Beyond the Pool, Alice shares her Open Water Coaching course experience

Beyond the Pool: Completing the Open Water Swimming Coach Courseopen water practical session

Alice completed the Open Water Swimming coach course and shares her story:

“When I was younger I was a dedicated club swimmer. Fast forward to 2017, and I found myself training to become a swimming teacher in New Zealand. I enjoyed crafting creative lessons and teaching essential water safety skills to my classes. It was also at this time that I discovered open water swimming and competed in several triathlons. The transition from the pool environment to the unpredictable nature of open water not only reshaped my personal swimming journey but also fuelled a newfound interest in becoming an open water coach. So, I went on to successfully complete the  Open Water Swimming Coach course with the Institute of Swimming, an experience I am keen to share…

Starting off:

The first morning we met up and under the guidance of our tutor, we delved into the key aspects of being an open water coach, supported by videos and interactive discussions. The collaborative atmosphere, enhanced by being a small group, allowed us to ask questions and receive constructive feedback.

We were put into pairs and allocated a key open water skill, the pair I was in was given ‘turning’. We were then asked to craft a session focusing on this skill.

When we delivered our session the course participants acted as swimmers, and our tutor offered invaluable feedback to refine our coaching techniques.

Theory, e-Learning:

The e-learning modules took place on Aquahub online whilst most of the other theory was administered through Google Classroom, this included answering theory questions and creating session plans for various different types of swimmer groups.

Zoom Call with Tutor:

The tutor made it clear that we could contact at any time, but this Zoom call was booked in to ensure everyone was given the opportunity for clarifications and questions about the theory work and upcoming practical.

Practical day two at Shepperton Open Water Swim:

The practical day took us to the Shepperton Open Water Swim venue. Applying our theoretical knowledge, we collaborated to construct a comprehensive risk assessment for the site. Despite less-than-ideal weather affecting participant turnout, the hands-on experience was invaluable. Our practical sessions with two diverse swimmers, one a novice and the other an Ironman trainee, further showcased the practical relevance of the skills I had learnt.

Post-practical sessions, we engaged with our tutor to receive immediate feedback on our performance, and I was delighted to have passed. The remaining weeks allowed me to finalise any outstanding theory work and make edits to marked assignments.

This course involved blended theory of online eLearning and Zoom sessions and practical application at the lake, and had a strong emphasis on safety. The course’s accessibility, supportive environment, and real-world application make it a compelling recommendation for anyone with a coaching background and a passion for open water swimming. Inspired by my experience? I encourage others to explore the possibilities this course offers.

Upcoming Swim England Open Water Swimming Coach Certificate Courses:

Starts 19 May Cheshire

Starts 23 May Wotton-under-Edge

Starts 9 July Nottingham

Starts 11 July Rotherham

Starts 29 Aug Radstock