Q: I currently teach out of my home pool but would look at teaching Miracle Swimming at a local club. Would you recommend that I approach them about this prior to my training to ensure I'll have a pool?
Q: Is the U.S. Masters Swimming instructor training the Miracle Swimming Instructor Training?
A: No. USMS has no training in Miracle Swimming. There are two systems of teaching found nationally (and as far as we know, around the world): Miracle Swimming and Red Cross. USMS partnered with the Red Cross. Miracle Swimming is an opposite paradigm to the Red Cross and its derivatives. Though USMS trainers may have attended one of our talks at an international meeting, they are not familiar with Miracle Swimming.
USMS states that they use the leading authorities in adult-learn-to-swim and the most innovative methods in the nation. By our measure, it is traditional teaching. Three of our Miracle Swimming Licensed Instructors have taken the USMS instructor training.
Q: When you say traditional lessons don't work for afraid students, what do you mean? You haven't seen every instructor's classes.
A: We are referring to teaching adults who are afraid in water to swim. There are two premises of the traditional teaching system which we have proven beyond the shadow of doubt for 33 years to be untrue for adults who are afraid in water—that learning to swim simply means learning a stroke, and that learning strokes removes fear. What we've found to be true instead is that learning to swim and learning strokes are two separate processes for afraid adults; and that learning to swim—according to afraid adults—means learning to be reliable for one's safety in deep water. Strokes can be learned after one learns to swim. Learning strokes for use in deep water is not possible until one has overcome his/her fear of water.
Our clientele wants to be free, safe and at ease in deep water. They are not satisfied until they achieve this. We succeed at this systematically. Traditional lessons that were taken by our 5000 students did not produce this result, according to them. For them, lessons were "discouraging." They've used the term, "damaging."
We teach a completely new paradigm of learning that cannot possibly fail. The teacher or the student can fail to use it; but the system cannot fail. You have not seen this system before. It seems backward to everything people were trained to do, we're told. It has never once failed. There are no words for it yet even after 33 years. People must see it for at least 3 days to understand it.
A: You have two options. You may start an adult swimming school in your locale. This involves securing a pool and clients, scheduling classes, ordering class materials, teaching courses and receiving all the revenues, paying the expenses from the revenues and paying 5% royalties on your gross revenues to Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc.
Or, you may be an independent contractor or employee for our non-profit, Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc. to teach Miracle Swimming in your area or your state (or beyond, as we need instructors). In this case, you would find the pool, we would negotiate the pool rental terms, set up classes, fill the classes with our mailing list and your help, and we would pay you to teach the 24 hour class. Instructors are paid $800 for a 24-hour Beginning class or Next Step class. When they have demonstrated mastery of the material, usually after teaching 15-20 courses (but this is individually determined), we pay $1000 for the Beginning or Next Step class. You pay no royalties except on private clients you attract on your own, if you do.
We prefer to hold a 24-hour Beginning class over 4 consecutive weekends in a month (one class Saturday, one Sunday for 4 weekends) or over 2 weekends (morning and afternoon, Saturdays and Sundays for 2 weekends).
For training, the rights granted to a Licensee to engage in an independent business as a Miracle Swimming Licensed Instructor, Licensee shall pay to Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc. (“MSA”) the MSA Licensing Certification Fee of $1,999.00 USD and the Royalty of 5% on the gross revenue of any classes taught using the MSA proprietary methodology known as Miracle Swimming or 5 Circles ® Teaching Method.
The Royalty is paid in exchange for the right to use the MSA proprietary methodology known as Miracle Swimming and 5 Circles ® Teaching Method in association with instructional services; to receive updates on course content and continuing education opportunities; to receive assistance with teaching and marketing questions after the Licensee Tele-Training; to be listed on the Miracle Swimming for Adults website as a location where Miracle Swimming classes are available; to have Clients referred to Licensee when MSA receives an inquiry from Licensee’s geographic area; for the opportunity to receive updates of Miracle Swimming training; for the opportunity to take paid advanced trainings and/or spot at Miracle Swimming Vacation Classes; and to support the worldwide dissemination of the Miracle Swimming proprietary methodology to advance the goal of making all people comfortable and safe in deep water.
