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 fun and effective swimming:

Swimming Ideas Levels:

Level Description Guides for Managers

Download and distribute these guides for your swim lesson managers. It includes key skills to train your staff with, items to look out for, and games specific to each level.

Level Complete Certificates

Download and print these end of session certificates or use them as a template to create your own.

Online Courses:

How to Create Fun and Effective Swimming Books:

Teaching Swimming Workbook:

Physical PRINT book

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 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.

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.

Go to Games for Swim lessons

Once you get a group of swimmers with you more regularly where they know you and are used to your system and routines, you can start playing more inventive and dynamic games.

For beginners, for summer temporary staff the best games are the staples, the basics, the go to games.

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.

Swim Lesson Plans

Learning how to be a great swim instructor takes time and effort. You must put in the hard work of trial and error, self-evaluation, and braving failure to be excellent.

But you can be good quickly, and that’s why we’re here to help. We want you and your staff to be teaching swimming well, fast.

Having an easy to follow lesson plan based on the streamlined Swimming Ideas level system you’ll have classes that are productive and fun.

When you need to get that new hire teaching quickly give them a pre-made lesson plan that has been tried and tested. You’ll see immediate results where swimmers are engaged and laughing while they play games with a purpose.

From daily lesson plans, general plans, to skill sheets we’ve got you covered.


Quick visual swim skill sheets to make teaching swimming fun and effective.

  • Underwater and Glides
  • Crawls and Breathing (freestyle and backstroke)
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Refining Freestyle
  • Open Turns
  • Flip turns

See the essential skills broken into logical progressions and use the images and pictures.

Learn the skills yourself.

Use these sheets as references for your swimmers.

Visual Skill Sheets

Quick visual skill sheets for the basics. These dovetail nicely with the SwimSheets.
(*A part of Premium Lesson Plans – Digital)

  • Streamline
  • Position 11
  • Supported and Unsupported Front Glides
  • Supported and Unsupported Back Glides
  • Breaststroke Arms
  • Breaststroke Kick
  • Breaststroke Progressions
  • Breaststroke Drills

Each sheet has a picture, a script or guide, and key points on how you should teach each.

Learn the skills yourself.

Use these sheets as references for your swimmers.

General Lesson Plans

One sheet per level designed to use as a reference and training tool for new and veteran instructors.

See everything you need to do in one place for each of Swimming Ideas’ four levels.
(*A part of Premium Lesson Plans – Digital)

  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3
  • Level 4

Choose from a list of suggested activities appropriate for that level.

Choose from a list of suggested challenges or games appropriate for each level.

Follow the sample progressions on the reverse side to use as a template for future lessons.

Use these sheets as a guide, a reference bank, as a tool in your chest of options. The more you teach, the more you’ll start to personalize your program. These will help you start.

Weekly Lesson plans by level

From Parent Tot through adults get a handle on swimming lessons by following our weekly progressions.

Your staff and swimmers will follow a tested formula for fun and effective learning.

Classes get more challenging throughout the weeks, and with an average 4 week time frame you can be teaching new rounds of swimmers every registration period.

  • Parent and Tot
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3
  • Level 4

Swim in lesson plans. Give them to your staff, use them as training material, and reference them for fresh ideas!

We have a solution for every level and swimming skill.

When you’re a member to the All-Access subscription you get access to this list with working links to every one of our solutions.

What do you want to do today?

When you subscribe to All-Access each entry listed below will be a downloadable link.

Print everything at once in one easy print file, or download and use specific days, levels, or skills.

I want to…

Teach a level specific lesson:

Easy Print Everything in one PDF file

Download the ”Teaching Swimming: Fun and Effective Instruction Workbook” PDF

Download the ”Lesson Coordinator Handbook” PDF

  • Level 1
    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • Day 3
    • Day 4
  • Level 2
    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • Day 3
    • Day 4
  • Level 3:
    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • Day 3
    • Day 4
  • Level 4
    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • Day 3
    • Day 4
  • Parent and Tot
    • Reoccurring (repeatable)
    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • Day 3
    • Day 4
    • Day 5
    • Day 6

Teach a specific skill:

  • Underwater and Glides
  • Streamline
  • Position 11
  • Front Glides
  • Back Glides
  • Crawls and Breathing
  • Refined Freestyle
  • Breaststroke Arms and Kick
  • Breaststroke Drills and Progressions
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly
  • Open Turns
  • Flip Turns

General lesson plans for more advanced instructors:

  • Level 1 General
  • Level 2 General
  • Level 3 General
  • Level 4 General

Evaluate Swimmers by Level:

  • Level 1 Evaluation
  • Level 2 Evaluation
  • Level 3 Evaluation
  • Level 4 Evaluation

Lap Swimmer Tips

Guides and visuals for lap swimmers to improve their freestyle.

Animal pictures for groups

Need groups and location based signs for your camp or huge swim lessons? 80 kids at one time? Download these pictures and files to provide a cute animal picture that you can use to designate locations, groups, or assign to an instructor throughout their day.

Picture: JPEG

Zip File with ESP file (vector based file with resizable images without quality loss). Needs Illustrator or Affinity Designer etc

Better swimming.
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2 thoughts on “Resources”

  1. Hi, I subscribed to your site, but still cannot get your free lesson pack, can you perhaps send it to me in an email. I am really interested. Thanks theresa


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