Job title Swimming Instructor
Employer Swimming Nature
How to be a swimming instructor
Sam Hunt works for Swimming Nature, the UK’s largest premium provider of swimming instructor tuition and coaching. He tells us a little bit about his role and what the does.
Swimming Nature focus purely on one-to-one or one-to-two swimming tuition. We get in the water with our students to teach the correct mechanics of the four recognised strokes.
Within the organisation I have two key roles, firstly I am a Site Coordinator. This involves managing a small team of swimming coaches and ensuring the children and adults we teach receive a first-class service in the water and on poolside. My job at Swimming Nature also involves maintaining good links with the staff at Fitness First, where we teach our unique method of swimming.
My other role within Swimming Nature is to train the new instructors. There are a select few within Swimming Nature that are part of a ‘quality team.’ We are here to observe new instructors, to make sure lessons are being taught using the Swimming Nature methodology. We also train instructors to the highest standard through the experience and expertise of our programme.
What are your main responsibilities as a swimming instructor?
The main responsibilities in my job as a swimming instructor include ensuring that those training to be a swimming instructors are completely competent to deliver high-quality swimming lessons. I also have to make sure that Swimming Nature swimming instructors are teaching the correct techniques to our students.
As a site coordinator, my responsibilities include dealing with any issues on poolside, managing my team and ensuring we are fully compliant and safe at all times. I also have to report back any health and safety issues that may occur.
What do you enjoy most about your role as a swimming instructor?
What I like about my job as a swimming instructor is passing on my knowledge and experience to staff and pupils. I find it incredibly rewarding to help others develop and to reach their potential and beyond. Training swimming instructors is very rewarding as they really get to grips with what they are doing and why they are doing it. This means they can help to produce a faster learner with a better execution in the water.
What are the biggest challenges in your role as a swimming instructor?
In my job as a swimming instructor I guess the biggest challenge is mostly to do with the technical challenges in different pools. For example, pool temperature can be a real problem in some locations – it’s sometimes tricky to teach baby lessons if the pool isn’t always warm enough!
“I find it incredibly rewarding to help others develop and to reach their potential and beyond.”
How can young people get a job as a swimming instructor?
Swimming Nature will give new teachers a platform to progress and develop their own skill set. Teaching and learning never stops in our industry, with any job as a swimming instructor there is always room for improvement and to better yourself as a swimming instructor.
Tell us a bit about your career as a swimming instructor to this point.
I came from a swimming and triathlon background. My career in sport started early and has been a part of my life from a very young age. When you’re constantly being pushed in a competitive environment, that shines through in your personality and teaching style. I swam with Beckenham Swimming Club to the age of 18 and then moved to Eastbourne to pursue a triathlon career. I was training with the best athletes in the country at the time, under the very watchful eye of Glenn Cook (Rio Olympic games female triathlon coach). It was here where I really found my feet as a person and learnt how to push my body to the max. After I stopped competing, I carried on that passion for swimming. I now have over eight years of teaching experience under my belt.
What experience and extracurricular activities does a job as a swimming instructor require?
We ask for an STA, ASA or equivalent teaching certificate. You don’t have to have a tremendous amount of experience as a swimming instructor. All we ask is for is the right attitude and a real passion for teaching. We then put all our instructors through our own unique training course to teach them the Swimming Nature method.
“You need to have passion and motivation for what you do to be able to make your sessions fun and engaging.”
What skills are required to make a good swimming instructor?
Whilst training to be a swimming instructor, patience is very important. At Swimming Nature, we teach a whole range of people to swim, right through from babies all the way up to adults so you never know what that student is going to be like. They might have a complete fear of water or they might be a complete natural.
To establish a career as a swimming instructor you need good communication and listening skills as you need to be able to effectively engage and connect with your students on a personal level to understand their goals.
Whilst training to be a swimming instructor and whilst in your job as a swimming instructor it is imperative you have the ability to self-reflect, you need to take the time to think about the way your teaching and how you can improve.
Lastly, as a swimming instructor you need to have passion and motivation for what you do to be able to make your sessions fun and engaging. If your students are enjoying their session, they are more likely to learn and progress quicker.
If you had one bit of advice you would tell your younger self, what would it be?
To always have confidence. Life is about being confident.
What was the best advice you were given?
If you look at life from a different point of view it will change the way you think.
Swimming Nature is celebrating 25 years of teaching babies, children and adults to swim this year, if you’d like find out more on how you can join the team or become a swimming coach visit www.swimmingnature.com