Open Water Coaching

South West Swim are the premier provider of open water swimming & triathlon swim coaching in The Cotswolds.

South West Swim brings you world class Swim Smooth Certified coaching to the lakes of the Cotswolds.

Our Coaches hold full open water coaching qualifications with Swim England and / or STA, and have years of experience in both coaching and event swimming. As well as being qualified open water coaches all our coaching staff are fully qualified pool swimming coaches and teachers, with experience of learn to swim through to club and masters swimming at all levels and distances.


Let us share our passion, experience and knowledge to make you the best open water swimmer you can be.



Our Open Water Coaching Season for 2022 is now finished. Provisional dates for the 2023 Season should be available in the booking system by December 2022.

Expert level open water coaching with South West Swim.

South West Swim 1-to-1’s are totally 

individual and bespoke to each swimmer, tailoring the session to the needs and development of each individual.

Depending on the session goals and swimmer ability our 1-to-1’s include video notes and overview video analysis, stroke analytics with our Funky AI tech, full session review notes, online swim programs and video guides to progress your swimming after (or in between) your sessions.  

You will be in the safe hands of head coach Jason Tait who has vast swimming & coaching knowledge with all ages and levels of swimmers from total beginners to channel swimmers and world qualifiers. 

– Certified Swim Smooth Coach

– Swim England Swim Coach and Teacher

– Swim England and STA qualified Open Water Coach (and STA Tutor & Coaching working group member)

– RLSS Open Water Lifeguard

– DBS Checked

South West Swim is the longest running full time provider of open water swim coaching services in the Cotswolds.  We are trusted by governing bodies, event organisers, lake operators, media outlets and importantly thousands of swimmers over the years.

Follow the links below to get your session booked in or talk to us for advice on / Tel. 07751793234 

We believe our Open Water 1-to-1’s are the very best in the area and a sessions like no other with much more to give for your development………..but we would say that.  So to see honest opinions from previous athletes head to our reviews section and see what others have to say.

Helping You Train, Be Safe and Get Into The Amazing World Of Open Water Swimming 


South West Swim are the longest established and experienced providers of open water coaching in the Cotswolds


South West Swim are a leading provider of open water coaching in the Cotswolds, with swimmers travelling from around the South West of England for our sessions.  We offer a comprehensive range of sessions to cover all your swim needs, for most this leads to the challenge of Open Water Swimming.  

Whether you are a total beginner looking to start your open water journey, or an experienced swimmer looking for the edge over your competition, we can provide you with the guidance and expertise to meet your requirements. 

We can offer 1-to-1 sessions to develop your swim stroke, open water skills or a mixture of both.  Our group based “squad” sessions will get you training with others of a similar ability and developing your swimming and swim fitness within our great community.  We also offer workshops and clinics, such as our ever popular Introduction to Open water swimming clinic, or our mini open water swim skills clinics.  

South West Swim has extensive experience in training swimmers of all levels for both leisure and competition, adults and juniors.  From first timers through to world Champions and international qualifiers. Adventurers and Channel swimmers.  The list goes on and we can’t wait for you to join us so we can help develop your swimming potential and find out about your goals and ambitions.

Your session will be delivered by friendly fully qualified open water coaches with a love and a passion for all things open water and triathlon, our aim is to share our knowledge and passion with you.

Our Open Water Cachong Season runs from approx april/May through to Mid September.  Exact dates depend on air and water temperatures and general weather conditions, which we wont know until nearer the time.

Why you can trust South West Swim open water coaching

Professional coaching providing the complete swim solution, at a time convenient to you

We are a professional full time coaching company which means swimming is our job. Therefore we can offer a huge selection of session times across our services and train you both in the pool and in the lakes of The Cotswolds. Don’t see a session time that suits your diary? let us know and I am sure we can find you a bespoke time slot.

Working with the best venues in The Cotswolds

We are resident coaches at both Waterland Outdoor Pursuits (Lake32) and Cotswold Water Park Hire (Lake86).  These are to wow the very finest bodies of water in The Cotswolds, backed up by fantastic swimming communities, safety and facilities at each lake.  You can choose where you take your session when you book and if you are unsure where to be coached, just let us know and we can guide you.

World class Swim Smooth Certified Coaching

All our sessions are coached using swim smooth methodologies, with head coach Jason being the only certified Swim Smooth coach in the South West.  This world leading method is endorsed by the BTF and ITU and treats a swimmers stroke as individual to them.  to find out more about swim smooth and certified coaches head to

Full session review and online content to help develop you after your session

All our 1-to-1 based sessions come with a follow up notes email and access to professionally produced online content to further help you develop your swimming.  This access will give you videos of drills, training programs and articles of interest to your own swimming as prescribed by your coach.  It is the very best follow up content to ensure your first session does not end when we get out of the water, but you can develop in your sessions afterwards before coming back for more of our amazing coaching. 

Years of experience as both swimmers and coaches

South West swim has coached well in excess of 2000 individual swimmers gaining a 5 star reputation for friendly, quality coaching and the go to swim coaching provider in the area.

All our coaches hold vast amounts of experience as swimmers and athletes, as well as coaching.  We have done the swims, done the events and entered the environments that you will be swimming in.  We know what it takes to get you to meet your goals and develop your passion.

Safety in the water and our own RLSS lifeguards in some sessions.

South West Swim takes safety very seriously.

Our sessions are held in lakes that have their own safety and support facilities for emergency water extraction.  We use safety equipment whilst coaching your session such as Tow floats, Restube life saving devices and safety whilstles.

Our coaches are also first aid trained and hold NRASTC pool qualifications, as well as having open water safety cover and rescue experience.  Some of our group sessions will also have our own dedicated South West Swim RLSS Lifeguards on SUP or kayaks.  By the end of April head coach Jason, alongside some support coaches and swimmers, will hold the RLSS Open water lifeguarding qualification and FSRT rescue qualification.

Using the latest technology

We love to be able to go above and beyond in our sessions, giving you the best value and the best in future development. We are excited that we can now roll out our world first AI stroke analysis technology to look at your stroke dynamics where needed.  We also have the very latest in coach to swimmer headsets so we can talk to you whilst you swim.  We use the amazing McConks sup boards where needed for our coaching and lifeguarding.  Holding both STA and Swim England qualifications means we can coach you from lakeside, SUP board or in the water.  The technology we use will depend on the session type you have booked and how we coach your session.

Fully qualified and experienced in the open water environment

All South West Swim coaches are fully qualified Swim coaches  and open water coaches with relevant experience gained from real life coaching and swimming experiences.

Head Coach Jason Tait is one of the only fully qualified open water coaches to both the STA and Swim England standard, he is also a qualified STA open water coaching tutor and coaching educator.  Jason is also a qualified level 2 Swim England Coach, Level 2 Swim England swim teacher, Advanced Aquaphobic coach and also holds various open water qualifications such as RYA Powerboat, SUP, FSRT (Foundation Safety Rescue Training from SUP & Kayak) and  RLSS Open Water lifeguard.

Full commercial insurance

South West Swim holds commercial level insurance for all activities we undertake.  Commercial level insurance is required for coaches offering paid for (professional) services as standard policies from Swim England & STA do not commercial (paid for) sessions.  

Whomever you choose to provide you with your coaching please be sure your coach is insured appropriately with commercial insurance.

How do I know If open water coaching is right for me?

With the most comprehensive range of open water services around and a huge variety of time slots available (and we can try and arrange bespoke times if needed) we are sure to be able to assist your open water journey.

Here are some frequently asked questions we have from swimmers who are looking to join us and start or develop in open water.

Are you new to open water and never been in that environment before?

We can help.  Look at our ‘Safety Essentials’ and ‘Introduction to Open Water Swimming’ session types.  If you wanted a more private and bespoke session, or are very nervous about entering the open water then book into a 1-to-1 session with Jason.

Jason can guide you through your session and knows what it’s like to have those nerves and fears, believe it or not many years ago Jason was in the same position.  Jason is a fully qualified Aquaphobic coach so can back up his own historic experiences with the latest coaching methods for those with a fear or nervousness of the water.

Have you swum in open water before but want to progress your open water skills to do an event?

Yup, we can help there too.  Look at our ‘Introduction to open water swimming’ session type.  You may then want to progress your swimming with one of our ‘Open Water Squad’ sessions or a 1-to-1 session.

We can even start developing your swimming before your open water session as we have our own pool for 1-to-1 based sessions and swim squads for group sessions.




Are you training for an event, or just want to swim in a group with focus and structure

We have this covered too.  Check out our ‘open water squad’ and ‘mini open water skills’ sessions.  Our squad sessions are sorted into speed/experience groups and will offer a weekly structured training session mixing both open water skills, swim technique and endurance.
Our mini skills sessions will focus on an open water skill and really get you focusing and learning in the form of a mini workshop.

Do you want to improve your open water skills in the lake

Look at that, we have that covered too!  This is one of our specialities and we can help you learn, refine and perfect all of your open water skills.  We will show you how to adapt them to different environments and bodies of water too.

We can work you through how different open water skills will affect your swim stroke dynamic and technique, advising on how to overcome or work with these areas too.

We will use the latest tech to compliment your session which could include our Swim Stroke Analysis AI or our coach to swimmer headset, depending on how we coach your session.


Take a look at our 1-to-1 sessions with open water expert Jason Tait, you may also be interested in our ‘mini skills workshops’


So you want to improve your swim stroke, can you do that in a lake?

