Swim School Sanitation

It goes without saying that safety in and around water is of utmost importance however many swim schools fail to remember that poor water quality can be just as hazardous to your health.

The main asset within a swim school ‘is’ the water therefore facility managers should have a thorough understanding of how to achieve and maintain healthy water to protect both staff and patrons alike. Sadly, not all swim schools comply with health standards and in a lot of cases just don’t have the adequate equipment to maintain those standards, especially those that have a high volume of bathers.

Water Chemistry Basics – Chloramines

We all know that chemicals (most commonly Chlorine) are added to the water to protect our health however when bather loads increase, Chlorine by-products are the unfortunate side effect. People are a major source of pollutants (Ammonia from sweat and urine) which react with Chlorine to form chemicals known as Chloramines which are directly responsible for the distinct Chlorine odour as well as eye, nose, throat and lung irritations.

Chloramines can evaporate and are released into the air when water is sprayed or splashed. Staff and swimmers who experience long term exposure may develop allergic sensitivities and will react to even low levels of Chloramines which may force them to avoid the water altogether. Showers prior to swimming are encouraged to help lower the amount of Ammonia entering the water and minimise Chloramine build up risk.

Not only is regular maintenance and water balancing important to avoid health issues, adequate ventilation is also critical in maintaining clean air and a healthy swimming environment.

What else is swimming with you?

In addition to Chloramines, the following ‘unintentional release’ material is typically swimming with you in a public pool:

  • 0.14 grams of faecal matter per bather;
  • 6 million skin cells per bather after 15 minutes;
  • 30mls of urine per bather;
  • 1 litre of sweat per bather, per hour; and
  • Products such as sunscreen and body lotions/moisturisers.

When you add the urine that ‘is’ intentionally released you can certainly see how hard your sanitation system has to work to maintain water quality.

Secondary Sanitation

Chlorine as a primary disinfectant does a good job however it’s not a powerful oxidiser. In addition, Cryptosporidium and Giardia have become immune to Chlorine at standard dose rates forcing facilities to look for secondary sanitation options to protect their swimmers.

Ozone or UV?

Both Ozone and UV technologies have a great history within the aquatic industry and are heavily used across Europe. Both technologies break down bacteria and virus in different ways (depending on dose rates) and provide insurance against Cryptosporidium outbreaks however the effectiveness of both can be limited if the basics of primary disinfection aren’t taken care of i.e. – turnover, filtration, accurate dosing to maintain adequate pH and Free Available Chlorine levels.

Ozone (O3)

Ozone is a powerful oxidiser that:

  • Will effectively destroy Cryptosporidium, bacteria and virus;
  • Is a natural flocculant;
  • Oxidises Chloramines;
  • Works 3500 times faster than Chlorine;
  • Works in cloudy water; and
  • Leaves only Oxygen as a residual following oxidation of contaminants.


It is important to understand that UV is an in-activator, not an oxidiser:

  • UV will inactivate Cryptosporidium, bacteria and virus;
  • UV will break down Chloramines;
  • UV will inactivate micro-organisms;
  • UV systems only treat water that is passed through a UV reactor; and
  • UV systems are not effective in cloudy water as cloudy water will absorb UV light.

Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP)

Why choose one when you can combine the two?

Brauer Industries award winning Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) systems (combining both Ozone and UV) have been helping Australian swim schools achieve pristine water quality. When combining Ozone and UV the end result is Hydroxyl Free Radicals, one of the most reactive agents known to chemistry. These reactive species can virtually oxidise any compound found in water, maximising disinfection whilst killing all types of bacteria, fungi, virus and Chlorine resistant parasites such as Cryptosporidium. More importantly, these AOP systems will dramatically lower combined Chlorine levels to keep your water within health regulations.

AOP systems are suitable for:

  • Learn to swim pools;
  • Aquatic centres;
  • Water parks;
  • Hydrotherapy pools; and
  • Resort and Hotel pools.

The benefits of an AOP system are:

  • Effectively destroys Chloramines;
  • Kills Cryptosporidium and Giardia;
  • Reduces Chlorine demand;
  • Enhances water clarity;
  • Ensures bather comfort;
  • Improves air quality;
  • Reduction of total Chlorine; and
  • Energy efficient.

