The importance of lesson planning

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Lesson planning is an important skill for every swimming instructor! A lesson plan will provide structure and help to keep the students engaged.

While it is important to have a clear vision for the lesson, including what goals you wish to achieve, a lesson plan should act as a guide. Each child in the class is an individual and will have different needs so it’s up to the instructor to have alternative skills/drills planned for this.

When developing a lesson plan, it’s better to be over prepared than not at all, so include as much detail as you can. Find a structure that works for you and build on that. Including details such as recommended time, number of sets, distance to be covered, etc, will help to keep the lesson on track as much as possible.

A sample lesson plan structure is as follows:


• Introduce yourself & learn students’ names
• Set out rules/safety plan
• Warm-up activity (fun, energetic, establishes theme)

Revision or Assessment (first class)
• Assess class if seeing them for the first time
• Revise main skill learnt in previous lessons

Main Skill Set
• Introduce new skills, use progressions to break down strokes
• Extend known skills (deeper water, greater distance etc)
• Include specific details including distance, sets, water depth etc

Safety Skills
• Safety skills relevant to stage (treading water, sculling, signalling for help etc)


• Cool-down activity
• Discussion with students regarding the lesson outcomes

For a more in-depth look at lesson planning please refer to the Swimming and Water Safety Teacher Learner Guide.

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