Maximum practice time in the swimming lesson is essential for faster acquisition of swimming skills. Great swimming teachers are always looking for ways to ensure that maximum practice time is achieved during their swimming lessons. As a swimming teacher how can you best achieve maximum practice time in your classes?
1. Group children by ability
To ensure maximum practice time teachers must ensure children are grouped homogenously by ability level. An easy way is to group children together is breaking them into swimmers who need to learn to float. Swimmers that need to learn propulsive skills and swimmers that need to perfect breathing skills. Swimming teachers will need to work closely with the administration staff to get the best class fit. But remember, this must be done professionally. No child or parent should be made to feel uncomfortable if they are in the wrong group. The best way to avoid this is to assess children before they commence the swimming program or swimming season and progress children once they have achieved the class goals and objectives. But a word of warning, keep communicating with the administration staff, and do not tell the parents that their child needs to move up before a suitable class time is available.
2. Conduct lessons in a suitable environment
Swimming lessons should always be conducted in suitable environment which allows for maximum practice time. Avoid strategies where you take children one at a time. If children are bored waiting for their turn they become disruptive and it can be very dangerous if you turn your back on other children in the class. Achieving maximum practice time will take organisation skills to either arrive early to set up your teaching space with platforms of benches or moving around the pool to the most suitable location. For example using shallow water for non swimmers or beginners where they can stand independently is recommended.
3. Teach children to circle the lane
It is important that children learn how to circle the lane, move over and go. This concept should be instilled during their first few swimming lessons. Children will need constant reminders about this expectation, however if the idea is taught from an early age it is makes it much easier for the teacher as swimmers progress through the program. Wave formation is another useful pattern to use during swimming lessons. In this instance the entire class moves together and the teacher has great supervision of all students. Similarly circuit activities where the class is moving around the pool can also be effective. But remember always place yourself in a position of strength so that you can supervise the class and communicate with all students.
4. Review your lesson
At the end of every swimming teaching shift we encourage you to review your lesson plans to see where improvements can be made. Not every lesson will run exactly to plan. Swimming teachers must be flexible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other instructors or even get the parents involved to help you deliver the best possible lesson. Remember we are all continually learning. Follow this quote from Michel Legrand “The move I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realise the less I know”.
We would love to hear your swimming success stories as the result of hard work and persistence. Please share in the comments section below.