A wonderful example of traditional adult swimming instruction was published May 26, 2011 in the New York Times. It's a 10-day diary of sorts of a man who's afraid in water, has been all his life, and who decides to give lessons a whirl again at a local swim school.
Have you ever given a student an instruction and thought to yourself, "I know he's not going to like this." Or, "I hope he doesn't lose it." Or, "If I can just get him to do this (unsavory) thing 20 or 30 times, he'll get it."
Each of those thoughts is a clue to what to do differently in order for traditional lessons to work every time. And then they won't be traditional anymore.
"I know he's not going to like this."
Well, then, don't tell him to do it. Tell him to do something he will like. Or at least that he's not afraid to do and that he understands.
"I hope he doesn't lose it."
You are the teacher. You are in charge of keeping him safe while you're teaching. That means never, ever put him in a position of possible panic. Ever! And panic means anything sudden.
"If I can just get him to do this (unsavory) thing 20 or 30 times, he'll get it."
An unsavory thing requested even once is off-track.
Adult students have experienced such teaching for so many decades that they think it's normal. They seem to even think it's correct! This is like the frog in the pot not noticing it's about to boil.
Is learning to swim unsavory? Is there anything uncomfortable about swimming for you? No? Then why should it be for your precious money-paying student whom you want to love swimming and learning so he'll come back to your pool, bring others, and swim there for the rest of his life?
I invite you to listen to The Learn To Swim Show, #1-14. (No, I don't make a cent from it.) It starts with October 28, 2011. It has the 5th largest listenership of all programs on the WorldTalkRadio.com / VoiceAmerica network. And that's AFTER the show ended. The show was created for the aquatics industry and for non-swimmers. Tell me if you don't learn a thing. I'd really like to know.
Meanwhile, teacher by teacher and student by student is being won over to 21st Century Swimming Lessons. It's the swimming instruction of the future being taught now. Chances are good: you want to know it.