If you would like to know more contact the experts at Brauer Industries today on 1300 696 631.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!


Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Swim Cap and Goggles YES or NO

Does your swim school have a policy on wearing cap and goggles within the swimming lesson?  Caps and goggles can aid swimmers experience in their lesson.  They can also be a hindrance within the lesson if used incorrectly.  If you don’t currently have a policy on wearing cap and goggles you may find some of the information within this article helpful.

Swim Caps

There are a couple of different types of swim caps used for swimming lessons.  Below is a discussion of the Pros and Cons of wearing a swim cap.


Swim Cap Pros
  • Hair tucked up inside the hat aids in keeping swimming pool clean
  • Filtration system will work better without hair floating around in the pool
  • Caps can keep hair out of swimmers eyes ensuring better visibility
  • Hair is out of ears for better listening to instructions
  • Latex and Silicone caps keep hair dry for cooler months
  • Material Caps allow hair to be wet in warmer months
Swim Cap Cons
  • If poorly fitted they can be a hindrance to hearing and visibility
  • Latex and Silicone caps can split as they get older and can’t be fixed
  • Material Caps can stretch out over time and won’t return to regular size
  • If cap doesn’t fit and keeps falling off it may make swimmer stop to fix it


Goggles come in many shapes and sizes.  It’s important that your swim school informs parents to buy well fitting goggles.  Sometimes it’s worth spending a little bit more money to buy a pair of goggles that will fit properly.  This will save your instructors a lot of time fixing and fiddling with poorly fitting goggles and allow them to spend their time on instructing the swimmers in their lesson.


It’s important to consider beginner swimmer’s needs and what is the best method to proceed with these beginners wearing goggles.  What will your swim school decide?  Should swimmers be able to put their face in and be confident in the water before wearing goggles or should they use goggles to become confident and put their face in?


It is important that all swimmers attempt some type of swimming without goggles throughout their lessons at your centre.  This can be a safety issue if swimmers are unable to swim without their goggles.  You may want to consider a goggle free lesson scheduled (or at least part of the lesson).  Another time for goggle free swimming could be during Water Safety Week.


Goggles Pros
  • Develops spatial awareness in being able to see underwater
  • Assists in swimming straight
  • Eyes won’t become sore if wearing goggles within the lesson
  • Helps build confidence in the lessons for beginners
Goggles Cons
  • Poorly fitting goggles waste precious swimming time
  • Swimmers become reliant on goggles & panic when they don’t have them
If your swim school has a policy on wearing caps and goggles within the lesson then it will make things easier for your instructors and ensure that this policy is followed across the board and achieving equality for each and every swimmer in your swim school.  Ensure that all instructors are aware of the policy and adhering to this to keep your swim school uniform and parents happy.

What are some things you do to help improve your teaching skills?  Share in the comments section below.


To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!


Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

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Laurie’s Recipe For Success

Laurie Lawrence is a well renowned and respected person in the aquatics industry.  Laurie has had much success in all areas of teaching swimming.  He has provided swimming lessons from babies all the way up to adults.  In fact Laurie has had the privilege of teaching frightened beginners to swim who have gone on to excel in the swimming industry and medal at the Olympic Games.

Laurie has been recognised by the International Swimming Hall of Fame for contribution to the aquatics industry in both the Infant and Coaching sectors.  He has taught and coached many swimmers to local, state, national and international accolades throughout his illustrious career.


Laurie has a tried and tested Recipe for Success that he uses in his daily life.  World Wide Swim School would like to share with you this Recipe for Success.

  • Dream
  • Plan
  • Work
  • Persist
  • Refocus


This Recipe for Success has helped Laurie achieve things in life such as his many swimming success stories as well as playing Rugby Union for Australia, achieving a happy marriage and raising his now grown children.

There are many measures to success.  Be it professional or personal it is hoped that you can get something from this article that will help you in your life.



What is your dream?  Is it to be a knowledgeable infant teacher?  A well respected and liked swimming teacher?  Coach an international representative?  All of these require an expectation of excellence of perfection.

So where do you start? Study and practise on your clients?  Teach the child and develop a champion?  Recruit an athlete and foster success?  No matter which way you decide to go you must have a plan.



