This is a common misconception - anyone with enthusiasm, good communication skills, a keen interest in swimming and a willingness to learn can be a coach/ teacher. It certainly helps if you can swim yourself, but you don’t need to be a expert swimmer or athlete to be a great coach!
At first thought you might be wondering what the difference is between teachers and coaches, they both transfer knowledge to learners in the water. The differences are mainly in level and often in the age group of the learner.
Teaching aquatics involves educating learners on the foundations of swimming and water safety. These learners can be of any age or ability from very small nervous children, to older more confident participants. The majority of learners belong in the former, younger age group. Simply put, a swimming teacher teaches people how to swim. At Crusaders we use the ASA Learn to Swim framework.
Coaching swimmers involves learners who have already been taught the basics, but wish to progress to competition swimming. These are usually older children or adults who wish to become more proficient at the four competitive swimming strokes - Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, and Breaststroke.
Your choice will therefore often depend on your previous experience and which age group you want to teach. Some teachers also progress to become coaches, and some coaches also teach.