Mr Dustin's Swim Academy

Mr Dustin's Swim Academy

Hello all of my swimmers, parents of swimmers, and maybe future swimmers! I have been a swim instructor for over a decade now, starting out at a place called the ARC. Where as a lifeguard I would see instructors teaching kids, and I thought "I want to do that", and eventually I did. I think after this decade I have probably taught around 1000 people how to swim to some degree.

I wanted to make this page to explain how I operate as a swim instructor, what are my 3 Steps that I always talk about, and various other details.

If you have any more questions check out the FAQ at the bottom, or text me if you are already a client!


This is what I call my proprietary system to learn how to swim. They are 3 very simple lines that help you learn the things you need to do in order to move in the water.

They technically apply to every swimming stroke, however I mainly created them for the FrontCrawl stroke. They also do not include breathing, as that happens AFTER you have mastered the 3 steps (If you want to know why, then read FAQ).

Here are the steps:

  1. Kicking Legs Straight.
  2. Face Down.
  3. Arms out of water, Diving Back in.

Each step is sequential, and the words are specifically chosen (so no switching them around, etc.). As I created this to be a sort of mnemonic to remember WHILE you swim.

Doesn't matter what age, from toddler up to 100yrs old, they help anybody get better. If you or your child are learning to swim, then I strongly encourage you to go over these steps exactly with them. Which helps reinforce what we are doing in the lessons themselves.

What is the cost and how do the sessions work?

I charge $300 for 6 hours of lessons. Usually depending on the client, their age, level, and endurance; We might change the length of the lessons.

Oftentimes most adults want a full hour, or at least 45min. Kids can vary from 30min to 60min. I generally do not do less than 30 or more than an hour for one person. If say you have two kids, then we might do 30 min each, or sometimes 45min each.

I take payment via Cash or Venmo, I can't take checks!

If you have more questions feel free to check out the FAQ, and ask me.

Why do you charge so much?

To be honest I don't think I'm really charging enough considering inflation, and to be frank my level of teaching ability.

I am very confident in my mastery over swimming, and being able to distill it down to anyone. I've gotten people over decades old fear, from super weak to super strong, and even taught babies in a "Parent and Child" class at the ARC.

From 6mo old P and C class, to the Water Aerobics, any level of swimming, water boot camp, and even Move Your Joints older class. I have taught every single age in the pool, in a variety of aquatic exercise. I often say I could teach even Michael Phelps something new.

Why don't you do semi-private lessons?

In some cases I will make an exception, but overall I find that most people (even twins) need different things. I teach from a WHY/HOW/WHAT framework, which every person needs ALL 3. However when you first start, then one of them becomes an anchor for you.

Either you need to know the philosophy or WHY behind why we do something a certain way. You need the physics, or the HOW to do something. Finally, you may need to know the literal WHAT is this certain thing or stroke.

In other cases it could be as simple as one person needs endurance training, and the other needs to learn the next steps.

What are the swimming levels?

These are the levels I devised based on my experience teaching people of all varying abilities. I wanted to give a scale based on what I think is important to learn a each level of development.

Level 0: Parent and Child

A basic starting point for babies and toddlers, ages from 6mos to 2years~.

Practicing the three basic actions: Moving arms, kicking legs, and holding breath.

Exposure to the water environment, and being comfortable in it.

Level 1: Entry and Comfort

Similar to level 0, but for any age. Students at this point are expected to learn the three steps to swimming, attempt at doing them as best as possible, and most importantly feel comfortable in the water. Any psychological disposition or fears should subside by the end of the level.

Level 2: Basics and Consistency

By this point the student will have been swimming on their own for a distance of 5 to 10 feet, or roughly 1-3 meters. At this time breathing is not a priority skill, as much as following the 3 steps: Kicking legs straight, face staying down for spine alignment, and arms out of the water/diving back in.

Learning to sink with nose (no mouth bubbles), as well as holding the breath under water without plugging nose.

Introduction to glides, breaststroke (frog style kicks not required), and back float.

Level 3: Self-Reliance and Competency

Level 3 requires a level of self-confidence, and the ability to swim around 25 yards on their own with at least frontcrawl stroke or more.

More practice with sinking and floating, with learning about the carbon dioxide and oxygen cycles ("good air and bad air"), and the back float transitioning to backstroke (alternating or elementary depending on student).

Glides improving dramatically more, swifter, smoother, and getting started on backglide.

Breaststroke with multiple kicks + introduction to dolphin kick.

Finally, an introduction to breathing if not done already, with a practice of timing with the arms.

Level 4: Distance and Calmness

By this point the student's strength will have increased dramatically over the course of the first three levels. Particularly in the lungs, and with the calmness in the brain over panicking.

