The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

Swim Instructor Certification Alternatives

As the American Red Cross raises it’s fees for swim lesson programs and it’s Water Safety Instructor certification, the interest in an alternative swim instructor certification is on the rise.   One of those alternatives is the Swim Lessons University Swimming Instructor training program.

Barb Limbo, Aquatic Director for the Rapid City Aquatics Recreation Department in South Dakota comments, “We have adapted the Swim Lesson University program. The ease of training staff is great. The videos show the instructors how to interact with children, not just show the progressions of the strokes.   Swim Lessons University is wonderful and has been great to work with on the switch at our facility–making our transition much easier.”

There are several real advantages, in addition to it being more cost effective solution for recreation departments, YMCA’s, and swim schools.   To name a few, all training can be done in-house.  SLU training features video-based courses so swim instructor candidates get to learn from watching real learn-to-swim classes and expert instructors vs. the traditional textbook approach.  Swim Lessons University training is also very convenient as swim teachers do all their testing online.

Former USA Olympian, 1988 Silver Medalist, and swim school owner Beth Barr speaks of Jim Reiser and Swim Lessons University:

“Your appreciation and knowledge of the sport, your business sense and your understanding of children and how they learn is revolutionizing the swim lesson industry.   Your efforts have not only given me the confidence to start BARRacuda Swim Works, they have also reminded me of the critical importance of our profession. Your passion is apparent and catching – it is important to teach children and their parents how to enjoy the water, safely, and to help them develop a skill they can enjoy their entire life.”

 

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 www.SwimLessonsUniversity.com

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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October 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm Comments (0)

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?

OR

  • 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 jreiser@swimprofessor.com

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

Swim Instructor Training

What is the most important component of a successful swim school or swim lessons program?   The swim instructors of course!  Without competent swim teachers, the swim lessons are a flop!  In many cases, the swim lessons are even a waste of time.  In some others, they are actually dangerous.

There are multiple factors that affect the bottom line, but none are more important than the quality of the swimming instruction.  Your swim instructors are the lifeblood of your business.  Your swim instructors are the reason a child enjoys learning to swim, or does not.  You swim instructors determine if you have repeat business, or not.  Most importantly, your swim instructors determine if the children learn to swim–or not!

What can you do to ensure that your lessons, your program, or your swim school is top notch?   Swim Instructor Training is the most important ingredient to your success.  If you’re a business owner, exposing yourself to as much as you can is extremely valuable.

One piece of practical advice I will offer you first off is: Don’t go broke doing it!  Children have been learning to swim for centuries.  There is no one magical method.  Most reputable methods work–providing the instructor “understands” the concepts and applications, has the right personality for the job, and is committed to being a great instructor.  One’s commitment and desire to excel conquers all, but a great training program will help you and all of your instructors be more successful.

We are all built differently.  Some styles and approaches appeal to some of us more than others.  You have to decide what program(s) appeal to you most.   There are many factors, including but not limited to:

  • Affordability– How much money can you afford to allocate to training your staff each year.  How much of your own paycheck are you willing to give up to train staff?
  • Practicality – How much paperwork will you need to submit (Again, plan for growth.  It may seem minimal if you have 50 students, but what if you grow to 500 students?)
  • Convenience – How convenient is it to train your instructors (once again, plan for growth.  It’s one thing to train 5 or 6 swim instructors; it’s another to train 25-30 instructors or even 50-60 instructors).  I would like to mention as of February 15, 2011, Swim Lesson s University will offer its’ training video courses, testing, and certification programs online in addition to the DVD’s and Online Testing programs currently offered.  So no matter where your teachers are, they will be able to complete this training as either a complement to what you are already doing or as a complete training program.
  • Effectiveness – How effective is the training?  Upon completion, will your new teachers be skillful swimming instructors?  Will they actually know what to do and how to do it?  Will the children love their classes?  Remember, the job your swim instructors do represents YOU!

As a swim school owner, I have exposed myself to nearly every program out there.  What has worked for me personally has evolved and changed over the years, inspiring the development of Swim Lessons University.   To this day, I can tell you every bit of training I have ever done, every clinic I have attended, every teacher and coach who I have worked with has helped me in some way, shape, or form.

Personally, I have a master’s degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Motor Skill Acquisition.  Until going full-time with my swim school and Swim Lessons University, I was the Professor of Aquatics at the University of South Carolina for 12 years. As a former USA Swimming Club Coach, I developed numerous nationally ranked age group swimmers and led Team Carolina to back-to-back state championships in 2004 and 2005 (a team I literally started from scratch in 1994).

