Group or private swimming lessons?

When it comes to swimming lessons – or any extra-curricular activities for your child – you’ll find loads of choice out there. This is great, and with many of us here at SwimNE wearing ‘parent hats’ ourselves, we know just how amazing the choice of classes, clubs, and activities is across the north east.

The choice, though, can also be a little overwhelming at times. Take swimming, for example. There are numerous swim schools across the region, and there are also council-led sessions available. You’ll probably also find that each provider offers their customers different types of lessons – group, 2-1, 1-1, and more.

Now, we’re not going to talk here about why you should choose SwimNE – you’ll find loads of information about us and our sessions on this website, and we are always here to help if you have any questions. What we do want to spend a little bit of time talking about, though, is how you pick the right swimming lessons for your child. Specifically, we want to look at group vs. private lessons, and when you should pick each one.

Private swimming lessons are clearly going to be better, right?

Well, no – not always, anyway. 

Private swimming lessons are ideal for some children (and we’ll talk more about this in a bit). For other children, though, group lessons can not only be more enjoyable, they can help children to progress more quickly, and to overcome any fears more easily.

When would you recommend group swimming lessons?

Group swimming lessons are what we would recommend for most children. Here at SwimNE, we keep groups small – no more than six children per class*. Some swim schools will have more children than this in a group, and it’s certainly a question that we would recommend asking before booking (in addition to whether the instructor will teach in or out of the water).

When your child attends a group swimming lesson, they will learn alongside other children who are working towards similar goals in the water. As well as making lessons more sociable – and often more enjoyable – group swimming classes help to motivate children, and you will often find that they are more willing to try doing something when they see a friend or classmate do it. 

Group swimming lessons can also help to boost your little one’s confidence – just look at the pride on their face when they are asked to demonstrate a skill to see what we mean here. And when they get praise from their instructor and other swimmers in their group – well, the results are just amazing!

As they move up to the more advanced stages of their swimming journey, group swimming lessons also give children a feel for what it is like to swim competitively. A little bit of friendly rivalry can do wonders!

When might private swimming lessons be a better option?

Private swimming lessons may be a better fit for children who need extra support in the pool – perhaps because their mobility is limited, or if they have an extreme fear of the water. We may also recommend private swimming lessons to parents of autistic children, or little ones with ADHD, especially where group situations may be overwhelming.

At times in their learn to swim journey, you might also notice that your child struggles to perfect a certain skill – this is normal, and it will happen to every swimmer at one time or another. Most of the time, that skill will suddenly click into place, and you’ll then notice your child excel more quickly in other elements of their swimming. Sometimes, though, a private swimming lesson might just give them that extra focus that they need to master this particular skill. In cases like this, we might recommend moving from a group to a private swimming class, or we might suggest an additional 1-1 crash course during the school holidays.

Still unsure?

That’s OK – if you need a bit of extra help to decide, we are always happy to help. The answer to whether group or private lessons are better will always depend on your child. You know them better than anyone else, and we know swimming – together, you can be sure that we will find the perfect swimming class for you.