As a swimming coach, you want to be able to build up water confidence in your kids so they not only love the sport but become stronger swimmers. But how do you do it? Here are some tips to help you build water confidence in your swimmers!

Create a Safer Space

Above all, in order to build water confidence in kids, they need to feel safer. Creating a safer space will help them feel comfortable when they’re swimming. Swimming can be a big push outside their comfort zone, so care needs to be at the top of your mind. Smiles and positive body language are some of the first steps in creating a safer space.

And don’t forget, children need to be in control to feel safer and secure in the water. By allowing them choice (do you want to try x or y?) and the ability to take a small break when things get too difficult, they’ll feel a lot safer and more confident in the water.

Be Repetitious

Repetition is one of the keys to calming nerves and building up confidence, no matter what it is. If you play soccer, drills are practiced over and over, so you’re ready for games. If you’re giving a speech, you practice giving it, so you feel confident presenting it later on. Swimming is the same way! In order for kids to feel confident in their swim skills, they need to practice.

By being repetitious in your teaching, your swimmers will develop their muscle memory and feel more confident each time they do an activity. This will help them strive to do better and go faster, which will help them in meets later on.

Allow Play

One of the biggest tips for building water confidence as a swimming coach is to make things fun! When teaching kids, there’s no value in trying to be strict. Playing is important no matter the age and helps build confidence, assertiveness, and leadership skills – all crucial skills for swimmers as they get older.

So during practice, make sure you allow play and help facilitate it. Games like fishy in the middle, starfish tag, and swimming through legs are fun and exciting while helping to develop confidence. Using toys that sink can help younger swimmers learn how to hold their breath and swim to the bottom of the pool while floating toys can help them let get off the sides. No matter what game or toy you choose, make sure they’re appropriate for your swimmers’ ages and skill level.

Help Them Learn from Their Mistakes

Mistakes can happen, and as a swimming coach, you should help your swimmers learn from their mistakes. Not only will it make a kid a better swimmer as they learn to adapt and self-assess, but it will help build confidence and resilience.

Avoid telling them everything wrong that happened as well as letting them figure out what they did wrong. Helping them understand their mistake while working with them to fix it is the best way to handle situations like these.

Encourage Them

Encouragement is the easiest way to build confidence and motivation in swimmers. While praise is great and will always be helpful for swimmers to hear, excessive praise should be minded. If your timid swimmer really pushed themselves out of their comfort zone, that’s something worthy of praise. But being present with your swimmers and noticing their effort is another great way to encourage them.

Even if they didn’t achieve success but put in their best effort, tell them how proud you are of their work. You don’t have to praise them with a generic “good job” to make an impact and grow their confidence. Showing them you’re there and noticing when they’re working hard is another great way to do it.

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Let Summer League Swimming help you learn and grow in your craft so you can positively impact your swimmers.

Becoming a Better Swimming Coach

To build confidence, your swimmers need support, encouragement, and repetition, but most of all, they need you! There’s no replacement for your time and attention. If you’re looking to become the best swimming coach you can be, consider taking our swim coach certification course. It’s the perfect way to learn and grow in your craft so you can positively impact your swimmers.

At SLS, our help doesn’t stop there. We also provide background checks and insurance coverage for swim leagues and teams. Our goal is to introduce youth from the ages of 5-18 to the sport of swimming by providing fun, safer, and healthy environments. No matter where you are in the United States, we’re ready to lend a hand. Let us help you reach your full potential!

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Reach out to Summer League Swimming and let’s discuss what you will need to start or rescue a swimming league/team… no matter where in the United States you’re located.