All of the testimonials which appear throughout this website were submitted by actual students of mine. Their stories are real and have not been embellished. I will, upon request, provide a contact number for any testimonial.

Peter, July 2014

“Thanks John – we got back from Kauai last weekend; Rory (7 year-old) seemed very comfortable in the pool while we were there and showed much improvement thanks to your efforts. He really enjoyed the swimming classes he took with you. Rory  thrived under your teaching style. You were very effective in engaging him by using easy to comprehend analogies to help improve his technique. I would highly recommend you as a swimming instructor to give kids a great foundation for water safety and swimming technique”

Divya, June 2014

“After a lot of failed attempts at learning how to swim, I came across John. John took the time to work with my fears and understand my needs. He did so in a gentle and safe way, and finally, got me swimming! I accomplished things that I did not believe I would. I have more to learn and am excited for my journey. Thank you John for being such an inspiring instructor.”

Onne, June 2014

I am pleased with my kids improvement. I have been sending them for swimming lessons  with different instructors but did not see any improvement.  Both my kids have learned the breathing techniques, back float,  freestyle  and  how to stay stay afloat and tread water  in deep water.  They have made a lot of progress after  just 4 classes.  I have experienced many different swim instructors and classes and this one is by far the best!  I would totally recommend John to other parents.

Kathleen, May 2014

What a nice note!  I appreciate the reminders and will DEFINITELY continue swimming.

Seriously, there’s no way you should be thanking me.  I am SO grateful to you for your patience and excellent teaching style.  It was easy to learn from you and was always a pleasure to be in your company.  I just can’t thank you enough for my new found confidence in a pool and have recommended you to all of my friends and acquaintances.

Thanks for the tip about joining the Y, that’s a no-brainer, and I will be in touch about follow up swim lessons before the end of your season.

Best regards,


Ken, May 2014

After my retirement, learning to swim became a goal.  I had tried before without success.  I wanted to be able to join my grandchildren in the pool. With my fear of deep water, I did not think I could ever be comfortable in the water.  Boy was I wrong. After four lessons with John, I can float, tread water, and swim at an intermediate level! Things I never thought possible.

Thanks John for your patience, professionalism, and for giving me confidence in my abilities in the water.

Bob, May 2014

I am a 52-year-old man and due to sore joints from jogging, I decided I wanted to switch my exercise routine to swimming.  I have been swimming for over 40 years and although I could make it across the pool and back, I would get very tired and labored with my strokes and breathing.  I went to John and explained I’d like to start swimming effectively as my primary exercise routine.  At my first lesson, John was able to evaluate me and show me where I was not effective with my kicking, strokes and breathing.  He taught me the correct way to kick and he improved my swim stroke.  He also was successful in teaching me rhythmic breathing. He also introduced me to the back crawl and breast stroke.  At the end of my 4 lessons, I can say I have improved 100% from when I first started. I would recommend John for swimmers of all levels; he definitely will get you swimming better.

May, September 2013

John, I can’t thank you enough for giving me the full confidence of becoming a swimmer!  I was a bit hesitant at first since I didn’t believe someone could teach me how to swim in just four 50-minute lessons. I’ve tried it many times before in pools with friends, with little success. Having you explain everything down to the basics, especially learning how to breathe and relax in the water made all the difference! I also appreciated the fact we went through as many different forms and techniques as possible. I realize it was impossible to master, but I was able to use all of your tips and advice and continued practicing on my own. I went on vacation two weeks later and was jumping off rope swings, cliff diving, and snorkeling in Guatemala and Belize! Treading water has become second nature. I wish I wouldn’t have waited this long to enjoy these activities.  I can’t believe that if I hadn’t taken these classes with you, that I would have missed out on the water activities my friends were all doing. I no longer have to freak out about being near water and drowning! Lol. Thank you John for being such an expert, fun and patient teacher!

