Private Lessons
Private Swim Lessons

Directions To Rancho Bernardo High School

Competitive Private Lessons
Private competetive lessons are established for SDAC swimmers in the competitive program who feel they need a more private setting or more one-on-one instruction. Private instruction can be one of the most important facets of overall swimming success. Private lessons may be of some benefit to swimmers who, for whatever reason, are having difficulty acquiring the skills which are taught in the regular program.

General Principals

  • All SDAC coaches are expected to develop and implement fully comprehensive training programs for their assigned training groups which are designed to provide for all of the age specific developmental needs of each swimmer in the group within the regularly scheduled practice sessions. A swimmer who attends all of these sessions and is reasonably cooperative, focused and responsive to the guidance of the coach should not feel disadvantaged if for any reason he/she chooses not to participate in the private lesson program.

Policies and Procedures

  • Only SDAC coaches may offer private lessons to SDAC altheles.
  • Scheduling must go through the Head Coach only to ensure that pool space is available.
  • Private lessons may be given to registered SDAC swimmers only.
  • Swimmers or parents who wish to initiate a request for private lessons should approach the personal coach of the swimmer. (The personal coach can best assess the needs of the swimmer.)
  • The personal coach will determine whether to provide the lesson himself/herself, refer the swimmer to another coach on the SDAC staff, or advise the swimmer that a private lesson is not recommended.
  • The lesson fee will be $30.00 per half hour.
  • Payment for the lessons must be made to the "San Diego Aquatic Club"


SDAC hires and trains qualified staff at great expense. Teaching proper technique to young children is the most important value we offer. Learning to practice proper skills in a group setting is vital to the future success of our athletes. They must learn to do this. It will prepare them for team swimming at the highest levels.Can some swimmers benefit from one on one instruction? Yes, with a qualified coach that has been properly trained, fully understands the progressions necessary to prepare for the next level of swimming and is required to do so. Knowing how technique relates to training cycles is critical.USA swim clubs are characterized by some "private" instructors as training centers devoted to yardage with little regard for technique. This is a self serving characterization that is used to sell themselves to customers. At SDAC, such a statement could not be farther from the truth.What makes a qualified coach? Training, quality experience, education, mentoring and monitoring by qualified staff. Nothing else.

Common Misconceptions about qualifications of private coaches

Success as a former/current swimmer equals expertise. While some outstanding swimmers have become outstanding coaches, that is the exception not the rule. Swimmers concentrate on their own technique while competing. Their knowledge is tailored towards their own body type, physiological strengths/weakness and what worked for them. It does not follow that all great swimmers know how to teach let alone understand what makes them or anyone else a technically superior athlete.Observation and videos can identify and fix technique problems. This is a situation where little education can be very injurious to a child's swimming career. Evaluating home made videos and videos of great swimmers can be very misleading to untrained parents and "stroke coaches". Evaluating strengths/weakness', good or poor races, and comparing stroke technique is not as simple as some would believe. Any stroke technique correction is not a single issue problem. Proper recognition and evaluation takes experience and understanding of progressions of body movement principles. For example, correcting one problem improperly can cause several others to occur. All young swimmers have faults. Knowing which faults to correct first and in what sequence they should be addressed in the future, is absolutely vital to building proper technique. Without sound technical skills, swimmers limit their futures in this sport.Parents of good swimmers have superior swimming knowledge. Why? Having a good swimmer as your child does not convey an unusually gifted insight into the technical skills of swimmers.Private instructors are experts. Our experience with private instructors has demonstrated that the majority are unqualified. They generally demonstrate several of the following characteristics:

  • A lack of competitive coaching experience
  • A one size fits all approach to stroke mechanics
  • A lack of understanding that stroke development at an early age requires a longer process to be done correctly. Fast times are not a measurement for proper technique at an early age. In fact, pursuit of fast times at a young age can interfere with long term technical development.
  • A quick fix approach to mechanics that can result in physical injury and interrupt or even end careers. Stroke mechanics that are taught out of sequence for short term gain, compromise the long term development of swimmers.
  • False advertising of accomplishment and credentials. There is no oversight, as yet, to claims of expertise. Plagiarism of swimming science publications, imitation of video stroke skills and taking credit for athletes achievements are all forms of advertising without credentials. Remember that all private stroke instructors run a FOR PROFIT business.
  • They lack accountability for swimmers performances. PROBLEMS SDAC COACHES FACE
    A disruption to planning for athletes in their groups. There is NO communication between coaches and private instructors. Often, there are fundamental disagreements in training and technique.

    Confusion and contradictions concerning technique are inevitable and make it impossible to work effectively with an athlete. Such contradictions undermines trust between coach and athlete that should be developed and nurtured. The Coach, athlete and Team should form a triad that leads to success.

    SDAC coaches should not have to deal with private stroke technique lessons immediately prior to a championship competition. This is the WORST time for athletes to make stroke changes. The focus should be on using skills that have been worked on in practice. Trying to learn a new version of a skill days before a meet is something that no experienced, quality coach would ever consider.

    Please leave the coaching to our staff and allow them to do their jobs effectively.