By Robert Strauss


The following is a part of a series written by Robert Strauss owner of SwimGym. Since its inception in 1984, SwimGym has evolved into a world renowned learn-to- swim institution. Strauss’ experience reflects a program with the most effective advancement and improvement for all ages, while providing the ideal environment for a successful swimming experience.


No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. The following are Strauss’ ten (10) Commandments for professional swim teachers:


  1. ALWAYS prepare the children for the next class. Today’s class needs to be so encouraging that the students will not want to


  1. ALWAYS look into the window of the child’s eyes to check whether there is an authentic fear, or whether they are putting on a little


  1. ALWAYS show that you care for your student’s safety. Nurture their self- esteem. This will bring them to higher levels of performance.


  1. ALWAYS remember: students will learn as soon as they are ready. It is not important to guarantee that they will learn to swim in 5 or 10 classes, it is important to assure satisfaction of swimmers while under your tutelage.


  1. ALWAYS remember that we offer physical, emotional and psychological enhancement, not just swimming


  1. ALWAYS keep in mind that the art of teaching is the ability to assist in discovery.


  1. ALWAYS guide your students to be successful. Feedback for technical corrections should always be positive. Treat your students with dignity and respect.


  1. ALWAYS ask the learners to help you so that you can help them. Never compare students in a belittling manner.


  1. ALWAYS convince the students to try any skill “one time” but do not engage in power struggles.


    10. ALWAYS keep in mind….teaching someone to swim requires 90 percent understanding and 10 percent technique.



Article approved for use by: Robert Strauss                                                                          United States Swim School Association