If you are a brilliant swimmer and have the potential to make a career out of it, then you can become a freelance swimmer. The freelance community is ever-growing that has accommodated various job opportunities, which can be availed by millions of people. Giving the option to make a living out of your skills, the freelance community is presently one of the biggest communities of professionals, which expects both quality and income from the participating individuals.
It is for this reason that freelance community is as competitive as any other professional community. Thus, you would have to work really hard to secure a place for yourself as a freelance swimmer.
In order to become a freelance swimmer, you will need to go beyond training and keep in mind relevant factors which will benefit you during the application process and beyond. Under this article, we shall discuss key aspects involved in the making of a successful and able freelance swimmer, and it is incumbent upon you to take note of each one of them letter by letter without fail.
So, here the 4 key factors that will make your dream of becoming a freelance swimmer come true:
1. Job Requirements
In order to become a freelance swimming trainer, there are certain job requirements you will have to fulfill. While a professional certification as a swimming trainer is not necessary, it has become increasingly relevant in the freelance community. The employers or clients are looking out for individuals with recognized certifications, apart from a satisfactory experience. However, this does not necessarily mean those without certifications will not make big in the field. To understand more, read the following:
- Many employers hire individuals who possess some certification or affiliation to a recognized swimming institute. If you want to score big, it is advisable you become a member of any nationally recognized organization such as the India-American Senior Swimming Association. You can seek membership in foreign swimming associations or organizations such as the United States Swim School Association, the World Aquatic Babies and Children’s Network, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, etc. Membership to reputed organizations will reflect upon your skills, experience, and commitment to become a swimming instructor.
One major certification you should possess is a certification in CPR. In case you are instructing children only, you can obtain a certification in Child CPR and/or Infant CPR. To add on, a First Aid Certification and a Lifeguard Certification will help you gain more.
You can enroll in a number of swimming courses organized by institutes across the country and beyond to become a certified swimming instructor. The courses include Diploma in Life Guard Management, First Aid, Life Saver, etc. Each institute follows a distinct process of certifications, for example, the Institute of Professional Life Guards conducts a three-level certification course on swimming instructors. If you want to learn at international swimming institutes, you may enroll in the USA Swimming, the Institute of Swimming, Swim School, etc.
A certified swimming instructor holds more credibility than a non-certified swimmer; therefore, certification is highly recommended.
- What if you are not a certified swimming instructor? You may wonder whether you have any odds of doing well as a freelancer, but fret not, you do. All you need to do is to do a little homework, and you will have access to as many opportunities as a certified freelance swimming instructor.
Experience will guide you throughout, and therefore, amass it as much as possible. Take up swimming classes, or join any school, college or organization as a swimming instructor, whether full-time or part-time.
If you want to convey your strongest interests towards swimming training, you may start writing blog posts on swimming. These blogs will indicate your knowledge and will serve as persuasive tools with regards to employers or clients.
If you are an experienced swimming instructor, you will win appreciation from not only your students but also employers. Without experience, nobody will be willing to hire you considering the risks to both financial resources and human lives.
2. Skills required in a swimming instructor
The following skills must be present in a swimming instructor:
- A swimming coach must be a capable instructor. He should be aware of what instructions best suit the students, and accordingly, incorporate them in the training process.
- Students will come from varying age groups, interests, and skills, and the coach must be able to design programs for each group on the basis of respective needs and requirements. For example, when training the school students, devise programs according to their requirements.
- A swimming instructor must keep a track on each student. He should maintain skills sheets, attendance information, and lesson logs, and conduct a routine assessment of the performance of students. If a student needs more attention, he/she should devise a program accordingly.
- You—as a swimming instructor— must be aware of the health and safety hazards in swimming and must convey the same to students. You must maintain routine surveillance of the pool to prevent accidents.
- Training students for professional competitions are something which is expected from a swimming instructor. You should send students to various regional and national swimming contests, which will inevitably improve their swimming skills and experience.
- Techniques: You must know all swimming techniques, and teach the same to your students. Major swimming techniques include the Freestyle stroke, Breaststroke, sidestroke, backstroke and elementary backstroke.
- One of most fundamental skills of a swimming instructor is decision-making. There may be situations wherein quick action has to be immediately taken, and this is when you are required to exercise wise decision-making.
- The relationship between a teacher and a student is furthered if there are no communication barriers. As a swimming instructor, you must be able to convey clearly and simply your instructions so that the student incorporates adequate training. If the instructions are not unambiguous, the student will fail to learn properly and you will fail as a swimming Thus, bring down the barriers between you and your students!
3. Where to work?
You can work at any institute which houses a swimming pool. Swimming instructors are most wanted by schools and colleges, and therefore, you have ample options to choose from. Make a list of all those schools and colleges with pools, track vacancies, and apply to them as soon as an opportunity comes.
Apart from schools and colleges, there are a number of specialized swimming coaching institutes and clubs which regularly hire swimming coaches, and some of them make hefty payments. There are regional, national and international institutions of which you must keep a track.
There is another way of finding work, and that is through online freelance portals. These freelance portals bring together institutions and swimming instructors closer. All you need to do is to create an account, a portfolio of relevant skills and then, apply to openings. You will need to follow-up at regular intervals, but avoid projection of desperation. Employers have to go through a horde of applications, and the assessment process will take time.
You can find a decent job as a freelance swimming instructor if you know when and where to apply. Once you get a job, you will have to decide on the pay rate.
4. Pay rate
The pay rate will vary with skills and experience of a swimming instructor. If you are well-qualified and experienced, you may earn as much as $12 dollar per hour or beyond. In case you are not well-qualified but possess extensive experience, you may keep a high pay rate, which may be closer or at par with that of the first category aforesaid. In case you do not have much experience but incredible qualifications, then you are entitled to a good pay rate. Make sure you pay rate is commensurate with your skills and experience.