5 Obstacles to Starting Adult Swim Lessons & How to Overcome Them

Tips for Learning Water Competence Later in Life

If you’re thinking about starting adult swim lessons, congratulations! It’s never too late to learn something new, and it’s especially important when that new thing is a survival skill. We’ve taught so many adults how to swim over the years, and through these lessons, we’ve learned a lot about the obstacles many adults feel stand between them and water competence.

obstacle to starting adult swim lessons

Here are five common obstacles and ways to overcome them:

Obstacle #1: Comparing Yourself to Others

Taking the (literal) plunge and learning how to swim is as much about overcoming mental hurdles as well as physical hurdles. One of the biggest ways to set yourself up for success is by not comparing yourself to other swimmers. That applies to age and ability. Remember to always celebrate your progress and to note your advancements—regardless of what anyone else in the pool is doing. If you couldn’t float before and now you can, that’s a cause for celebration!

Obstacle #2: Finding Time in Your Schedule

With work and family and all the other responsibilities of life, it can be hard to find time to do, well, anything. If you want to improve as a swimmer, though, so much of your success is just about showing up and putting in the time. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel in the water, and soon the basics of swimming will become second nature. Often the hardest part of learning any new skill is simply getting started. The good news is that signing up for swimming lessons gives you accountability, making you more likely to show up. It also gives you a set day, time, and place to be for your sessions so you can more easily plan around it.

Obstacle #3: Fearing the Water

Fear of the water is quite common in adults who can’t swim. Whether it stems from a bad childhood experience, parents who passed along their fears, or something else, being afraid of the water can feel like a big barrier to entry for learning how to swim. It’s absolutely possible to overcome this fear, though, and the more you expose yourself to the water in a safe, controlled environment, the more you can control the phobia. Need some inspiration? Watch this New York Times piece dealing with one man overcoming his fear of swimming

Obstacle #4: Setting Unrealistic Goals

setting unrealistic goals

With practice and patience, anyone at any age can achieve incredible progress in the pool. Going in expecting instant results, however, is a recipe for disappointment. If you expect to tackle the swimming portion of a triathlon after only a few lessons, that’s simply not going to happen. You’re going to have much better success and you’re going to feel so much better about your progress if you break your big goal into small, achievable goals and then set a realistic time frame. Your swim instructor can help you determine realistic goals and work with you on a plausible time table.

Obstacle #5: Taking It All Too Seriously

This isn’t the case with every new swimmer, but sometimes adults feel a misplaced sense of shame for not knowing how to swim. Nothing should be further from your mind! You should feel nothing but pride that you’re taking this crucial step toward learning something so important. The adults who really thrive in the pool are those who remember that learning how to swim is supposed to be fun! Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. Remember, you can simultaneously be dedicated and serious about your effort while still maintaining that sense of fun.

Are you an adult looking to learn how to swim? Want private one-on-one lessons with an experienced, accomplished swim coach? Check out what our Learn-To-Swim sessions are all about. 

Would you feel more comfortable learning in your own home? If you have access to a private chlorinated pool, our at-home private swim lessons could be perfect for you.

If you have any questions before embarking on this important journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!