Thuy, September 2013

I’m an adult who had a fear of deep water, but also had a strong desire to learn how to swim and be comfortable in either a pool or the ocean. I had taken lessons with the local YMCA and the city’s summer classes for adults. I learned the basics, but those classes did not teach me to overcome my fears. When I took John’s classes, I was impressed with his teaching skills and techniques he has to help someone like me. I was skeptical that I would be able to  jump into the deep end and not panic by the end of the 4th class. Surprisingly,   John’s approach had me in the deep end at the end of the first class! By the 4th class, I jumped into the deep end, floated to the surface, and swam myself to the edge of the pool! It was a great personal accomplishment. I highly recommend signing up for classes with John. He has the patience and knowledge to help anyone overcome their fears of being in deep water.

Haussmann, August 2013

Tu-Nam (age 6) actually had a great time with you. When leaving your house he told me that he wished to have another class with you since it went too quick. He also told me that you are the greatest coach he’s ever had. Tu-Nam has been practicing 3 to 4 times every week at the community swimming pool. He’s made a lot of improvement, back stroke and freestyle are no problem. We  are now looking forward to getting Tunam into some advance or intermediate swimming classes with you – maybe even competitive swimming. We greatly appreciate what you did for Tunam. Take care John

Ruth, August 2013

Hi John,

Thank you so much for being such a great teacher and being so patient with my Dad.  I have had fun watching him focus and try hard during his lessons.  I think the lessons have given him a bright spot in his day, both the physical aspect of it (great exercise — he sleeps like a baby at night) and the mental aspect.  For someone who has so much difficulty remembering little everyday details, he always replied with “Air!” when I quizzed him on what keeps him from sinking.  Hopefully down the line, our schedules will mesh and he can continue with another set of lessons.  I am also hoping to get him to use a snorkel and then someday try the ocean!

Thanks again – Ruth

Gurvinder, August 2013

I am a 33-year-old woman who married a surfer and moved to San Diego.  After 3 years of trying to swim with different instructors and not getting anywhere, I googled ‘Private Adult Swim Lessons’ and found John.  His website was very professional and had great reviews. I didn’t know what to expect but on my first lesson John got down to the basics which I really needed.  My favorite thing about John is how he would listen to me and try to figure out my hesitations and fears and use his experience to help me.  His instructions were very individualized and I’m sure he takes this approach with all his clients. I’m happy to say after 4 sessions I went to my in-laws’ pool and went right to the deep end able to tread water and swim from side to side.  If you want a real experienced professional to teach you how to swim, then John’s the best choice.  Thanks John!

Victoria, July 2013

I’m amazed at the progress Beatrice made in her lessons with John – amazed and extremely grateful.  I was beginning to despair that she would never learn to swim, given that she is 7 years old, almost 8, and was well behind her peers.  Lessons she took elsewhere were unsuccessful and actually did more harm than good, making her even more fearful of learning to swim.  When Beatrice began her lessons with John, she was barely able to put her face in the water, and she was terrified at the thought of stretching out her body in the pool, even while holding on to the edge and in water shallow enough for her to stand up.  She ended her series of lessons able to swim short distances above and below water; she also had begun working on the basics of front crawl stroke and backstroke.  Even more gratifying to me, she now loves the water and is motivated to improve her swimming; she is asking when she can have more lessons with John.  John is a knowledgeable, kind, and patient swim instructor.  He also knows when to push a little, gently, so that his student makes progress. I highly recommend him.

Jon, May 2013

“I know I’m not the only adult who has spent the better part of their life wondering what it would be like to jump in the water and start swimming, not only not being nervous about it but *enjoying it*! I now know what that feels like, thanks to John’s excellent teaching. In just a couple of days, he broke through fears I had since childhood, in a calm, efficient and fun manner. John has all the experience necessary to address the common difficulties all beginners face, but enough wisdom to zero in on the unique nature of each student’s progress.

I couldn’t be happier – I can swim now, and I have John Tarney to thank for that.”

Mary, May 2013

Thank you so very much for your expert instruction in teaching a complete non-swimmer to feel comfortable in the water and to finally be able to enjoy the pool! At age 61, learning to swim was on my “bucket list” and I’m very grateful that I can cross it off the list thanks to your patient tutelage. I’ve told friends about my positive experience of learning from you; and, I’ve recommended that they contact you for lessons. I know that they will be as pleased as I am. YOU ROCK!