Oh yes, we can help there.  Head coach Jason Tait is Swim Smooth Certified after all /,and that’s what he does day in day out.  Take a look at our 1-to-1 sessions where we can look at your stroke and develop your swimming to the next level.  No two swimmers swim exactly the same, and no two swimmers should be expected to so  will use our knowledge and skills to work in the best way possible for YOU!

As with open water skills we can also walk you through adapting your stroke for the open water or when performing a certain open water skill, such as sighting or buoy turns.

We will use the latest tech to compliment your session which could include our Swim Stroke Analysis AI or our coach to swimmer headset, depending on how we coach your session.

If you want a really in-depth review of your stroke then consider hitting our Endless pool for a Full Swim Smooth Certified Video Analysis, the gold standard in video sessions.

You. have a junior swimmer who needs lake sign off, or wants to train in open water

Yes, Yes and Yes, we love coaching junior swimmers and have worked with many over the years.  We start coaching Junior swimmers at 12 years old AND if they have at least a county time.

We offer both 1-to-1 sessions, Junior introduction to open water sessions and weekly junior squad sessions.  !-to-1 sessions and Intro sessions are / can be lake specific and come with lake sign off if the swimmer passes.  We work towards the Swim England Open Water Certificates of Level 1, 2 and 3.

See our “Junior Swimmers’ Page for more information

You don't have any kit so need to purchase it with expert advice and guidance

We can even help there.  We have our own retail side of the business and can help you with all the swimming basics plus Swim Secure tow floats and Zone3 wetsuits.  If you have booked a session or have swum with us before you will even get a discount.  See our swim gear shop or contact us for advice. 

How to book Your Session


Once you have decided what session type you would like to join us in booking is pretty simple. 

All of our sessions are scheduled and booked online through our booking system, or our funky South West Swim mobile App.

Scheduling a 1-to-1 means that you can search for the best time and venue to suit your needs without emailing us back and forth to agree a time.  Simply head to the booking system on the links below (or download the app), create an account, search for your ideal 1-to-1 session time, select it, pay and then sit back and wait excitedly for your session to come around.  If you can’t see a date and time that suits you then please do contact us.  We are a full time coaching company and may be able to offer a bespoke time for you.

Group sessions are also booked online, just choose the date and time of the session you wish to join and book in.

Of course we are always open to talk and discuss your needs further so please do get in touch via email if you need additional advice, guidance or want to ask about specific times. 


Where We Coach

Lake 32 – Waterland

Footage Courtesy of Daniel James Pix / Waterland Outdoor Pursuits

Lake 86 – Cotswold Water Park Hire

Our Session Types, Book Yours Online Now

Open Water 1-to-1 Sessions – World Class Swim Smooth Certified Coaching delivered by South West Swim in the Lakes of the Cotswolds

Get the very best individual attention with Head Coach Jason Tait.  Whether you are a total newbie in the open water or an experienced Ironman or channel swimmer our 1-to-1 sessions will give you the skill development and boost your swimming deserves.

These sessions are available at both Lake32 and Lake86, select the location of your choice when booking.

Sessions can be purchased as single sessions (£60) or discounted blocks of 3 (£171) or 6 (£330) allowing you to experience several sessions of progressive coaching through the season.  

Open water session credits are also valid in our Endless Pool and vice versa, so you can share your wims between pool and open water if desired.

More Details

All of our 1-to-1 based sessions are coached by Jason Tait, an open water swimming and stroke correction expert.

Jason is fully qualified to STA and Swim England standard for open water coaching and is also Swim Smooth certified.

Open Water Safety Essentials Mini Session

With the rapid rise in popularity of Open Water swimming in 2020 we have developed a new safety essentials mini session for swimmers looking to get into the water for the first time. This session is lake specific and will cover basic safety elements to ensure you know the important basics to give you the knowledge to be safe in the water.

This small group session is hosted by South West Swim head coach Jason Tait.  Jason is a respected expert in open water swimming and a fully qualified teacher, coach, open water coach and open water coaching tutor with vast amounts of experience in coaching and swimming himself.

More Details

The session itself can be held at lake86 or Lake32 and will advise on:

– Swim Kit
– Entry into the water
– Breathing control
– Acclimatisation– Safety positions
– Self Rescue techniques
– Relaxing
– Lake specific guide for rescue
– Exiting the water and post swim.

The session is around 45 minutes long and we would be in the water for around 20-30 minutes depending on water temperature.  Please note this session does not get you swimming very far and is mostly about the safety aspects of your swimming and acclimatisation to help you swim better.  If you wanted to learn swim skills for Open Water Swimming then pair this session up with our Full Introduction to Open Water Swimming Workshop. 