A plan is like a road map to success.  You must get the foundations right to become successful in the long run.  Ask yourself the following questions.

  • How are you going to implement the plan?
  • How long will it take to achieve?
  • What do you need to know?
  • How are you going to learn?
  • Do you need people to help you?
  • How will you ask for and choose your help?
  • Will you need to train your peers who assist you?


Once you have decided on your plan you must arm yourself with the knowledge that you will need.  Where will you get this knowledge?  Do you need to participate in extra study?  Find a mentor that can guide you?  Do you need more practise and experience?



American swim coach and University of Michigan alumni Matt Mann said “Nothing easy is worth doing”.  Once you have your dream and your plan it’s time to get to work!

Build a culture of best practise or excellence with a vision to become ‘the best’.  Which best?  Best in the swim school? In the State?  In the World?  The answer is up to you!

Pay attention to the every day details.  Work towards achieving excellence in every skill, every stroke, every drill, every effort, every day!

Quality can not be an occasional thing.  Pay attention to the process of doing everything well daily to keep improving on the current standard.



Success doesn’t come overnight!  There will be times when things don’t go your way or come together in the way that you had hoped.

Many give up before they reach their true potential!  Stick with it – you have your dream, you have your plan, you are working towards your goal!  Persist and don’t stop!

Mistakes can make us disillusioned and defeated or they can make us stronger and more determined.



Once you achieve your goal it’s time to look for new challenges.  How many true success stories do we now who have had success at the top of their game and continued to strive for this success again and again!

Great teachers and coaches evaluate the success of their campaign with an honest eye.  They refocus and re-evaluate when necessary and start again.

Laurie’s Recipe for Success has helped him achieve many things in his life.  He continues to use this recipe daily and receives great accomplishments throughout his life still to this day.

Good luck with your Recipe for Success in life.  It is hoped that Laurie’s words can be an inspiration in your life and help you achieve great success in whatever it is that you hope for.


Laurie believes that his Recipe for Success will help parents, children, athletes and all people achieve great things.  Remember the steps that help him succeed.

  • Dream
  • Plan
  • Work
  • Persist
  • Refocus


To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!


Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Perpetual Swimming VS Term Swimming

How does your centre run lessons?  What is the best way to schedule and run your swimming program?  This article will discuss pros and cons of the 2 types of program, which may give you some food for thought when scheduling lessons for your centre.


Perpetual Swimming

Swimming year round has benefits and negatives attached to it.  The following are a few things to think about when scheduling your perpetual swimming program.


Perpetual Swimming Pros

  • Keeps clients swimming throughout the entire year without giving them an option for a break.
  • Avoids the headaches of rebooking week and alleviates long lines for administration.
  • Financial payments continue throughout the year while clients continue to swim.
  • Clients don’t need to remember or pay attention to breaks as they continue to swim.
  • It is the client and not centre’s responsibility to continue swimming or cancel as they see fit.


Perpetual Swimming Cons

  • Staff may become tired, run down and cranky without a designated break.
  • Classes can become stagnant without much movement or change over time.
  • No time within the program for holiday courses, free intensives, clinics or special occasions.
  • Ethical dilemma to take payment for times when swimming won’t occur – eg public holidays.
  • Swimmers get used to the same teacher each week and may not be willing to give others a go.


Term Swimming

Having a centre that runs within school terms or creates its own swimming terms can be both a positive and negative experience.  The following are a few points to consider when scheduling Term swimming within your centre.


Term Swimming Pros

  • Beginning and end date for parents, swimmers and staff to work towards a common goal.
  • Payment can be made in full for an entire term upfront or ongoing.
  • Instructors, classes and times have the chance to change once a Term has finished.
  • Gives swimmers who are tired, bored or uninterested a break so they can return refreshed.
  • Offers swim centres a chance to schedule more or less classes depending on seasons, public patrons, school swimming program, time of school year and other extenuating circumstances.


Term Swimming Cons

  • Administration spends a lot of time rebooking clients into exactly the same booking.
  • If clients are away during rebooking week they may miss out on their regular spot.
  • A break may harm swimmers who crave routine and repetition.
  • New clients booked into established classes may pose a challenge for instructors.
  • Terms may not match up with all schools due to Private, Public and Independent systems.


