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Private or semi-private lessons are most useful for swimmers who can already swim the front crawl and backstroke in deep water. An instructor for swimmers at this level can spend more time with the individual on important stroke technique and create a more individualized experience.
Adults who have not learned to swim should take a small group adults only lesson until they are comfortable enough to swim the length of the pool, twenty-five yards, front crawl and backstroke.
Taking swim lessons in a group class rather than a private swim lesson is more beneficial to younger and beginning swimmers. When kids see each other trying a new skill, they are more likely to try it themselves, and more willing to trust the instructor.
Group swim lessons are less expensive than private lessons, and often help the swimmers learn to swim faster. Swimmers who take private lessons at a very beginning level, often take things at a slower pace and are more reluctant to try necessary skills, such as floating or gliding on the stomach or back.
When learning how to swim, the most important thing to do is to take swimming lessons! You may be able to teach yourself to stay above the water and dog paddle around, but you will never be able to swim with the proficiency and learn the necessary stroke and lifesaving instruction that you would if you took swimming lessons.
There are swimming lessons for adults and for children. There are swim lessons for all levels and abilities. The American Red Cross breaks swimmers into different levels of ability for swim lessons. There is the pre-school level, and then levels 1-7. Do not stop taking swimming lessons until you have reached a level 6 proficiency. Level 7 is teaching competitive techniques and training strategy.