“No foamy water, no splashes all over, no panting for breath”
Swimming always seemed to be harder work than it should have been and I always planned to get some swimming lessons, but I just never got around to it. Usual stuff.
Then I saw a notice in the club inviting me for a free one-on-one with a swim coach, I took it up. Nick was calm and collected and spent 15 minutes watching me crawl up and down the pool. The de-brief began with him complementing me on my ‘classic’ crawl style and he mentioned a few minor errors. Fine.
But then he described how they all interacted and highlighted some things which really made sense. He also described that some of the classic swimming strokes can be stressful on the back and shoulders – that explained the various twinges I was getting when I swam.
Then he showed me an alternative style – he seemed to cover the same water quicker, but definitely with less effort. No foamy water, no splashes all over the pool, no panting and heaving. So I signed up for 5 lessons and we spent the first few lessons un-learning 25 years of muscle memory and bad habits and re-learning how to enjoy the flow of water over my body and to feel the way that the body interacts in the water. Big surprise – the coach is in the water as well! No shouting from the side and no swimming endless lengths.
Personally, I found that part of the learning curve was dealing with the frustration of not immediately being able to do what Nick demonstrated and having to work at it and this was itself quite therapeutic. After 4 or 5 lessons, Nick had taught me all of the components of my new front crawl, and I had a few other lessons to pull it all together. As always, I was short of time to practice the strokes so I needed one or two additional lessons on top of this but when it all came together, it really was much better than before and I am now happily swimming lengths with less effort and no more pain in my back or neck. I plan to have some follow-up sessions in a few weeks to deal with any bad habits.
I can strongly recommend Immerse and especially Nick. Their approach seems to be a style which is much less aggressive and, as such, conserves energy, and also doesn’t stress the back or neck as much as other styles. As for Nick, his quiet analytical style is backed up with lots of practical explanations of what is going well (or otherwise!) and he has many alternative ways of learning the strokes. All this is backed up with positive encouragement and he makes learning fun.