Like most things in life there are a number of different schools of thought, approaches and ways to go about things. Swimming is no exception to this - and anyone who has had a quick browse on youtube will know there are endless different perspectives on the “right way” to swim.
Upon founding Swell Swimming, myself and Flora found ourselves for the first time in our swimming teaching career free to teach however we pleased. After years of working for various swim schools across the globe and having to follow rigid teaching curriculum we have been exposed to many different approaches to teaching swimming - the good, the bad & the ugly. This freedom has allowed us to sit down and really think about what our approach is, and where we sit on some of the main debates in swimming such as bilateral vs unilateral breathing, bendy arms vs straight arms. This is what we have come up with:
No one swimmer is the same & therefore what works for one individual may not work for someone else. There is no “right way” to swim. From beginner swimmers to the elite level, not everyone is going to be able to do the same thing the exact same way. Teaching a young fit triathlete is different from teaching an elderly swimmer which is also different from teaching a child (all of whom can learn to swim - age is no barrier). At Swell, we endeavour to help you swim by taking into consideration your age, body shape, flexibility, natural buoyancy (or lack of)!
We want swimming to be fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and don’t want you to either. We teach because we love swimming and personally believe it is the best form of exercise which combines fun & fitness. Therefore when explaining the theory side of things we want to keep it light and simple. No fancy words or over explaining (also known as bullshit), we just want you to understand what you need to do and have a crack!
If it's not broken don’t fix it. We want to empower our swimmers. This means in our lessons we will identify what needs to be improved upon and work on that. We are not going to tell you that you have been swimming the ‘wrong’ way for 50 years but we will tell you what’s not working and what we can change. So please don’t be scared!
Our swimming philosophy ties in with Swell Swimming Values - to have fun, be inclusive, build confidence and to pass on a lifelong love of swimming.
So what can you expect from your first Swell lesson. Here are two aspects that we will almost always run through in your first few lessons:
Breathing - Almost everyone can improve their breathing. We teach breathing every 2 strokes (unilaterally) but we encourage you to practice breathing to both sides of your body by swapping what side you breathe to every lap. We have found this generally helps swimmers develop a better rhythm in their swimming but also makes sure you still have the ability to breathe to both sides and prevents any one-sidedness to your swimming or injuries that can occur from breathing always to the same side. However if you have always breathed every 3 and it works for you - that is fine as well :)
Catch & Pull - The main difference between good swimmers and not so good swimmers is an effective catch & pull. Many swimmers spin their arms using loads of energy with little gain. Introducing the catch phase in your stroke will help you gain more momentum with each stroke.
If any of the above relates to you, send us a message to find out the right swimming program for you. Want to get cracking as soon as possible, we have our stroke course commencing in a couple of weeks!