Teaching and Coaching - Your Journey to Becoming a Coach or Teacher

Have you ever looked down from the balcony and wondered what it’s like to be poolside?
Don’t be shy, come and find out!
Education Officer
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Do I need to be a good swimmer to be a swimming teacher or coach?

This is a common misconception - anyone with enthusiasm, good communication skills, a keen interest in swimming and a willingness to learn can be a coach/ teacher. It certainly helps if you can swim yourself, but you don’t need to be a expert swimmer or athlete to be a great coach!

If you think you might like to be a swimming teacher or coach here are the steps to take:

  • Let someone know that you are interested. This could be your current child’s coach, the education officer or anyone else who may know where to direct you.
  • Start by spending some time poolside to see what the teachers and coaches do. Consider looking at different age groups, including Learn to Swim on a Sunday morning. We know that logistically it helps to coach on the sessions where your child swims however that may not be where your strengths or interest lies.
  • If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start applying for your ASA number. It is the registration with the Amateur Swimming Association and you will need it if you want to become qualified is either a coach/teacher or an official.
  • Once you decide what group of swimmers you would like to focus on initially, the team manager (or equivalent) will start to mentor you and introduce you to different activities. It won’t be a structured programme but will ensure you can learn at your own pace whilst starting to take on more responsibility.
  • Qualification. Not every coach has formal qualifications and we recognise that for some people getting time off work to complete the week long courses can very difficult. However if you are enjoying your teaching/coaching and you would like to become qualified speak to Jo Holliday who can direct you to the appropriate courses and websites.
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Teaching? Coaching? What’s the difference?

At first thought you might be wondering what the difference is between teachers and coaches, they both transfer knowledge to learners in the water. The differences are mainly in level and often in the age group of the learner.

Teaching aquatics involves educating learners on the foundations of swimming and water safety. These learners can be of any age or ability from very small nervous children, to older more confident participants. The majority of learners belong in the former, younger age group. Simply put, a swimming teacher teaches people how to swim. At Crusaders we use the ASA Learn to Swim framework.

Coaching swimmers involves learners who have already been taught the basics, but wish to progress to competition swimming. These are usually older children or adults who wish to become more proficient at the four competitive swimming strokes - Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, and Breaststroke.

Your choice will therefore often depend on your previous experience and which age group you want to teach. Some teachers also progress to become coaches, and some coaches also teach.

Qualifications


The institute of Swimming (IOS) is the route to all accredited programmes.

For each discipline (teaching or coaching) there are various levels.

Level 1 provides the basic skills and knowledge and allows you to act as a support to more experienced coaches and teachers.

Level 2 builds on this and will enable you to lead sessions and write lessons plans etc. It is recommended that you leave some time between the two qualifications to consolidate the learning.

Booking yourself onto an approved course

You can book onto a course on-line at the Institute of Swimming website. These courses are chargeable, but (pending approval) the club will fund people who want to become qualified. In most cases this is 100% reimbursement on successful completion of a course, although there may be occasions when this is not possible. Please check with the club treasurer before you make any bookings.

Enrolment is easy…

Steps to book courses via the IOS website

1. Go to My IOS and create an individual account – You will be asked for an IOS number however you can leave this blank to begin with.

2. Once this is set up then you can look for courses. Go to ‘All Training’. Under ‘Level’ select Level 1 or 2. For most people this will be Level 1. Under ‘Sport’ select teaching swimming or coaching swimming. Leave role as ‘select’

3. You are looking for one of the following:

a. ASA Level 1 Certificate in Teaching Aquatics
b. ASA Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Aquatics
c. ASA Level 1 Award in Coaching Swimming
d. ASA Level 2 Award in Coaching swimming

4. The menu will then show all the courses taking place across the UK with dates. Clicking on a programme will bring up details about the venue and programme content together with any pre-requisites. Be aware that not many courses are run locally so if you find one nearby and you can make the dates – book it!

