"Just letting them know they can do it and have them say it themselves, that 'I can do this.' And that's pretty much the best way to get through those tough patches and those plateaus," says Kamaal.
Whatever the age of his students, it's clear that Kamaal has a real connection with them all.
"He likes working with people, he likes helping people and that all comes into play, especially with lifeguarding and WSIs," says assistant pool manager Nathan Martinez.
But Kamaal doesn't just instruct poolside, he's also a math tutor. Whatever the lesson, he hopes it'll serve as a building block for them to use outside the classroom.
"Either teacher or a swim instructor, a tutor or whoever wants to help them out," says Kamaal. "If they really take the resources they have and use it, they'll really propel themselves in any aspect of life they want to."
While he knows his lessons help others, Kamaal realizes he gets a lot in return too.
"I try to see any way I can help out other people," says Kamaal. "Helping other people creates happiness and joyfulness in me."
Whether it's in a classroom or in the water, Cool Kid Kamaal Thomas teaches kids they can accomplish anything.