The student will be expected to swim a lap of each stroke, perhaps even all in a row. Those including but not limited to: Frontcrawl, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and in many cases a lap with just the dolphin kick.

Once the dolphin kick is learned, and a style chosen (red wave or blue wave) transitioning to butterfly will be introduced.

With any of the strokes calmness is the highest priority in this level, when struck with the micro-panic of "I am running out of air" notion hits; The student will choose to stay calm and proactive. Learning to expel air out, rather than rush to the surface for refueling of oxygen. A simple change, but one that takes a long time to master.

Given the strength increase mentioned earlier, the endurance of the swimmer will be pushed, and challenges to the lungs, muscles, and mental clarity will increase thricefold.

Level 5: Divergence and Compact

Decrease in overall space taken, and minimizing drag. Streamline or starting position being a key part. Arms placed right up against the head, with smooth kicks to follow suit. Creating a torpedo-like shape.

Glides are even more refined and tight, strokes take up less energy and space. Efficiency is the focus of this level. Fine tuning everything "like a screw driver tightening the joints".

The student will learn of the "B-side" to the Three Steps to Swimming, akin to a cassette tape, and will refine all of their strokes from there.

The three steps will be listed out below, Side A in bold, Side B not.

1a. Kick legs Straight

2b. Consistently

2a. Face Down

2b. Chin Down

3a. Arms out of water, diving back in

2b. Reach forward, and pull hard

Application of these three steps to ALL strokes in their own ways.

Level 6: Strength and Count

Rhythm and counting become a big part of the swimming at this level. For example in most basic scenarios a student will do four strokes (one per arm) of frontcrawl then on the 5th or 6th stroke (depending on left or right handedness) will take a breath. That cycle will then continue until the lap is completed.

In certain cases such as with sprints/racing, endurance laps, or breath hold challenges that pattern will change.

Exercise and nutrition become a bigger part of the overall training. At this level can start doing things like swim team or various swimming events.

Level 7: The Three P's and Compete

Psychology, Philosophy, and Physics.

WHY do we swim this way?

Learning the flow of swimming, and the overall lessons of philosophy. Such as

HOW do we do the swimming?

WHAT do we do?

Level 8: Combine and Complete

Learning is a lifelong journey, and you never truly done with any skill. At this point it is recommended to try out variations of swimming stroke styles, practice new ways of pushing your body, combing swimming with other sports like for a triathlon, and truly feel accomplished that you made it through all of my levels.
Note: I think that some would believe that swim team could start at level 5, at the earliest, but at that stage of careful refinement the swim team or other challenges will be more of a distraction rather than
helpful practice.

Frequently asked questions + Disclaimers

What should I do if I want to get started but I can't afford to do lessons right now?

I created a swimming newsletter/blog to lead up to the release of my upcoming book. Both are so that you can learn the details first before having to get in to the water, or train with me.

A lot of what I teach you besides the practice, is literally just information sharing. Me telling what or how this works. Meaning if you can get a headstart on the mental learning, then it would help accelerate your learning when you do start with me!

How do I know what level I am?

Sometimes when people look at those list of levels, they may not be able to tell which one they fit into (or their kid). That isn't a problem, as when I first start teaching you I need to know what you know/can do. Thus I do a bit of a testing phase during the first 1-2 classes. To see where you are at, and that is when I figure out where you are on the levels, and more importantly which one you anchor to: WHY/HOW/WHAT.

What are my RULES when taking a class?

(Mainly geared towards kids really, but adults too)

  1. Listen.
  2. No dying.
  3. Absolutely no doggy paddle.

What happens if we are late?

Overall I'm pretty relaxed about it, as long as you don't abuse it. My one priority is to make sure you get your lesson, AND that the next lesson gets their lesson. Thus I usually give a bit of padding before and after a lesson just in case this happens, or we go over.

Let's say you wanted to do an hour, but you show up 30min late. If we still do the lesson, then we may only do 30-45 min depending on how much time we have but it still counts as the hour. Simply due to respecting my time as your instructor.

What's the difference between a Session or Lesson?

A session is a group of 6 1hr lessons, or depending on how you break them up.

I am tempted to do a deal where if you pay for 2 or 3 sessions at a time, I will give you a bigger discount towards the total.

Why don't the 3 Steps include breathing?

Breathing is often one of the first things people think about when it comes to learning to swim. Ironically I have found it should be one of the last things when you first start. Breathing properly requires you to maintain a stable horizontal position, as well as momentum. Of which you cannot get unless you do the 3 Steps properly. Hence why I drill them so hard.

Your legs keep you up, and your momentum up. Your face down keeps your spine aligned, and body up. Then your arms accelerate you, and prime you to do a breath (as they move when you breathe to get your face out of the water).


🎉 You've successfully subscribed to PolyInnovator LLC | Official Website for Dustin Miller!