These are just a few thoughts on the Perpetual VS Term swimming debate in the Aquatics industry.  What are your thoughts on the above?  Please comment if you have further points for discussion.


To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!


Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Swim School

A team is only as good as its weakest link!

Swim School owners and operators should put a huge emphasis on their in-house staff training.  Regular staff training will produce good quality, well-educated staff, and professional staff members.   These staff will keep clients happy and wanting to return to the centre each week.  Returning clientele will also give the centre excellent reports to their friends and great word of mouth feedback.  This will help keep classes full, bring in revenue and maintain class numbers for instructors resulting in a happy and well-run swim centre.


Well-educated staff will sell your program for you!  If they know the reasons WHY instructors teach your curriculum and can answer any questions a new parent may have, that parent will be more likely to commence swimming at your centre.  It’s important for swim school owners and managers to take the time to educate administration, deck supervisors and instructors when they first begin working at the centre so that they are well versed in your swim schools curriculum and policies.


It’s not only your beginner staff that will need training sessions.  Your staff should participate in constant training sessions within your program.  Trainers can get ideas on what to present from watching regular lessons and seeing how instructors are progressing.  Every swim school will be different in what specific training sessions are needed but below are some examples that may work well for many swim schools out there.


Staff Training Session Ideas

  • Curriculum Presentation and revision
  • Booking and payment policies
  • Health and Safety procedures for staff and clients
  • Team teaching with a shadow teacher/junior staff member
  • Behaviour management techniques
  • Lesson planning for various age groups and ability levels
  • Teaching a frightened beginner class
  • Maximum Practice Time and keeping classes moving
  • The benefits of land drill in a swimming program
  • Effective water safety skills and drills
  • Q&A with staff – any questions discussed and answered
  • The importance of manipulation within a swimming lesson
  • Using certificates or rewards systems efficiently


Training sessions may be in a classroom or office setting.  These sessions may be presented via management with PowerPoint slides, a presenter led group discussion, or work in small groups.  Some sessions may be practical in the water sessions or a role-play scenario.   Types of training provided will be determined by management depending on the specific needs of the group.  More experienced instructors may relish an opportunity to share knowledge with the group, others may prefer to sit back and listen.  Try to incorporate many different styles of training sessions as people learn differently.


With time and practice trainers and participants will relish the opportunity to participate in staff training events.  Don’t be afraid to ask staff for suggestions of what to present to the group – after all, the staff are the ones who need the information: why not go straight to the source!  Good luck in your training endeavours – may they bring great success to your business and smart confident employees within your swim centre.


To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!


Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Swimming Toys and Their Uses

Toys can be a very useful tool for a swimming lesson.  Young swimmers love using toys in their lesson and they can be a huge help for swimming instructors and parents.  Toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.  Swimmers are limited only to their imagination for toys and their uses.  Here are some suggestions for using toys within a lesson.


Choose Appropriate Toys

There are a multitude of toys out there available to purchase for swimming lessons.  Some toys are created specifically for swimming lessons, others can be found in your local store and will work well for learning experiences.

  • Quick drying toys are better for hygiene and storage.
  • Ensure toys are small enough to fit in young swimmers hands and light enough for small hands to lift and manoeuvre
  • Bright colours are easily spotted in the water and a big hit with swimmers of all ages and abilities



Ensure toys are regularly cleaned and changed to keep germs at bay.  If toys are changed around often it also keeps swimmers imaginations engaged and excited.

  • Use a non-toxic cleaning agent, as toys will end up in mouths!
  • Ensure any water is squeezed or emptied out of toys
  • Store toys in an open basket or in an area where they will dry easily


Swimming Related Purpose

When using toys in a swimming lesson ensure that they are being used with a swimming related purpose.  Swimmers should paddle towards a toy and then pick it up as a reward.  Parents can place the toy on the water and swimmers can kick towards it to enhance kicking skills.  Swimmers can hold a toy above their face when back floating for distraction and engagement.  Swimmers should never just hold a toy in their hand and swim with it – this isn’t promoting good swimming practice.  Instructors should use their imagination and prepare their lessons so that toys are useful to their teaching – not a hindrance to the group.


