This summer will mark 16 years of teaching swimming and here’s my best advice for you:
1. Certified. Find a swim instructor who is certified to teach you/your child swimming skills. You want to be sure this person has been trained extensively to give you the best service possible. The American Red Cross certification is called Water Safety Instructor Certification.
2. Insured. If you are having instruction outside of an insured facility (ie. in your home or if you are meeting your instructor outside of a swim facility), be sure that your instructor is insured.
3. Experience. Look for someone who has worked with infants or children (if it’s for your infant or child), look for someone who has worked with triathletes (if those are your personal goals), has coached club swim team (if getting your child onto the swim team is your goal).
4. Ask about their methods. Do they guarantee that your child will swim in a particular amount of time? If so, what are their methods to make sure that happen? An ideal instructor is one that has knowledge on children’s learning theories, so ask about their philosophy.
5. Personality test. Like all relationships, the one with your swim instructor should be one that you feel comfortable with. If you’re choosing classes at a swim facility, what is their policy on making a switch if they aren’t a good fit?
6. Consistency. Will the same person be teaching you/your child at every time that you meet for a lesson? You want to find someone who will get to know the swimmer’s progress to be able to give them the optimum service lesson after lesson.