The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Reiser Selected to Speak at Washington Recreation & Park Conference in May

As the Washington Recreation & Park Association celebrates 70 years, Jim Reiser has been selected to be their lead presenter in the aquatics track of the WRPA Annual Conference in Spokane, Washington.  Jim will give two talks on Wednesday, May 3, 2017:

  • 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM   You Can Teach Like a Pro!  Proven Techniques to Maximize Your Effectiveness
  • 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM       Preschoolers Can Swim!  How to Teach Young Children More Effectively

Reiser, who was recently honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the prestigious Virginia Hunt Newman Award, had this to say about the honor:

“Any time that I have the opportunity to share, especially in a setting like this, it’s such an amazing feeling.  To know that I not only have the ability to help those in the conference room, but to realize that there is an amazing trickle-down effect.  That’s what really makes me passionate about speaking. When I prepare my talks, I am not just preparing for the audience.  I am preparing to potentially help hundreds and hundreds of children receive better swimming instruction, and most importantly, become safer in and around the water.  It gives me goosebumps every time,” said Reiser. 

This will be Jim Reiser’s second speaking engagement in 2017.  “The Swim Professor” will be presenting for the North Carolina State Aquatics Conference in March (details coming soon) and he has several other potential speaking appearances in the works.   For a complete list of Mr. Reiser’s upcoming and recent speaking engagements,  check out the Conference Schedule link on the Swim Lessons University website.   There is also a link provided with more information on the WRPA Annual Conference if you would like to consider attending.

Would you like Jim Reiser to speak at your next event?  Email or call 1-866-498-SWIM (7946) for availability!


The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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January 18, 2017 at 4:17 am Comments (0)

Swim Lessons University Cyber Week Savings

Whether you’re an aquatic director, swim school owner, or swimming instructor–IF you’re looking for Cyber Week savings–you found it!   Most everything on the Swim Lessons University website is 20% OFF all week!

Everything from Swim Instructor Training Materials:
To Swim Instructor Tools:
To Swim Gear:
To Water Safety Resources:


These items and much, much, more! PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!

To your success!

Jim Reiser, Executive Director
1-866-498-SWIM (7946)

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November 29, 2016 at 2:08 am Comments (0)

At What Age Should Your Kids Do Sports?

Doing sports is quite important. There are many benefits to each and every physical activity. Exercises like yoga will help you stretch better and be more flexible overall. You will teach yourself proper breathing techniques which can help you in other physical activities.

Then you have anaerobic exercises, such as sprinting and aerobic ones, such as jogging. All exercise is designed to teach us something about ourselves and our bodies. The more we invest ourselves in sports, the better the quality of our lives becomes. This begs the question – when should you sign up your kids for doing sports?

What's a Good Age to Start Doing Sports

Building habits is quite challenging. We sometimes develop them on our own – especially if they are being lazy. Going to do sports, though, takes a bit of commitment, which is best taught at a young age.

And so, if you want your children to attend swimming or karate lessons, it's probably a good idea to take them there even when they are as young as three. Instructors are very much accustomed to working with youngsters and they actually enjoy it.

Plus, young kids are impressionable and they will develop the proper attitude to the sport they have chosen. Of course, now you have to ask yourself – do you want your kids to pursue a career in sport or would you rather have them sport for the sake of the activity.

Most parents have to choose between academia and sport for their offspring. There are no easy answers, but there is a practice that could help you make up your mind and decide. For starters, some parents have decided to only give kids pointers but never interfere in personal decisions.

What this means is that a kid can have his piano lessons and extra classes to do along with swimming or soccer training, but parents just take their kids to certain places and let them enjoy themselves rather than try to bind them in shackles to a single activity.

This is a recommended way to teach your kids and help them find what they truly love to do. Once they have discovered their passion, everything else will follow.