Other Information

There are many types of toys for use within a swimming lesson.  These include but are not limited to mats, slides, kickboards, hoops, noodles, balls, cars, dive rings and puppets.  Instructors should be able to run an effective swimming lesson with and without toys and educate parents of appropriate use of toys within the lesson.   Swimmers of all ages can benefit from the use of toys within the lesson.  It’s important that instructors plan well for their use and constantly review and reflect on how toys affect the flow of their lesson.


What experiences have you had with using toys in your lesson?


Any favourite toys that you’ve found in your teaching?


How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

School Swimming

Form the Relationship

At worldwideswimschool.com we have found the key to running a successful schools program all boils down to maintaining a healthy and professional relationship with the responsible person at hand. This generally tends to be the sports coordinator or the principle or may even be a deputy head. If it happens to be a school that you have not previously worked with, arrange a time to meet in person. Find out what exactly the school is after and what goals they would like the children to achieve by the end. Discuss what you can offer and sell WHY this particular school should use your venue for their school swimming lessons.


Plan to plan and plan

The great thing about working with Schools is that they generally have the upcoming year outlined in advance. This gives swim schools a great opportunity to plan in advance and teach accordingly. With open lines of communication, you may have the opportunity to bring about some positive changes and results from what the school has formerly organised in the past. For example; perhaps the program has previously only ever operated for one lesson per week over eight weeks. We believe that children learn through repetition and regular participation will increase better skill acquisition.  This may be something that the school has not considered in the past. Staff could simply make them aware of the results, which could be achieved by operating their program twice weekly or even daily.

Planning ahead of time is always recommended especially if you are a larger facility and planning multiple programs over the same period of time. It is important that you ascertain the type of program that you will administer for the school itself. Will you follow your particular curriculum or are there specifics or guidelines that the school would like you to cover?


Pool Space

Prior to booking any type of program at your pool, you must first ensure that you actually have pool space available on the requested dates and times. Never be afraid to negotiate dates and times with the school should pool space prove to be an issue. You may not be able to meet a school’s demands for a certain requested day as space is going to be a really tight with other programs running. Maybe if they start an hour later just for that one particular day, they may have access to a variety of benefits not normally available. For example: the deeper pool may be available which will allow your teachers to incorporate some deep water work into the program, whereas this would not generally be accessible. Drawing up specific pool maps with space allocation and labelling swimming areas for teachers and on-deck coordinators will ensure for smooth running throughout the program. Perhaps you will run your program in a facility where there may be public lane space. In this instance, it is important that there is strong communication between yourself, the lifeguards/Customer Service Attendants and paying casual swimmers. Use signage to notify all pool patrons of what lanes are available/unavailable.



It is important that you work out your costs of running the entire program. You must ensure that you look at all costs involved before you come up with a pricing strategy. Will you require any extra equipment? What will your admin cost be?  What kind of student/teacher ratios do you need?  How many swimmers will be participating?   How many lessons will be running?  Will there be breaks between lessons and will these breaks be an added cost to you or will you incorporate these costs into pricing? Will you price per student per day or finalise on an average of students attending? Will payment be required prior to the program, during the program or are you happy to send off your invoice upon completion of the program?  All of these will need to be considered before finalising an amount for lesson participation.



Based on numbers and ratios discussed with the head of the program, you will need to work out how many teachers you will require. At WWSS, consistency is always paramount, so we therefore recommend hiring employees who can commit to the entire school program, as the consistency of teachers is more conducive to learning. In our industry, we do know that it is not always possible to have the same teachers for the same program, especially when running multiple/conflicting schools programs at the same time. Arranging rosters a few months ahead of the program will be extremely beneficial towards time management. It may also help with aspects of other programs that may run at your centre which coincide with the schools program. It may require you to organise a detailed schedule with allocated time slots for each teacher you depend upon. You can never be too organised.


