It’s an undeniable truth that those who transform their passion into a profession often achieve remarkable success. If your heart is drawn to the water, and you have an unshakable love for swimming, then the exciting world of a swimming coach in the UK awaits you.
Coaching is more than just a job – it’s an opportunity to share your love for water and help others embrace it too.
In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey, guided by the experienced coach Teodoro Ministeri, to discover how you can ride the wave of enthusiasm for swimming and make a significant impact on budding swimmers’ lives. Let’s dive right in
Launching Your Journey To Becoming A Professional Swimming Coach
You’re passionate about swimming, and the dream of becoming a professional swimming coach beckons. So, where do you begin?
Are you already qualified for this exciting endeavor?
The good news is, besides your passion, you need just two things:
Age: You must be at least 16 years old.
Educational Qualifications: While not mandatory, having some GCSEs, including English and maths, can be beneficial.
Now, let’s delve into Teo’s journey and his advice for those setting out on this path:
“As an Italian native, my journey began at a local pool during my summer holidays when I was 15 or 16. My love for swimming led me to become a lifeguard at the local pool, and it was a truly enjoyable experience.
I spent my days immersed in the world of swimming, safeguarding lives. I initially thought my job would conclude after the summer break, but to my surprise, the pool management and the swimmers kept calling me back.
I started as a lifeguard and after seeing the response I was begining to see my life career as swimmer and a swimming coach. I was a bit healthy boy growing up(thanks to my mother’s cooking) and swimming was helping to lose weight.
Now I also had an other passion – fitness, nutrition and weight loss and help others losing weight. So when swimming along balanced diet made me fit and healthy, I knew I was going to be a swimming coach and nutrionist.
To get to that point it became clear that my next step was to become a swimming teacher. Consequently, I continued my lifeguard duties while balancing school and obtained my level 1 swimming teacher qualification. This certification allowed me to serve as an assistant swim teacher and work alongside another experienced instructor.
Keen to go all-in, I pursued my level 2 qualification, which enabled me to independently teach individuals of all age groups. This course typically spans 1 to 2 weeks and costs between £500 to £600.
During this journey, I gained invaluable experience working with children, people of all age groups, and individuals with disabilities and special learning needs. In 2015, at the age of 23, I made the significant move to London.”
So, Are You Qualified?
The initial step in becoming a coach is to possess a firm determination to embark on this career path. Official training is not a prerequisite; you can start from scratch. Teo’s personal experience suggests that having some hands-on experience is beneficial.
Thus, it’s advisable to initiate your journey by becoming a swimming teacher. And for this role, qualifications are essential.
Both Swim England and the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) offer courses that provide you with the necessary skills to teach swimming. These certifications come in various levels, and details regarding course structure, cost, and duration may vary between these organizations.
Upgrade to Coaching Now
Once you’ve completed your teaching qualifications, it’s time to take the next step: coaching. Here are the essential certifications you need to become an accomplished swimming coach in England.
ASA Level 1 Coaching Qualification:
This serves as your foundational step, equipping you with the fundamental principles of coaching, an understanding of swimmers, and essential teaching techniques. Think of it as a toolkit that empowers you to actively support a swimming coach, thereby enhancing their training sessions.
This qualification is tailored for individuals who aspire to make a significant impact in the realm of coaching. If you’re considering this path, you can partner with Swim England, as they offer this course in collaboration with their regional teams.
All you need to do is reach out to your local or regional team to express your interest and gain assistance in locating a course that suits your location.
Who Is This Course Tailored For?
This course is ideal for individuals eager to dip their toes into coaching or those looking to back up a coach within a club setting.
A Glimpse into the Course
The course offers a dynamic blend of e-learning experiences, interactive Zoom classroom sessions, and hands-on poolside learning. Imagine yourself actively engaged in training sessions, coaching swimmers performing at county standard and beyond, and gaining invaluable firsthand experience.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll uncover:
- The crucial role of an assistant coach.
- The magic of positive coaching behavior.
- Navigating the world of physical literacy in swimming.
- Diving into competitive swimming skills.
- Unlocking the secrets of para-swimming.
- The array of training methods to mold swimmers into champions.
- The art of delivering meticulously planned coaching sessions.
- The importance of reflective practices in your coaching journey.
Are You Qualified?
