How to Learn Basic Swimming

How to Learn Basic Swimming
Being able to swim, even at a very basic level, may mean the difference between life and death, especially for someone who enjoys traveling, hiking, trekking and other outdoor activities during which swimming opportunities---in a river, lake, ocean or pool---often present themselves.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Learn Basic Swimming

Step 1
Complete an online tutorial on swimming. Perhaps strangely, the Internet may be the first place to go when it comes to learning how to swim, especially if you are older. In fact, there are Web sites, like, that go through each of the various swimming strokes, thereby familiarizing you with the most basic forms of swimming. This research will help you build a foundation of knowledge and prepare you for actual, physical learning later on. It may also help you zero in on exactly what type of swimming you'd like to learn. For example, are you looking to eventually swim like a competitor, or do you simply want to stay afloat?
Step 2
Decide what type of lessons you seek. Now that you've done some background research, it's time to get specific. There are private lessons where one-on-one instruction is given (this also tends to be more expensive), but group lessons, with groups ranging in size from two to 20 or more, are also widely available. There are also classes for non-swimmers and beginners; know which category do you fall into.
Step 3
Call your local recreation center. Perhaps your town has a public pool, or maybe the local high school has several pools where classes are offered. Whatever the case, you'll need to make contact with pool-possessing institutions and ask about classes. A lot goes in to choosing a class besides just wanting to learn how to swim; for example, there's location, time of day and costs involved.
Step 4
Choose a program, sign up, and enjoy the water.

Article Written By William Jackson

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.