The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Swim Instructor Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance Available for Individual Swim Teachers at a Savings !

Here’s another reason to join WABC (World Aquatic Babies & Children Network)!   If you operate as an individual swim instructor in the United States, Canada or the U.K., you probably have been stepping up and paying at the high minimum insurance rate as if you were a full sized learn to swim business.  For current WABC members, we now can point you to our source at the rate of ~ $200 per year (rather than 4, 5, or 6 times that) for 2 million single and 3 million aggregate coverage.  Proof of insurance, and also-named additions (the company that is renting you pool time typically wants to be named also on your policy).

There’s an easy one-page form and short 24 hr confirmation of coverage with proof of insurance in your hand.   For details, email my colleague and friend, WABC Executive Director Steve Graves at

By the way, the insurance company also does write general commercial liability insurance for swim schools, swim academies in the US, Canada, and the UK if you’d like a competitive quote in casino.

Take action today before spending too much on your insurance!

AND DON’T FORGET!  If you’re not a WABC MEMBER now, you SAVE 15% on your WABC Membership by purchasing any item at

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March 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm Comments (23)

Adult Swim Lessons

When teaching swim lessons to adults, especially those who are beginner swimmers or learning a new skill, there are two aspects that REALLY JUMP OUT that make them different from teaching children to swim.

First, adults tend to have, we’ll call it, “low swimming-self-esteem.”  They are embarrassed and they are far from confident that they are going to be able to do this.   So first and foremost, Swim Instructors have convince them that they are doing awesome.  You have to convince them that they are exceeding your expectations.  You have to convince them that they are doing much better than most adults you teach (whether true or not, lol).  You have to make them BELIEVE in themselves!  If they believe they can do it–they will!   So lots of praise and lots of encouragement!

Second, adults tend to be VERY ANALYTICAL and VERY CONCERNED about the DETAILS, which can hinder mastering the basics.   This  is quite the opposite when teaching most children to swim.  Children just want to swim, play, and have fun.   They don’t worry about the little things, they just do it!  They don’t want your long explanations, they just want to hear you say “go!”

Adults, on the other hand, they don’t want to just “go.”  They’re afraid to “go.”  They’re afraid they’re going to do it wrong and be embarrassed.   They want to know precisely how the hand should be pitched, at what degree the arm should be bent, etc.   HOWEVER–THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW!

IF you want to do a great job with adult swim lessons, you must convince them that the details are NOT important right now!  What’s important are the BIG things, getting the FUNDAMENTAL, GENERAL IDEA of the skill first–details later….

I like to educate them a little on the Fitts and Posner’s Stages of Learning.  This helps a lot because when they understand there is actually a well-thought out plan, it alleviates much of their anxiety.

So I tell them:  What we know from motor learning experts is that when any skill is new, the learner is in what is refered to as the Cognitive Stage of Learning.  The learner is thinking too much, the errors are gross, the errors are many, and there will be an inconsistency in performance.

I further explain that from this learning model, the research also clarifies what is important to teach at this stage. Teach your adult swim lessons beginners not to think about the details, but rather put all their effort into the developing a the general swimming movements patterns or actions.   Swim instructors should stick to the cues and buzzwords in your lesson plans, and resist from talking detail.  When a beginner swimmer is in this stage of learning, the student can’t handle detailed information once they start to practice.  Because as soon as they start, their mind goes right to “I’m sinking, I’m drowning, I can’t do this.”

So instead, teach them to just “kick fast.”  So instead, just teach them to take “big strokes.”  And most importantly–think progressions and “baby steps.”  When you can make your adult learner feel successful with something small, i.e., two strokes with their face in the water, then they will have the confidence to try three, then four, etc., and their confidence will grow right before your eyes.  Before you know it, they will be swimming across the pool and you will be moving on to teaching them the freestyle side breathing, backstroke, sidestroke, and more!

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March 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm Comments (0)

Swim Lessons Themes

One great new theme that my young swim lesson students  have really enjoyed is an “Invisible Buddy Day.”  While adults may find it a little bizarre, young children love hanging out with “invisible buddies!”  I can’t tell you how much fun this can make a strokes class for a four or five year old.  In fact, our Swim Lessons University Swimming Instructors are loving it too!

According to Dr. Bergan, who interviewed with Parenting Magazine, these pals can actually be healthy for kids. “Playing with a make-believe sidekick can help children develop the social skills such as getting along with other children, sharing, cooperation, and taking turns.”

I like to have my young students teach their invisible friend the stroke cues, tell them to praise their “invisible buddy” for a good job, and even tell their invisible buddy how to perform the skill better–but reminding my students to make sure they are telling their invisible buddies what they did well too so they don’t feel bad.

According to Dr. Bergen, “Invisible pals can also provide moral support, just as a real friend would.”

Give it a try in your Swim Strokes 201 class (ages 3-5) class.  Your young learn-to-swim students will love it!

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March 6, 2011 at 7:41 am Comments (2)

Swim Instructor Online Training

Swim Lessons University training videos, testing, and swim instructor certifications are now available online!

  • Have you ever had trouble getting your entire staff of swim teachers together for training?  In other words, you would have 2 or 3 instructors not show up, resulting in YOU having to teach the entire training session over just for those few that were absent?


  • Would you like your current Red Cross Water Safety Instructors, Lifeguards, SwimAmerica coaches, YMCA Swim Instructors, etc. to further their background, add to their credentials, and improve the quality of your learn to swim classes?

Swim Lessons University can help and we now feature online videos and online testing in addition to the actual DVDs.   Not to mention, you can pick which SLU courses you want your swim instructors to take!  Pick one, two, three, or all seven–that’s up to you!  You’re the boss!

Up until March 1, 2011, we were basically able to offer the DVD course to purchase, and then after showing it to your staff, you would send them to the Swim Lessons University website to take the online tests for just an additional $10.

But now you have a CHOICE!  For smaller swim schools, you may still find the previously mentioned method of training and testing the most feasible.  However, if you have a large school or you simply like the convenience, you can have your swim instructors purchase the online video and test for $35.00.

Check it out today!  Here’s a link that will show you the options for ordering the TEACH LIKE A PRO Instructor’s Course, for an example.

Questions!  Email me for a FREE phone appointment at

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March 3, 2011 at 12:32 am Comments (3)