The Swim Professor

Jim Reiser, M.S.

How to Be a Swim Instructor-Trainer with Swim Lessons University

Swim Lessons University, in cooperation with the World Aquatic Babies and Children (WABC) Network, is now accepting applications for Instructor-Trainers.   SLU has also just released its brand new Learn-to-Swim IT Manual, which contents includes: How to administer the SLU Course at your Facility, Course Administration and Application Process and Fees, Swim Lessons Level Descriptions, How to Conduct Skill Sessions, the Practicum and Mentoring program, Acknowledging Course Participation, Swim Instructor Certification Requirements, Evaluating Teaching Skills, Safety Recommendations, Class Sizes, and Supervision.  The appendixes also include an Instructor Assessment/15 Point Analysis as well the Learn-to-Swim Professional License.

Swim Lessons University would like to offer a SPECIAL THANKS to the facilities and program coordinators who have been serving as the “living laboratories” while additional components were being developed.

Barbara Limbo, Rapid City Recreation – Rapid City, South Dakota

Shannon O’Brien, Charleston Country Schools / L.A.P.S. Program – Charleston, SC

Anne Marie Boehlert, City of Shelton Recreation – Shelton, Connecticut

Teri Gotro, El Dorado Hills Recreation– El Dorado Hills, California

In addition, the following aquatic programs are now proudly utilizing the Swim Lessons University curriculum and instructor training materials:  City of Mt. Sterling, University of Mississippi, City of Sparks, Nevada, Helper City, Utah, City of Columbus, Nebraska, City of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, City of San Carlos, California, City of Manhattan Beach, California, City of Natchitoches, Louisiana, City of Manitou Springs, Fox Valley YMCA, Springfield YMCA, Sarasota YMCA, Southern Alabama University, Surburban Seahawks, Newton Square, PA, I Swim U.,  Safety Before Skill Swim School, AZ, Montana Swim School, Orlando Metro Gymnastics & Swim School, Orlando, FL, Swim Kids, FL, Sparkling Pool Services, NJ, NY & PA, and many more private swimming instructors, swim schools, pool management companies, and Y’s. Swim Lessons University sincerely thanks you for your support and loyalty.

For more information on how you can offer the Swim Lessons University at your facility, contact Swim Lessons University today at 803-665-8709 or email
Here is Recreation Supervisor and Aquatic Director, Teri Gotro of El Dorado Hills, CA–speaking about her experience with Swim Lessons University AND sharing some video highlights of her SLU Certified staff in action

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).


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
December 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm Comments (0)

Learn-to-Swim Objective for 3-4 Year Olds

For three to four year olds, while we don’t expect a three year old to swim front crawl or freestyle with side breathing across the pool yet, a three year old can learn to swim distances any where from 15 feet up to 25 yards if parents continue to enroll their child in lessons with a quality swimming instructor and swim lessons curriculum.

During this time, the child will also be developing the prerequisite skills in his swimming lessons so he can swim the front crawl (freestyle) with side breathing and backstroke for distances between 30 feet to 50 yards by the time he is four or five years of age. On the other hand, if the young three or four year old isn’t developing these skills in swim lessons now, learning the strokes will be certainly delayed. The Front Crawl with side breathing and Backstroke will come MUCH EASIER to a four or five year old that has already mastered the Surface Swim with a Pop-up or Rollover Breath when they were three years of age. Mastering these skills will be much more difficult for the four or five year old who’s parent waited or discontinued lessons for other activities.

Here is Nolan, who just turned three years old. He was 37 months of age at the time of this video.

To illustrate what six to seven months of swimming lessons per year (not year-round) can do for your child, I will continue to post at least one more video of Nolan for another LTS Objective so you can see what can be achieved with a commitment to swimming instruction.

PLEASE NOTE: No objective or benchmark should ever be achieved because we (swim instructor or parent) want the child to achieve it, rather, when the child is developmentally ready to achieve it. Enjoy the journey. Stay child focused. AS a result, your student/child will develop a lifelong love affair with the water, as well as become a safer swimmer. That is what Swim Lessons University is all about.

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).