An annual Licensing Fee of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00 USD) is included for the first year as part of the MSA Licensing Certification Fee. The annual Licensing Fee gives the Licensee the right to be associated with and use the brand and trade name of Miracle Swimming.
All compensation shall be payable in U.S. Dollars, net of Licensee’s currency exchange fees and other bank-related charges. Licensee shall be responsible for payment of all currency exchange fees on all transactions.
- To make good lessons available for true beginning swimming students--those who are afraid--so that every person can be safe in water. When we say "safe," we mean as safe as possible in the moment. By "good lessons" we mean lessons that meet students at their level and advance them toward their goals.
- To train and empower swim instructors to be successful with every single student the first time and guide each student to lifelong reliability in water.
- To teach instructors how to be at ease and comfortable with afraid students.
- To make instructors confident and competent with any beginning student.
In the online training, you'll learn what afraid students must learn, which is different from what non-afraid students need to learn, and you'll learn how to teach it (as much as you can learn online). There's a lot of video. As a retiring P.E. teacher who's taught swimming for 30 years remarked, "There are many new ideas." There are also many reminders of things you already know which teachers say they long ago forgot due to pressure from students and from parents.
You'll come to understand why traditional lessons can't possibly take afraid students to safety and true swimming reliability in deep water (except for the isolated lucky student who succeeds, which won't end drowning globally).
You'll learn the mechanism of "being in control" (the spectrum from "being in control" to "losing it,") how it works, and how to teach control. You'll be presented with basic common-sense notions, like, "A person can't learn to swim if he's not in control," and, "Afraid students need to learn something that non-afraid students already know," notions that are obvious, but are not accommodated in current traditional lessons or instructor trainings. Trainees consistently say, "There's so much new material!"
You'll learn the messages and the progressions to be conveyed in the eight 3-hour sessions of the Miracle Swimming Beginning Class if you take the 7-day hands-on training. This must be followed at that time or later with the last 5 days of the training. If you take the full 12-day hands-on training at once, you'll learn the progressions to be conveyed in the Next Step class as well.
You'll learn to see with new eyes.
There are powerful diagrams describing learning--all learning--which when used and applied, make learning inevitable and guaranteed. They were developed by Miracle Swimming.
In the 6-day hands-on portion of the training, you'll see the Beginning class in action from A to Z. Trainees say 60% to 75% of their learning comes from this part of the training. You'll meet 5 to 8 afraid adult students who will teach you what traditional lessons have felt like to them. You'll see Miracle Swimming remedies as students are guided from terror to new understanding and new confidence and competency in water, shallow and deep in the 7-day training; and to freedom in deep water if you take the 12-day training, which includes the Next Step class, the sequel to the Beginning class. Afraid beginners learn how to remain in control and be in the water the way they've always dreamt they could. You'll watch this remarkable process (which students call miraculous), digest it, synthesize new thoughts and find your own words for how you will present the steps to your own students. You wlll go home a changed person. It is not difficult.
Just as you can't fly from London to New York in twenty minutes, we can't give the training in less time. The scope and depth of the training is similar to a graduate - level college course. Not that it's difficult! It's simply that it's so different that it requires questions, time to absorb, and practice. The online training greatly shortens your time away from home. We've endeavored to keep the arrangements and schedule simple and do-able. We want you to feel completely prepared to succeed with afraid students and to teach Miracle Swimming. Students cannot find this level of progress anywhere else in the world in such short time and with such ease and fun.
Q: I currently teach out of my home pool but would look at teaching Miracle Swimming at a local club. Would you recommend that I approach them about this prior to my training to ensure I'll have a pool?
You may teach Miracle Swimming in your home pool. You'll satisfy students most if your pool has both shallow and deep water. Naturally you'd want enough space to teach enough students to make it worth your while. A minimum pool size is 20' by 15' of shallow water for 6 students and the same amount of space in the deep end for 6 students, ideally 7-9 feet deep. Ideally, the water will be 92 degrees. We've taught in 88 degrees with 1.5 mm wetsuit tops, which works.
