To become a Swimming Instructor one would first and foremost need a passion for swimming and an interest in teaching as the two go together. You would also need to have the personal skills and personal swimming ability to be able to demonstrate the different techniques used when learning how to swim.
Most importantly you will need to have gained the relevant qualification to suit your post of employment, see the training section for more information.
In terms of other skills you would need, you would have to be a good spoken communicator as you will be working alongside other staff members and assistants and therefore need the skills to work both within a team and on your own initiative. You may find yourself teaching people of a variety of ages and abilities, so you will need to adapt your communication skills to suit each individual.
You need to have good organisational skills, as you are expected to plan each lesson and have a goal at the end of it. You need to be able to motivate those swimmers who may be less confident and have the skills to encourage those swimmers to persevere with the training. You must be patient, as some individuals may take longer to learn the techniques and therefore you’ll need to be able to assess what level each of your swimmers are at.
You should have up to date first aid skills and life saving skills, and have the ability to risk assess a situation. Through your training you should have acquired skills to ensure that all life saving equipment is in working order as your class will be your responsibility.
You will also need to have the ability to stay calm in certain situations as you may be needed to see to minor injuries or accidents. People who ask what skills you need to become a Swimming Instructor are likely to have an interest in swimming and teaching already. But if you are hard working, enthusiastic about swimming and good with people you should have no problem in teaching people to swim.