacher qualification needed. This is learnable.
Children Swimming Lessons – a good coach will have lots of energy and be enthusiastic to keep up with the children’s excitement and energy. Children in the same class may have different skill levels so a good coach will recognise this and slightly adapt the skill to meet the child’s needs or to stretch them out their comfort zone. Gaining a child’s trust is also a key skill to have as once the child trusts the coach, they’re able to progress much quicker. This is learnable.
Adult Swimming Lessons – a good coach will be able to connect and communicate with all types of people quickly. They’ll have the ability to gain the swimmer’s trust, show empathy, as well as have fun. Sometimes adult swimmers just want to have a few minutes of chit chat before they move onto a new skill. A good coach will recognise which swimmers ‘need’ this type of break and which swimmers just ‘want to get on with it’. It’s also important to note that adult swimmers come with different backgrounds and experiences of swimming, as well as different goals. A good coach will take the time to find out these things at the beginning so they can tailor the private swimming lesson to the individual.
Benefits of becoming a swimming teacher/coach
Highly rewarding job
Flexible hours that can fit around family life
A nice working environment where every day is different
On the job training and continuous learning
Excellent rate of pay with less working hours per week
Opportunity to progress into a supervisory/management role
A great way to keep fit and healthy
Some people may not view teaching swimming as a career and think that swimming teachers/coaches aren’t able to make a fulltime living with this job. This is far from the truth. There are many fantastic opportunities available. You just need to find the right swimming school. At Diana’s Swim Academy coaches can do a job that they love and live comfortable. They also physically work fewer hours per week.
Our coaches come from different backgrounds. That’s one of the great things about being a swimming teacher/coach. It’s open to all and the experiences and knowledge that people bring from other careers can often be used when they teach swimming.
I know people from different industries that have become swimming teachers/coaches. People such as lawyers, personal trainers, market researchers, childminders, school teachers, bank workers, managers, accountants and singers/entertainers. Even one of our very own customers decided to become a swimming teacher/coach after discovering that she enjoyed swimming with her children so much.
As you can see, there are lots of different reasons people train to become a swimming teacher/coach. The one thing that they all have in common is their desire to impact others and make a positive difference in people’s life.
I personally couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
We’re hiring! So, if you have any questions about becoming a swimming teacher/coach or know somebody that would be interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org