Water Safety Instructor

Water Safety Instructor

Text: Water safety Instructor Manual


Kevin S. Salisbury

Office: Athletic Fieldhouse, Flanagan Campus

Tel: 401.333.7313 or 401.333.7339

Office Hours: By appointment (usually in office 45 minutes prior to class)

Class Time: TBA

Click here to download “PowerPoint viewer” (once on the download page, type in “PowerPoint”)

Prerequisites of the course:

  1. Be at least 16 years of age
  2. Possess a current Fundamentals
    of Instructor Training Certificate
  3. Pass 12 (twelve) Skills
    Tests in swimming including the following strokes 

    1. 25 yards of crawl, back crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke; 15 yard butterfly, and a standing dive
  4. Reaching assist, throwing assist, head splint technique, wading assist, long shallow dive and retrieve brick at least 9 feet deep
  5. Tread water for 1 minute

Students should also refer to the following web page for a complete description of Classroom/Conduct rules and regulations.  You are expected to know them and abide by them.

Violation of any of these rules (including those in the Student Disciplinary Code) may result in discipline that could include expulsion from this course.



Students with Special Needs

Any student with a documented disability may arrange reasonable accommodations.  As part of this process, students are encouraged to contact the office of Disability Services for Students as early in the semester as possible.


Class Content Links Homework
1 Introduction/Stroke Observation WSIM – Part B, CH. 3, 4; Part G, CH 19, Appendix B 

S&WS – CH 3, 4

2 Teaching Strategies/Hydrodynamic Principles WSIM – CH 5-8; Appendix B 

S&WS – 4

3 Overview of Learn-To-Swim Classes Lesson Plan WSIM – CH 4; Raffy and Waddles 

Prepare Practice teaching #1

4 Recording and Reporting 

Practice Teaching #1

Course Record & 


WSIM – Appendix B; Levels 3 & 4 

S&WS – CH 4; Practice Teaching #2

5 Learn-To-Swim Levels 3 & 4 

Practice teaching #2

WSIM – Appendix B; Levels 5 & 6 

S&WS – CH 4; Practice Teaching #3

6 Learn-To-Swim Levels 4 & 5 

Practice Teaching #3

WSIM – Appendix B; Levels 11 & 12 

S&WS – CH 5; Practice Teaching #4

7 Teaching Diving/Starts and Turns WSIM – Part E – Parent/Child 

Assign 2 skills from Parent/Child

8 Parent – Child Aquatics WSIM – Appendix B; Levels 18 & 19 

S&WS – CH 7; Practice Teaching #5

9 Customizing for Adults 

Customizing for Disabilities

Review Review for Final Exam
10 Course Review 

Local Chapter Information (5736)

Final Written Exam

Printed Materials Needed

  • American Red Cross Swimming and Water Safety Manual
  • American Red Cross Water safety Instructor’s Manual
  • American Red Cross Fundamentals of Instructor Training Manual
  • American Red Cross Waddles In The Deep (Levels 3 & 4)
  • Raffy Learns to Swim (Levels 1 & 2)
  • Water Safety Handbook (for participants)
  • American Red Cross Safety Training for Swim Coaches (optional)
  • American Red Cross Safety Training for Swim Coaches Instructor’s Manual (optional)
  • American Red Cross Longfellow’s Whale Tales (optional)

Purpose and objectives of the course

  • Using the information within the course materials to teach Swimming and Water Safety courses for the American Red Cross
  • Planning and organizing courses, including block plans and lesson plans
  • Ensuring health and safety standards of participants
  • Be able to customize courses to meet the needs of participants
  • Be able to maintain accurate records and reports

Instructor Candidate Evaluation

  • Delivering a presentation
  • Conducting practice teaching
  • Knowing the content of the Water safety Instructor Course
  • 50 question final (must answer 40 correct)

Water Safety Instructor – Review for final

  • What do you need to do to be reauthorized
  • How should the ARC Swimming and Diving Skills Video be used
  • Know how to use the videos and for what courses
  • Know what courses you can teach as a WSI
  • What certificate should a water safety instructor aide hold
  • Learn-to swim certificates can be signed by who
  • What should an instructor submit to the Red Cross Chapter within 10 days of completion
  • What Book/CD/Video is the information on how to plan water safety course in
  • Know “Raffy Learns to Swim” and “Waddles” booklets
  • Review Longfellow’s Whale’s Tales
  • What are the completion requirements for Basic Water safety participant
  • What are the objectives of Level 1 Learn-to-swim
  • What are the factors that influence learning
  • Know what an appropriately-structured practice is
  • What is the autonomous stage of learning
  • Lesson Planning factors (class size, ability levels of participants, and equipment)
  • Know why self-evaluation as an instructor is important
  • What is a photographic eye
  • Values of Block Plans
  • What should a good lesson plan have in it
  • What makes up a good skill demonstration
  • Where is most peoples’ center of buoyancy
  • Why do you apply hydrodynamic principles
  • What factors help a person to assist them float on their back
  • What techniques can reduce “form drag”
  • Which kick is least effective in treading water
  • Know the different parts of the arm stroke (catch, midpull, finish, recovery)
  • Where does the flutter kick originate from
  • Where is the force in the back crawl arm stroke
  • What is the correct sequence of the breaststroke(pull, breath, kick, glide)
  • Know elementary backstroke technique
  • Know sidestroke technique
  • Know breaststroke technique
  • Know butterfly technique
  • What causes the knees to break the surface on elementary backstroke
  • Know the “kicks” for all the strokes
  • What strokes is body roll very important for
  • Which strokes must always have a glide
  • How are the flip turns for crawl and back crawl similar
  • Why must everyone know safe diving rules
  • How deep must the water be to practice diving skills
  • With students with disabilities, it is important to use alternatives to each skill
  • How can you accommodate adults who are learning to swim
  • What are the goals of the Parent and Child Aquatics Program
  • What is the minimum age for a child to participate in Parent and Child Aquatics
  • In the beginning phases of learning to swim, how many times should you have the participant submerge

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