Having used multiple learn-to-swim methods, having taught beginners of all ages (infants through adults), as well as coached numerous elite competitive swimmers, I was inspired to develop Swim Lessons University.   I wanted to put together a training program that would be as practical as possible, one that would be easy to administer, one that would be affordable, and most importantly–one that would develop great swim teachers for children!  That’s what Swim Lessons University is all about.

There is so much great information out there, but most swim school owners tell me that they have so many responsibilities that they don’t want to reinvent the wheel.   So with Swim Lessons University, I have tried to combine my physical education background (which included training physical education teachers), as well as my learn-to-swim experiences (in and out of the water)–and create something special and unique.

Nevertheless, I would recommend that every swim school owner utilize many of the fantastic resources out there.  Here are some of my favorites:

World Aquatic Babies and Children is an amazing network for you to join.  Led by the National Swim School Association founder, Steve Graves, WABC has even endorsed Swim Lessons University training and WABC is our official partner.  WABC offers conferences in the U.S. every other year, and produces a phenomenal newsletter every other month.   In addition, the WABC website is full of resources for swimming teachers, including pod casts, articles, and much more!

American Swimming Coaches Association is the premier coaches association in the world.  Led by executive director John Leonard, I am their biggest fan.  I would not be the coach/teacher I am today without them.  I think so much of ASCA that I am a Lifetime Member.  I continue to attend the annual Swim Coaches World Clinics, as well as speak for their SwimAmerica and American Learn to Swim Teachers conferences.

United States Swimming, in which I served as one of their club coaches for 12 years here in South Carolina, has an unlimited number of resources.  Most recently, USA Swimming launched the “Make a Splash” initiative helping my local Swim Lessons Company reach a new demographic that we hadn’t been reaching before.  This awesome initiative creates opportunity for all economic and ethnic backgrounds.  I should also note that Swim Lessons University is an approved curriculum/program of Make a Splash, which is one component that can help afford you with the ability to be a local “Make a Splash” partner program.

United States Swim School Association is another fabulous swim school association, led by Sue Mackie, in which to belong.  You can take business courses through USSSA, infant-toddler training, and maybe most importantly, become part of a wonderful network of swim school owners and instructors just like you.  I often have the opportunity to serve as speaker for USSSA conferences, as I will this spring in Newport Beach, CA at their Spring Workshop. Hope to see you there!

As a business owner, I think you should try to take advantage of all these resources as I do.  I believe that swim school owners and directors who are new to the swim school industry should also network and find a really good mentor or three!  This has been invaluable to my own growth, so much that I try to give back in this area as much as I possibly can.  After mentoring dozens of swim school owners, and because my schedule has become so busy with Swim Lessons University, The Swim Lessons Company, and being a proud father of three young boys–I now help and share mostly through a very reasonable  “One-on-one” phone consultation service.  It is currently so reasonable (and I want it to be) that is probably less expensive than most of your private swim lessons!  I should also mention I can do these consultations “face-to-face” one the day before or the day after any Swim Lessons University Conference. My next Swim Lessons University Conference will be in Orlando, Florida on February 19, 2011.  Hope to see you there!  This will be the last “One-day SLU conference” of until next fall.

The way you train your swim instructors is up to you, of course.  I just hope that some of the suggestions and swim teacher training ideas that I have offered you today will help you.  After all, we’re all in this together, and we are providing a service that can not only make a difference a child’s life, the result of our service could save a child’s life!  What is more rewarding than that?

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December 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm Comment (1)

Online Swim Teacher Training available through Swim Lessons University & WABC!

In addition to membership discounts for your new WABC (World Aquatic Babies & Children Network) membership or membership renewal,  your staff will soon be able to use the Swim Lessons University ONLINE TESTS based on the SLU DVD’s.    For just $10 per teacher, your teachers will be able to take a 25 question test and get a Certificate of Completion endorsed by SLU and WABC.

While your teacher must score 100% pct.  to receive the certificate (multiple choice),  they will not have to retake the entire test.  Instead, the questions they missed will pop up for them to answer again.  Once all the questions are answered correctly, the certificate will appear with their name on the certificate and the authorized signatures of Jim Reiser and Steve Graves.

The “Teach Like a Pro” Certification Test will be available in the next couple weeks with others coming soon, including: Parent and Me, Swim 101,  Swim Strokes 201, Breaststroke 301, and Butterfly 301 all to follow this year.

Feel free to email me with any questions at jreiser@swimprofessor.com

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February 11, 2010 at 1:00 am Comments (0)

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