Learning to Swim as an Adult

What happens in an adult swim lesson?

Research from Swim England showed that in 2023 1 in 3 UK adults can’t swim one length of a 25-metre pool, so if you’re learning to swim as an adult, you are not alone!

There are many reasons why you may get to adulthood and not know how to swim – accessibility to lessons when you were younger, fear of entering the water or maybe you had swimming lessons when you were a child, but you still don’t feel confident in the water. Whatever your reasons for exploring adult swim lessons, Places Leisure and our swim teachers will support you along the way.

Jump to: 
⦁    Why should you learn to swim as an adult?
⦁    What happens in an adult swim lesson?
⦁    What should I bring to my swim lesson
⦁    Where is my nearest adult swim lesson??

Why should you learn to swim as an adult?

Most people think of health and fitness benefits when it comes to swimming but one of the most important reasons for knowing how to swim is safety.

In your life, there will be occasions when you are near or in water, this could be the pool or beach on holiday, days out with family and friends at lakes or even walking the dog near your local canal, which means there is always a possibility that you or someone else could get into trouble in the water. (Please remember if someone is in trouble in the water, it is recommended to call the emergency services and use surrounding floatation supports before jumping in the water to help someone!)

Knowing how to swim and get yourself in and out of the water can save your or someone else’s life.

There are of course physical benefits to learning to swim as an adult, it’s a great form of exercise with many positive effects on the body and it’s a great way to rehabilitate after injury. Once you’ve learnt how to swim it also provides you access to other great activities such as aqua aerobics and lane swimming.

What happens in an adult swim lesson?

At your first swim lesson, you will meet your swim teacher and you can discuss what you want to get out of the lessons and where your abilities currently stand, this is to ensure you feel comfortable before entering the water.

Adult swim lessons at Places Leisure venues all follow the Swim England adult swim framework, which includes 4 award levels and a core skills and competencies list to check off.

woman in a swimming pool with a float smiling

Once you have completed the framework, you will have ticked off the following swimming skills:

⦁    Entering and exiting the water
⦁    Treading water
⦁    Rotation and orientation
⦁    Streamlining
⦁    Aquatic breathing
⦁    Sculling
⦁    Travel and coordination
⦁    Floatation
⦁    Stamina
⦁    Submersion
⦁    Water safety

Here are the 4 awards that you will work towards in your swim lessons with your teacher.

⦁ Water confidence – The most fundamental stage for any adult learning to swim is ensuring you are confident and comfortable in the water, this includes being able to safely get in and out of the water, moving around when in the pool and how to breathe in the water.
⦁ Be a swimmer – Once you’ve completed your water confidence, you will start working towards your “Be a swimmer” award. This award will make sure you have the skills and confidence to independently complete 5 to 10 metres of swimming without a floatation device. 
⦁ Be a better swimmer – The 3rd award you will work towards, is how to be a better swimmer. When you have mastered the basics and are able to swim independently, you will work with your teacher to build on these skills and complete this award having swam 400m without a floatation device. You will also have learnt the skills to be able to explore other swimming activities including aqua aerobics and lane swimming.
⦁ Be a master swimmer – Now you’re having fun with your swimming, why not try to excel and be a master adult swimmer! This award level is all about advancing your skills and once complete, you can complete serious swimming activities such as open water swimming and competitive swim races.

What should I bring to my swim lesson?

For adult swimming lessons, you don’t need to bring much equipment with you, our pools are all equipped with the items your teacher will ask you to use during your lessons. There are a couple of key items that you will need to bring with you though, so we’ve listed them here for you:
⦁    Swimming clothes – you need to make sure you have swimming clothes that are comfortable for you and suitable for the activity. Swimming costume, trunks, shorts, or a bikini are all suitable, but if you are unsure our friendly staff at all our locations can provide you with the right information so you are comfortable attending your lesson.
⦁    Swimming goggles – during your lessons you will do some underwater activity (depending on which award you’re working towards), swimming goggles are recommended to make sure you can complete all the activities with your teacher. We do provide swimming goggles in our leisure centre shops so please ask on site for advice.
⦁    Swim hat/cap – these aren’t required for our adult swim lessons, but many people do prefer to have them. They can help keep hair out or tie their hair back out of the way when swimming and do offer some hygiene benefits, but they are optional

man in swimming pool with a float, goggles and swimming hat

What can I do once I’ve completed my adult swimming lessons?

Once you’ve learnt how to swim the list of water activities you can do is endless! There are so many water sports and activities that you can do with friends and family or by yourself, including lane swimming, aqua aerobics, aqua Zumba, or family swim sessions. 
If you find that you have a secret passion for all things swimming you can join your local swim club at one of our venues or even enquire about our swimming training courses so you can teach others how to enjoy all things swim!

Where is my nearest adult swim lesson?

Are you ready to book your adult swimming lessons? You can find your nearest Places Leisure swimming pool via our website and check out the timetable for the next adult swim session. 
You can also contact your nearest Places Leisure centre directly to discuss their timetable and their adult swim lessons.

Read more blogs

Take a look at all the blogs we have for you to enjoy

Read more