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Learning How to Swim as an Adult

swim team practice

“CANNONBALL!” a friend says as they jump into the pool! The pool, lake, pond, or ocean can be a great place to cool down from the summer heat. If you or someone you know has not yet learned how to swim as an adult, they may be hesitant to get in. While it can feel like a leap of faith to start, you are never too old to learn how to swim!

Why it is Important

While swimming is not an instinctual skill for humans, there is never a wrong time or age to learn! USA Swimming shares that when parents have no/low swimming skills, their children are unlikely to have proficient swimming skills. 

This affects 64% of African American children, 45% of Hispanic/Latinx children, and 40% of Caucasian children. Learning to swim as an adult will show your children that you are never to learn a new skill! 

We all have different reasons for wanting to learn how to swim at any age. All reasons are valid, and for some, the reason may be overcoming their fear of water. We encourage you to search in your area for facilities and instructors that work with fearful adults. 

It is also important to share with your instructor your reasoning for wanting to learn. If you have some fears, we encourage you to share those too. 

How to Get Started

Where to begin, you ask? Well, you can follow a similar path when looking for a swimming program for your child. There are many groups and organizations that offer adult-only swimming lessons. 

There are often instructors that work specifically and only with adults to help you get comfortable in the water and to build up your skills. You can find NDPA resources to adapt for yourself by using our Swim Lesson Decision Chart and Checklist to help find the best type of swimming lessons to fit your needs.

Finding your Best Fit

Swimming programs often offer one on one instruction or small-group instruction. Both are valuable, and you can pick which one is best for you. Starting swimming lessons as an adult can feel like a big task, so know that you can follow some of the tips on the swim program checklist for finding your children’s swimming lessons. 

This can include items like going into the facilities and familiarizing yourself with the layout, and even asking if you can meet the instructor for the first class. Remember, there is a facility and instructor out there for you! 

NDPA Resources

Water competency is one of NDPA’s 5 Layers of Protection that help you, your family, and your community to be safer around water. By learning how to swim as an adult, you are showing your children, family, and community that you are taking water safety seriously.

The water can be a really fun place to go to, and you are taking the first steps (and splashes) to be safer and more prepared being in and around the water. 

Whether you are an adult learning how to swim because you have a vacation coming up, want to be comfortable in the water, or want to show your children that swimming is an important skill to know and learn, you can find the right swimming program for you! 

There is no age limit on learning how to swim, so grab your swimsuit and towel, and get ready to build up your swimming ability. See you in the water soon!