, , , , , , , ,
May 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm Comments (0)

Swim Lesson Basics

How to Teach Swim Lessons for Kids

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
When it comes to teaching swimming lessons, there are some basic guidelines that every experienced swim instructor follows. Whether they do it knowingly or naturally, here are some swim lesson basics that should take place in the process. How to teach kids to swim:


  1. Safety first. Never turn your back on a beginner. Have a lifeguard or water watcher. Especially if you are teaching a large group, use lifejackets. If teaching a small class of preschoolers(4 or less), use a progressive flotation device).
  2. Show that you care. Warmly welcome every student. Hold their hand and walk them up to the pool. Hold their hand and walk them back to the parents. Tell mom or dad how wonderful they did. This is also a good safety practice, especially if the deck is slippery.
  3. Be prepared. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Always have a Lesson plan with both age appropriate skills and progressions.
  4. Always create a positive environment. First and foremost, the backbone of your approach be positive. Every class should be dominated by smiles and laughter, lots of praise and positive feedback !
  5. Use practical skill progressions. Skills should be broken down from easy to hard, or simple to complex. At Swim Lessons University, we include skill progressions that have been tested and tried right in the laminated swim lessons plans for you
  6. Sandwich “corrections” with complements. Complement, correct, complement. A great technique. At the very least, complement twice as much as you correct.
  7. Teach age appropriate skills. This is all about curriculum and having a good one. Far too often teachers get bored teaching a skill so they jump to something else. Big mistake. Learning is a process, not an event. Go through the progressions and be patient.
  8. Child focused first. Skills second. NEVER put mastering a skill ahead of the child’s well-being and happiness. A child must love to learn first, before he/she can learn to swim. By forcing skills or progressions on a child before he/she is ready, you may turn a child off to swim lessons all together.
  9. Use skill appropriate swim lesson equipment. Kickboards, for example, are wonderful tools. But for three and four year olds especially, you many want to substitute a noodle first and then graduate them to a kickboard once they mastered kicking with the noodle. Kickboards, noodles, and barbells are the primary learn to swim tools I recommend (along with some toys and props for our preschool swim lesson activities).
  10. For preschoolers, use more of an activity-oriented approach. Children 5 and under (especially 3’s & 4’s) NEED a different approach than what is traditionally done for older children. The key with preschoolers is to keep the lesson engaging and redirect their attention by making learning like play.
  11. Praise effort! Children aren’t always going to pick up a new skill. It’s extremely important that we praise effort as well as skill mastery. After all, when a skill comes naturally, children don’t learn lifelong habits like persistence and work ethic. On the other hand, if they have to work for it a little bit and don’t get discouraged, they do learn the invaluable characteristics of determination and perseverance.
  12. Make learning like play. Have fun! If it’s fun, your students will want to come back and develop a life long love affair with the water.
  13. Educate parents on the importance of learning to swim, and at the same time, stress that there is no such thing as drownproofing.
  14. Act like a professional. Dress for success, arrive early, stay on schedule, keep your equipment and props neatly organized on deck (don’t allow stuff to be floating all over the pool), and avoid talking about personal issues.

    Follow these Swim Lessons Basics tips for swimming instructors and earn the respect of everyone you encounter, while you teach a skill that could save a child’s life.

, , , ,
October 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm Comment (1)

Swim Lesson Curriculum shines in Tennessee

I want to thank Coach Brad Kerr in Tennessee for his permission to post the following letter:

Dear Coach Reiser:

My name is Brad Kerr and I spoke with you last summer.  You basically gave me a free consultation on how I could go about starting a swim lesson company here in Tennessee.  I am writing a year later to thank you so much as it has gone so well thanks to you.

Because of  your swim lesson curriculum I have done so well that I have enough clients in enough places that I eventually has an apartment complex allow me to use their pool as my home base for FREE!  Even in the winter I had people asking me for lessons with Mr. Brad!

Well I just wanted to let you know because I now have the confidence and drive to get it done thanks to you.  I want to thank you for being kind enough to guide me when others thought I would fail.

Looking forward to another successful summer using your Swim Lesson Plans and swim lesson ideas.

Hope to see you at one of your conferences soon!

Thanks Coach!


August 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm Comments (0)

Central Florida YMCA Swim Instructor COMMENTS on Swim Lesson Plans

Dear Swim Professor,

I wanted to let you know I got my DVD’s today.   I wanted to write earlier, but have been extremely busy with lessons. Your swim lesson videos and swim lesson plans are so awesome!   I love the fact that you don’t display kids who already know how to swim to show strokes. It is so frustrating as an instructor when your looking for ideas to help a child who is having challenges. I have a huge class of preschoolers on Saturdays.  Despite the class size, with the help of your videos my kids were the stand out swimmers. I even had a parent asked to have her child switch to my class even as full as it was. I had to say I couldn’t do it, but what a feeling I had all day! I will definitely be buying more videos (just waiting for payday :)) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Blessings, Michele S.

, , ,
August 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm Comments (0)