The Difference Between “Learn to Swim” and “Survival Swimming”

Welcome back to the blog Floaties Family! I hope you’re ready for another great discussion! This month’s topic has me in my feels because I get to talk about The Difference Between “Learn to Swim” and “Survival Swimming”. I have been fortunate enough to have had the experience of teaching both approaches and I can’t wait to get into it and discuss it further so here we go!

As I have mentioned before, I taught swim lessons on a military base throughout my college years. Their curriculum was centered around a survival swimming approach while also incorporating learn-to-swim curriculum as well. This is where my journey as a swim instructor began.

Now, it makes sense to me that survival swimming was the focus of our lessons on the base because that’s the environment I was surrounded by. But what exactly is survival swimming? The formal definition is having the ability to float and breathe, regardless of the water’s depth, for an indefinite amount of time. And swimming, by definition, is the ability to move through the water independently. 

Learn-to-swim incorporates water survival skills with water safety, developing comfortability in the water, and stroke development. This is what I like to refer to as “the whole package” program because it’s the perfect blend of both approaches. The Learn-to-Swim Program is designed to teach children, teens and adults to swim in a positive, fun and safe environment. 

Floaties is a learn-to-swim program with safety incorporated into every step of the progression line. Every student is taught the importance of water safety from day one as they build their stroke development skills. Our curriculum is designed to make your child a safe and efficient swimmer while providing a positive and fun environment. Here at Floaties, children learn valuable survival skills in addition to stroke development. Rest assured that the endless safety circles, crab walks and back floats are doing wonders for keeping your child in that safety mindset during their lessons. 

Now you may be wondering, is it important to master swimming skills from both programs? Is one better than the other? In my ten years (total) of teaching, I believe it’s important to be informed about both sides, but depending on your specific goals is how you can decide the program that’s best tailored to you. I will say though, that the number one thing that I appreciate about both of these programs is that safety is the center focus. Without safety being the top priority, a safe swimmer cannot be developed.

Thank you again for tuning in every month to read our blog! May is drowning prevention month and we will be discussing Layers of Safety andFloaties will also be conducting our annual safety clinic. Keep an eye out at the end of April for more information!

Please feel free to contact us at 877-277-7946 or email

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