The topics mentioned above are just some insights of how you could work towards organising and conducting a successful school swimming program. With time and practice, you will be able to perfect the ultimate school swimming program that works for your venue and the schools you may already have and are yet to have in the future.


by Tara Martin


How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Private VS Group Swimming Lessons

Private VS Group Swimming Lessons

Swimming lessons provide participants with a life-long skill: the ability to swim.  This is an important skill that has the potential to help save lives in emergency situations.  So the big question is – what is the best way to learn to swim? Private lessons or group classes?  As each swimmer will have different personalities, ways in which they learn, and different needs and goals there is no definitive answer.   Below are some things to consider when deciding whether private classes or group lessons are the way to go for different swimmers in your program, as well as ideas on how to integrate different sessions into swim school programs.


Private Lessons:

  • One on one sessions can be great for swimmers who need more individualised attention or have trouble staying on task in group situations.


  • Due to swimmers receiving more individualised attention, lesson plans can be created with one swimmer in mind rather than a group of swimmers.  This allows instructors to be more specific in the skills they are teaching.


  • Private lessons may need to be scheduled at the start or end of a teaching shift where regular group classes are being held.  Pool space and teacher availability will need to be considered when scheduling private swimming lessons.


  • Consider the cost to your program when you are scheduling private classes.  Ensure it is economically viable from a business point of view and price classes appropriately when limiting class numbers to make room for private lessons.


  • Classes can be shorter (e.g. 15-20 minutes) as instructors will fit a lot into a session where they only have to work with one swimmer.  This also allows for more classes to be scheduled into the program (three or four per hour) if pool space and instructors are available.


  • Some swimmers may get bored without any peers to feed off and push them along in their learning and skill acquisition.  Activities may need to be changed frequently to hold the swimmer’s attention, however, it is important to remember swimmers need repetition in order to master skills properly.


Group Lessons:

  • Swimmers can be motivated by watching their peers and trying to emulate the skills they are working on.  Seeing swimming skills and drills in action is great for visual learners.  Group lessons provide an environment where healthy competition between swimmers can encourage them to work harder to be better and improve their swimming technique, endurance and speed.


  • More swimmers can be booked into a learn to swim program by scheduling regular, ongoing group classes provided there is pool space and teacher availability.


  • Cost can be kept lower for your customers in group sessions as the expenses and running cost of providing swimming lessons (e.g. lane hire or pool rent, heating and chemicals costs, and instructor wages) can be shared across all of the students in the class.


  • Instructors may have to deliver more generalised lesson plans in order to cater for ranging abilities and needs within a lesson.


  • Group lessons allow swimmers to learn important skills and social etiquette that can be carried into day to day life such as focus, following instructions, patience and acceptance.


  • Swimmers can form life-long bonds and friendships with other students in their lessons and feel what it is like to be part of a team working towards a common goal.


Whichever way your look at it, private lessons and group lessons both have merit and there is a place for them in swimming programs around the world.  Regardless of the type of lesson parents chose for their children, educate them about the need for frequency and consistency in attendance in order to see improvement and get the best results when learning to swim.  Decide what works best for your swim school and think about ways that they can be integrated into your program to benefit swimmers according to their individual needs.


How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Keeping Clients swimming through winter

As a business operator, retention of clients is important to the success of your business.   One of the hurdles than many swim school operators face each year is the “drop-off through winter”. We can say it’s inevitable, leave it at that and continue to do what we have always done. With that we will continue to get the same results we have always got! OR – you can start to look at new options and strategies to ensure that you are doing everything you possibly can to avoid decreases and drop offs in the cooler months.  Here are a few ideas you may like to try to retain as many clients through the winter period as possible. After all, small improvements in the winter will reap great rewards through the summer!


Change the way parents think

If you are a parent yourself, you will know how important routine is.   As operators, we need to think outside the box and make it all very warm and fuzzy and inviting. We all know deep down that the reality is…its generally the parents who don’t want to be sitting on the pool side during the winter months – the kids don’t really get a say in continuing with swimming or not. We need to address the root cause. How can we have parents consider the benefits that their child will gain from swimming those extra months of the year?



Promotions can typically cost money. Winter is a low revenue season. We are already losing funds. We can’t afford that. There are many monetary excuses not to run promotions in the Winter.  STOP!! Summer is your optimum growth period and therefore your biggest opportunity to increase revenue. This is when you need to be ahead of the swim school down the road, thinking, spending and planning towards your upcoming winter promotions.