A Career Outside Academia

Now, some kids go on to become scientists, others are soccer players. For some, vocational jobs such as being a locksmith seem quite cool – and It actually is. Of course, not many people are immediately thrilled when their kids tell them they want to be locksmiths, but being very good at such an odd job has its upside.

If you are not sure this is the right path for your young adult you can call ASAP-locksmiths and learn more about the services locksmiths provide. Maybe when you get to experience how a great and successful locksmith company operates your mind will be at ease.

The truth is that no matter how much you insist your children do something, they can only be shown and given a reason to do something. The rest should be their decision only. You cannot force your kid into something and there is no reason to, to be honest.

Thinking About The Future of Your Child

The important thing is never to pressure the young ones into anything. Whether they love the sport or not, is entirely up to a child. Maybe your kids aren't hot on swimming, but they could be quite keen on basketball. They don't like that? There is also tennis to try, but also soccer, and even chess. Don't dismiss those “less” physical activities as well and get your kids a chance to try as many things as they like.

Of course, this will come with a bit of a drain on your finances, but then again, you shouldn't really try to sign up for every lesson out there. Instead, do things methodically. The reason why you should approach the matter this way is not only because of the financial side. No, you don't want your kid to be overwhelmed.

There is a simple truth that a kid should be left to their own devices – at least for a bit, so they can enjoy themselves as they see fit. There is no need to be a helicopter parent. Put this way: would you rather them be happy and find meaning or excel at all costs but forever be miserable?

October 5, 2016 at 2:26 am Comments (0)

Swim Instructor In-Service Training Ideas

Do you find that after training your swim school staff and getting into your swim lessons that you or your instructors start having new questions on how or what to do in different situations?  

Do you even notice that certain techniques and strategies that were addressed in the original swim instructor training are still lacking by new instructors?

We do!  So at Swim Lessons University, we decided that the perfect solution to address these problems would be to hold an In-Service Staff Training session!  AND NOW–without traveling one mile—YOU AND YOUR STAFF can be a part of our amazing session!

In this brand new video—SLU Executive Director Jim Reiser answers 25 EXCELLENT QUESTIONS from his local staff, and he provides 25 simple and practical techniques to help every instructor improve their classes!

Here is a Small Sampling of the 25 Questions:

  1. How do I correct parents in my Parent & Toddler classes without appearing confrontational?
  2. How do I put the parent at ease about taking an infant or toddler underwater?
  3. What do you do in situations where you have a child who refuses to get in the water?
  4. What do you say to a parent who sends their child to the pool with goggles and they aren’t even putting their face in the water yet?
  5. Do you ever tell kids to close their mouth when breath holding?
  6. Do you let kids Doggie Paddle if they aren’t putting their face in the water?
  7. Do you have any tips on how to help students pick up the Freestyle Side Breathing easier?
  8. How do you get a child to flex both feet in breaststroke?

Again, these are just some examples of the 25 common questions asked by SLU swimming instructors….  As always, you will find this In-Service Swim Instructor Training Video to be information-packed, high energy and fast paced. You and your staff will be new and improved in 90 minutes or less–guaranteed!

Here is a 12-minute highlight video of the In-Service Training Poolside Seminar:

Order your copy today at

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

The Swim Lessons University Instructor certification is an internationally recognized alternative to the Red Cross WSI.  AND when you utilize SLU, instructors can SPECIALIZE to teach specific classes and age groups OR they  can certify to teach them all!  Best of all, when you choose Swim Lessons University you can do all your training at your own facility or in the comfort of your own home, at your pace, and at a fraction of the cost!

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).



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September 14, 2016 at 10:38 pm Comments (0)

Swimming Lessons in September?

Here is a recent message I shared with our swim school parents:

Dear Families & Friends:

Would you consider dedicating 30-minutes of your child’s week to swimming instruction if you knew it could determine life or death?  Of course you would!