Age is just a number, but in this case, it should be at least 16 years or older. There’s no need for formal initiation, and prior coaching experience is not obligatory. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm and a thirst for learning.
Training Adventure – Blended Learning
Think of this course as an exciting blend of online treasure hunts and live-action quests.
E-learning allows you to set your own pace, unlocking the course’s hidden gems. Zoom webinars add a live element, connecting you with your course companions from the comfort of your home. But there’s more to come – once you arrive at the training venue, brace yourself for pool-based practical adventures, session delivery challenges, and assessments.
Get ready to embark on this adventurous journey into the realm of coaching, where every stroke counts, and every moment is an opportunity for learning and growth.
ASA Level 2 Coaching Qualification:
Building upon the foundation of Level 1, this qualification delves deeper into coaching methods, stroke techniques, and advanced teaching skills. The program is designed to immerse you in the vibrant world of swim coaching, guided by seasoned tutors. It’s not merely a course; it’s a journey of progress and growth.
The Course Path
Your expedition begins online, unraveling theories in virtual classrooms through Zoom and Google Classroom. The real excitement unfolds at designated Swim Wales practical venues, where you’ll dive into the practical elements of coaching.
The Level 2 program is a blend of online and hands-on poolside adventures. You’ll engage in at least six training sessions, coaching swimmers performing at the county/regional standard and beyond, gaining that coveted practical experience.
Beyond classroom hours, you’ll be actively involved in session planning, addressing assessment outcomes, and completing additional tasks to enhance your coaching prowess. It’s these extra efforts that transform you into an accomplished swimming coach.
What Awaits Your Discovery:
- Delve into the roles and responsibilities of a Swimming Coach, unlocking the secrets of legal requirements in coaching swimming.
- Decode the Athlete Development Support Pathway (ADSP) and its impact on competitive swimming.
- Explore the art of physical literacy in swimming, understanding the scientific principles that drive competitive swimming.
- Polish your coaching skills, mastering various swimming strokes and techniques.
- Craft a professional growth plan, reflect on your journey and evaluate your performance.
Course Completion Checklist:
To successfully complete this course, here is the checklist…
- You’ve been regularly coaching for the last three months and are linked to a swimming club with access to at least three weekly sessions for your off-course assessment.
- You have access to swimmers spanning two different stages of the Athlete Development Support Pathway (ADSP) for a 6-week mesocycle.
- Working alongside a coaching assistant, you bring knowledge and experience of the latest coaching best practices.
- Armed with a computer or tablet, you’re ready to conquer the online learning elements of this adventure.
Get ready to embrace the waves of coaching wisdom, to explore and learn in this journey of aquatic coaching excellence!
You can further move up the ladder and become a senior coach by taking advanced training and more time in water.
Real-Life Example of the Expert Swimming Coach
Our expert coach, Teo, shares his experiences in obtaining Level 1 and Level 2 certifications:
“Getting a swimming certificate in the UK is essential due to the strong structure here. To kickstart your coaching career, it’s a good idea to begin by becoming a lifeguard first and gradually work your way up to teaching.
Since I was already a lifeguard, I took my lifeguard course and obtained my RLSS UK (The Royal Life Saving Society UK) certification. To maintain my fitness and training, I continued training every month – dedicating one hour to theory and one hour to swimming. I then enrolled in the Swimengland.com course and secured my Level 1 and Level 2 certifications.
Currently, I work as a teacher and coach, offering one-to-one and group classes. I also have sports insurance that allows me to conduct private swimming lessons at home pools. It’s a challenging journey, but unquestionably worth it!”
What Jobs Await you as a Swimming Coach in UK:
As a coach you can start your career by £15,500 to £28,000 as an experienced coach.
For the opportunity… you can easily find your desired job on different job boards and your local pools are also in search for an experienced coach.
You can be a swim co-ordinator or lead swimming teacher not only responsible for the kids safety and training but also checking the quality of swimming teachers.
And with experience you can be the head coach of a sports club, or senior coach with a regional or national team.
Furthermore, moving into elite sports coaching, sports development or youth work is also a great option.
Becoming the best swimming coach might seem challenging, but your passion and dedication to the craft make it easy to get there.
So, are you ready to dive into the next chapter of your coaching adventure? The pool is teeming with opportunities. Grab your cap and goggles, and let’s make a splash in the world of swimming coaching!