The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Do YOU Teach Swimming Like a Pro?

Ten Success Strategies

Strategy #1 and #2

Rate yourself or your swim teachers on a 1 to 10 scale in the following areas:

(“1” being the lowest score and “10” being the highest):

____Class Management ____Keeping student’s attention
____Consistency in Start Signals ____Developing Self-confidence
____Effective Cues/Buzzwords ____Positive Feedback
____Use of Progression Strategies ____Fun Feedback
____Demonstrations Strategies ____Specific, Corrective Feedback
____Check for Understanding ____Specific, Evaluative Feedback
____Choral Responding Tactics ____Sandwich Feedback
____Dynamic, engaging approach ____Kinesthetic Feedback

Learning is an every day occurrence. If you are the type of person who says, “I know that, I do that, I’m a 10, 10, 10, 10, 10.” You will never reach your potential nor will the people who work for you. I don’t hire these types of people. Nor should you. I am not one of those types of people. I hope you aren’t either. Personally, I am learning every day. I learn from my most inexperienced employees. I learn from my best employees and every one in between. I learn from reading. I learn from writing. I learn from observing, and most of all–I learn from listening.

Do you want to be the best you can be? Then simply ask yourself: “How good am I at that?” If you ask that question and you answer it honestly, you will take your swim lesson teaching and those teachers around you to a level you never thought possible.

No teacher is perfect. No class is the same. No one technique is iron clad. But through years of real experience–I know one thing is for sure: If you care, if you study, if you dedicate yourself to being the best you can be—your students’ will learn more effectively, your business will grow, and you will make a difference in a child’s life.

Today I begin a series of articles that will cover my TEN SUCCESS STRATEGIES to Teaching Like a Pro. Strategy #1 and #2 will be covered in this article. Let’s start by asking the following question:

Can you really be effective without your student’s attention?

It seems almost unnecessary to point out that students must be listening to benefit from any instructions you or your teachers are about to give them, yet it is one of the most common mistakes I see teachers making.

You can have the best task presentation in the world, but it is worthless without the attention of your students.

To start effective teaching, you must first give an effective command. A few commands I use and like:

  • “Ducks in a row!”
  • “Stand like soldiers!”
  • “On the bench please!”
  • “2nd step please!”
  • “Oy!”

Is the specific command that you use important? Not so much, but what is important is that you take charge of your class with a loud and clear command that is short and sweet.

You have their attention–NOW WHAT?

You lose it by telling your young students’ everything you know about swimming. You throw the whole kitchen sink at them so to speak! Why not? You’re a swimming expert. That’s what you were hired for, right? WRONG!!! That is precisely why you will FAIL when teaching a young learner. Young students, especially beginners, can’t handle all that information. They just want to have fun. They just don’t want to sink to the bottom, and they certainly don’t want you to throw the whole kitchen sink at them. Swim in the kitchen sink? Now they may take you up on that. That’s sounds like fun!

Research clearly concludes that young learners need your explanations to be short and sweet, communicating the general idea of the skill, not the details (Fitts & Posner, 1967). The next step is to create an effective set of cues or buzzwords for each skill you teach. The cues/buzzwords clearly communicates the fundamentals of the skill to your young learners in a way the child can understand, which is exactly what you want.

At Swim Lessons University, we give you the cues we use for every skill and every stroke in each of my DVD’s and laminated lesson plans. If you own a swim school, it is 10x as critical that you have a predetermined set of cues for skills and strokes. If your school is going to successfully grow, you must have consistency from what one teacher teaches to the next. This, I believe, is the backbone of your growth and success.

At our local swim school, The Swim Lessons Company, a franchise-prototype school in Columbia, SC—consistency has been the lifeblood of our success. With over 50 SLU certified teachers a year delivering our product to an average of almost a thousand students a month and 7 locations, nothing could be more important. When a mother enrolls her child in lessons at The Swim Lessons Company, she knows her child is going to get a superior product (swim lesson) and unparalleled customer service!

DON’T MISS “The Swim Professor’s” next column on new strategies that will engage your learners like you’ve never thought possible!

Would you like to “see” the strategies you just read about today on DVD?

It’s Your Lucky Day! You can order The Swim Professor’s brand new DVD — YOU CAN “TEACH LIKE A PRO!” today.

January 25, 2009 at 2:44 pm Comments (0)

A Swimming Lesson for the “Super Bowl” Half-Time Show – 3 Steps in 3 Minutes

PICTURE THIS: Your swimming lesson is taking place on the 50-yard line for the SUPER BOWL HALF TIME SHOW! Over 80,000 people are watching LIVE, not to mention millions of viewers at home! All your students have special waterproof microphones on so EVERYONE in the stadium can hear them (and you)!

This is your big chance to show what a great teacher you are!

Here’s the kicker: You have to teach 4 five-year olds. You have never met any of these children before. All you know is they can do some freestyle but they CAN NOT breathe to the side properly. The biggest challenge– you have 3 minutes to make your impression!

Sound impossible? It’s not! JUST USE THIS 3-STEP STRATEGY & YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL, on this day, and every day that you teach!

It’s called “CHORAL RESPONDING!” You simply say:

  • “Say what I say” or . . .
  • “Repeat after me”
  • THEN, one at a time–announce the cues.


For example, you’re teaching the Side Breathing for Freestyle:

YOU: “Say what I say–OY!”
YOU: “Breathe”
STUDENTS: “Breathe”
YOU: “Stroke One, Stroke Two”
STUDENTS: “Stroke One, Stroke Two”



YOU: “Now SAY THOSE WORDS while I do it.”
(Start with your breath and say the beginning with them.)
STUDENTS: “Breathe, Stroke One, Stroke Two, Breathe, Stroke One, Stroke Two, Breathe, Stroke One, Stroke Two . . . ”


Give Your Start Signal and Practice!

YOU: “Jeb and Nolan—READY GO!”
(5 seconds later)
YOU: “Sarah & Allie—READY GO!”

There YOU HAVE IT! That’s exactly how I would do it and I GUARANTEE it would work wonderfully! Your students are engaged. Their fans (especially their parents) are proud! And YOU, COACH . . . ARE AN “AMAZING TEACHER.” The parents will tell all their friends! And YOU, COACH . . . will have a faster growing list of students than you ever thought imaginable without one penny of paid advertising. You brand yourself by how you teach, how effective you are, and how positive and encouraging you are to their children.

To SEE these Success Strategies and many more performed by “The Swim Professor,” order Jim’s YOU CAN TEACH LIKE A PRO DVD today.

Just go to

January 24, 2009 at 1:05 pm Comments (0)