I just taught a weekend workshop in Sudbury, MA at the Atkinson community pool, nice facility, lovely staff, with fellow TI coach of 15 years Cathy Adams.
First step is floating and balance. No matter what level of swimmer the attendees are this is where we start. Even a person who can swim starts here.
People are a little nervous about the workshops at first about being the worst swimmer or not being competitive with their swimming, but we all settle in in the first pool session. Relaxing is key if you want to float and improve your swimming. Tight or tense muscles make it harder to float. But the more everyone practices the more they can let go and feel their float. Once that little sensation of floating is experienced we can move on. Sometimes swimmers feel this for the first time which amazes me and thrills me at the same time. Amazes me because I think everyone who swims feels it-not true- and thrilled because I know how good it feels and I love having that in common with others. Floating!
The challenge is to maintain this sensation of floating as the shape of the body changes through the swim stroke cycles. This is what we teach, the tools of how to work with your individual body type, how it works with the water, how to position it to float. But this takes time, repetition and commitment. Not everyone wants to do this. And that is okay. Many people do want to commit to know the joy of ease of swimming and of swimming well.
I love teaching these skills to people. It’s a little selfish on my part because of the instant gratification that can come in a workshop or in a swim lesson. It is fun for me to share the information I have along with my personal experience with fellow swimmers. By doing so, I see the change. I actually “see” the difference in their body position, in their swim stroke or even just see the lightbulb go off when they understand where what I am teaching is going. Such satisfaction to share something that is so much fun.
Once this feeling of floating occurs, the next steps are easier. Not easy, but easier. The recovery arm comes easier once balance is established, hand entry, speed, the catch, etc all are a little easier to grasp once the feeling of support and floating in the water happens. Why? because when you are not fighting that “sinking” feeling you have time to look around, make decisions and process what is occurring. When you have balance you can relax. You can have another gear that is not “survival” gear.
Whatever you are doing for your swim, I encourage you to start here. Feeling your float. If you are not, contact me.