As fall approaches, I urge parents to consider continuing the pursuit of helping your child be the safest and strongest swimmer he/she can be!   Sure, we are all busy with school, other sports activities, etc., but the last thing we should do is substitute other activities for swimming instruction when our child is not yet a strong swimmer.

As a physical educator and coach, I am a HUGE advocate of children participating in multiple sports and activities.  My three boys play baseball, basketball, soccer, and have done karate.   But I would never substitute one of the sports at the cost of my child’s safety.   So just because the fall sports season is approaching, please continue your commitment to your child’s swimming safety and skills.

Learning to swim is a process, not an event.  Just like those who believe in karate for self-defense, stick with it, and pursue a black belt–EVERY PARENT should have their child pursue a “black belt in swimming” for their child’s safety.


Jim Reiser, Founder & President

Learn-to-Swim Professional

M.S. of Physical Education & Motor Skill Acquisition

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim. Jim is the first American to win the award in 20 years!

Jim has also been honored by:

USA Swimming as the Adolph Kiefer Water Safety Person of the Year

National Drowning & Prevention Alliance Lifesaver of the Year

World Aquatic Babies & Children Congress as the President’s Award Recipient for world-wide contributions to learn-to-swim.

July 29, 2015 at 11:34 pm Comments (0)

Youth Sport Parents Priorities MUST CHANGE to PREVENT DROWNINGS!

It was the summer of 1982. I was just 13 years old when I got my first job as a Swim Instructor Aide teaching under my father at his swim school in Johnstown, PA. Between 1982 and 1990, I not only continued teaching, but I played about every sport I could play.   As a youth and teen, it was swimming, baseball, soccer, football, and basketball.   In high school, it was football, basketball, track, and swimming.   Oh yes, and I fiddled with karate after breaking my hand in 1985, and later pursued and earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

In college, after playing football my freshman year at California University of Pennsylvania, I started my own lean-to-swim program as a sophomore. While I wanted to keep playing football, a back injury during spring ball cut that career (going nowhere) short! While rehabilitating my back in the university pool, I got this idea to propose a Swim Lessons Program and lease the University pool.   After a lot of perseverance, it was finally approved.  In no time at all I knew I found my calling. I ended up in Columbia, SC  after accepting a graduate assistantship to teach aquatics for the University of South Carolina’s Physical Education Department while pursuing my master’s degree in Physical Education and Motor Skill Development.

I will be 46 years young next month, and coaching sports has been a huge part of my life. Coaching and teaching is my life. To me, nothing is more rewarding than utilizing sport to teach life skills to kids.   And sports are a wonderful medium to do that.  From 1993-2005, I coached year-round competitive swimmers from novice to elite, producing 20 National Top 16 Qualifiers.   For the past year and a half, I have been having the time of my life coaching my son’s AAU Basketball Team!

But while there are so many benefits our youth can learn from participating in most all youth sports with the right coach–there is one thing that cannot be denied about swimming:   Swimming is the only skill that can save a child’s life.”   The problem is, I don’t believe this statement is taken anywhere seriously enough by parents across the United States.

Why do I say this?  Because when I am not writing curriculum for Swim Lessons University or working on The Swim Lessons Company, I spend the majority of my life in the gym and on the local ball fields.  What do I see?   I SEE THOUSANDS of YOUNG KIDS playing t-ball, soccer, and basketball… And I know there are thousands of others also doing dance and gymnastics.   I WOULD LIKE TO APPLAUD EVERY SINGLE PARENT for giving their child these wonderful opportunities … BUT I CAN’T!

Why? Because my educated guess is that the majority of them can’t swim or they are WEAK swimmers!  And rather than making sure these children are learning a skill that could also save their life, parents are turning a blind eye to this fact.  Instead, parents are enrolling their children earlier and earlier in these other sports are hoping their son or daughter becomes the next Michael Jordan, LaBron James, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Tom Brady, Walter Payton, Pele, Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Venus Williams, or Nadia Comaneci.

