Congratulations! You’re taking the big step in teaching yourself to swim…
Many adults have learned to swim later in life. And it is possible to learn by yourself…from books, videos and blogs just like this one.
There are some things you need to be aware of and prepare before you start.
This page will get you on the path to being a swimmer; safely, quickly and have fun while you’re doing it.
You should read the entire page before you just jump in and send me a message if you have questions. I’m here to help!
Secret to Teaching Yourself to Swim #1: The pool.
The first thing you need is a good pool. Here are the top seven things to look for when choosing a pool.
- A lifeguard on deck. If not a lifeguard, you’ll need someone to watch who can help if you need it.
- Clean, clear water. Many apartment and public pools are just too dirty and unhealthy to swim. I don’t recommend teaching yourself to swim in water that is not clear and clean.
- Warm water. Warm water is easier to learn to swim in than cold. It’s easier to breathe and more relaxing.
- A shallow bottom. You want to learn in a place where you’re able to stand. The water should come up to about your arm pits.
- Permission to use equipment. Some pools don’ allow equipment of any kind in the water. With my method, you’ll want to use your own equipment (more on that later).
- A pool deck that you can hold on to and pull yourself out of. Some pools have decks two feet higher than the surface of the water. For older adults, this can make it impossible to climb out of the water.
- Not crowded. There’s nothing worse than trying to swim and bumping into people. You should be able to have a spot of your own to learn.
- Easy way to enter the pool. I prefer steps for learning to get into the water. Ladders usually mean the water is too deep for beginners.
Secret to Teaching Yourself to Swim #2: Equipment
After the pool, the next step to teach yourself to swim is the right equipment. I believe the right equipment can make your progress to a good swimmer much easier…and quicker.
The first piece of equipment is a good swim suit. For women, I recommend a one piece. For men, a pair of trunks made out of lycra or nylon that do NOT have pockets.
Women’s swim suits run between $30 to $50. Don’t go out and spend hundreds on a swim suit. If you feel you must, find a reasonable suit and then send me the excess money!
The next piece of equipment you will need is a good pair of goggles. These run about $20 to $40. You can find cheaper ones. The main thing is that they fit.
A good test to see if the goggles fit is to push them lightly into your eye sockets. You should feel a slight suction and they should be able to stay on without the strap.
There’s more equipment I think you should consider. Here is a list:
- A kickboard. Used as a flotation device and an aide to working on your stroke.
- A pool noodle. Use the noodle similar as you would a kickboard.
- Swim fins. These will make it easier for you to swim and learn. They will also help you swim and kick faster.
- Mask and snorkel. A swim mask and snorkel can open up the water to almost anyone very quickly. The mask can be expensive but if you’re having difficulty with the breathing and just want to swim laps, then this is the way to go.
Secret to Teaching Yourself to Swim #4: Have a plan
Just going out there and getting wet is not going to help you learn to swim. You need to know what, how and when to do drills and practice.
This is where I come in. I’ve got an in-depth program that shows you all you need to know to go from not being able to swim one length to swimming 100 yards.