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5 Ways to Help Your Assistant Swim Instructors Succeed


It’s now summer in the swim schools which means increased numbers of swimmers and families! Normally, this would be a cause for celebration, but many schools are facing hiring and retainment challenges largely because of the COVID pandemic. This summer in the swim school industry will look different than past summers, but we can help you develop and retain the newest additions to your staff. The key is using assistant swim instructors!

What challenges are we facing this summer in the swim school?

  • Registered number of swimmers increasing daily
  • Not having enough swim instructors
  • Trying to train swim instructors as quickly as possible while not compromising the quality of their training

Hiring assistant swim instructors is a great way to support your lead instructors, improve the quality of swim lessons and develop your staff. The value of an assistant swim instructor can’t be stressed enough. They are often new hires in training, so this position allows them to learn the skills and patterns to become great swim instructors. They often make the difference between having a marginal class and an awesome class as they provide extra support for both the lead swim instructor and the swimmers. This is a win-win for instructors, assistants, aspiring teachers and students.

5 Ways to Help Your Assistant Swim Instructors Succeed

It is our responsibility as swim school owners or managers to support the assistants to succeed which then makes the swim school successful. We need to all work together to get new swim instructors trained and ready to assist during lessons.

  1. Welcoming them to the team. These folks are new to us, and it is often their first job. They may be nervous about their new responsibilities as well. You have about 30 seconds to build a relationship with them on their first day. Be sure to welcome them to your team and make sure they know that they will be supported in their onboarding and swim instructor training.
  2. Be specific with their job requirements. Don’t leave anything up for guessing! Make sure that the instructions for how to do their job are very specific so that they are clear about what is expected of them and how to execute their responsibilities.
  3. Communicate the “5 Musts” of an assistant swim instructor:
    1. Listen to the lead swim instructor’s instructions.
    2. Remain on the opposite side of the teacher from the teaching area.
    3. Keep the class moving so the lead instructor must only give directions once.
    4. Speak to each child as they come to you.
    5. Always say something positive to every child.
  4. Keep the quality of the lessons intact. There are some challenges to having an assistant swim instructor. Oftentimes, the instructors stop cueing when they have an assistant. Never stop cueing! No matter how many instructors there are for a swim lesson, cueing is always important. It is vital that instructors do not become complacent. They must always watch all the children in their group. They should never assume the other instructor is watching.
  5. Follow-up with feedback directly after the swim lesson. 

    There are 15 seconds after a lesson to provide feedback to an assistant swim instructor before the next class arrives. Make sure that they are thanked for their work, appreciated and provided a few tips for improvement.


Your swim school has many opportunities to have a successful summer season. Following these five tips to help your assistant swim instructors succeed is an excellent way to start the season off right

Contact Swim Consultant at [email protected] to learn more!


Serving child activity centers, as well as gyms and preschools in the USA and internationally, Swim Consultant specializes in curriculum development, teacher training, on-site visits and more.