I understand that some families can’t afford swimming lessons.  Here in Columbia, SC, I have done two things to help create solutions for those families: First, we partnered with the USA Swimming “Make a Splash” program and discount all of our lessons at our downtown location by 40%!   Number two, Ebony Bowers and I co-founded The Swim Lessons Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) that affords children with FREE LESSONS to families who can’t afford them.   (I do feel we are underachieving in securing donations so if you can help by donating please go to www.SwimLessonsFoundation.Org )

But the fact is…DROWNING TAKES MORE LIVES THAN ANY OTHER ACCIDENT for children under the age of six, and ranks 2nd only to AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS for ages 6-14.

The point of my writing today is to ask you to consider re-prioritizing your child’s activities, especially if they can’t swim or swim well enough to save themselves.   Take a look at this blog, “SWIM LESSON OBJECTIVES,” which outlines what your child should be able to do at a variety of ages.  Would your child pass the test?  You can watch video samples of what I believe is a reasonable objective at a variety of ages.  You can find all those videos and blogs on this site!  For example, here is a link to the blog of  what every 3 & 4 year old are capable of learning if taught by a qualified instructor.

PLEASE REMEMBER THIS:  Learning to swim is a process, not an event!  Don’t wait until summer to enroll your child in swim lessons.   Find a child-centered, progressive swim program near you today!


The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim is the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at  We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).

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March 13, 2015 at 4:33 pm Comments (0)

NCAA Swimming Scholarships may become EXTINCT!

You read it correctly!    IF we care about the sport of swimming, whether you are swimming instructors, swim coaches, swim parents, or fans–we must get ready to fight for it, as ASCA Executive Director John Leonard writes in his article below.

Take a minute to read it now.  As always, John’s articles are honest, informative, and to the point.  He doesn’t dance around and politic.

He tells you the way it is.

With John’s permission, I share with you:


The House Is On Fire”

By John Leonard

One of the key roles that the American Swimming Coaches Association has played in American Swimming since 1958, is to warn of threats to our sport. Today, I am going to tell you about the biggest threat to American Swimming in the history of our sport.

NCAA Scholarship Swimming is under assault. And very likely to become extinct SOON if we don’t act to save it.

This is critical to all of us for two reasons:

First, for ALL of us, the USA is the only country in the world where a young man or young lady taking her/his first swimming lesson TODAY, has NO LIMITS on their future! They can choose to swim a little, swim a lot, excel, (or not) go through high school swimming, move on to the world’s most competitive program in NCAA swimming. (which attracts athletes from all over the globe, seeking what they don’t have at home) and go on to be an Olympian.

Or they can chose to do summer league swimming, swim in high school, move on to academic life, and never swim again.


In no other place on earth is that the case. In most of the globe, that young lady or man has almost nothing BUT limits – and most, even if they are serious youth swimmers, have no choice but to quit swimming between 15-18 and concentrate on academics which determine their future. No option of Scholarships, no option of elite coaching – no realistic dreams of being the best they can be. Their swimming careers END between 15-18.



Second, for all the reasons outlined above, NCAA Scholarship Swimming is the engine that drives our Olympic/International Success. Those 6,000 NCAA Scholarship Swimmers who keep swimming from 18-24 as they mature (and late maturers are the leading edge of elite athletes) are the talent pool which we have drawn on to lead the world in swimming for more than 100 years now. NCAA Scholarship Swimming is the EDGE that we have over the rest of the Swimming world.

IF NCAA Scholarships go away, the USA in ten years will look like a second rate swimming nation. We’ll have similar numbers of elite athletes, except some of our friends live in countries where swimming really COUNTS in the culture. You all know where swimming ranks in the USA in terms of cultural importance.

So, what do we do?

