What is the average time it takes to learn to swim?

You want to learn to swim, but need to know how long it will take. We have broken down the different scenarios to help you get the best estimate.

As teachers, one of the most frequent questions we receive is, ” How long does learning to swim take?” We always respond with the short and unsatisfying answer that it all depends on.

Each prospective swimmer learns at a different pace. If you are athletic and can dedicate a few hours per week to training, you will likely be swimming laps no matter how fast you train.

However, it will be evident if your progress is slower if you are not comfortable in the water or can only do a few sessions per week.

However, there are better answers than that. Solid estimates are what you need. We have some guidelines and assessments that will help you better understand the time it takes to become a confident swimmer.

You’ll learn the following:

  • The minimum age that you can learn how to swim
  • Learn to swim at different levels
  • How can you speed up or slow down the time it takes to learn to swim?
  • For both children and adults, the average time to learn to swim is approximately 3.5 hours
  • How long does it take to become a strong swimmer?
  • Here are five tips that will help you swim faster.

Let’s dive in if that sounds appealing.

Is there a maximum age at that you can learn to swim?

Many people believe they are done swimming. Many people believe that swimming should be taught at a young age or they will never be able to do it.

Nothing could be further from reality. There is no age limit for learning to swim, and you will reap all the benefits. It doesn’t matter if you are 3 or 93.

Swimming is a great form of exercise for those over the age of. Our bodies are strong, flexible, and slim due to the low-impact nature of swimming and the added resistance from water.

The funny thing about adults is that they are more patient and can take on feedback better than children, so they learn much faster than kids.

What are the Steps to Learn to Swim?

You don’t go from being unable to swim to being able to swim laps. This is a spectrum with 3 major stages. These are:

  • Increasing water confidence: Not everybody is comfortable in the pool. It is not uncommon to be afraid of the first few weeks in the pool. You will find a coach who can guide you through this stage with ease and give you the confidence to go on to the next.
  • Laying the Foundations: Here you will acquire the fundamental skills that are transferable to any stroke. You will learn how to float, how you can control your body in water, how and where to put your feet , plus many other skills.
  • Swimming Technique: This is the final stage of learning to swim. This is where you will learn the full strokes like front crawl and back crawl. Advanced skills like tumble-turns, dives and more will be taught.

The length of your time at each stage varies depending on many factors. Let’s take a look now.

There are many factors that affect how long it takes to learn to swim

Each swimmer’s journey will be different. Here are five factors that can speed up or slow down your learning.

Fear of water

Many beginners fear getting in the water. It can take time to get used to the water, which can slow down the learning process.


Consistency is key to learning new things. Swimming is no exception. Consistency in lessons and pool visits will greatly accelerate learning as skills build upon each other.


You will learn more lessons the more you take. You’ll be able to learn more quickly if you take two lessons per week than if you only take one.

Motor Skills

Sporty people will learn skills quicker than those who aren’t as active. Because they have better motor skills, older children and adults are more likely to learn than younger ones.

Instructional quality

Swimming instructors can speed up learning by sharing their knowledge, experience and teaching methods.

What is the average time it takes to learn to swim?

Learning to swim requires patience, quality instruction and lots of practice, just like learning to play the piano.

It’s difficult to give precise numbers about how long it will take to learn to swim, as we’ve already mentioned. These are our best estimates, based on years of experience.

What is the average time it takes to teach children to swim?

You’re likely a parent eager to teach your child how to swim. It’s a good exercise and a life-saving skill. Here are some guidelines:

  • Children aged 12 months to 18 months who receive private lessons for 30 mins per week are able to swim confidently in around a year and half. However, formal strokes are difficult for infants with less developed motor skills.
  • Children between 2 and 3 years old who receive private lessons for 30 mins per week are able to swim confidently in 12 months.
  • Children 3+ who take private lessons for 30 mins per week can expect to be able swim in 6 months, or 20-30 hours.

These estimates assume that your child can swim 25m without stopping at the end of the time period. It can take children 2-3 years to master strong swimming, which is to say, they must be able to swim 100m without stopping.

It is also obvious that group lessons instead private lessons will make the learning process more difficult.

What is the average time it takes to learn to swim for adults?

Adult swimming can be challenging, frightening, rewarding, and wonderful. Here are some things to look forward to time-wise.

  • Adults who are able to learn swimming at a normal pace and have no fear of water can usually get basic skills in 20-25 hours of lessons. This is equivalent to one lesson per week for a year.
  • The process may take longer if you are particularly inactive, overweight or have reservations about swimming.

Adult learners are unique because everyone is different. While some people find swimming easy, others find it difficult. Although there isn’t a set time frame, with enough practice and positive thinking every adult can learn to swim.

What is the average time it takes to become a good swimmer?

It’s one thing to learn the basics, but it’s another to become a great swimmer. Once you have mastered the basics, you will be able to make rapid progress.

What is the average time it takes to learn to swim for triathlon?

Many adults are interested in learning to swim or improving their swimming skills because they are interested to get into Triathlon.

Sprint triathlons are 750m of freestyle swimming while Olympic triathlons are 1500m.

It can take 12 months to 2 years to be able to swim 750m after mastering front crawl. To complete the full-length triathlon you will need to train 2-3x per week for 750m.

What is the average time it takes to master all the strokes?

The hardest part of learning your first stroke is the hardest. Because most skills needed to swim in one stroke overlap with others, it takes you the longest time.

For example, will learn to swim front crawl. You’ll also learn to balance your body in water and link your arm and leg movements for greater efficiency.

Backcrawl is usually faster than the other strokes. Full Breaststroke follows, while Butterfly takes longer due to its more technical nature.

How to learn to swim in less time

Now that you have an idea of how long it takes to learn to swim, you might be wondering: “Is there anything you can do to speed things up?” These are our top tips for getting faster results.

Set a goal

It is important to set specific, measurable and time-bound goals in order to stay focused on your swimming journey. Instead of saying “I want to learn to swim soon”, say “By the 15th July I will be able to swim 25m front crawl with no stopping.” A good instructor will help you set realistic goals, and guide you to achieving them. This leads us nicely onto our next point.

Find a great teacher

A good teacher will help you learn faster. Good instructors have the experience, knowledge, and skills to teach 1,000 students how to swim. You should choose a teacher who is specialized in the subject you are looking for. If you are an adult, find a teacher who teaches adults. It is important to find the best teacher in your local area.

Enjoy More Time in the Water

You will be able swim faster if you spend more time in the pool. While most people can manage one lesson per week, it’s possible to squeeze in two or three. This will allow you to reach your goals faster and help you burn more calories.

Concentrate on one skill at a time

Swimming is a very technical sport. It can seem overwhelming when you first start swimming. It’s easy to lose sight of the goal and move faster if you can focus on one skill.

Invest in a Decent Pair Of Goggles

This one may sound silly. You’d be shocked at how many new swimmers buy cheap goggles only to find out that they leak water and cause sore eyes. A good pair of goggles is essential for learning to swim. The Speedo Flexiseal Goggle is a great choice for beginners.

Wrapping up

Although it is impossible to predict how long it will take to learn to swim, one thing we can guarantee is that private lessons will make it easier.

One-on-one coaching allows you to gain insight from your coach, receive personalized feedback, and make progress in the most effective way. Our private lessons are for you if you are interested in learning to swim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *