Swim Team - Illusion of Choice

Swim Team – Letting swimmers choose

How to give your swimmers the “illusion of choice”   I’ll begin with a story, because people like stories, and the substance of this article will generally be about what we do in our program and how that can serve as a model for others to use. If you didn’t know, I’m the Head Developmental […]

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Adjusting a game – Bake a Cake

About 40 minutes ago I got out of the water and gave ‘hi-fives’ to the kids from my class, and said, “Well done today, come back next week.” It was not the easiest class. They were all the same “level” in what we call level 2, but they were very new to swimming, and reluctant […]

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Swim lesson update

Swim Lesson Update

We had swim lessons yesterday and I wanted to give you an opportunity to learn from good ideas and some mistakes. In reading this you will learn about how we set up a weekday swim lesson that is open to 5-year-olds and older that can go underwater. The goal of this class is to introduce […]

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SIP 055 artwork

SIP 055: “The one thing,” the Breaststroke kick chair, and games – An interview with Karis Mount

Everyone has a unique story to tell about their time teaching or participating in swimming. There are lessons to learn from both participants talking about what they went through as swimmers, and stories to remember from people talking about their time teaching. We all have useful and shareable tidbits that others may benefit from. You […]

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SIP 054 Artwork

SIP 054: Merging preschool teaching with swim lessons – An interview with Jennifer Butler

Swim instruction is teaching Jennifer Butler of Roots Aquatics is awesome. She is an experienced preschool teacher, swimming veteran, and expert swim instructor. Jenn is the Aquatic Coordinator at Roots Aquatics and Fitness Center where she trains lifeguards and swim instructors, teaches lessons, does the schedule, and writes a staff only blog. This summer she’ll […]

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SIP 053

SIP 053: Calling podcast Guests

Are you ready to share your story?   You can join the podcast as a guest by submitting a form here: https://goo.gl/forms/1rE1r173RYX6GVgo1   Qualifications: Swimming experience Currently teaching or running swim lessons Swim Coach Involved in swim lesson management or administration   We want to hear your story. What unique things do you do in your […]

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Are Make-up classes Good, or Bad-

Make-up Classes: Good or Bad

Do you offer make-up classes? Whether you do or not, I’m certain that you’ve heard about them. It is a relatively controversial thing in the swim lesson community. Some people hate them, others tolerate them, and some embrace the concept. Where do you fall? Let us know on twitter: Make-ups are not good for anyone […]

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Balancing Discipline and Fun

Finding a balance between fun and discipline

You have taught swim lessons to young kids before, and you’ve likely tried to teach your new swim instructor staff how to strike a balance between fun and learning. But how much time have you spent thinking about how to balance the two in your own classes? Have you considered teaching someone else to instinctively […]

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Is American Red Cross Level 1

Are your ARC lessons efficient?

The most popular swim lesson program is the American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim. I grew up teaching them, and was even certified as a Water Safety Instructor, ARC’s version for advanced swim instructor training. I remember feeling so official, so empowered and enthusiastic about finally being able to “sign the cards.” And then I filled out […]

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Level 4 feature

Level 4

Swimming Ideas: Level 4 Distance, Competitive, IM Minimum Ages: 3 years old, though typically 5-8 At this point, in level 4, participants need to be comfortable moving in the water independently. They should be able to swim front crawl with breathing to the side for at least five to ten body lengths without stopping. Generally, it […]

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Level 3 feature

Level 3

Swimming Ideas: Level 3 Breathing, Breaststroke, Fly   Minimum Ages: 3 years old, though typically 4-5 Participants in level 3 should be comfortable going underwater on their own, gliding through the water on their front and back without support, and understand the concept of using their arms and feet to provide propulsion, or forward movement through […]

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Level 2 Feature

Level 2

Swimming Ideas: Level 2 Streamlines, and the Crawls   Minimum Ages: 3 years old. Participants should be able to stand on their own, understand language, and have control of their limbs, and ability to follow directions. Swimmer must be able to go underwater repeatedly on their own, and be comfortable doing things with the instructor. Quick […]

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Level 1 feature

Level 1

Swimming Ideas: Level 1 Going underwater, and Support Minimum Ages: 2.75 years or 3 years old. Participants should be able to stand on their own, understand language, and have control of their limbs, and ability to follow directions.   Quick Test Criteria: Does the swimmer go underwater on their own? Testable Skills Go underwater unassisted […]

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Swimming Game - Election

Swimming Game – Election

Category: Group Activity Core Skill: Swimming Knowledge / General Swimming Name: Election! We played this game on the fly on November 8th, the night of the american election. With the results in, and Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by 3 million, and Trump seeming the next president, it highlights some of the interesting things about american […]

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Swimming Game – Baseball World Series

Category: Group Activity / Personal Challenge Core Skill: Swimming Knowledge Name: Swimming Baseball Were you caught up in baseball world series fervor? The Cubs finally won the series for the first time in 108 years, and in honor of their last game, we played “Baseball” at swim practice. It was AWESOME! The kids had a blast, and […]

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Swimming Game – Personal Challenge

Category: Personal Challenge Core Skill: Varied Name: (Category of Game)   You want to play games in your swim lessons and at swim practice. It makes your students more engaged because they have more fun, and it resets their attention allowing you to intersperse your repetitive practice with fun and interesting activities. Games are fun, and they […]

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Training Module – Removing “ok” from your language

Training: Removing “ok” from your language Key Points: This is the one simple fix you can apply to your language to make you a stronger, better teacher. Turn your uncertain requests into direct commands that make swimmers listen. Quick effective action to turn your beginning staff into more confident instructors. Set up your training This training […]

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Swimming Game – Flip a Coin

Category: Group Challenge, Chance Core Skill: Coach’s choice Name: Flip a Race You’ll need two large coins. Quarters will do. The coach flips a coin, then a swimmer flips a coin. Swimmers take turns flipping one of the coins. There will be four options: Coach Heads, Swimmer Heads Coach Heads, Swimmer Tails Coach Tails, Swimmer Tails Coach Tails, Swimmer Heads […]

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Swimming Lesson Guide – Giving feedback

Report cards, Certificates, Evaluations: The ins, outs, and positive sandwiches of giving praise and criticism Swimming Lessons Ideas was initially designed as a resource for my own program, and as an online repository for swim lesson games and ideas. I am so fortunate to interact with a diverse and resourceful community of people looking to […]

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