The Shaw Method is an inspirational approach which enables people of all ages and abilities to discover the joys of swimming. Our internationally acclaimed technique applies principles of the Alexander Technique™ to water, offers effective tools to develop a new, more positive relationship with water and produces health benefits which go far beyond the pool.
Steven Shaw, founder of the Method which takes his name, has re-crafted the biomechanics of the four traditional strokes in a way that promotes optimal body use, both in and out of the water. This mindful approach involves learning a clear set of core principles and incremental steps, making the learning process fun and easy to follow. Hands-on guidance is another key feature, promoting confidence and greatly accelerating the learning process.
What makes an ideal Shaw Method teacher?
In order to teach the Shaw Method, you will first learn to understand the art of swimming from personal experience, from the inside. This training is appropriate for those who are already confident in the water and are open to exploring a different way of swimming.
In addition, the following attributes are helpful:
- Good communication skills – an ability to inspire confidence and put people at ease
- Patience (with yourself and others) – a process-driven approach to life. You are someone who enjoys the journey
- Confidence with hands-on bodywork/physical touch and an appreciation of the Alexander Technique help greatly.
What does the training involve?
The Shaw Method teacher training course is centered around practical learning, with at least three hours per day in the pool. In addition, each day will include theoretical sessions in the classroom and dry land movement classes in a studio. This course is delivered in three parts spread over two or three months and is led by the originator of the Method, Steven Shaw. It is necessary to complete each section to the required standard before progressing to the next segment of the course.
Our next training dates are:
Foundation course (3 days) : 26th-28th October 2023 (Venue : Radstock) = £900
Level 1 (3 days) : Learning methodology to teach : 1st-3rd December 2023 (Venue : TBC) = £900
Level 2 (4 days) Swim Check, Case studies and Assessments : 8th-9th Jan 2024 and 5th-6th Feb 2024 = £1200
All course material and learning resources, which will be supplied digitally are included.
We require a deposit of £300 to secure your place, with the balance paid before the commencement of each training.
Foundation Stage: 3 days
The foundation course takes candidates through the progressions for all four strokes, enabling them to apply the core principles to their own swimming. At the end of this unit, students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate Shaw Method swimming..
Level 1: Three days
In this part of the course, candidates are guided through the five Shaw Method teaching protocols: explanation, demonstration, guidance, giving solution-based feedback and enabling space to explore. Key to this level is developing the skill and control to give effective hands-on guidance. In this part of the course candidates will learn how to deliver a Shaw Method SwimCheck assessment. Trainees will also be prepared to deliver their case studies to clients of varying levels of proficiency.
Level 2: Four days
This segment applies the knowledge acquired in earlier parts of the course to swimmers with a wide variety of needs and abilities, ranging from those with musculoskeletal conditions or non-swimmers with a fear of water to advanced swimmers or triathletes interested in improving their performance.
Between Foundation and Level 2, trainees are expected to spend at least 40 hours developing their own swimming, using the resources provided. Between Levels 1 and 2, you will be asked to find and teach five lessons to three separate individuals of different swimming abilities, and write case studies based on your experience. Trainees are expected to assist and observe for a minimum of 14 hours. This includes assisting/observing in three group course sessions, a one-day workshop and five one-to-one lessons led by a senior Shaw Method teacher.
A formal appraisal is made in the following ways:
Video analysis of trainees swimming at the end of the foundation course. At this stage, we do not expect trainees to have perfected their Shaw Method swimming; we require them to be able to demonstrate the Art of Swimming progressions and embody the key differentiators for each stroke.
A written report of three case studies must be submitted before the beginning of Level 2
Two short written tests: one at the end of Level 1 and one at the end of Level 2
At the end of Level 2, trainees will be given a practical assessment in the form of teaching a one-to-one lesson to an unknown client. In addition to these formal assessments, there will be continuous evaluation and feedback throughout the course.
Beyond the training
After successfully completing the training, various options are open to graduates. Setting up your own school, for instance, or offering Shaw Method swimming as part of a broader portfolio if you are already working as a health and fitness professional.
In addition to the Shaw Method training, successful candidates wishing to teach the Shaw Method may require additional certification as a swimming teacher. This varies from country to country. In the US, for example, teachers are only required to have a lifesaving qualification, while in Spain and Portugal they must possess a University Sports Science qualification. In the UK, professional certification can be obtained through the ASA and STA. These additional qualifications are not included in the course fee.