Instructor Training Challenge: Find Your Folk


Find Your Folk

Core Skill

This challenge tests the participants’ non-verbal communication and grouping skills.


The participants will quickly separate into three groups based on their personal characteristics without speaking.


  • Have everyone in the room stand up and spread out.
  • Tell them they have less than 30 seconds to separate into 3 groups without speaking:
    • Have food allergies
    • Cat owners
    • Left handed
  • Do not define where they go or how identified. Let them figure it out by themselves.
  • Start the timer and watch them form the groups.
  • Stop the timer when everyone is in a group or when the time is up.
  • Have each group share their common characteristic and how they communicated it.

Difficulties participants might face

Some possible difficulties that participants might face are:

  • Not knowing or remembering their own or others’ characteristics.
  • Not being able to express or recognize the non-verbal cues for the characteristics.
  • Having more than one characteristic or none of the characteristics.
  • Having uneven or incomplete groups.

How this challenge relates to swim instruction

This challenge relates to swim instruction in several ways:

  • It helps the participants practice their non-verbal communication and grouping skills, which are important for managing and organizing the classes.
  • It helps the participants learn more about themselves and others, which is beneficial for creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment.
  • It helps the participants have fun and break the ice, which is essential for building rapport and trust with each other.

Icebreakers help build teams.

Don’t underestimate the power of these seemingly lighthearted activities. Icebreakers serve as more than just awkward jokes and forced laughter. They are powerful tools for:

1. Building Bridges, Not Backstrokes: Let’s face it, walking into a room full of new faces can be intimidating. Icebreakers help ease those first-meeting jitters by creating a space for shared experiences and laughter. They spark conversations, reveal common interests, and forge initial connections that pave the way for deeper bonds throughout the training.

2. Setting the Tone for a Positive Pool: The right icebreaker sets the stage for the entire training. Choose one that’s energetic and engaging, and you’ll instantly establish a fun and collaborative atmosphere. This positive energy translates into active participation, open communication, and a more enjoyable learning experience for everyone.

3. More Than Just a One-Time Dip: Don’t relegate icebreakers to the first meeting. Use them throughout the training to keep the connections strong and the energy flowing. Quick activities during breaks, team-building challenges, or even sharing fun facts about yourselves can foster deeper understanding and camaraderie.

Remember, these future swimming instructors are more than just trainees; they’re your teammates, your support system, and potentially, lifelong friends. So, dive into the world of icebreakers with enthusiasm and creativity. You’ll be surprised at how these simple activities can transform your training experience and create a team that’s ready to make a splash!

Bonus Tip: Tailor your icebreakers to the group! Consider their age, interests, and experience level when choosing activities. And most importantly, have fun! Your genuine enjoyment will be contagious and create a truly memorable training experience.

Now, go forth and connect! Remember, strong teams create confident instructors, and confident instructors create happy swimmers. Good luck, and happy training!

Find challenges and training activities in our Lesson Coordinator Handbook!

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Prepare your swim lesson management team with this comprehensive book designed for Lesson Coordinators and Aquatic Professionals running swim lesson programs.
From detailed descriptions and management tips for Swimming Ideas simple levels to a full 6 hour training block plan you’ll have everything you need to prepare training others to teach fun and effective swimming lessons.

Give your team a wonderful guide to bolster their leadership. They’ll be more effective leaders working with their peers. They’ll have a robust training guide to run in-services that develop your swim instructor staff to better results. They’ll learn how to talk with parents, manage swimmer fear, and do evaluations of swimmers and their staff members.

This training workbook has everything your leadership staff needs to run a fun and effective swimming lesson program.

You’ll see three color-coded sections that will serve as a resource and reference for Aquatic Professionals and the management leadership that support them.

Levels information:

  • Testable skills definition and details
  • Quick test criteria
  • Instructor need-to-knows
  • Manager pay attention to
  • Pool location suggestions
  • Level specific tips for better instruction

Covering the following levels: Parent Tot, Guppies, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4


  • Timeline expectations for 8 modules
  • Module expectations for staff and leaders
  • Leadership actions and goals
  • Participant goals
  • Activity, Activity, Challenge block plan for each module
  • Peer teaching guide and evaluation for staff training

Follow this guide in a full 6 hour training day or break it up into the individual modules for smaller in-service type trainings.

Problem Solving:

  • Tools for working with swimmers, parents, and staff
  • Guides on giving feedback, talking to parents
  • Quick examples and images for context
  • Walk-through for better management
  • Leadership guides to being a better manager
  • Recommendations for personal growth in aquatics

Develop the skills and knowledge to further your management abilities. Learn how to lead your peers, separate yourself from the crowd, and be an effective manager of swim instructors.

Are you a lesson coordinator who wants to run fun and effective swimming lessons and swim teams? Do you want to learn how to train your instructors, solve common problems, and grow personally and professionally? If so, you need the Lesson Coordinator Handbook for Fun and Effective Instruction by Jeffrey Napolski. This handbook is a companion book to his best-selling Teaching Swimming: Fun and Effective Instruction, and it covers everything you need to know to be a successful lesson coordinator. You will learn how to:

  • Use a simple and clear level structure that covers all the essential swimming skills from Parent Tot to Level 4.
  • Train your instructors on how to set expectations, review skills, set up classes, use command language, give feedback, use teaching methods, address fear, and use peer teaching.
  • Solve common problems such as level assessments, evaluations, parent communication, fear, and staff management.
  • Use swimming and meditation as a way to improve your well-being and performance.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get the ultimate handbook for lesson coordinators. Order your copy today and take your swimming program to the next level!

  • The PDF is a handbook for lesson coordinators who are responsible for fun and effective instruction in swimming lessons and swim teams.
  • The handbook is a complementary book to Teaching Swimming: Fun and Effective Instruction by Jeffrey Napolski, who is also the author and illustrator of this handbook.
  • The handbook covers the following categories and topics:
    • Level structure: It explains the different levels of swimming skills from Parent Tot to Level 4, and the testable skills, pool locations, instructor knowledge, and supervisor tips for each level.
    • Training: It provides guidance on how to set expectations, review skills, set up classes, use command language, give feedback, use teaching methods, address fear, and use peer teaching for instructors.
    • Problem-solving: It offers advice on how to deal with common problems such as level assessments, evaluations, parent communication, fear, and staff management.
    • Personal growth: It encourages lesson coordinators to use swimming and meditation as a way to improve their well-being and performance.

Better swimming.
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