If you're interested in teaching at a local club, we recommend that you check with them first. Many clubs believe they already do what MS does, though they do not do anything "close." You'll need to show them your new skills or our book so they can see that what they teach is completely different. We've had luck using the term, "Pre-beginning Swimming." We clearly teach the material that comes before "Beginning Swimming." If they know that graduates of Miracle Swimming will be able to take more advanced classes from the club, they can see a benefit to your using their pool.
Minimum: 60 square feet per person in the shallow end and another 50 square feet per person in the deep end. Ideally: at least 100 square feet per person in both shallow and deep. There should be a rope separating shallow from deep.
A 20x40 pool that becomes deep at the halfway point is a minimum size for 8 adult students.
24 hours: Eight 3-hour classes of one hour on land followed by 2 hours in a warm pool. If necessary you may teach twelve 2-hour classes (.75 hour on land, 1.25 hours in the pool) or sixteen 1.5-hour classes (half hour on land, one hour in the pool). Every format works. There must be a dry-land portion.
Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc. teaches 3 formats:
4 weekends of 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:45-7:45 p.m. on Sundays;
5 days in a row in our vacation classes; and
2 four-day weekends of class: 6-9 p.m. Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, 3:30-6:30 on Saturdays and 4:45-7:45 p.m. on Sundays. We usually do this with a weekend off between the two 4-day weekends.
Teaching by yourself, 3-4. Once you have a spotter, someone who has done the MS training or who is an MS graduate of your classes who wants to return as a volunteer to give back, you can reach 6-7 people in one class. Once you master the system which takes teaching it about 25 times, you can take 8 in a class with a spotter or two. We consider a class full at 8 at MSA. Naturally this presumes plenty of pool space. We do NOT crowd the water. We do NOT teach intensives. Rest time is imperative: both the instructor training and the Beginning class for adults virtually turn people's minds inside out.
This depends on your location. The range we've found is $25-$75/hour for pool time. We try to arrange free classroom time since we're renting the pool.
Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc., who gives this training, joined US Masters Swimming as a masters team ($60-$70/year). This does not require competition, workouts, etc. but simply membership. Each of our students then joins USMS at $37-49/year (depending on the part of the U.S. you're in) as part of their course fee each year. As long as the students are members and you have a maximum 3:1 student to instructor ratio and you and the lifeguard on deck are both USMS members, your liability is basically covered. Please go to USMS.org for full details.
Half of the adults in the U.S. are afraid in deep water in pools. This is 109 million people. Two thirds are afraid in deep, open water. Many know they're afraid and want to overcome it and swim. This is your "conscious" market. The need is big enough to keep your classes full for the next couple of centuries unless you're in a tiny town. You create the demand by letting people know what you do, that it works and that it's fun. You can ride on our reputation, since you'll be doing what we do. You'll be listed on our website so people can find you as long as you remain active and in good standing. You'll also pay for a listing on our calendar as part of your agreement with us ($50-75/course).
Many adults who are afraid in water don't know they're afraid: they think they just haven't practiced mechanics enough. This is your "unconscious" market. They have no idea fear is the problem. They believe swimming mechanics are the answer. This market needs to be educated in the way learning-to-swim actually works: that the reason they're stuck is fear, and that first they have to overcome fear, THEN they can learn mechanics.
Many adults who are afraid in water and who could save their lives if they learned to overcome their fear and swim gave up trying long ago. They had so many negative, discouraging experiences in swimming lessons which taught mechanics that they've resigned themselves to staying out of the water in this lifetime. Most of these people have NO IDEA there's a fun, easy, gentle, foolproof way to learn to swim that's completely different from what they've tried before and which works the first time. The American Red Cross and the YMCA are unaware of the advantages of Miracle Swimming.
All this is to say that you create the demand by letting people know there is such a class as this in your community and by showing people. You show them with Introductory half-day classes that you know something no one else in your community knows and that it works reliably and predictably, as guaranteed.
Q: How soon after the MS training is completed can a trainee begin to teach Miracle Swimming as an independent business?
You may begin teaching Miracle Swimming as soon as you return from the hands-on training. However, you must pass the hands-on training first. Most people do pass, but you wouldn't want to be in a position of having to cancel classes if you failed the hands-on training. We recommend that you schedule and announce your first class two weeks to a month after you return home and label them tentative, to be confirmed once you pass the hands-on training.