Introduction To Open Water & Triathlon Swimming Workshop

Want to start open water but, well…….Dont know where to start?

We can help.  This session is our passion and what drives us every season as it is an amazing feeling getting new swimmers into the water and enjoying their open water.

This session is aimed at New and novice open water swimmers who wish to get into the lakes for pleasure, leisure or competition.

Your coaches will guide you through all the do’s and don’t of open water and teach you some key skills that you will need for any events you are doing.

Book a spot on our intro session and learn the ropes from the experts.  Included in this workshop is Swim hat, Intro guide and online follow up material…….. plus a heap of fun in the water.

This intro session is simply second to none.

More Details

This session holds up to 12 swimmers (COVID rules dependent at the time) and is led by Jason Tait and assisted as needed by our assistant Swim England open water coach Colin Jones.  Coaching ratio in this session is kept low and the number of coaches is dictated by this.

More Details

We are back at the famous Millfield School in February 2021* (This will be rescheduled for later in 2021 due to COVID) for our popular and world famous SwimSmooth Stroke Correction clinic.  This clinic has a maximum capacity of just 10 swimmers this year, which we may increase to 14 depending on the COVID restrictions at the time.  This clinic is a full day event and its aim is to give you a boost to your swim training, ready for the race and event challenges of 2021.   

This clinic aims to give swimmers (age 16+) a total overview of their front crawl stroke, and how swimming for THEM can become more efficient and constructive.  We will film you over a few lengths of the 50m Olympic Pool and analyse and discuss this back in the learning area with the group.

The cost of our swim clinic’s are £180 and we have a split payment option available to break the cost into 2 x £90 payments.  If you want to get started before the clinic we also have a Video Analysis Option available too, couple up the clinic with a video analysis in our endless pool (see information below). 

Timings for each clinic are TBC but the day will usually starts around 8:30am (with arrival between 8:15am and 8:30am and will finish between 5-5:30pm

Our South West Swim Swim Smooth Clinics include (subject to COVID rules and adjustments): 

  • All classroom theory work (and materials where required)
  • Swim Cap
  • Clinic Video Analysis
  • 2 x Group Coached Squad Sessions (Technique Focused)
  • 1 Month Access to the Swim Smooth Guru
  • Individual Development plan (via the Guru)
  • An experience helping to develop your swim, as an Individual, both at the clinic and your future swims
  • Tea & Coffee, biscuits and fruit.
  • Discount of 5% of South West Swim Store products (Pre-order available)
  • Smiles and fun

Book on to this fantastic experience today so you have your space saved and you can look forward to some fantastic world class Swim Smooth coaching.


Introduction to Wild Swimming

If you don't swim front crawl but still want to experience the benefits of open water swimming then this is the session for you.

A no pressure breaststroke session guiding the swimmer through open water safety, acclimatisation and key skills.  Based on an appreciation and love for the water and swimming in the environment, rather than winning races.

More Details

This session will guide a swimmer through safety, acclimatisation and joy of open water swimming so that they can participate in swimming for mental health and physical well being.  You don't need to be able to swim fast, or swim front crawl, this session will be a relaxed and guided introduction over the course of 60-75minutes in small groups.

The session will be taken by Jason Tait, who as well as being an open water coach is also a fully qualified Aquaphobic coach so can utilise additional skills to put you at ease if needed and set you on an amazing journey.

South West Swim Open Water Skills Mini Workshops

These mini sessions develop an individual open water skill in small groups.  These sessions run throughout the season, with more dates added as we move through the summer months as demanded.

We will be running sessions on:

– Improve navigation – Sighting and swimming straight in the open water

– Group swimming with confidence –  Starts, Turns and Drafting

These sessions are development sessions and ideal for most levels of swimmer.  They will compliment our introduction sessions or squad sessions well.

More Details

These session are led by Jason Tait with support from our own lifeguard team and other assistant coaches where needed (dependant on numbers of swimmers etc)


SWS Junior Open Water Sessions

We can support your junior swimmer in the open water environment and can offer a number of sessions including:
– Junior Open Water 1-to-1 (includes lake sign offs)
– Junior Introduction to Open Water Swimming (includes lake sign off)

We start to offer our coaching for swimmers who are 12 years old (by the end of the year) and who hold a county qualification time for a front crawl distance.

We are also able to support clubs and can offer bespoke training sessions for their swimmers in the open water.

Find out more by visiting our SWS Juniors page.


Bespoke sessions, club support sessions and Consultancy for venues, events & media outlets

South West Swim can also offer small group sessions (up to 3 people in one session), bespoke sessions and swimming / triathlon club support working with a few clubs in the region.

We also offer consultancy services for events, lake operators and media. Most recently we worked with the BBC providing advice and guidance on the set of Top Gear.

Contact us to discuss yours, or your organisations needs.