In order to become a swim coach, it is important to first have a good deal of experience with the sport of swimming. A swim coach needs to know the many different kinds of strokes and competitive relays that are common to the sport as well as how to help members of the team improve their form and cut down on relay times. Having been part of a competitive swim team is very helpful. Most swim coaches swam competitively in both high school and in college. Having a degree in sports education is also a help but is not absolutely necessary.
The more advanced the members of the swim team, the more advanced the swim coach must be. If you want to become a swim coach for students in junior high, you will need less experience than if you want to become a swim coach for a highly competitive college swim team. It is also possible to work one's way up from the less experienced the more experienced teams over the course of a career.
Many middle schools and high schools have swim teams and require coaches. It is common for members of the school district, often the educators, to serve as coaches for the school's teams. This is because the teachers are already familiar with the students and the way that the school district operates. Also, the teachers are already on the same schedule as the members of the teams, their students.
If you are already a teacher and you want to become a swim coach, look into the options in your school district. If there is not already a swim team at your school, then perhaps you can get the district to allow you to start one. If there is already a team and they already have a coach, then you may want to look into coaching at a different level within your district. For example, if you are a high school teacher and the high school team already has a swim coach, then you might want to try coaching for the middle school.
Another important thing to know if you want to become a swim coach is that it is important to be knowledgeable about pool safety. Furthermore, having certification in first aid and CPR will be helpful. Having these credentials will not only make you prepared as a first responder in case of emergency, but it will also make you more desirable as a coach.