You’ll hear lots of work ideas and see lots in action soon. We have about a 12-24 month window to save scholarship swimming and elite coaching jobs in the NCAA. Within 24 months, the path will be set. Universities will be either keeping or dropping scholarships and full time elite coaching jobs by then. All of this DRIVEN of course, by the insatiable need for dollars for football and basketball players, and 6 Million Dollar a year football coaches.

We will need YOU to rally your teams. Get tons of letters and emails written to University Presidents and Athletic Directors in support of the Real Student Athletes swimmers. The College Swimming Coaches Association of America and the ASCA are working together with USA Swimming to develop the plan, and ask you to work the plan.

I am personally so offended by the hypocrisy of the NCAA ad that goes on about “most of them will go pro in something other than sports.” Which implies that the NCAA actually has something to do with that! WHILE the finance of University sport heads inexorably towards the ELIMINATION OF OLYMPIC SPORTS in favor of the semi-pro leagues for football and basketball players.

It’s a toss up right now whether the IOC/FINA or the NCAA is the most hypocritical organization in the world of sports today – but that’s a discussion for another day.

What is for today is simply this… if you love American Swimming, get ready to fight for it.

We’ll need ALL OF US, TOGETHER, to save it.

Let’s Go USA. We can do this. Plans coming. House on Fire. Man The  Buckets.

All the Best, John Leonard

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January 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm Comments (0)

Swim Lessons Cancellations and Make-ups

What do you do when you cancel swim classes for thunder and lightning?   BUT shortly after, the weather clears up and the instructors are gone!
What do you do when a customer shows up with their little one?  BUT you cancelled classes for the day and THEIR CHILD is devastated!
What do you do when a pump motor goes bad and you have to cancel class unexpectedly?  Even though you reschedule, it is NOT convenient for “some” of your families.
What do you do when a student misses class due to illness, travel, or because of another commitment?  But you already paid the instructor, you paid your pool rent, etc.

I am here to tell you, there is NO one right or wrong way to handle these situations. What is right for your business may be detrimental to mine. What works for me may be a disaster for you.

Also keep in mind:   What felt comfortable when you wrote your policies and procedures may not feel so comfortable now that you have an angry customer on the other end of the line.  This is normal.  And this is why we have to always be open to change.  Change is inevitable. When you choose to embrace change you will begin to see it as an opportunity for growth.

So where do you start? Personally, I start with my customers. If they aren’t happy, quite frankly, I am not happy. Second, I listen to my staff. If they aren’t happy, I am not happy. Third, I listen to my gut. If my gut tells me it doesn’t feel right–it’s time for a change!

I did leave out a fourth area that gives you an opportunity for positive growth. Research! There is no shortage of great information out there. When it comes to customer service, one of my favorite books is called “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, by Jeffrey Gitomer. He really inspired me to make it a policy in my office to NEVER use the term policy. That’s right. We have NO POLICIES!

When you’re in the customer’s shoes, how do you feel when you hear the “policy” excuse?  Me? I feel that the business doesn’t value me as a customer. When I feel that way, I take MY business elsewhere!  Where is “elsewhere?”   Usually the nearest competitor!  

Do I ever feel taken advantage of?  Admittedly, I do. It’s not a good feeling either.  But only on a rare occasion do we take a stance and put our foot down.  Because usually we realize that the alternative is worse.  Upset customers tell everyone who will listen their side of the story–not ours.   In those situations you not only lose that customer–but perhaps several other potential customers.  Today with social media, several can become thousands overnight!   So in the end, you have to ask yourself, “is it worth it?”  “Which decision will help me sleep better at night?” That’s the bottom line.

So what can you do?  When our customers register, whether online or by phone, they acknowledge ONE BY ONE  a number of “Registration Agreements.”  If there is a problem later, my office  can refer the customer back to these BUT we handle each case individually and with care. Our goal is to make each customer feel appreciated.   As of today, here is what The Swim Lessons Company families agree to (in terms of cancellations and make-ups) when they register:

____In order to determine your make-up when a class is cancelled due to weather issues, go to and select the “Make-up Schedule” button in top navigation bar.  All make-ups due to weather will be posted within 24 hours.