Licensee must have a teaching venue established and a schedule of classes set and published upon registration for Licensee Initial Training. Any Licensee applicant without a current teaching practice will not be admitted to the Licensee Initial Training.
Q: If an afraid adult graduates into other swim programs offered by our business (i.e., advanced lessons, aquatic fitness, etc.), must MS royalties be paid on the fees for those programs?
No. You pay royalties on the Beginning and Next Step classes and any others you teach (Freestyle, Snorkeling, SCUBA) that are Miracle Swimming-based. Until a student is completely free in water, you pay royalties on the classes--Beginning and NS and derivatives you create. Overcoming fear implies use of the 5 Circles technology.
Q: Are there model programs/businesses you can recommend who make their living teaching MS/afraid adults?
Currently, two schools make their living teaching Miracle Swimming: Sarasota's and Seattle's Miracle Swimming schools. Both schools are happy to talk to you about how to reach your business goals based on their experience.
A licensed instructor commands more credibility and respect because he/she has taught enough classes to start to get the idea of what teaching Miracle Swimming is about. "Licensed" means you've taught 3 classes from A-Z within 12 months of your training. Tremendous knowledge comes from teaching Miracle Swimming.
Q: Can you estimate the number of post-training opportunities we'll have to be spotters or instructors for MS licensees? Would travel costs for those opportunities covered?
If you volunteer to spot a class and pay your way, chances are good that you'll have post-training opportunities to spot. Otherwise, we select spotters or instructors who are more experienced. After you've taught 5-6 Beginning classes on your own and received great feedback, you may be offered an opportunity to travel to teach Miracle Swimming classes. If we ask you to spot or travel to teach a class, your expenses will be covered (air, car, hotel, meals).
Q: Is there a risk that the relationship between Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc. and its licensees will become competitive rather than collaborative?
The understanding is that we collaborate in order to serve the students: that's our raison d'etre (reason for being). We're in business to teach people to swim and to make money doing it so we can sustain our livelihoods and hopefully a comfortable lifestyle. People will go to you because you're closest to them and you have a good reputation. Some people will go to you because they have friends, family, or business obligations in your town and they can combine trips. To run a business, you must be honest and keep your integrity solid. Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc. does not desire to compete with its licensed instructors. It seeks and fosters a family-style relationship of cooperation that serves our common mission.
Q: If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently at the start of your swim school?
I would have put more money into marketing. I would have hired someone to do officework and books. I would have borrowed money to get what I needed.
So far, not many instructors have gone into teaching adults exclusively. Most of them teach kids; one coaches masters as his main revenue; some have "day jobs." But every single instructor is successful with his/her classes and teaching. The system takes care of satisfying clients. It never fails. All you have to do is care, learn it, and be an honest business person and you'll grow.
There is zero exaggeration or overstatement in any of our descriptions or materials. The press has never "gotten it" about our work. Therefore, we must put our work into accurate terms and be very specific about our results so people can decide for themselves. Our book and DVD, and the downloads of The Learn To Swim Show present our teaching clearly. Still, many instructors don't believe it until they see it. The quotes of formerly afraid students and of our Miracle Swimming licensed instructors and trainees speak for themselves. The work is extremely powerful and has vast implications for all of learning and teaching. It's still new after 33 years, and we continue to find the words to convey it.
The overcoming of fear is based on students' learning to trust themselves in water. We must be trustworthy in order for them to trust us and in order for them to learn to trust themselves. We believe being trustworthy is the only way to guarantee that all clients students and instructors will be more than happy they came to us.
The licensing agreement says that:
- You'll pay a licensing fee of $125 each year, due July 1. This fee is included in your training fee for the first year or partial year. Royalties have been eliminated. Licensing fees are paid to Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc.
- Royalties of 5% of your gross revenues are paid to Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc. each month that a class is completed. The 5% is calculated after you have deducted the expenses of Miracle Swimming Student Handbooks and USMS membership for students if that's how you obtain your liability insurance.
- You may list your Miracle Swimming courses on our website calendar for $50/class (course starting date); $75/course starting date for classes listed for longer than 4 months.
- The Miracle Swimming technology is proprietary and takes training to learn, practice to master. You agree to protect the copyrights and trademarks of Miracle Swimming and Miracle Swimming for Adults, Inc.
