Teaching Young Adults To Swim

Through much research such as online articles, journals, textbooks and teaching young adult swimmers myself, the outcome is unanimous – most young adult swimmers have a specific stroke or skill they want to learn.

The young adult is aged between 18-30 years and is usually highly motivated in learning how to swim. The first time a swim teacher meets their adult student some important questions to ask are


Why do you want to learn to swim? and What do you want to learn?

This helps the teacher understand the motivation behind the young adult wanting to learn to swim.

Some reasons I have come across are:

  • Want to be able to swim with their children
  • Medical reason
  • Need to be able to swim for a job they are applying for
  • Fitness and social interaction with peers and the community


As a teacher, it’s imperative to keep these goals in mind and explain the learning pathway on how to achieve this realistically. It is a common occurrence for this age group to struggle and become frustrated when they don’t master a skill or stroke straight away. Teachers need to remind the adult learner to relax, not to over analyse and be patient within themselves.


While teaching the adult swimmer you may come across some other barriers that effect their learning such as;

  • Language
  • Flexibility
  • Fear – not being able to breathe, failing, injury, environment, feeling out of control


By communicating with your adult swimmer and learning about their goals, past experiences and feelings about water, you will be able to design a lesson plan together that will be achievable.In turn, your swimmer will increase their motivation to learn.

Teaching adults can be a rewarding experience for teachers.

Unlike many children, adults attend lessons because THEY want to, not because someone else (parents/guardians etc) want them too.

This makes them more dedicated to learning new skills, keeps them motivated and excited throughout the journey and willing to celebrate successes along the way.

Adult swimmers also have the thought processes to set goals and work towards them slowly but surely.

Teachers will receive great satisfaction from the work and results that their adult swimmers achieve throughout their learn to swim journey.


How do you keep your clients returning?  Please share in the comments below.


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

Leesa Langdon

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