How to Choose the Right Pool and Swim Class for Beginners

If you’re a beginner, finding the best pool and swim class is key to getting started on the right foot. If you’re not careful, you could end up with an instructor who doesn’t know how to teach or who uses too much equipment that’s beyond your experience level. 

Here are some tips for making sure that doesn’t happen:

Learn To Swim | Swimming Confidence For Beginners
Consider factors such as instructor qualifications, class size, facility amenities, and teaching methods when choosing a swimming school.
Assess the appropriate swim lesson based on age, skill level, goals, and teaching approach.
Research and visit different swimming schools, ask questions, and evaluate their approach to find the best fit.
Look for swimming schools that prioritize safety measures, such as lifeguard supervision, safety equipment, and emergency protocols.
Visit swimming schools before enrolling to observe the facility, meet the instructors, and understand their teaching methods.

Consider Water Temperature

The temperature of the water is crucial to both safety and comfort. If it’s too cold, you won’t be able to enjoy yourself as much–and if it’s too hot (or icy), you might find yourself in some uncomfortable situations.

Pool temperatures can vary depending on the time of year: they’re typically warmer during summer months than they are during winter ones. But regardless of when your pool party takes place, there should be no question about whether or not everyone will be comfortable in their bathing suits.

If you’re a beginner swimmer, it’s important to start with the right foundation. Our comprehensive guide on getting started with swimming will walk you through the essential steps, from choosing the right gear to learning basic techniques, helping you dive into the world of swimming with confidence.

Keep the Pool Size in Mind

Pool size can be a factor in learning to swim.

A larger pool means that there’s more room for error, which may make it easier for you to feel comfortable in the water.

However, pools with bigger surfaces also tend to have more swimmers, so if you’re looking for an intimate experience with your instructor and classmates (or just want some quiet time), consider choosing a smaller pool.

If you’re looking at a class schedule or program description online and see “large” or “medium” next to the number of students enrolled in each class, this is likely referring to how many people will be in attendance at once–and not necessarily how much water they’ll be swimming in!

The temperature of the water is crucial to both safety and comfort
Swimming pool

Don’t Forget About Showering Facilities

Showering facilities are important for hygiene. They should be clean and in good working order, available to all, private and safe. 

Showers should be well lit and secure so you don’t have to worry about intruders while you’re cleaning up after swimming.

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Think About Convenience and Location

You want to find a pool that’s close to home or work, with easy parking and child care services. If possible, look for one that’s near restaurants and shopping so you can make an afternoon out of it.

ProximityHow close is the facility to your home, workplace, or other frequently visited areas?
Travel TimeHow much time will it take to reach the facility?
AccessibilityIs the facility easily accessible by public transportation or car?
Parking AvailabilityIs there sufficient parking available near the facility?
Operating HoursDo the operating hours of the facility align with your schedule?

Pick a Pool with Instructors You Like

As you’re looking for a pool and swim class, it’s important to find one with instructors you like. This can be hard if you don’t know what to look for in an instructor.

Here’s how:

Ask friends and family for recommendations. If they’ve taken lessons in the past, ask them who their favorite instructor was and why they liked him or her so much.

Check out reviews online–or even better yet, talk to people at local pools about their experiences with different instructors! 

If there are any negative reviews out there (and there probably will be), make sure those aren’t representative of all instructors at that particular pool/gym before making your final decision on which place to go with your kids when they start swimming classes next summer!

Choose a Class Where You’ll Feel Comfortable

If you don’t feel comfortable in a class, it will be hard to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor if you can sit in on a class before signing up. Ask them about their teaching style and how they handle questions from students. 

Find out if there are any age restrictions for your child’s swim level, as well as how large of a group is typically taught at once (most classes have 10-20 students).

Avoid Classes With More Than 10 People

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in a large class. If you’re new to swimming, having so many people around can be distracting and make it difficult to focus on your own technique. 

A smaller class will allow you to spend more time focusing on what your instructor is saying and doing without being distracted by other students around you who might be doing things differently than what the instructor teaches.

Breathing plays a crucial role in swimming, especially for beginners. Check out our article on the importance of breathing in swimming for beginners to understand how proper breathing techniques can enhance your performance and help you maintain endurance in the water.

Check the Pool’s Regulations for Children

Check the pool’s regulations for children. Most pools have rules about what you can and can’t do in the water, including no running and no diving. 

Make sure your child knows these rules before they go swimming at a new pool, or they may be disappointed (and possibly injured) when they’re told to stop playing by an adult who sees them breaking one of these rules.

Set up an area where you can sit while watching your child swim so that you don’t have to worry about anyone else getting hurt if something happens in the water–the last thing you need is someone else trying to help out with first aid!

See If a Lifeguard Is On Duty at All Times

See if there’s a lifeguard on duty at all times. Lifeguards are trained to watch for safety issues, so they can help you learn how to swim and even save your life if you need rescuing.

Ask about the pool’s safety features. Does it have an alarm system? Is there an automatic cover? Are there any other measures in place that will keep you safe in case of emergency?

