How Long does it Take Adults to Learn to Swim


Learning how to swim is an important life skill that many of us acquire as children – however, not everyone has the opportunity to do so. The good news is that it’s never too late to learn how to swim and given the correct tuition, adults can easily acquire the necessary skills.

However, when it comes to the question of ‘how long does it take’, the answer varies. This is because as humans we are all individuals and therefore our ability to pick up a skill such as swimming depends on variables such as basic athletic ability, fitness, co-ordination skills and also mental components such as a fear of the water.

What are the steps involved in learning to swim?

The road to learning basic swimming skills begins with gaining water confidence, and as you might expect this factor varies a lot from person to person. Generally, an adult who has never learnt to swim is going to harbour some anxiety about entering the water – however, this is only natural and there is generally no reason why it cannot be overcome.

Once you’re confident in the water, it’s then on to learning basic, fundamental skills such as floating, how to control your body in the water, treading water, how to kick and more. Once these skills are mastered, it’s simply about putting it all together and working on technique. In most cases, your swim teacher will begin with teaching freestyle stroke, however breaststroke and backstroke are also very handy to learn.

It takes time…

Of course like any new skill, the more often you practice the quicker you will improve. Therefore, consistency is key when it comes to learning to swim. If you can attend swimming lessons regularly – and perhaps even visit the pool in between to practise what you’ve learnt – you’ll find that you improve much quicker. In most cases, adults learner quicker than young children as they already have well-developed motor skills and can more easily interpret and follow instruction. For an adult with no fear of the water or physical limitations, it’s possible to learn how to swim within 20-25 hours of lessons. If you’re having a half-hour lesson weekly, that means you could be swimming within a year. Of course, some people will pick it up far more quickly, while others may need a little more time.

Quality instruction is key

As with acquiring any new skill, if you have excellent tuition along the way then you are far more likely to succeed and do so in a shorter time frame. Here at Aquastar Swim Schools, our experienced instructors offer swimming lessons specifically for adults – whether you’re a complete beginner or someone who simply wants to become a better swimmer. It’s never too late to learn to swim; whatever your goal is in the water, we’re here to help you achieve it. Our adult swim program is run from our Moorabbin pool, and you can find out more here.

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