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safesplash blog

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Steve Albert

Pick a Swim Instructor That Meets Your Little Swimmers’ Needs

“There were times I wouldn't come to practice because it didn't excite me. It wasn't interesting. I was kind of going through the motions.” - Michael Phelps

We all have certain needs that we strive to meet. Your little swimmers are no exception. In his famous Hierarchy of Needs, Abraham Maslow's identified 5 needs and explained how these needs motivate us all. According to Maslow, a student’s basic needs of physical and emotional well-being must be met before the student can begin to learn and achieve their potential. So, let’s start with the most basic needs and how they relate to swimming lessons.

Swimming Lessons & Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Image Credit: Wikipedia, FireflySixtySeven

1. Physiological Needs
Considered our most basic of all needs, Physiological needs consist of the need for air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, and sleep. To satisfy your little swimmers’ physiological needs, a swim instructor must be aware of:

  • Correct pool temperature 
  • Correct air temperature
  • Fatigue and give rest between exertions 

2. Safety Needs

Safety needs represent the need for a safe environment, security, order, rules, stability and freedom from fear. To satisfy your little swimmers safety needs, a swim instructor must offer:

  • Tailored lesson plans, carried out in an orderly fashion
  • Trust, and nonthreatening patient
  • Rules surrounding water safety
  • Well monitored class behaviors
  • Reasonable discipline
  • Consistent expectations
  • Well maintained pool and deck

Learn More About Swim Team Conditioning!

3. Social Needs
Social needs constitute friendship, acceptance, receiving and giving affection, and being part of a group. To satisfy your little swimmers safety needs, look for a swim instructor that provides:

  • A personality that exudes enthusiasm, fun, empathy, considerate and optimistic
  • Group participation
  • A caring connection with your little swimmers
  • Positive and constructive comment
  • A positive environment
  • Group activities i.e. races, games, relays etc. 

4. Self-Esteem Needs

Self-Esteem needs involve achievement, mastery, independence, status, prestige and self-respect. To satisfy your little swimmer's self-esteem needs, find a swim instructor that uses:

  • Recognition of learning styles (i.e. visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
  • Scaffolding- Building new skills on existing skills
  • Instruction to fit individual need
  • Emphasis on each little swimmer’s strengths
  • Alert to little swimmers’ difficulties and intervene as soon as possible
  • Friendly competitions

Watch 'SafeSplash Lessons from a Kid’s Perspective'

5. Self-Actualization Needs

Self-actualization needs encompass realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. To satisfy your little swimmer's self-actualization needs, look for a swim instructor that encourages:

  • Time to explore areas of curiosity
  • Lessons that are intellectually, as well physically, challenging 
  • New, creative and fun activities
  • Varied, appealing and interesting water toys
  • Self-expression

Little swimmers are happiest and will do best if their needs are being met. To get the most out of their swim lessons, choose a swimming instructor that understands your little swimmers’ needs and how to go about meeting them.


Find the Right Level for Your Child!