The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

World Aquatic Babies and Children Network PARTNER UP with Swim Lessons University!

I am excited to announce that WABC (World Aquatic Babies & Children Network) is the new  Official Partner of Swim Lessons University.

To name a few, here are some exciting developments for 2010:

1.  When you purchase any Swim Lessons University DVD, Lesson Plan, etc., –you will receive a 20% off discount coupon to JOIN WABC ! THIS OFFER IS COMING SOON!  WABC will extend this offer to both new members and renewals!

2. When you join WABC–you will receive a 20% off coupon for your next Swim Lessons University order!  THIS OFFER IS ALSO COMING SOON!

3.  Online Courses & Teaching Certificates –  We are currently developing “online courses” at Swim Lessons University that go along with our DVD courses.  For just $10 per test, your swim teacher(s) can take an online assessment to measure their knowledge of the content afforded thru the DVD course.  Upon successful completion, they will immediately receive a Swim Lessons University certificate recognized by WABC!  We expect to have the Teach Like a Pro online course available this spring and potentially several more!


Simply go to Swim Lessons University and sign up for our newsletter. YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW when the discount coupons, online courses, etc. are available!

, , , , , , , , ,
January 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm Comments (2)

Should you DUNK Babies in Swimming Lessons?

Should babies be DUNKED in swimming lessons?  Listen to this FREE PODCAST!

New podcast will be posted on the website approximately every two weeks and they will be announced in our newsletter.  If you are not already signed up to receive the free newsletter, sign up today at

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
January 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm Comments (0) features Jim Reiser’s article on Swim Lessons Plans

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Would you like to learn an easy way to construct great swim lesson plans for your beginner swimmers? It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Read on!


  1. Determine what skills are most age-appropriate to teach your beginner swimmers on a daily basis. The age of your students does dictate what skills are appropriate, but in general, you will spend time each class on kicking, breath control, breath holding, in-line kick (prone kick), back kick, and some type of swim (depends on age and skill readiness).
  2. Determine an age-appropriate total class length time. For preschoolers, 20 – 30 minutes is standard. One important consideration on whether you go 20, 25, or 30-minutes is the number of children in the class. A 20-minute class may be enough for a private lesson for a 3 or 4 year old–but is NOT enough time if you have two or more children in the class. In that case, go with a 25-30 minute lesson for beginner preschool age swimmers.
  3. Determine how much time you will allocate to each skill so that you can spend some time on each of the skills you would like your student to learn. Of course there may be classes where you don’t get through everything and that’s okay. But be careful not to “overstay your welcome” on any given skill AND realize that there is both skill and confidence transfer. In other words, when a child becomes more proficient at one skill that helps his/her confidence to improve the other skills and vice versa. One more tip, always try to spend time on the “swimming skill” which is usually allocated for the end of the class. As a rule of thumb–if you’re going to skip something, skip a drill instead of the main skill.
  4. Determine a set of progressions for each skill. For example, the end product for the “in-line kick/prone kick” would be that the child can kick with their face in the water, arms extended for 10 feet or so without any buoyancy props. However, the progression you predetermine may be in three stages: Stage 1: Use a barbell, arms extended, blowing bubbles. Stage 2: Use a barbell, arms extended, face in the water. Stage 3: Eliminate the barbell, arms extended, face in the water.
  5. Determine what cues or buzzwords you will use for each skill. For example, when teaching breath control, your buzzwords may be “breathe in your mouth, blow out your mouth and your nose.”
  6. Determine what equipment, toys, or props that you will need for your class. For example you may want to have kickboards, noodles, barbells, etc. available for your class.
  7. Determine a general level of proficiency that you will require the student to have mastered before advancing your student to a new stroke, skill set, etc.


Watch some highlights of author, Jim Reiser, using his lesson plans for teaching beginners to swim.

Sources and Citations

  • Original Source:
  • For specific lesson plans for all ages and skill levels, visit Swim Lessons University today!

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Write Swim Lesson Plans for Beginner Swimmers. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

, , , , , , , , , ,
January 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm Comments (0)

What does it mean to Learn to Swim?

My Definition of Swimming and Swimming Skill Benchmarks

What does it mean to learn to swim?  In an effort to help my “swim lessons parents” understand what a child can potentially learn at a variety of ages, I developed a list of “Swimming Skill Benchmarks”  for infants, toddlers, and young children.  Because the question, “How long will it take my child to learn to swim” is asked so often, I thought it would be helpful to define swimming in terms of a child’s reasonable capabilities at a variety of ages.   This, of course, is assuming the child is being instructed by a swimming professional (not your local pool lifeguard).

While I don’t believe it is necessary or even a good idea for children should  to be enrolled in swimming lessons 12 months out of the year, I do believe that learning to swim should be TOP PRIORITY and even take priority over other activities (if necessary).   To clarify further, my own children participate in a variety of activities for both fitness and skill acquisition, i.e., soccer, basketball, karate, and gymnastics to name a few.   Nevertheless–it is my professional opinion as both a physical educator and water safety professional every child should be able to swim freestyle and backstroke across a pool (5 year old benchmark below) by 6 years of age.  AND I don’t think that spending month after month in other activities INSTEAD of learning to swim, for example, is a good idea.  Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children age five and under for a reason, and while  learning to swim should never replace Constant Adult Supervision–it does save many more lives than t-ball, soccer, dance, etc.