Aly, May 2013

I have always loved the ocean; however, the possibility of surfing was only a dream far away. I have to say that after we met and I had our first lesson, I was amazed and happy because it was a tremendous surprise to be under water for the first time without being afraid. The skills and patience you exhibited were enormously helpful in me learning how to swim; and, your personality, which is awesome, helped me feel comfortable and safe. I would have never imagined that in such a short period of time I could enjoy being in the water so much. Thank you for the wonderful gift you have given me. I will always be grateful for all that you taught me and hopefully we will meet again, so I can learn more from a great teacher.

Myrna & Jonathan, August 2012

Thank you once again for being so patient and understanding with our son Adan. It truly is remarkable the gift you have to explain the concept of breathing and then naturally empowering him with the absolute confidence that he can do it. Prior to Saturday he would absolutely not put his head under water despite his love for the pool. But thanks to you, he was able to discover a whole new world under water just in time for his pool party scheduled for that same day! We will make it a point to be back in contact with you not only for my sons’ future lessons but for my own as well.

Thank you again and best regards.

Gloria, August 2012

As a 62 year old woman who had great fear of the water when I first came to John Tarney I can’t say enough about John’s approach in teaching. He keeps it simple, has a wonderful sense of humor, and has a very keen sense of knowing where his students are in terms of emotions – he keeps you in the present and not projecting in the future further feeding your fears. In addition, he knows when to nudge you along without scaring you.

I could not believe it but, John had me swimming by the second day of his training!  In addition, by the third day I was jumping in about six feet of water rising to the top and swimming to the side of the pool. By the last day I was treading water in the 9 foot deep end of the pool.  It was amazing to me after all these years that I was actually swimming!!

Thank you John. I appreciate all your support in assisting me to finally learn to swim.

Chris, August 2012

Thanks for your patience and wonderful instruction.  I’m still amazed at your ability to teach numerous skills in only four days.  I’ve been around many instructors, across various fields, and few have the ability to articulate their point as clearly as you do.  Moreover, watching you demonstrate each skill was beneficial.  I’d recommend your course to anyone who is serious about learning how to swim.  You definitely peaked my interest in the water, and if I ever decide to take additional classes, you’re the only person I’ll visit for instruction.

Thanks again and take care.

Nick, 2012

Thank you very much for the wonderful swim lessons you gave my daughter Erin. I must admit, when I signed up, I was kind of skeptical about a guy teaching people how to swim out of his backyard; but in the end,  I am 100% glad I brought Erin. You have a very wonderful setting. When Erin started her classes she knew nothing about swimming, but loved the water. I am now very confident she will continue swimming and only get stronger. She  is very confident and since our last class, we have already started going in the pool at home. It is amazing how much she accomplished in only four 25-minute lessons!  I’m happy we came. I strongly recommend you to any parent looking for a swim instructor for their child.  We had a great time. Hopefully next summer when she returns from Japan we can return. Take care and thank you.

Kiley, August 2012

When we started lessons with you, my husband and I knew that Anna would not be one of the 99.9% of your students that are swimming after 4 lessons.  She was afraid of the water and would frequently cry in the shower when we had to wash her hair.  She was both excited and terrified about beginning swim lessons.  The first lesson didn’t go so well.    We arrived the next day with some trepidation . . .  I think it was this lesson that Anna started humming to hold her breath and put her face in the water.  She loved looking at your shells and scooping things up out of the water.  She still felt nervous and fearful, but really enjoyed the lesson and looked forward to the next one. I was so relieved.  By the end of her fourth lesson, she would readily put her face in the water and would ask each night to practice in the bathtub.  We signed up for one more week of 4 sessions.  She still felt a little nervous each time, but really looked forward to swimming and felt more comfortable each day.  In her 7th session, she floated independently in the big pool and I very nearly cried.  I tear up every time I think about it.  At her last session today, she could float face down for 10 seconds, kick some of the way across the pool, and had started making some arm movements.  She also loves to scoop things out from under the water.  Perhaps it wouldn’t seem like much to other people, but we are thrilled.  Anna and I both left today feeling so triumphant.  You reminded her today about how she was afraid to get water on her face at her first lesson, and she feels SO PROUD of herself.  I am so glad that she enjoys the water, but I am even more happy that she learned to overcome her fears and feels so much self-confidence.  Thank you so much, John, for your creativity and patience in working with Anna.  I know it was your connection with her that helped her feel safe and secure in the water.  She really, really liked you and would often repeat things you had said to her.  She loved your jokes!  She feels like she made a friend and has reminded me many times that she plans to return for more swim lessons next summer or when her little brother is ready for lessons.  Thank you so much for your dedication in giving Anna the individualized instruction she needed.  We appreciate it!

