What is the best way to start swimming?

80% of Americans say they know how to swim, but when asked if they could complete a swim test, 44% of them said no. The swim test is comprised of 5 tests that are essentially the skills you need to save yourself from drowning. But because many people were never taught how to swim, forgot how to swim, or may have fears surrounding the water, they put themselves at risk for potentially a dangerous situation if they ever were to take a plunge into the deep end. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you are someone who does not know how to swim, you can and should learn how to swim as to avoid the troubles that come along with not knowing. Yet, the task of learning how to swim can be daunting. So where can you start? What do you need? What is the best way to learn this once and for all? Well, that’s what SFA is here for.  Below is a list of all the things you need to start swimming and gain a life-saving skill that will last you a lifetime. 


Ok, I know this one is obvious, but if you were thinking you were going to learn to swim in a river or the ocean, think again. Beginning swimmers just learning their first steps to swimming should be in calm water in a safe environment. That means a pool is going to be the best place to learn to swim. Understandably, some people do not have pools in their home. Luckily, there are a couple options to get around this. 

  1. Use a friend’s pool! Although it may not be the most convenient thing, if a friend is willing to allow you to use their pool, this could be the best option. Plus, you may get some extra time over at your friend’s place to hang out. 
  2. A public pool. Even more inconvenient than your friends pool, I know. But learning how to swim is important! Be sure to check times for access and if you are allowed to get swim lessons at this location. Some pools that allow access to the public would not like to have people using their pool for anything other than leisure. 
  3. An above-ground pool. If you have the space for it, an above ground pool could be a great option. It will cost some money, but learning to swim is worth it. 


A good pair of swimming goggles are every swimmers most prized possession. Be sure to get yourself a pair that fits comfortably on your nose. And don’t forget a comfortability swimsuit! You don’t have to be picky with this, but being uncomfortable in your swimming outfit while learning how to swim will not be conducive to enjoyment. 

A Professional Swim Instructor

Learning to swim with a professional swim instructor is easily the best way to start swimming. 1-on-1 lessons come at a reasonable price, and it is the best way to learn how to be a competent and even outstanding swimmer in a short amount of time. Here’s why we think you should get private swim lessons: 

  1. Focused Attention. Getting professional help in any domain can accelerate the learning curve quite drastically. When it comes to swimming, it is no different. A Certified Swim Instructor can quickly learn what you are struggling with, teach you to correct it, and make sure you are doing the techniques properly faster than any other method out there.
  2. Safety. Because drowning is always a danger, being with a Certified Swim Instructor is the safest way to learn to swim. They are there with you, side by side, making sure you are safe and learning what you need to learn. For someone whose main obstacle when learning to swim is fear of the water, a swim instructor can be a great way to calm the nerves and help you successfully overcome your fears. 
  3. Customizable Approach. When learning to swim, different people struggle with different things. Some people may struggle with breathing properly, while some may need work on form, while others still may need work on overcoming mental obstacle. A Certified Swim Instructor is trained to identify help an individual with their specific needs to accelerate learning and promote the best path to competency in the water. 
  4. Adults Can Learn Without Feeling Embarrassed. Group lessons or learning to swim around peers may be an embarrassing experience for some. We do not think it should be this way, but for others it may be something they deal with. A Certified Swim Instructor giving private swim lessons is often the best way to deal with this. Knowing they dedicate their careers to teaching beginner swimmers just like you may be exactly what you need to start learning once and for all. 



One of the many reasons people report for not learning how to swim is because they do not have time. We live in a busy world, and all of us have to choose what we do and do not spend our time on. Here’s the good news: learning to swim can sometimes be done in just a few sessions! We believe learning to swim is an essential skill. If it is a priority to you, we suggest you schedule the sessions far in advance and block off your calendar to make sure you will be able to make it. Learning to swim is a skill that once you have it, you may never need professional instruction again! So, when it’s all said and done, it’s up to you to take deliberate and intentional steps towards being available. Most swim sessions are no longer than thirty minutes to an hour, so hopefully you can make that work, for your sake. 


A Positive Attitude

If your peers know how to swim and you do not, you may be quite frustrated. Social events such as pool parties, days at the beach, going on a boat, fishing, and any event with a body of water can lead to anxiety surrounding the potential danger of falling in the water. The underlying fear can lead to a negative attitude surrounding the entire idea of learning how to swim, only exacerbating the problem. It is vitally important to maintain a positive attitude when learning how to swim. Although the task may seem daunting, once you learn the skill of swimming, you may wonder why you ever made it such a big deal in your head in the first place. Learning to swim is scary, but not knowing how to swim is much worse. It’s important to focus on the positive side of it. What are you going to be able to do once you learn how to swim? How does that make you feel? Aren’t you excited to finally be addressing this and making steps to become a competent swimmer? Because if there’s one thing we know, you CAN learn how to swim, and when you do, you are going to be proud of yourself. So, do yourself a favor, and congratulate yourself for taking this problem seriously, and doing something about it, because we are proud of you. 


Set Goals

This may be one of the most underrated parts of learning how to swim. Of course, we understand the goal is to learn how to swim, but what makes the journey even more fun is to ask yourself the question, “What am I going to do with my skill once I know how to swim?” Many people enjoy thinking of the health benefits of swimming laps in a pool and how great they will feel. For others, it may excite them to finally envision getting in the pool at the next pool party during the summer and playing around on the diving board. For the most ambitious, some may set a goal of swimming in a competitive event! Whatever the case may be, it’s important to set a goal for yourself, a vision of what you will be able to do with your newfound skill that you couldn’t do before, and to get excited about it. This will not only make the process more fun, but it will help you to stay motivated during the journey and ensure that you do not give up if things become difficult. So set some goals!  

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