Should I take group swim classes or private lessons?

Which is better for you - group or private swim lessons? | Chicago Blue Dolphins

Which is better for you – group or private swim lessons?

Dear Coach Fitz: I’d like to sign up for swim lessons in the new year and have been debating whether to take group classes or private lessons. How would you advise deciding between the two?
Suzie Splash

Dear Suzie,

That’s a great question, and the answer depends on what’s important to you, what your goals are and what your schedule is like.

Here’s how we typically differentiate between the two types of swim instruction, and these guidelines apply to both adults and kids.

Group Swim Classes

With group classes, we find that you’ll:

  • Enjoy a social element with a cohort atmosphere.
  • Learn from watching others and hearing the coach’s feedback to the other swimmers.
  • Feel less pressure because others in the class will take their turn swimming, too.
  • Proceed through the class at a predictable pace.
  • Save some money over private lessons. Even if you come multiple times per week, it’s still financially reasonable.

Private Swim Lessons

With private lessons, generally you’ll:

  • Proceed at your pace. If you need more time, take it. If you can move more quickly, do it.
  • Have the full attention of the instructor for the entire lesson.  You can proceed more rapidly because of the individualization and additional practice and repetitions.
  • Relax more if you have anxiety, are self-consciousness or get distracted in a group setting.
  • Have more flexibility if your schedule is less predictable or you want to do a less regular schedule (go 3 times one week, skip 2 weeks, etc.).
  • Benefit from highly tailored or advanced lessons if you’re looking for specific refinements, such as qualifying for a state meet or getting a PR in your IRONMAN swim).

If you’re still not sure which is best for you, I urge you to email us or give us a call at 773-342-7250. We’re happy to talk through your specific situation with you.

Hope to see you on the pool deck!

Coach Fitz


  1. Hello, I’ll like to take private swimming lessons. I am an adult and have never swam before. My goal is to be able to swim for recreation. Do you have a short training course that I can go through within a short period? If yes, could you provide a duration and the cost? Thank you

    • Yes, we have an Adult Learn-to-Swim class sequence that will work through basic water skills and confidence, will build a couple of simple strokes for you to use to move around, and culminate with teaching you how to start, stop, and swim in deep water. You can see a description of the classes at our Adult Learn-to-Swim page. We recommend people start with Level 1. If you think you’ve got some aquatic skills in your back pocket, you can schedule a $30.00 25-minute private assessment and a coach will give you a recommended class level. If you have questions or want to get something scheduled, you can call our office at (773) 342-7250 or you can email us at

    • Bernadette Pawlik

      Do you ever have deals for the adult swim on Groupon?

      • We have done specials with Groupon-like sites in the past, and it has always been more trouble that it was worth. We do promotions periodically, especially around the holidays. If you want to join our Facebook page (, we usually announce promotions and new programs there.

  2. Hello Coach,

    I like to take the adult swim classes. I’m someone with absolutely no prior experience with swimming. My goal is start off with recreational swimming, ( just so I can swim in lakes and swimming pools and been wanting to go kayaking too ) and hopefully advance to higher levels eventually. How many classes a week would you recommend for someone like me. How long does it take on average to advance from level 1 to level 2 and to get proficient with level 2.

    • One class per week is fine if you go to the pool at least one time on your own between classes to practice the skills you learned. On average, people progress from Level 1 to Level 2 in one pass (i.e, about 1 month). It’s taken longer if a person comes in with a lot of anxiety or has difficulty coordinating the movements, but you are usually fine.

      The best thing to do is give the office a call at (773) 342-7250 and get something scheduled.

      I hope that helps.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *