Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the swimming lessons
Here you’ll find the answers to some frequently asked questions I’ve received on the phone, at the pool, or after the training sessions. There’s also some additional information regarding how to learn swimming.
Why are private swimming lessons more effective than group classes?
With private swimming lessons progress comes 4 times faster. Concentration is essential at all times during swimming. If a beginning swimmer starts from one side of the pool and gets distracted by other swimmers in the middle, it’s quite possible to sink.
Each child or adult trainee has a concentration and power peak, as well as moments of distraction and weakness. These peaks vary with different people. During private swimming session the concentration peak can be detected and prolonged in time. This is harder and even impossible to manage effectively during group sessions. Respectively, with private lessons when I notice the student needs rest, I assign some lighter swimming exercises. This is when ball games or swimming noodles and other toys come handy.
At what age can children join swimming classes?
I teach children from 3 years of age and above. My youngest student so far has been 3 years old. Until 4-5 years of age many children prefer primarily playing in the water. Usually their concentration lasts from as little as few seconds to 1-2 minutes at most which makes a training session quite challenging.
If the kid shows initiative to learn swimming, book a lesson. This is a reliable sign your little one will advance faster and learn swimming much easier than in case you are the one who wants them to learn, while the kid doesn’t, or is afraid of water, and so on.
How many times a week is it good to practice swimming lessons?
This depends on how much energy the student has. I had a student who came to swim daily, for one month straight. For this time the girl mastered swimming ideally. Normally my students train every other day. The optimal training frequency is 2-3 times a week. The recommended minimum is once a week.
How long does it take to learn swimming?
This depends on your desire, consistency, and full dedication at the training sessions. My personal record for a successful education of my student is one month, with her attending a class every day. The time depends greatly on your motivation. Learn more about it from the video Motivation on the page Useful Resources.
What do I need to know before starting swimming lessons with you?
There are 5 major points defining success in training sessions with me:
- As an instructor with years of experience I have noticed motivation and desire are the number one requirement for success.
- Building a habit for proper breathing in water comes second.
- I achieve a high rate of teaching effectiveness by alternating serious swimming assignments with fun and play in the water (3), especially with young children.
- This influences concentration during swimming training session.
- And finally I put endurance – I watch carefully for it to avoid incidents while the student is in the water.
You can learn more about the 5 main aspects in the video 5 major points for swimming VIDEO.
How does a typical swimming training session go?
I start each session with warming up physical exercises for my student. Each sportsperson starts with a warm-up. This is essential for avoiding injuries. All arm and leg joints are activated through circular motions within 5-10 minutes. The neck and the waist are also warmed-up through circular motions. The colder it is outside, the more intensive the warm-up is. Afterwards we gently stretch the tendons before going to the real part of the training session.
What outfit do I need for a swimming training session?
Flip-flops, a swimsuit, a swimming cap, swimming goggles, a towel and desire 😉
Do you provide any swimming equipment?
Yes, I provide a swimming board, pool noodles, pool buoys. I also provide rings, a ball and other swimming toys for pool game purposes.
What is the appropriate water temperature in the swimming pool?
For beginning swimmers the best temperature is 27-28 degrees Celsius. The more you train, the warmer this would seem to you. Then you will start looking for colder swimming pools, whereas 27 degrees will look normal to you.
What do I need to know about hygiene around, inside and after the pool?
When going to the pool, the first thing to do is change your walking shoes with flip-flops. It is advised not to step on the floor bare-footed or in your socks. Although most swimming pools maintain their floors constantly clean, there’s always a risk of getting infected with feet fungus in case you walk bare-footed.
Before going inside the pool it’s recommended that you take a shower, preferably with lukewarm water.
Take off your flip-flops immediately before going inside the pool, next to the very pool ladder. After swimming, upon exiting the pool, “hop” your feet directly back in the flip-flops.
Have a good shower after swimming, using shampoo for your hair and soap for your body.
When going back home it is recommended to rinse well your flip-flops, wash your swimming cap and your swimsuit. Washing your towel is advisable, too. Unless washing the outfit thoroughly, it’s quite possible for it to conceive life (fungus) ;), which might transfer and florish even on your body. Should you leave the outfit wet or humid, it’s most likely to grow mouldy.
How do I know if the water in the pool is too highly chlorinated?
A certain clue that the water is too highly chlorinated is the strong smell of chlorine upon entry to the swimming hall itself (indoor pool). It is quite possible they’d put excess chlorine. If you notice the water making foam around the other swimmers as they swim, it is also an indication for excess chlorine.