It might be as small as ordering basic/themed latex/silicone swim caps for every child in your swim school. Do you have access to a coffee machine? If the answer is yes but your sales are disappointingly low all year round perhaps ask yourself “is the right person making the coffees?” Everyone loves a good coffee. If sales are generally high, perhaps you could offer every parent a discounted coffee or hot drink through winter. Or even a hot chocolate for the kids upon finishing their lesson.

Consistent swimming will always produce fantastic results.  A way to ensure that constituency through the cooler months may be to encourage parents to keep swimming through the month of May/June and they can receive a second lesson for free/discounted through July/August. This promotion has many major benefits for both the child and the business. Through picking up an extra lesson weekly, the child is going to progress at a much faster pace. Parents see the benefits of swimming for frequently and me decide to continue with multiple lessons all year round. This is a business win. It can further progress to have a knock-on effect when the parent who hasn’t been swimming through Winter arrives back at the centre sees that her friend’s child has moved up two levels since the end of summer.  That parent may change their mind about Winter swimming for the next season.  Or pick up a 2nd lesson in the Summer months as it worked so well for their peers.

The promotion mentioned above also works well for staff retention too.  Staff lessons stay full throughout the fuller months and keep them happy with their hours during a time that’s traditionally not as busy.   Good swim schools have good swim teachers but great swim schools have happy, loyal teachers who remain with the business long term because they have been looked after by management.  An easy way to keep your staff happy and loyal is by keeping their hours up in the cooler months so they don’t have to take a massive cut in hours through winter. You will keep them in a job for longer and therefore keep your clients happy.

These are just a few strategies that you can apply to your swim school. At worldwideswimschool we can recommend some other simple strategies that may also work should you wish to ensure these are included in maintaining consistency of numbers in your program. They are as follows:

  • Keep swimming fun
  • Make it an enjoyable experience for your parents
  • Run specialised clinics through winter months
  • Educate your staff to educate the parents on why they should continuously commit
  • Ensure that your teachers are giving great quality lessons
  • Ensure kids are continually swimming throughout their lesson
  • Keep swimming fun…

Oh did we mention that last one already? Yes, you’re right, we did! If you provide fun lessons at your swim school, make it a FUN place for everyone to be and all the children LOVE coming the battle of keeping parents and swimmers attending lessons in the Winter months may already be won!

How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now

Beginners at your swim school

Parents must understand the important role they play in helping their child learn to swim. Teachers should encourage parents to take their child to the pool for exploratory play outside of the swimming lesson, but always, under strict supervision. Exposing children to a variety of different situations and depths of water is crucial for children to learn their capabilities and boundaries. Exploratory learning in particular is vital for frightened beginners. The more exposure children get to the water the more relaxed and confident they will become. Parents will also see a faster progression for their child if they are given an opportunity to play in the water outside of the lessons and therefore they often perceive the lesson to be more “value” for money. They must become willing partners in their child’s swimming progress.

Developing trust is the key with beginners. Teachers should always follow through with things that they tell their student’s. A perfect example of this which we often observe is: A teacher or parent, in deep water, tells the child, “Swim out to me, I won’t move.” Unfortunately, as soon as the child strikes out the teacher or parent immediately moves backwards extending the child before they are ready. This very often has disastrous results. It destroys the child’s confidence and progress.

Children are often reluctant to swim to an adult. This can sometimes be remedied by having the child swim to the pool’s edge or a ledge. They are more relaxed swimming to a solid object because they know it won’t move. Once you develop trust with your beginner swimmers they will progress move quickly.

Frequently changing teachers is also detrimental for beginner swimmers just as they gain trust in one teacher, another is thrust upon them. If you are serious about your career as a swimming teacher you must make a commitment to attend all teaching shifts. Don’t commit if you are not going to commit.

Water temperature will also influence children’s swimming lessons. An ideal water temperature for beginners is between 30 – 32 degrees Celsius, however, water temperature is very often outside the control of swimming teachers.

Beginner swimmers often feel the cold sooner than those students who are able to swim since they are less active, in order to remedy this, swimming teachers should plan lessons to ensure that their students are kept busy and active.