Lee, August 2012

I have been a lifelong water lover, former Navy, and am also a SCUBA
diver.  I could swim, but could never sustain a stroke long enough for
extended exercise due to poor form and lack of proper breathing
technique.  In four lessons, John taught me rhythmic breathing and
corrected my form for the major strokes: freestyle, back crawl, and
breast stroke.  In my very next solo swim, I was able to apply John’s
tips and techniques and for the first time truly complete an exercise
routine in the water.  My swimming ability increased tremendously
under John’s expert tutelage.

Ellen, August 2012

Like so many before me, I was a young child who had a traumatic event in a swimming pool and ended up as an adult fearful of the water. Over the years, I would periodically check around for places that offered beginner adult swim lessons but was never encouraged by what I heard and read. I wanted to learn in a calm environment that would allow me to focus on overcoming my fear. Most swim instruction is held in public pools and taught in group situations where there is little individual attention. A concern of mine was having to suffer through a chaotic and confusing swim class and not realize any progress. I recently came across the website www.sandiegoswimlessons.com (SwimLessonsMadeEasy). I read the testimonials and was impressed by the wide range of people John has worked with. The setting seemed ideal, the rates reasonable, and John’s years of experience helped put me at ease. But it was his guarantee that really resounded with me. Learn to swim in 4 lessons or less! I signed up ASAP. By the end of the first lesson I had developed a new relationship with the water. I was no longer terrified. Cautious yes, but not terrified. John is a phenomenal instructor. When you are in the water with John you are the priority. There’s no pressure to perform. I could take things at my own pace. It’s a wonderful thing to not only know how to be safe in the water but to also begin to have some fun too. By the end of the fourth session I was completely at ease and could complete a basic front crawl into the deep end. The water became my friend. Amazing! I could not be more pleased. Thank you John!

Michael, August 2012

I thank God that he led me to find you online, because where I’m at today compared to where I was the first day you saw me is truly night and day. You said everything was wrong with my technique, kick, stroke, everything. I came to you knowing nothing and yesterday swam out to the 100 yard marker and back at Glorietta Bay in Coronado as I prepare for the sprint triathlon next month.

Because of what you taught me in 4 lessons I am able to swim 75 yards in the pool without stopping nor feeling like I’m going to pass out like before after only 25 yards; and, I consistently do 50 yard sets for a total of about 550 yards or 50 minutes to an hour.

Because of what I learned from you and your honest encouragement, I am confident that I will complete the 500 meter open water swim. You said you’d get me ready, and you did.

You took someone who didn’t know how to swim to someone who is doing multiple laps in the pool and swimming in open water not to mention helping me get over my fear of deep water.

Thanks again John

Rahul, August 2012

John’s class is fun. He observes your technique carefully and helps you correct your fundamentals. He is a great person to learn from.

Megan, July 2012

John, you did such a great job with both my boys, especially considering the fear they brought with them. I can’t believe the progress they made in such a short time. Braden is so comfortable in the water now that I feel like I can relax a little. I feel like Devin will be the same when he gets a few more lessons. My only regret is not finding you sooner. We will definitely be back next summer for more lessons. See you then. Thank you for all your patience and hard work.