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.


Teaching Swimming: Fun and Effective Instruction (Swim Instructor Training Workbook) for sale on

Swimming Ideas’ latest training workbook for new and veteran swimming instructors and coaches.

Teaching swimming lessons and running a swim team can be difficult. There are so many variables and things to consider when you’re teaching.

You might have ten children in the water, or five adults. Knowing how to communicate, which skills to work on, and how to follow an effective incremental progression is hard.

Swimming Ideas is here to help. I’ve trained hundreds of new staff how to swim, and have compiled a long list of skills, terms, and techniques to make swimming instruction more effective in a new teacher’s hands.

Want to teach your 16-year-old novice how to teach a swim lesson so you aren’t cringing and biting your nails as you watch? Give them this book, and use the general lesson plans in the back. Not sure how you describe the nuance and importance of using command language in your classes?

Use this training workbook and discuss how to be a better communicator. Did you just hire a swim instructor that has never taught a lesson before and doesn’t even know what a front glide is?

Maybe they’ve never heard of streamline. Give them a copy of this training workbook and they’ll learn the 15 essential swim skills and how to teach them.

From language, scripts, pictures, and guides, this training guide has it all.



 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.

Swimming Ideas Levels

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