Scared of water? Here’s some tips to help.

At Dolphin Academy we meet different people with a range of attitudes and experiences to the sport. We often meet learners that, to different degrees, have a fear of water and swimming. Without delving into the causes of peoples’ fear, there is almost always things that can be done to lessen fear of water.

If you’re thinking of learning to swim but feel that a fear of water is preventing you from learning, we’ve got some tips to help you focus before your first lessons.

Swimming Pools are Safe

First things first, to ease your mind, always remember that swimming pools are actually extremely safe environments – teachers are trained lifeguards and there’s other help on standby. There isn’t waves or currents to compete with like in outdoor swimming. The depth of a pool declines so you can stay in an area you can stand in if you want to. The water itself is very carefully controlled by pool management and the temperature is managed. And, if you have any specific concerns about the pool environment and its overall safety; you can ask us, we’ll be glad to answer.

If you’re thinking ‘Well swimming pools aren’t the only water I’m afraid of,’ we would say – it’s best to start in a pool, in a controlled and safe space; as you get used to the water and learn some basic swimming techniques, usually your overall fear of water will slowly decrease.

Get Comfortable

Once you get used to the idea that pools are safe, then you can start working on getting comfortable in the water. It’s important that you take it slowly or at a pace that you are ok with. Start by spending some time in the water close to the edge so that you can always hold onto it if you panic. After that it’s always a good idea to try and float – take a deep breath and relax your body. Hold on to the edge to feel more comfortable. Once you learn how to float, your mind should relax a bit more as you will probably feel like you have more control over your body in the water.

Learn at your Own Pace

Don’t try to push yourself too hard until you’re comfortable with the water. You don’t have to “go in at the deep end” if you don’t want too – and once you learn to swim and float in the shallow end you can swim and float in the deep end. You don’t need to rush yourself, and if you start coming to one of our Adult swimming lessons, we aren’t going to rush you beyond what you’re comfortable with either. We’re able to work at your pace if you communicate what you’d like and we can easily give feedback. Ultimately, you will be the judge of your own progress. And always remember that overcoming a fear takes time and sometimes it’s hard but rewarding work.

Believe that you can do it

Most people can learn to swim and you’re no different – remember that! It takes some people longer than others but at the end of the day, swimming is simply another challenge to overcome, and another skill to learn. We honestly believe everyone can get some joy out of swimming and everyone can learn. Also, as we said at the beginning you are not alone in your fear of water – it’s an understandable human and somewhat common fear to have. We have helped many people overcome it so if you’ve always wanted to swim but never gone ahead with it – you can contact us here!


Learning to swim despite being scared of the water will be an even greater accomplishment then if you weren’t scared in the first place, right? It might not be a quick process for you and it might not always be comfortable but swimming is a way to fitness, new friends, health and safety. We love meeting new people and helping people learn a new, valuable life skill regardless of their age – if you’re scared of water, you’re no different.

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