Use the best resources to teach effective and fun swimming lessons

Have you ever started working at a pool and been told to jump in and teach a swim lesson? Were you given any training or direction? Maybe the manager gave you their level sheet with a bunch of checkboxes on it. Did you even know what the levels were called? Polliwog? Level 1?  When you started teaching did anyone talk about an effective way to teach going underwater? Did someone review with you a couple great songs to play and how to engage a whole class? Perhaps you were shown how to hold a child when doing front glides so you can gradually get them to go underwater while establishing an emotional fun connection. Maybe not.


We can make swimming lessons better together

I want you to have a great resource to use whenever you’re unsure how to do something in swimming lessons. When you are looking to train your new summer staff, or get your school year employees ready to teach, think of Swimming Ideas.

You can take advantage of all the swim games, lesson plans, and tactics we use to teach great swim lessons.  If there is anything missing, or something you would like to add, please send me an email: or connect with me on Twitter: @swimmingideas.


Together, we can work on teaching better swim lessons!

This is the best list of tools we have that you can use to teach the best swimming lessons:




Swimming Games

Complete list of swimming games

This is the best list you’ll find of swimming lessons games online. Learn how to go underwater, find toys to play with games, and even learn what games to avoid. When I’m looking for a game to play, or just need some good ideas, I go here first. It is the resource page for all games and training in my own program, and a valuable constantly updated list for you too.




Swimming Ideas Podcast

The podcast episode, SIP 024 talks about Purposeful Practice. It is an in-depth guide to how you should be conducting your swimming lessons. Do you pack each lesson with actionable content? Is every skill you’re playing or doing during your swim lesson pointing to a purpose? Or, are you just wasting time with filler nonsense activities? Stuff your practices and your swim lessons with purposeful practice.

Episode 045: The importance of routine.

Establish your routine. When you do things in the same way every time within a practiced easy to expect framework your swimmers will respond. If you’re constantly pulling the rug from under their feet they won’t trust you and they will hesitate when you ask them to swim a skill. Find your framework, create and follow your routine, and learn how to do it here with this podcast episode.


Swimming Lesson Toys: Which to get, and the Games to use them

This is a supplemental guide to the Swimming Games Page. Perhaps of more use because it details the actual toys and tools we buy from Amazon to run our swim program.  Find all the best items like barbells, diving sticks, kickboards, and float toys. Check out each toy, and learn what the best games are for each one. There are some different games in this article than there are in the general list, so it is definitely a great place to check out.


Short Distance Cheat Sheet

Swim Lesson Templates, Guides, Plans: what they are and how to create your own


Get the best information about swim lesson templates, guides, and plans. We take you through all the different options that you can find. Want to know how to use swim lesson plans to help your swim instructors teach a class? This is the place you want to go. Curious about how you can use lesson plans in and out of the pool or water? Read this article. We go in depth on how to create your own swim lesson plans using a variety of tools like tables, infographics, and lists.


 What to do if a child is crying

You will have a crying child in your swim lessons. The water is cold, the air is frigid, or maybe its too hot. Mommy isn’t in sight and she threw the kid to the instructor and left. What do you do? Follow these great tips and tricks to calm a crying child and reestablish a normal volume in your lessons.


Teaching Adults and Teens guide

This guide will help you teach swimming lessons to teenage and adult beginners. It is intended to help new swim instructors teach well to a different type of student: adults.  Teenagers are included as they are generally mature enough in this type of learning to be similar to how adults learn.



Parent Tot Songs


Fill your beginning parents and baby classes with wonderful productive songs. These are designed to make your program successful and fun. Follow the lyrics along with general instruction on how to associate the lyrics to specific swimming skills. Learn how to sing “Motorboat” and change the rate of your kicking to teach forward motion to infants and toddlers. These rea the go to songs for your parent and child classes.



SLI Swim Lesson Program products

We have the most effective tools for better swim lessons: laminated lesson plans, and online lesson management. If you just want a copy of all the lesson plans shipped to you, check out the physical swim lesson plans. We’ll ship them anywhere. If you want the digital files, the adobe illustrator documents to place your own customization of them you can. Also get access to our online lesson management, developmental swim team practices, and our swim team recognition system. Get it all with one monthly subscription and a 25% discount for physical lesson plans.



This is the easiest way to see everything we have ever posted: the complete text only version list. Find any post, podcast, page, or document right here when you visit our archives. They’re not musty and old like this picture! Instead, you could call it the evergreen page, as the information there is always relevant and helpful to your swim lesson program. Can’t find it on the site, this is where you will.



SLI Swim Instructor Training Workbook: Essential skills for swimming lessons (Volume 1) on

We’ve tested the skills in this book repeatedly for the last 5 years attempting to standardize the swim learning process. Discover the 15 core swimming skills and train your staff in their basics as you go through this training workbook. There are 4 worksheets to test knowledge and acquisition.  Get detailed pictures and descriptions of how to learn those core 15 swim skills. This portion of the training workbook, Section 1, will walk a swim instructor through each activity. As part of our training segment on creating better swim instructors, step 1 is knowing the material. We want the new instructors to get in the water and follow each of the listed activities in this book. Beyond training, this is a valuable resource for ideas and what you should do exactly when teaching these skills.  You can literally take this section of the workbook and run a full swim program based on the information here. Check it out now! You can sign up for our mailing list to get the first 15 pages and worksheet #1.



 How to Create fun and effective swim games 

Get this awesome book from now! You can use it to follow the tested formula for inventing great swimming games on the fly during your lessons or practice. I walk you through the step by step process we use during our programs to get teachers to tap into their creativity while still accomplishing complex teaching tasks. Have fun in your swim program but get results by reading this short book on how to create swim games.