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One of the most popular leisure activities, swimming is also a full-fledged sport in many countries around the world. With people becoming more conscious about their health and fitness, many are taking up swimming as part of their daily exercise regimen, as it is a low impact aerobic exercise. This has led to an increase in the demand for amateur swim coaches, who play an important role in the lives of young or new swimmers.
Qualities of a Swim Coach
A swim coach needs to have the skills and expertise, so that they are able to impart those to young swimmers. Here are some of the basic qualities required in a swim coach:
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• One needs to have a good swimming background along with proper certification.
• They must possess complete knowledge about swimming, the rules and regulations of the sport, techniques, strategies, training methods and water safety.
• They should be knowledgeable in subjects like physical training, physiology, communication and teaching methods.
• They need to become an expert in life-saving skills.
• A coach needs to be empathetic towards the trainees.
• The coach should be patient and considerate.
• They should be well-versed with the swimming vocabulary.
• They must possess the physical ability to train and coach people.
• They need to have good communication skills.
Courses for a Swim Coach
There are various courses that one can enrol in to become a swim coach. Swim UK offers the following courses:
ASA UKCC Level 1 Teaching Aquatics Qualification – The first level for swim coaches that teaches the basic principles of coaching. On qualifying this level, a person can assist a qualified aquatics coach at every level.
The course fee is £315 and the learner should be at least 15 years old at the time of registration, and must be 16 years prior to or on qualification.
ASA UKCC Level 2 Teaching Aquatics Qualification – The industry standard for an independent swim coach, this course provides complete training for teaching non-swimmers as well as basic level swimmers. There are written and practical assessments conducted prior to granting the certification.
The minimum age requirement is 17 years and the course fee is £680 for an individual. The applicant must have a Level 1 qualification to qualify for this course.
ASA/ UKCC Level 1 Certificate in Coaching – This is an all-inclusive certification for a support swim coach, and is considered the first formal qualification for a swim coach. It entails two units and the minimum age requirement for an application is 16 years. The course fee is £350 for an individual.
ASA/UKCC Level 2 Certificate in Coaching – Coaches with a level 1 qualification who want to improvise further can take up this course. This course offers insight into the principles of coaching as well as teaches how to plan and deliver swimming coaching. The course fee for this certification for an individual is £750.
Why take this up as a full-time profession?
If one has a passion for swimming and knows the technicalities behind it, they can convert this hobby into a full-time profession. Swim coaches are required at all levels, whether it is to teach young and timid students or if it is for advanced swimmers wanting to hone their swimming skills.
With further experience and education, a swim coach can take up higher positions in the sport. These include those of recreational directors in clubs, coaching swimming teams and pool operators. One can also open a swimming pool once they have achieved a reputation in the field, along with the initial investment required.
The profession of a swim coach is a thriving one, as health consciousness increases among people. With more swim clubs opening with classes for amateur swimmers, the demand for swim coach is bound to increase.
If you're thinking of becoming a swim coach, make sure you check out Swimming.org for up to date information on rules, regulations, requirements and the latest advice.
More information available at Swimming.org/asa