Unless a person has a fear of water, the average adult learns to swim with about 20 hours of swimming instruction. By this time, people can cover 5 yards with the freestyle stroke.
Both private and group lessons are available. A person who comes to swimming lessons and is uneasy around water needs extra time to overcome the fear. There is no set period for this because each person has a different level of anxiety and different reasons why it exists. People with a fear of water need to become more confident around it, and they need to understand how and why water can support them while swimming.