- When you complete the 6-day training in good standing, you will be a MS-Trained instructor, empowered to deliver our first 3 courses: our Introductory half-day class which is a feeder to the Beginning class, our Beginning class, and our Next Step class which bring a person to freedom in deep water.
- You'll become a Licensed MS Instructor once you've delivered 3 full Miracle Swimming courses to at least 1 person each in the 12 months following your training. This keeps your familiarity with the information fresh and requires that you practice it and learn it. Until that time, you will be a Trainee. It takes several years to learn the material fully. The term, "afraid" applies to any true beginner: those who are fearful in deep water and those who are only mildly concerned due to their unfamiliarity with the water.
- You may pass along what you learn to your staff, but you may not certify another instructor as a Miracle Swimming Instructor and they will not be recognized as trained or licensed Miracle Swimming instructors; they may not teach Miracle Swimming.
- The more people in your community who read our book, Conquer Your Fear of Water, the more people will sign up for the Beginning class. You may purchase these items at wholesale and sell the book and DVD at your location.
- You'll provide the contact information of each of your Miracle Swimming students and the feedback forms of your classes so feedback can be discussed and your progress as a Miracle Swimming instructor can be followed and enhanced. MSA may be in touch with these students about our vacation classes. This makes more products available to your market, but is never intended to take students away from your market.
- In exchange for the Licensing fee, you'll receive marketing assistance during and after the training to help you get your classes up and running; you will be listed on our web site as a location where people can take Miracle Swimming, ranked by experience in teaching Miracle Swimming. You receive updates in training materials; access to course materials for students; you'll be referred when we receive calls asking, "Do you teach Miracle Swimming in my town?" You'll be able to capitalize on the brand recognition of Miracle Swimming classes, book, and video. You'll become part of the body of Miracle Swimming Instructors (BOI) connected by email, Facebook, and phone to dialog with other instructors who are mastering or who have mastered the material. You'll have the opportunity to travel to be a spotter at a MS Vacation class for your added training and practice, and to be asked to teach and be paid for a Miracle Swimming class that we need to staff in the U.S. and abroad.
The Training teaches instructors to teach afraid students to trust themselves and the water. It's based on the trustworthiness of our system and the instructors. Instructors and Licensees must continue to earn this trust from students and MSA to be successful. This refers particularly to use of the training, proprietary training materials, student course materials, and the identification of the Miracle Swimming system as such. In other words, if you're using Miracle Swimming technology, it's a Miracle Swimming class.
The Licensing Agreement will be sent to you along with the "keys" to your online training. It's 30 pages of sensible definitions of the relationship between licensees/trainees and MSA. Please read it and bring any questions with you to the training. It will be signed and turned in there.
You may charge what the market will bear in your community. We suggest that you use your normal pricing formula applied to a 24 hour course which spends 8 hours on land. We suggest that in the beginning, you not charge the price MSA charges, but a price your clientele trusts and will pay.
Every instructor has his/her own style and there will always be differences in the delivery. As long as the system is followed and the message is delivered and students understand, the job will get done and students will be ecstatic. Your job is simply to make students happy they took your class by following the system. If you follow the system, they will be very happy. It takes a few years to teach as well as we do, and we all expect that.
The ability to teach the MS material is not in everyone. The True/False statements are items we've come up with that help us get to know you in more depth than the application provides.
MSI is our original company, the one founded in 1983. "MSA" is our new non-profit which is actually the body that teaches all classes and trainings. The Miracle Swimming teaching technology was gifted to MSA in order to spread the end of drowning worldwide by being able to receive grants and donations for research to prove the advantages of our system, and staffing to cover the jobs required to end drowning.
Like most companies, our desire is to provide good service. Unlike many companies, we bend over backward to be trustworthy 100% of the time, keep our word, and make only the claims we can make good. There is no exaggeration or overstatement in any of our marketing or advertising materials. As people often tell us, "It's exactly as described."
All trainees must stay at the hotel where the training is being held. If it's not being held at a hotel, you may stay anywhere nearby. The training is deep and intense: tiring! You will be very, very glad you made things easy for yourself! Stay as close as possible!