____If your class is cancelled for any reason, it will be made up at the same time and same location on another available day, i.e, Thursday or Friday. The make-up will be posted on the website under “Make-up Schedule.”

____In the event of an unforeseeable cancellation, i.e., an instructor is sick, pool mechanical problem, water temperature issue, etc.—an SLC representative will call you on the number you listed under “home phone” when creating your account. This is the only contact number shown on the instructor’s roster.  If you would rather us call your cell phone, please contact the office immediately to change that information.

____While there are no refunds for missed classes that have been taught, if you miss class due to illness, travel, other obligation, etc., email Jim Reiser at  Let him know that you missed your class and would like to schedule a make-up.  Providing there is a class opening available, we can offer you a makeup at that time during the back half of the session (In other words, once the Live Online Registration Period has ended to avoid over booking a class). If all classes are full and a make-up is not possible during the current session, we are happy to offer you a full credit for that class with no expiration date to be deducted against a future registration.

So that’s what our customers “agree to” when they register, whether online or over the phone.  There are also a number of other registration agreements, but that’s how we handle “Cancellations & Make-ups” today.   I do believe that by publishing your terms and conditions in a contract form, having the customer physically “check a box” beside each term is a very pro-active way of preventing problems from arising.  It may not prevent them all, but in the big picture, you will find it to be a very effective strategy. 

I hope today’s blog helps you!  If you would like to schedule a “One-on-one Phone Consultation,” you will be delighted to see how reasonably priced they are.  To schedule your personal consultation OR for more information, check it out on the Swim Lessons University website today!

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December 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm Comments (0)

How to Swim Comfortably in the Cold

If you ever have the chance to enjoy an outdoor Jacuzzi during a pretty winter snow, you will absolutely love it. I would advise against making snow angels upon your exit. Let your husband do that! It will be a lot funnier!

SO WHAT ABOUT SWIMMING LESSONS in the COLD? While I am by no means endorsing outdoor swim lessons in the snow, you may be surprised at what you can accomplish if your pool is in the 90-93 degree range, despite cool air temperatures.

In the video I posted below, you can see my 3-year old Rex and 4-year old Wells in their swimming lesson yesterday. Do you see any indication that they are cold, uncomfortable, or unhappy? This video was taken October 8, 2013 in Columbia, SC. It was raining and 59 degrees for their 4:00PM lesson! The water, however, was 92 degrees. And as you can see, they are happy as can be, and all they did today was improve their swimming and had lots of fun! Don’t believe it? Here is video evidence, and you can google our weather for today.

In my 31 years of teaching swimming lessons and coaching competitive swimmers, I have seen my share of cold swimmers. I have been miserable myself because of cold water. In 1993, I taught swimming lessons in Pennsylvania at Liberty Park in South Fork, PA near Johnstown. The pool was fed by natural spring water. Even during the month of June when air temperatures were in the mid 80’s, I remember teaching and feeling like I was going to freeze to death.

Even though the year was 1980, I will never forget swimming in the West Newton Rotary Swim Meet in West Newton, PA. I was twelve. Our Johnstown swim team was in a close race with the Butler Y swim team from Pittsburgh going into the final leg of the relay. But when the Butler swimmer’s anchor leg dove into the pool, the race was all but over. Why? The Butler swimmer barely entered the water and literally erupted to the surface crying and screaming it was so cold. He swam right back to the wall, jumped out of the pool, and we never saw him again! They were disqualified and we won the gold! I would guess that pool was no warmer than 70 degrees that September day which is REALLY COLD WATER. Did you know it is a scientific fact that 80 degree water feels like 40 degree air? I wonder what 70 feels like? I just remember feeling numb when I finished my leg of the race. But us Johnstown kids are tough!

