Is it harder to learn to swim as an adult?

Nearly half of all adults in the United States say they could not pass a basic swim test. A swim test looks for the skills you would need to save yourself from drowning in an aquatic accident. This is clearly a problem, as many social gatherings, and many of life’s most fulfilling experiences happen in and around water. At Safety 1st Aquatics, we are committed to teaching the skills our clients need to become well-equipped for water safety as well as competency in swimming that leads to an ongoing, fulfilling relationship with water for the rest our clients’ lives.  

Of course, this is a large goal to achieve, and the process of closing the gap between water incompetency and water competency in the United States comes down to one simple step – learning how to swim. If an adult does not know how to swim, the risk associated with falling in water deeper than they can stand becomes substantially greater. However, if they know how to swim, the risk of drowning goes down tremendously. 

Why we are a nationwide swim company!

Our clients who work with us receive professional service, and we always fulfill our promise. However, learning to swim is something that requires your participation, and how you participate can have an impact on your success in swim lessons. 

For the average adult looking to learn how to swim, they may be wondering if it’s harder to learn as an adult. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most frequent questions we get asked, and is also one of the most frequently searched questions on google in the industry. This makes us believe that adults worry about whether or not they are capable of learning to swim. In short, the answer is absolutely and unequivocally, “Yes! You can learn how to swim.” As far as whether or not it is harder to learn to swim as an adult, the answer is no. It is not “harder” per se, but it can be challenging to learn to swim at any age. 

The question really comes down to how well you set yourself up for success. Children have the unique ability to throw themselves at a challenge and stay positive and learn. However, as we age, we tend to get stuck in our ways, and if you’ve lived your whole adult life not knowing how to swim, you may be trapped by the idea that you’ll never learn. Rest assured, this is not the case. You can learn to swim at any age, and it is not harder. As long as you set yourself for success, you will certainly learn to swim in no time. Here’s how: 

How to set yourself up for success in adult swimming lessons


When you are looking for adult swimming lessons, you will first fill out a registration form. This will include information such as 

  • Who are the lessons for?
  • Contact Information
  • Location/Availability
  • Description of person for whom the lessons are intended
  • Intended Start Date

The part we’d like to draw your attention to is the “Description of the person for whom the lessons are intended.” The reason being that when our instructors receive this description of your skillset, they will be reading it thoroughly to know exactly how to approach lessons with you. If you do not fully describe your skillset, the instructor may not be able to prepare properly. However, if you explain what level of competency you are at as well as other helpful information, the instructor can approach the lessons accordingly. Essentially, if you want to set yourself up for success, set your instructor up for success first by giving them the information they need to help you as much as possible from day one!

You will then be contacted within 72 hours to schedule your first lessons!


After you schedule your first lessons with our certified swim instructor that has be assigned to you, you will need to be prepared for those lessons. This means you will need get yourself the proper gear that you will wear throughout the duration of your lessons. You will need: 

  • A swimsuit – a proper swimsuit will fit you comfortably and not inhibit or restrict your movement. Too loose, and it will become heavy and baggy when in the water, resulting in you being obstructed from moving freely. Too tight, and you will not be able to move freely either. Find something that fits you comfortably, and you’re all set!
  • Goggles – getting pool water in your eyes can sting tremendously. It’s not good for your eyes, and it’s not good for your lessons either. Remember, when you are in the pool with your instructor, this will be a time of focused learning. Any discomfort, therefore, will stunt the learning process and cause a distraction. If you want to get the most out of your lessons, find a pair of goggles that fits snug on your head and comfortably around the eyes. That way you can focus on learning and not stopping water from getting in your eyes. 

With that gear, you are all set for lessons! Now let’s get into the stuff that will help you maximize your results with your instructor! 

Mindset is Everything

We at Safety 1st Aquatics understand that learning to swim can be a daunting task, especially if you are a beginner. However, learning the proper mindset is key to getting the most out of your lessons. Here are a few ideas you want to keep in mind throughout your lessons. 

  • Honesty – being honest with your instructor is essential to helping them teach you properly. If you feel uncomfortable with what you are learning, it’s very important to let them know. 
  • Trustour swim instructors are heavily vetted for a reason. They know what they are doing and they are more than capable of helping you. It is important that you trust your instructor and listen to what they say. 
  • Self-Beliefin addition to trusting your instructor, you have to believe in your own ability to learn. If you find this hard, try asking your instructor about others they have helped teach to swim, and rest assured that if they can teach others, they can teach you, and you have what it takes to learn. 
  • Understanding FailureIn learning to swim, there really is no such thing as failure. There is only undeveloped skills. If you are struggling with a technique, this is only a sign that you must practice more, and as your instructor understands you more, they will adapt to what struggles you may have and improve the learning process for you. 
  • Get excited!Learning to swim may be hard, but knowing how to swim is EXCITING! As you learn, keep in mind all the benefits you will gain from learning to swim, and remind yourself constantly that once you learn, you’ll have this skill for the rest of your life! 

Are you ready? 

There you have it: everything you need to set yourself for success. If you do that, your journey to becoming a fully competent swimmer will be done with ease and grace. You’ll be swimming laps in as little as 12 to 18 lessons! If you are curious about what you’ll learn, head over to our blog titled “What can I expect to learn in adult swimming lessons?” If you are ready to sign up, head over to our registration page and begin implementing what you learned!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you at the pool! 


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