Gwen: Meeting 4 JN Notes

Candidate: Gwen S

Related Goal: Gwen: Improve swim instructor ability to communicate and incentivize their swimmers to improve.

Positive Methods:

  • Very kind to kids, almost too forgiving
  • Some instructors are very interactive, and will demonstrate if a kid is confused (even if it means fully submerging)
  • Using childlike references to explain activities or skills
  • Instructors are good at making kids comfortable in a kind-of friendship way, which is nice, but utilizing a more passive approach “Do you want to go?” rather than “Go”
  • Often use games, races and challenges to incentivize kids to swim (works well!)
  • Using physical gestures to show “Good job!”, or “Try again”
  •  Humoring children and getting on their level to gain trust
  • Advanced kids got more one-on-one talking and in depth critiques to improve
  • Went all the way down and back talking to them, offering encouragement
  • Used positive non-verbal feedback a lot
  • Physically would act out skills for kids to better understand
  • Very hands-on in a positive way
  • Playful with kids
  • Very hands on when providing feedback
  • Instructors enforced rules, but often had trouble keeping them on track (you can be a little forceful with your words, not mean)
  • Tv instructor did well at explaining things short and simple for the kids
  • Very encouraging to the kids who were apprehensive about getting in the pool, took their time
  • Utilized non-verbal encouragement/discipline
  • Sometimes a little tough love works, kids need a little push (don’t take this too far)

Unsuccessful Methods:

  • Lacked structure/order
  • Had a vibe of “I don’t really know what I’m doing/not sure of what I’m saying”
  • Often overwhelmed by amount of kids therefore couldn’t give proper feedback after a turn
  • Could use a lot more enthusiasm on the tv-instructor’s part, very important to have enthusiasm and put your all in to what you’re saying/doing
  • Could utilize a lot more compliment sandwiches
  • At times unable to control kids
  • Focused on things to improve on that were minute compared to the child’s biggest issue (ie: telling them they need to start in a streamline rather than address the fact they weren’t kicking or reaching all the way over, henceforth sinking)
  • Kids got bored when instructors weren’t actively engaged
  • One instructor just pulled along their struggling kids on their kickboards down the lane rather than help their technique and give them advice on how to be able to swim down themselves, just gave blind encouragement
  • Make a little more haste guys!
  • If a child is doing it “basically” right, find the minute details to correct their form to get it as accurate/perfect as possible
  • Often do not seem confident in what they are saying
  • Could use more enthusiasm, kids get excited when they can see you’re excited
  • Utilize compliment sandwich
  • Could provide more encouraging words during swimming especially longer distances (especially because they start slowing down and their form gets worse)
  • Needed to enforce the relationship/dynamic of you are THEIR teacher and they must listen
  • If one way of explaining a way to fix their form is not working, try another approach (do not keep repeating the same thing, it clearly did not work the first or second time)\
  • Make sure to enforce each aspect of a skill (ie: not just the straight arms for streamline, but the hands on top of eachother locked, face looking down, etc)
  • “How do you measure three streamlines?” This is not a criticism, just a quote. 

Key points (Summary)

Humor was important and when a kid finds something entertaining laughing at it too.

Advanced kids got more one-on-one critique b/c they were more receptive to it.
** Make sure all people are getting good specific feedback.**

How to use races and competition to increase skill acquisition.



Energy or enthusiasm

Structure and Feedback

Take these things and use the tools we have to improve their ability.
Come up with an activity or a lesson to teach these concepts to the instructors using our current training standards.

Can video tape and ask: would this be a good lesson? Would this be fun or successful?

Action items:

Take these three concepts and use your list of successful and unsuccessful items as examples.


Come up with 3 training activities that address the core concepts; 1 each.


  • Competency
  • Energy and Enthusiasm
  • Structure and Feeback


Possible activity:

Peer teaching and what does that look like?

For a group of 10, split into 2 groups.

Each person has to pick 1 essential swim skill and cone up with 2 activities and 1 challenge for that skill.

Each person teaches those activities and challenges to their group and they pretend as if they are swimmers of an appropriate level.

Give feedback focusing on Energy, enthusiasm, leveraging our structure (rotation) and competency.






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