We caught up with Sport Generation’s Swimming Manager, Sam Yates, to find out why he loves teaching a lifesaving skill…
What made you become a swimming teacher?
I played rugby for years and picked up a lot of injuries, I decided to take up swimming as it such a good sport for rehabilitation. I enjoyed it so much and I had always worked with children so I decided to become a swim teacher.
What makes a great swimming lesson?
Patience and understanding are vital to ensuring children are relaxed and feel safe during lessons. It’s also important to be flexible and to adapt your lessons when you need to, to suit the needs of all swimmers. Children should go away from the lesson understanding what they’ve done and why they’ve done it and most importantly that they’ve had fun and can’t wait to come back the following week to learn more!
What is a typical teaching day like?
You arrive at the pool 20 minutes prior to your lessons to set up, greet parents and make sure you have everything you need. You can be in the water for up to 6 hours with no breaks so it’s important you eat and go to the toilet before starting! From then on, it’s all about being organised and disciplined to ensure your lessons start and finish on time and that all the children in your classes are safe and having fun during their classes.
What’s your favourite part about being a SG swimming teacher?
I love watching children progress, from swimmers who are fearful of water who move onto independent swimming for the first time to squad swimmers who are looking to beat their time and improve their competitive swimming. I thoroughly enjoy working with children and enjoy the challenge of working out how to get the best out of them to ensure they progress as much as possible.
What’s the toughest thing about being a SG swimming teacher?
The toughest thing about being an SG teacher is working with children who have an extreme fear of water. However, it is also the most rewarding once they conquer that fear so as SG coaches we all relish the challenge!
What exercise do you do to stay fit and healthy?
I swim regularly and play rugby.
What do you eat before and after teaching swimming?
Normally a banana and an energy bar to keep me going!
What have you learned about life from being a swimming teacher?
That no child is the same and that there is no such thing as an unteachable child. All children have their fears and reservations when it comes to starting swimming and it is all about how you build rapport and trust to improve their swimming and confidence.
My kit bag essentials: An energy bar!
My favourite swimming brand: Speedo
My 3 desert island essentials: Sky Sports Package, Deliveroo and a rugby ball
If you are interested in finding out more about our swimming coaches and swim programme, call us on 02089409431 or visit our website www.sportsgeneration.co.uk