Adult advanced swim instruction in San Francisco
April 14, 2022 3:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm totally comfortable swimming freestyle and backstroke, but my technique could be better and I cannot swim in a straight line or figure out when I'm about to hit the rope or wall. This makes lap swimming in public pools difficult.

I'm also not in great shape and usually need to rest for a minute after each lap.

Where can I find a private swim instructor in San Francisco to help with these issues? Small group classes might be ok, but I would feel weird in a kids class.

I'm mostly interested in your personal experiences or recommendations.
posted by anonymous to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Best answer: The Presidio YMCA has a nice pool and they offer adult swim lessons. The other YMCAs may offer something similar and they often have a sliding scale. I haven't been to lessons, but I've used the pools at the SF YMCAs and they're pretty great.

SF Parks & Rec pools also offer lessons-- the pools vary widely. Haven't been to their lessons. Charlie Sava is the nicest pool.
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:47 PM on April 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

You could try putting your water bottle at the middle of the lane, then looking forward every third stroke and aiming to point yourself towards it.
posted by disconnect at 5:30 PM on April 14, 2022

For backstroke, count the number of strokes you take after the flags near the end of the lane until you touch the wall. Your leading arm should be low enough to touch the wall before your head does.
posted by jgirl at 6:15 PM on April 14, 2022

Best answer: Just a heads up that I signed up for adult swim classes at the Presidio Y several years ago (maybe 2018 or so) and when I got there for the first lesson I was the only one signed up and they were clearly surprised that I was there. They pulled a teenager who was working as a lifeguard or something in to try to teach me. It was … not great and certainly not the value I was looking for (I mean the kid was pleasant but he didn’t really seem to know how to teach swimming, at least to an intermediate adult). I asked for a refund and didn’t go back. Hopefully they’ve got things figured out now but I thought I’d share my experience with you in case you want to confirm with them that they have dedicated teachers for the adult swim classes.
posted by imalaowai at 8:15 PM on April 14, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Check out the British Swim school, who conducts classes at the 24 hour fitness on Bryant Street. They offer kids and adult classes, though it may be a little pricey. La Petit Baleen and the Koret Center at Univ of San Francisco both offer adult lessons too, I believe. There's a Waterworks swim school out of City Sports gym at Stonestown. The City of San Francisco Recreation and Parks offers (or offered, at least) adult swim classes as well, that would be a place I would start at, personally, because the price is more reasonable. I am unsure how any of these programs have been impacted by the pandemic, but these are good starting points.

Alternatively, what helped me refine my freestyle stroke (maximize my efficiency, sharpen my technique, prevent shoulder issues, etc.) was to watch a bunch of instagram and YouTube videos (@effortlessswimming). There's a bunch of content geared towards all levels of swimming, I even look up stuff for my kids who are young and still learning.

Are you using goggles? For freestyle, having goggles on and following the black line works for me. Memail me if you'd like to, lap swimming is my jam.
posted by Soma707 at 1:27 AM on April 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Goggles are essential for sighting when swimming on your front, see how you go with a good pair on your face.
posted by k3ninho at 1:31 PM on April 15, 2022

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