Lifeguard PresenceAre lifeguards present at the facility during all operational hours?
Lifeguard QualificationsAre the lifeguards certified and trained in water rescue and first aid?
Lifeguard-to-Swimmer RatioWhat is the ratio of lifeguards to swimmers, ensuring adequate supervision and safety?
Lifeguard Training ProgramsDoes the facility offer ongoing training and development programs for lifeguards?
Lifeguard BrandingDoes the facility collaborate with reputable lifeguard service providers?

Get a Feel for the Instructor’s Teaching Style

The instructor’s teaching style is an important factor in determining whether or not you’ll enjoy your class. If you’re a beginner, it’s especially crucial to find an instructor who will make learning fun and engaging.

Here are some tips for assessing the teaching style of potential instructors:

Ask yourself how much time they spend talking versus demonstrating movements. The ideal ratio should be about 50/50–the teacher should spend half the class explaining what he/she wants students to do, and half doing those movements himself/herself so that students can watch him move through them before attempting any themselves.

Watch out for instructors who use their hands excessively when demonstrating moves (that is, when moving their bodies). This is a sign that they may rely more heavily on verbal instruction than visual cues during actual swimming lessons; this can make it harder for new swimmers even if they understand verbal instructions perfectly well!

Mastering the basics of swimming techniques is essential for any beginner. Our comprehensive guide on the basics of swimming techniques for beginners covers the fundamental strokes and skills you need to develop. Dive in and start building a solid foundation for your swimming journey.

Find Out What Equipment Will Be Used in the Class

One of the first things you should do is find out what equipment will be used during the class. If you’re taking a swimming lesson at a pool, they may require that you wear a swimsuit and goggles. This is to keep everyone safe and prevent accidents from happening while they’re in the water.

If your instructor plans on spending some time in shallow water or doing exercises on land, make sure to bring along some supportive shoes like flip-flops or sandals with straps that can easily slip off when wet (you don’t want them falling off). 

If possible, bring an extra pair for yourself so that if one gets wet during class–or worse yet lost–you’ll have another option available until yours dries out completely again!

If there are certain medical conditions or pregnancy concerns related specifically regarding swimming lessons then I recommend checking with whoever runs those programs beforehand rather than assuming everything should go smoothly based solely upon what other people say about their experiences.”

SwimwearType of swimwear required for the class.
Pool TypeType of pool (e.g., indoor, outdoor, heated) used for the class.
Floating DevicesAny specific floating devices used for beginners or safety purposes.
Training ToolsTools or equipment used to enhance learning and technique development.
Brand-Specific EquipmentEquipment associated with specific brands or training programs used in the class.

Building confidence in the water is key to becoming a proficient swimmer. Our article provides valuable tips and insights on building confidence in the water, offering practical advice to overcome fears, develop trust in your abilities, and enjoy the water with ease.


The best way to choose a class is by talking to people who have been there before. Ask friends and family members if they have any recommendations for swimming classes in your area, or look at reviews online. 

Once you’ve found some options that seem like they might work out well for you, call them up and ask questions about their teaching style and other policies before signing up!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you can explore to learn more about choosing the right swimming lessons:

  • 5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Swimming School: Discover important factors to consider, such as instructor qualifications, class size, facility amenities, and teaching methods, before selecting a swimming school for yourself or your child.
  • How to Choose the Right Swim Lesson: This comprehensive guide from YMCA Richmond provides insights into selecting the appropriate swim lesson based on age, skill level, goals, and teaching approach. Gain valuable tips on finding the perfect fit for your swimming journey.
  • How to Choose Swimming Lessons: Dive into this informative blog post that offers practical advice on choosing swimming lessons. Explore considerations like the instructor’s experience, curriculum, safety measures, class schedule, and location to make an informed decision.


Here are some frequently asked questions about choosing the right pool and swim class for beginners:

How do I know which swimming school is suitable for me or my child?

Selecting a suitable swimming school involves considering factors such as instructor qualifications, teaching methods, class size, facility amenities, and location. It’s important to research and visit different schools, ask questions, and assess their approach to ensure it aligns with your needs.

What should I consider when choosing swimming lessons?

When choosing swimming lessons, consider factors like the instructor’s qualifications, experience, and teaching style. Additionally, evaluate the class size, the curriculum’s focus on water safety and skill progression, the availability of different levels, and the flexibility of class schedules.

How do I determine the appropriate swim lesson level for a beginner?

The appropriate swim lesson level for a beginner can be determined by considering the individual’s age, water comfort level, and existing swimming skills. Most swimming schools have progressive levels designed to cater to different abilities, allowing beginners to start at the appropriate entry point.

Are there any specific safety measures I should look for in a swimming school?

Yes, safety is paramount in swimming schools. Look for schools that prioritize lifeguard supervision, provide appropriate safety equipment, enforce pool rules, conduct regular safety drills, and have emergency protocols in place. Also, ensure that the pool water is properly maintained and monitored for cleanliness.

Can I visit a swimming school before enrolling?

Yes, it’s recommended to visit a swimming school before enrolling. This gives you an opportunity to observe the facility, meet the instructors, and assess the overall environment. It’s also a chance to ask questions and gain a better understanding of their teaching methods and approach to ensure it aligns with your expectations.