Teachers who teach in situations where the water temperature is not heated, may have to begin the lesson with land drills or water safety activities to break up the duration of the water time. They must also keep the class moving at all cost sometimes wave formation may be the best way to keep the whole class moving and active. They may also need to advise parents on how to appropriately dress their child to keep them warm. Encouraging children to stay down low in the water to avoid wind chill is also helpful.

Beginner learners respond positively to routines and familiar surrounds and situations, for this reason following a similar lesson plan from week to week, while gradually building on skills will help to progress students faster.

Children need success in the lesson so that they feel good about themselves and become eager to learn. The most powerful tool a teacher has in their arsenal is positive reinforcement. Giving genuine praise for attempts and triumphs will keep children interested in the lesson and want them to continue to improve. If a child is struggling with a more difficult skill, ask them to perform something simple that you know they can do and then praise their work. This will help to build confidence and make them willing to try again on a more difficult task. Remember teacher’s influence their students; make sure that you influence them in a positive way so that, you, as swimming mentor, influence a child’s love of and enjoyment of the water. Your expertise will influence a child for life.

Grouping children according to their ability levels will help with the smooth running of the class. Working with similar ability levels allows the teacher to:

  1. give equal attention to all students,
  2. control a smoother better balanced class catering to the student’s needs
  3. plan a lesson that is suitable for all,
  4. give maximum practice time in the lesson, and
  5. avoid behavioural problems

If there are instances where children need to be moved to a more appropriate class, teachers should be discreet and not create a situation which may be difficult for administration. Speaking with the deck supervisor or administration prior to notifying the parent is always recommended this may save embarrassing the parent or child.. If you first ensure that there is a suitable class available you will safeguard against a parent or child being disappointed. Once a suitable position is found then make a big deal of the child being too good for the class and you need to progress him further.

In summary, World Wide Swim School has received a variety of questions relating to beginners over the past 7 years. We have compiled a list of 5 popular questions to share with you and assist in delivering these lessons.

What activities should I used with first time swimmers?

  • Entries and exits in different areas of the pool
  • Walking, running and jumping in shallow water
  • Monkey or hand walking along the side of the pool
  • Pouring water over the face using cups and watering cans
  • Playing “ring a Rosie” and the class submerge together
  • Floating front and back with a board
  • Front and back floating for 10 seconds without a board
  • Teaching children to independently recover from a floating positing

What equipment might aid the child’s learning?

  • Plastic cups and watering cans
  • Kickboards and noodles
  • Floating mats
  • Diving rings

How would you ensure maximum practice time for beginners?

  • Inspect the teaching location
  • Use follow the leader or wave formation
  • Select an area of the pool that could assist in teaching the class eg ramp
  • Identify teaching equipment that will assist delivery eg noodle, mat
  • Plan the lesson remember to build swimming skills progressively
  • Utilise circuits and teach children to follow the leader
  • Identify class rules and expectations
  • Review your lesson after your shift to adjust requirements for the following week

How would you encourage children to put their face underwater?

  • Start with pouring water over the ears, back of the neck and shoulders building towards pouring water over the face
  • Encourage students to pour water over their own face and allow them to pour water over you the teachers face
  • Get children to put their ear underwater, lips, nose, eye brows and of course the full face
  • Use teacher and other class mates to demonstrate
  • Teach children to hold their breath first, before introducing bubbles
  • Use fun games like picking up rings to encourage children to put their face underwater
  • Never force or hold a child’s face underwater
  • Have them lie on their back in shallow water, ears submerged.

What sort of safety rules should I establish with my students?

  • Make sure children learn to walk around the pool, not to dive into shallow water
  • Teach children how to get in and out of the pool safely
  • Make sure children learn to look and listen while you a talking
  • It may be easier to have children sit outside of the pool while giving explanations
  • Always use simple instructions
  • Teacher personal safety rules like swimming with a buddy
  • Teach basic rescue skills like sending for help, throwing an object or reaching with an object and not putting yourself in danger


How do you keep swimmers interested and engaged? Share your ideas in the comments below.

To learn more about what you need to know CLICK HERE!

Laurie Lawrence


FREE 3 Part Video Series…

Watch Laurie take a group of frightened beginners for their first class Now!!!!

Get it FREE Now