I personally HATE being cold, and I have no intention to ever swim or teach cold again. I wear a 3mm wetsuit anytime I teach, even in the summer in South Carolina! I’d rather be hot any day. I guess that explains why I made my home in SC after living in PA for my first 22 years (Well that and I met the most beautiful girl in the world who happens to be my wife:-)

So back to the premise of today’s blog. “How to Swim Comfortably When the Outdoor Temperatures Start Falling? ”
1. Set your pool heater to 92-93 degrees and keep it covered with either a solar blanket or thermal blankets when it’s not in use.
2. Consider a 3mm Wetsuit for yourself and a Kids Konfidence Wetsuit for students to keep them warm even when they exit the water.
3. Limit your lessons to 30 minutes. Limit your Novice Swim Team to 60 minutes.

In the end, use common sense. If a child looks uncomfortable or says she’s cold, get her warm and ask her to come back when the weather is better. Secondly, follow the golden rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. In other words, if a child’s parent doesn’t want their child to swim, respect their wishes as you would want them to respect yours.

Lastly, if you teach in cool weather on a yearly basis but you keep the water 93 degrees warm, the culture will change. Swimmers and swimming parents are the most dedicated people you will find. As long as they know you care, as long as you take care of their children, you will have more and more swimmers every year taking advantage of your warm water (and helping you pay that gas/electric bill)!

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October 9, 2013 at 2:49 am Comments (0)

What Do the Best Swimming Instructors and Employees do Differently?

Lee Atwater once said, “Perception is reality.” As swimming instructors and swim school owners it is so important that we take this quote seriously.

Here are 10 QUICK QUESTIONS you can ask:

1. How does my facility look to our patrons?
2. How do I dress?
3. How do I interact with the children?
4. Do I make it a point to smile and say “hello _________” to each of my students?
5. Do I make it a point to smile and say “hello ________ ” to each of their parents?
6. Do I make it a point to smile say “hello” to facility employees, from custodians to supervisors? Be a class act and treat each of them with the same genuine friendliness.
7. How do I respond to the requests of my new supervisor? Do I question them in front of others or do I “embrace change” and treat them with respect? (If you have a valid concern or idea, talk to them in private. Let them know you have an idea or a thought you want to share. Now that makes a great impression!).
8. Do I make it a point to smile and say “see you next time” to my students? OR do I say: “it’s time to go–you have 3 seconds to get out of the pool!”
9. Do I make it a point to smile and say “have a great day” to parents, employees, and other patrons?
10. Am I looking to give them a little extra or a little less?

As the great heavyweight fighter Mahammad Ali once said, “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” As swimming instructors, “Don’t count the minutes, make the minutes count.” Perception is reality. If the parents, administrators, and others around you “think” you are “just putting in your time,” that is the reality of the situation. The great news is that YOU CAN CHANGE THAT PERCEPTION by knowing what the perception is…. Sometimes it is a difficult reality to face. But it makes us stronger. Be extraordinary every day, and those around you will perceive you in the most favorable way. The legendary football coach Jimmy Johnson said, “The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is that little “extra.”

These are the characteristics we want in Swim Lessons University swimming instructors!

I am sure you can think of many more, and I welcome you to add your idea in the comments section. I appreciate you adding value to this blog!

The International Swimming Hall of Fame has named Jim Reiser the recipient of the 2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award for his curriculum and approach in teaching infants, toddlers, and children to swim.  Jim was the first American to win the award in 10 years.

If you would like to learn more about the Swim Lessons University certification program and curriculum, make sure to visit us at 

We have training and certification programs designed for both private instructors as well as organizations like YMCAs, Recreation Departments, Athletic Clubs, and more.

Swim Lessons University is currently being utilized by recreation departments, YMCAs, America Camp Association swim lessons programs, as well as by private swimming instructors in 45 states and over 30 countries!

You can also call us toll free at 1-866-498-SWIM (7946).


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September 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm Comments (0)

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