If your eyes grow red, as if you’d drunk too much the night before, when wetting them with water from the pool, and you don’t wear contact lenses, it is quite possible there’s too much chlorine in the pool. Of course, this test would not be legitimate if you DID drink too much the night before.
If chlorine is too little and the water is dirty, however, it is also possible for your skin to grow red, or get a rash. The same may happen with too much chlorine as well.
What should I do if I get a muscle cramp in my arm or leg while swimming?
If you get a muscle cramp while swimming, you have to try swimming to the edge of the pool and withdraw to the shallow end, or another place where you could possibly step (ladder).
If you are swimming in a reservoir, you’d have to relax on your back and move towards the bank, using the limbs that are not stiff. If you start sinking, call for help with your arm raised as high as possible. For more helpful advice on what to do in case of a muscle cramp while swimming visit the page Tips and Tricks.
What criteria should I observe when choosing a pool if I am a beginning swimmer?
I recommend your first entry in the pool to be with an instructor. It is good for the pool to have steps like a staircase, so that you can have a secure support under your feet upon entry.
Look for a pool in which you can reach the floor with your head above water level.
If the pool has a vertical ladder, inquire how deep the water in the shallow end is. It’s recommended the pool is at least 25 cm less than your own height. E.g. if you’re 170 cm tall, the depth must be 145 cm or less. If the pool is deeper than your height, ask if there’s a stepping border all around the pool, and at what depth it is, so that you can step on it in case you need to.
It’s not shameful for the beginners’ lessons to take place even in the children’s pool. For the initial exercises great pool depth is not necessary. When the swimming instructor considers you advanced enough, you can move to training sessions in the larger pool.
As an adult, what’s the oldest age can I learn swimming at?
If you wish to learn swimming, there’s no age limit to do so. I knew a 73-year-old lady who attended swimming classes twice a week and she shared she felt wonderful.
Does the outfit quality influence swimming?
Just like any other sport, it’s important to have a comfortable outfit when swimming: the swimsuit should not be too tight; the swimming cap should not fall off; the goggles fastening should be neither too loose, nor too tight.
How do I choose the best swimming goggles for me?
The sticking edges around your eyes should be soft enough so they don’t hurt you.
Once you’ve fastened the goggles, your eyes should be in a normal state. Your lids should not be “slanted” like Chinese (unless you’re one), or pressed too hard so that you can’t open them – as if you’ve had a boxing fight.
Also, when you blink, your eyelashes should not touch the goggle glasses.
How to try goggles on?
When you put goggles on, you should be able to see and blink normally, just as you do without wearing goggles.
What’s the difference between swimming in a pool, a sea/ ocean, and a river?
When swimming in a pool, the water is crystal clear, or at least it should be. You know how deep it is, the floor is smooth and hard, and if there are waves, they are quite small, since they’re caused by other swimmers. Should a problem arise, you could always call the life-guard for help.
When swimming in the sea, normally you can’t see the floor since waves move sand around, making the water turbid. It’s quite possible for the sea floor to be uneven, pasty and sinking. Or larger waves may appear. There are underwater currents. In the unfortunate event of a water incident the life guard needs more time to react for the larger guarding area.
In rivers there are strong currents, rapids, uneven floor with varying depth. Also there are numerous sharp rough rocks and boulders which can easily hurt you.
! Observe the rule! Avoid swimming in unguarded water reservoirs! I recommend swimming only in life-guarded pools.
Why it’s not a good idea for inexperienced swimmers to use inflatable swimming mattresses, toys and water balls?
There’s always a risk of breaking the inflatable mattress. After losing air it will sink and it won’t have enough floatability to hold the swimmer above water.
When starting swimming lessons, would it be an obstacle if I’ve trained other sports?
It is easier to learn swimming if you have trained other sports. This gives you the advantage of developing discipline, trained muscles and sports spirit. Swimming is a sport which requires the participation of all muscle types, high concentration and discipline.
However, there’s a specific feature affecting the gym training fellows. Muscles tend to adapt to their training environment. When someone trains with heavy weights, muscles grow heavy and hard like stones. I have noticed that people with large body mass and heavy lifting routines tend to have a low or lacking floatability. In other words, they can easily sink, even when relaxing their body in the water. On the other hands, swimmers develop more flexible and softer muscles thanks to the very character of water as a training environment.
Does swimming have contra-indications?
It’s advisable before attending a swimming lesson for the first time, to share with your swimming instructor about previous injuries – be they old or recent, surgeries, health issues. If you’re still recovering from a recent surgery, you must consult with your doctor about what is safe to do in water and what to be cautious about.