FAQ’s

Have a question we haven’t answered below?

Don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

Do I need a wetsuit?

Wetsuits are mandatory for the courses because there is a lot of stopping and starting when we are in the water. You will be coaching and be coached by others on the course. To ensure everyone can stay warm we require everyone to wear wetsuits for all of the practical sessions.

How many miles do I need to swim in the assessment?

The assessment and practical session are not about speed or distance they are about coaching, as the qualification is a coaching one, Keri-anne’s focus will be on how each candidate delivers the coaching elements not how far or how fast you can swim. We require that you have evidence of open water swimming experience but that isn’t what we are looking at on the course.

Do I need a Level 2 Qualification to do the course?

No, you do not need a Level 2 qualification to join the course. The STA felt that experience is a huge factor in being able to confidently coach open water swimming. So, they have created an online up-skill programme which candidates that have no other qualifications can complete and then can join the course. This means you don’t have to complete any ‘Learn to Swim’ qualifications to join us on a course.

Find out more about the up-skill here

Level 2 qualifications we do accept are;
ASA or STA Level 2 swim teaching qualifications
British Triathlon Level 2 coaching qualification
Total Immersion Swimming pool qualification.
What Prerequisites do I need?

In order to join our course you need to:
Be at least 18 years of age
Hold current membership of STA
Provide us with evidence of your open water experience. Either a completion certificate of an event you have completed, or the offical timings from an event. Alternatively a witness statement from someone you regularly swim with in the open water would suffice.
Hold either a Level 2 swimming teaching, coaching or triathlon coaching qualification,
Learners who do not hold any of the above qualifications must complete the open water swimming coaching online up-skill programme.

I’m a slow swimmer will I hold anyone back?

Open water swimming is not always about the speed or the distance you can swim, you will not be judged on how fast or far you swim on this course. The course is all about your ability to coach and we have had a HUGE range of people join the courses from coaches wanting to help complete beginners into the wonderful world of open water swimming to coaches looking to gain all the race experience they can to help their triathlon swimmers to become faster and more efficient. Our win win for the course is that you learn a thing or two about your own swimming by joining our courses so you can start to coach yourself to become a more efficient swimmer if you feel this is something you would like to work on.

How much is the course?

We have 2 options for course prices;
Our Level 2 in-person courses cost £550 and include all course materials and the STA course registration fee.
Our  Level 2 online courses cost £550 and also includes all course material and STA course registration fee.
Both courses deliver the exact same content however the in person course will include more practical time in the water.

Do you offer payment plans?

We can offer a payment plan so that you can spread the cost of the course to suit your needs. Please send an email to Malena to find out more information on this malena@straightlineswimming.com

How long is the course?

Our in-person courses last 3 days and start around 9.00 and finish around 17.00 each day. Our online courses will run the 9.30 till 14.30 for the 3 days on Zoom but final assessment day will be 4 hours long.

Why SLS and not another ATC?

With Keri-anne & David being part of the working group that developed the STA Level 2 Open Water Coaching qualification you will be learning first hand from the creators of the course content. The coaching, freestyle swimming technique and open water skills section have come directly from our founders. Added to that we believe that the way that Keri-anne and Straight-Line Swimming deliver the online and in person courses makes candidates feel welcomed and supported from the second they join. Keri-anne’s philosophy is that the course is a continual learning journey and each interactions an opportunity to question and learn. Keri-anne likes to get each candidates as involved as possible and creates a challenging but supportive environment with he aim of helping each coach feel
confident they can help anyone into the open water. But if you need more convincing then head over to our testimonials page to find out what other coaches have said about our course.

How much learning is there outside of the course itself?

As part of the qualification process you are required to complete the portfolio as well as 3 session plans and a risk assessment, this can range from 5 hours to 15 hours depending on how much effort you dedicate to the portfolio that goes alongside your qualification.

The only pre course homework is to read through the manual to get aquatinted with some of the knowledge but this isn’t essential.

Does Keri-anne tutor the courses?

Yes Keri-anne will be delivering all our courses both online and in person. She loves tutoring this course as Straight-Line Swimming was born out of her passion to empower the world to swim. She loves meeting other open water coaches and loves helping to support them to become confident coaches. There will be no other ATC’s that deliver the course the way Keri-anne does so don’t miss the opportunity to be tutored by a Double World Champion and passionate open water coach.

Will  safety requirements be covered within the course?

Yes, Keri-anne’s number one priority for the course is to make sure each candidate feels confident that they can safely take any swimmer into the open water, and more importantly when NOT to take them into the water. The beauty and curse of open water swimming is its unpredictability, and the freedom open water brings as apposed to a very managed and closed pool environment. What comes with that unpredictability is the chance of unfavourable or dangerous conditions and a great coach will know when they can and when the shouldn’t take a swimmers out into the water.

You will spend a fair amount of the course talking through and working on a risk assessment which will be a huge building block to being confident when it comes to the safety of you and your swimmers.

“I don’t like online learning”

We fully appreciate that learning can be hard staring at a computer screen all day however we have created our online courses so that there are many breaks to give the candidates the chance to take some time away from the screen and digest the information. Our lockdown courses were a resounding success and we have had nothing but great reviews about how much everyone enjoyed the virtual classrooms. Have a look at some of our testimonials to see for yourself how the virtual classroom has worked incredibly well. However if you really don’t want to do it online then you can join one of our in person courses.

None of the venues suit me what can you do?

We do appreciate that not everyone can make it to London, Aberdeen or Southampton so if you would like to enquire about running a course closer to you then we would require a minimum of 6 candidates and an open water venue that can cater for the classroom and open water elements of the course.
If you can find the requirements above then we would love to have a conversation about running a course closer to you. However we will not be able to run a course with less than 6 candidates.
To enquire email malena@straightlineswimming.com

How many other people on the course?

The STA state that a maximum of 12 coaches can be on one course with a single tutor so we will never have more than 12 coaches on a course. However for our vitual courses we keep the number to a maximum of 10.

What will I be able to do once I’m qualified?

Once you have completed the course and Keri-anne has signed off both your portfolio and your practical assessment, you will be able to start your open water coaching journey. The STA state :
“Learners will only be qualified to coach in an open water environment in which they are competent and experienced in, learners will not be able to train swimmers for an event in which they are not experienced”

You will be able to coach any level of swimmer, as long as you have all relevant safety and legal paperwork in place, such as risk assessments and DBS checks, if applicable. You will also be able to coach in a swimming pool as long as there is an open water element to your pool coaching. For example, you can coach your summer open water swimmers in a pool during the winter time or you can start someone’s open water journey in a swimming pool to assess their ability and work on their technique before taking them into the open water. A maximum of 12 coaches can be on one course with a single tutor so we will never have more than 12 coaches on a course. However for our vitual courses we keep the number to a maximum of 10.