As an Aquaphobia Coach based in Hampshire, UK, I am qualified to professionally teach

water-phobic people or timid non-swimmers, or anyone who does not like water. 

If you want to learn how to overcome your fear of water in a safe, professional environment, I would love to support you through our Aquaphobia Learning Programme, where lessons are gentle, calm, and always progress at your own preferred pace.

Please scroll down for more information about lessons with me at Aqua-phobia1st, or click the link below for my contact details to book now. 






Book now

Limited time offer: 

First session for free!


Lessons available soon

at Wildern Leisure Centre, Hedge End.

Millions of people around the world suffer with varying degrees of water phobia due to a traumatic experience or have a fear because they never learnt to swim.

Did you know? 

Almost 14 million people in the UK, double the size of London, won't go into a swimming pool due to fear?

... and 4 million people in the UK won't have a bath? 

A little about me ...

Sam Aplin

  • Aquaphobia Coach

  • STA Level 2 Swimming Teacher 

  • MSc Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology

  • STA Level 2 Open Water Swimming Coach

    • (Awaiting final assessment)​

  • British Triathlon Federation Level 2 Coach

As someone who has first-hand experience of coping with a phobia, I understand how overwhelming and debilitating a phobia can be, and how quickly a phobic response can occur and escalate into a full-blown panic attack. I also understand how incredibly difficult it is to make that initial step towards overcoming your fear, by exposing yourself to the phobic stimulus (i.e. water), and putting yourself into what feels like an extremely stressful and anxiety-provoking situation or environment. I want to congratulate you for making that first step, and reassure you that you will be safe and fully supported as we make gentle progress towards overcoming your water phobia.  


I am an experienced swimming teacher, teaching both adults and children in the pool, from complete beginner to advanced. I also coach front crawl for triathlon, in the pool and open water, 1:1's and small groups, and love to work with beginners or those who are nervous or fearful in these environments. Although I was never taught to swim front crawl when I was young, I was drawn towards triathlon and taught myself the front crawl technique and how to relax and breathe with my face in the water, well enough to join a triathlon swimming squad, and have since won two 3.8k races in open water, and competed at the Ironman 70.3 Age Group World Championships. I understand how stressful swimming in claustrophobic environments such as open water race starts can be, and love to help swimmers learn how to stay relaxed in these situations too.

Studying for my MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology gave me the opportunity to further my interest and research aspirations into the relationship between a person's emotions, and their bodies' physical response. My interest in this area, specifically the 'stress response', stemmed from previous personal experiences, and my wish to understand and help myself move forwards from those experiences. Luckily (or unluckily!) for me, on two occasions my bodies' stress response manifested itself in an open-water swimming environment and resulted in a full-blown panic attack, even though the underlying stimulus was unrelated to water. I believe these first-hand experiences are invaluable to me when working with water phobic clients as I understand exactly how they feel. 




Aquaphobia Learning Program (ALP)

The ALP is a 12-stage approach to overcoming your fear of water, providing you with the confidence, skills and techniques to enjoy the unique freedom that being in water can give. 

Distinctive from swimming programmes, the ALP focuses on eliminating and desensitising fear, with the physical mechanics of swimming being secondary. The aim of the program is to teach you how to relax, float, feel happy and in control in the water, and reduce all stresses in a safe and careful way. 

Each course is tailored to your personal needs and degree of fear, progressing at your own preferred pace. When you have achieved a stage, we will progress on to the next one in sequence, with no set timescale or pressures. You will learn key swimming skills that really boost enjoyment and relaxation. 

How long will my lessons last?

Typically 30 minutes, however the duration of the lesson will be dependant on your level of water phobia.

How many lessons will I need?


A minimum of 6 lessons are recommended to see progress, however this is dependant on your level of water phobia. 

How much do lessons cost?

Cost of the lessons TBC when pools re-open.


What is a typical lesson like?  

Your first lesson will be your induction. This will take place in a quiet place away from the pool and typically lasts for 30 minutes. We use this time to get to know each other, and to assess your level of water phobia. If you feel ready, I will then introduce you to the changing rooms, the locker systems, and a walk onto poolside so that you are familiar with these before your next lesson.

Subsequent lessons will take place in the pool environment. I will be in the water with you during any water-based activities (until you are ready to complete these unaided). I will always provide a demonstration before I ask you do try any activity, and we can do any activity together if you'd prefer. 

Please feel free to wear a t-shirt / clothing over your swimming costume for extra comfort if you'd prefer. 


What Covid-19 Safety Measures have you got in place?

I understand that Covid-19 can exacerbate levels of fear and anxiety. Both myself and pool facilities have safety procedures in place to minimise risk, including one-way systems throughout the facility and social distancing rules. Inside and outside of the pool environment, we will follow the 2-meter social distancing guidelines. I will be wearing a clear visor during all lessons so that any activities involving close contact can be undertaken in a safe way. My visor will only be removed temporarily for any activities which involve submersion of the face. 

What if I have any other questions or concerns?


Please do get in touch, I would love to chat with you.  

You can contact me by phone, email or our facebook page.

All contact details are at the bottom of this page. 


We'd love to hear from you

Call Sam on:

07790 202521

  • White Facebook Icon