It is very important to me that the following set of benchmarks be used to help parents understand what their child is capable of doing in terms of swimming skills, but this list should NEVER be used as a critique of any kind.  Children should be allowed to progress at their own pace in a child-friendly, child-centered environment.  FOR YOUR CHILD’S SAKE–KEEP THESE SIMPLE GUIDELINES IN MIND:

  1. Encourage and complement your child on what he/she is doing well.
  2. Leave the constructive criticisms to the teacher.
  3. Love and support your child unconditionally.

You want your child to develop a life long love affair with the water.  Allow him/her to progess at their own pace.   With that in mind, here are my SWIMMING SKILL BENCHMARKS:

3 months: Baby is capable of happily having water gently poured over the head using our conditioning method (as shown in my Bathtub Baby 101 DVD available on our website for just $19.00).

6 months: Baby is capable of performing a “brief underwater pass” with our Parent & Me class experiences.

12 months:  Baby is capable of a “brief underwater swim” with our Parent & Me class experiences.

18 months: Toddler is capable of maneuvering himself thru the water for 3-5 seconds using the legs for propulsion (independently from mom/dad to the teacher) with our Parent & Me class experiences.

24 – 36 months:

  • Toddler is capable of getting back to the side of the pool from a sitting entry with our Parent & Me class experiences.
  • 30 months: Toddler is capable of swimming with face in the water for 7-10 feet with our Parent & Me class experiences.
  • 36 months: Toddler is capable of getting back to the side of the pool from a standing entry with our Parent & Me class experiences.

3 ½ years: Child is capable of swimming with the face in the water and breathing as needed using a “pop-up breath” or “roll-over breath” with our Swim 101 class experiences.

4 years: Child is capable of swimming freestyle with the face-in-the-water for 20 feet with our Swim Strokes 201 class experiences.

5 years: Child is capable of swimming Freestyle with side breathing and Backstroke for 30 feet with our Swim Strokes 201 class experiences.

6 years: Child is capable of swimming a 100-yard individual medley (25 yards of each stroke:  butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle) competently with Advanced Swim Strokes 301 class and our entry-level swim team class experiences.


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 Online Swim Instructor Certification  and curriculum, make sure to visit us at

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).

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
January 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm Comments (0)

American Swimming Coaches Association announces Learn to Swim Clinic in Washington, DC

Mark your calendars for April 10th, 2010 to attend a terrific  one day conference.   The clinic will be held near Washington, DC in Gaithersburg, Maryland and costs just $49.00!

Speakers include

  • Jim Reiser, “The Swim Professor” &  founder of Swim Lessons University
  • Steve Fenning, Owner of Vero Beach FL SwimAmerica
  • Steve Haufler, Head Coach of the Orinda Country Club/Head Coach Orinda Aquatics.

What will you learn  and what is the schedule like?

9:00 – 10:00             Jim Reiser “Teaching Babies Better”

10:15 – 11:15          Steve Fenning “Teaching Beginners Freestyle and Backstroke”

11:30 – 12:30          Steve Haufler “Teaching Butterfly and Breaststroke”

12:30 – 1:30             Lunch Break

1:30 – 2:30               Jim Reiser “Presenting a Water Safety Lesson”

Pool Demonstrations

2:45 – 3:45               Steve Haufler “Teaching of Butterfly and Breaststroke”

4:00 – 5:00               Steve Fenning “Teaching of Freestyle and Backstroke”

Location:  Quince Orchard Swim & Tennis Club, 16601 Roundabout Drive, Gaithersburg, MD  20875.

For more information or to register, call Julie Nitti at 1-800-356-2722!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
January 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm Comments (0)

WikiHow features article on “How to Teach the Back Float in 60 Seconds or Less!”

How to Teach a Child to Back Float in Swim Lessons in 60 Seconds or Less

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Would you like to learn how to teach a young child (age 3 & over) to float on the back in one minute or less? Read on!


  1. Drop the Back Float from the Lesson Plan when Teaching a True Beginner! Because floating on the back requires the student to relax—beginner swimmers do not have the necessary prerequisite skills to learn the back float. It is simply a waste of time.
  2. Why Is It a Waste of Time? Beginner swimmers don’t know how to relax yet, and because of that, far too much time has to be devoted to learning to float on the back. Therefore, teachers unnecessarily waste valuable practice time teaching the back float too soon.
  3. Skill Breeds Confidence. Teach the beginner swimmer skills. Nervousness won’t prevent your beginners from learning other swimming skills in which all beginners can learn. So instead, teach breath holding, breath control, kicking on the front and back, and swimming with the face above and even in the water.
  4. Confidence Breeds Relaxation. Now that your student has developed a sound repertoire of skills, you don’t have to teach the child to relax. Relaxation comes naturally.
  5. Back Float Naturally! A child who is confident and has developed some foundational swimming skills will learn to back float in a fraction of the time. In fact, if you drop back floating from the lesson plan while your student develops skills, confidence and learns how to relax, your student learn will learn to back float in 1 minute or less!


Watch a free video sampling of Jim Reiser using both fun and innovative methods to teaching young children to swim.

Sources and Citations

  • Original Source,
  • Visit Swim Lessons University for more information on instructional swimming DVD’s for swim teachers and parents.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Teach a Child to Back Float in Swim Lessons in 60 Seconds or Less. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

, , , , , , , , , , ,
January 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm Comments (0)