5. Please note – you do not need to have completed any teaching qualifications before undertaking L1 coaching. They are classed at separate disciplines. There are however some combined L1 and L2 technical knowledge courses however these are more applicable to people who have some qualifications already.

6. Once you have found a course with dates to suit you, just double check with the Head Coach/Education Officer/ Treasurer that it is OK to book especially if you are looking for funding or mentoring support.

7. Booking is made via the IOS website. Once you have found the appropriate date and location, click on ‘book now’ and this will allow you to input personal details and payment. All confirmation is via email.

8. Please contact the education officer if you have any problems either finding the right course or making a booking

9. Once you have successfully attended the course please let the education officer and your mentor know how it went. Discuss with your mentor/ session coach if you want to get more experience in certain aspects.


  • Training Resources for Coaches

    Training for Coaching and Teaching

    For those people who are interested in becoming involved with helping poolside or want to develop their role within the club there are numerous courses available, many of which funding is available from British Swimming and the ASA. Level 2 course applications need to be assessed based on the club development plan within Swim 21.

    Requirements for Volunteers

    In the interests of the children's well being within the club we would ask that all those who help out complete a Child Safeguarding course. The course can now be completed online and is free of charge.

    Training for Officials

    There are many types of official required to run a successful swimming club. We need to cover all of the various röles required to organise swimming events.

    Timekeeper

    This training provides an introduction into the world of the swimming official. It covers the practical aspects of what is required of a timekeeper by means of a short theory session followed by a practical assessment. The minimum recommended age for candidates to undertake this training is 14 years.

    Judge - Level 1

    This is the first level of British qualification. It encompasses the role and duties of a Timekeeper, Chief Timekeeper and Inspector of Turns. The minimum age to start training is 15 years. Candidates may undertake some instruction and will be required to complete a course workbook, after which there will be a practical assessment. There is no formal theory examination. However, during the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer questions orally. Upon qualification candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 1 on the British Swimming Database and will be encouraged to become a Licensed Official.


    Judge - Level 2

    This is the second level of qualification. It encompasses the role and duties in relation to all aspects of judging and the theoretical role and duties of Starter. The minimum age to start training is 15 years. Candidates may undertake some instruction and will be required to complete a course workbook, followed by a practical assessment. As with Level 1 there is no formal theory examination. However, during the practical assessment candidates will be required to answer oral questions. When qualified, candidates will be attributed with the qualification Judge Level 2 on the British Swimming Database.

    Judge - Level 2

    Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and be a minimum age of 15 years. Training will consist of a prescribed number of practical experiences as a Starter before undertaking a formal practical assessment. Successful candidates will be attributed with the Starter qualification: Judge Level 2S

    Starter

    Candidates wishing to qualify as a Starter will be required hold the Judge Level 2 qualification and be a minimum age of 15 years. Training will consist of a prescribed number of practical experiences as a Starter before undertaking a formal practical assessment. Successful candidates will be attributed with the Starter qualification: Judge Level 2S

    Referee

    Candidates for this course are required to be qualified at Judge level 2S, and may register to start training aged 17 years but must be 18 years at 30 November in the year of the course. This course contains theoretical instruction and specified practical experiences. It is followed by a formal examination in November after which successful candidates take a final poolside practical assessment leading to qualification as a British Swimming Referee. Several months are allocated between registration and the formal examination to enable candidates to undertake all the practical experience required to complete the course as well as the theoretical instruction.
    Club Timekeepers and Level 1 Judges courses will be run at various times throughout the year when sufficient volunteers are available.Level 2 Teachers and Coaching Courses are also available.
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    Insurance

    For insurance purposes, all those officiating on poolside at any competition must be registered members of a British Swimming affiliated club or a member of the Institute of Swimming.
    Further information is available from British Swimming.
    Local information on officials in Bedfordshire ASA is available from their website.
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“It’s so fantastic when you see a swimmer do their first length and know you helped to make it happen.”
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