Dear all frustrated parents,

I completely feel your pain. This week saw me getting into the pool to teach fully clothed with my frustration.  Never a good look when the boss has to get in I can assure you, but I was passable.

When conducting school swim programs you’ve always got kids that are having lessons elsewhere and the poor little ones do get confused sometimes because you might do things different to what they are used too.  My rule of thumb has and always be to do what is right for each swimmer in my care.

One mum felt I got it wrong this week and hey sometimes we do and am only human.  So I check this little swimmer, who was gorgeous. They’d been having lessons for years etc. 5 years old, really happy in the water and when asked to get big arms over and show me their best swim they couldn’t get them going. Anyway this turned out to be the best they could do. No worries. Bubbles-tick, kicking-tick, but big arms-no.

So I explained to mum why I assess them the way I do.  I could also tell that this little swimmer was being taught bilateral breathing at their lessons,  she agreed and wondered how I could tell.  Experience tells me,  this poor little gorgeous thing was trying so hard, but as I explained not ready for this step, clearly.  The mother still couldn’t see it so this is when I got wet!!!

In I jump and showed this mum what I do and why little ones should pick one side to breathe on first and do only 2 big arms then breathe to their favourite side.  Went through some quick progressions then grabbed one of my little swimmers in the same class, put the pillow on one arm and away they went and swam 25 metres freestyle, 1 big arm, 2 big arm, breathing to the side, simple.

Mum was shocked and impressed all at once and then I said ‘that’s why I do what I do’.  Little swimmers with little lungs can’t do bilateral breathing properly.  Yes mum I felt your frustration, absolutely.  She then mentioned how much she was spending on these lessons!

Believe me when I say, I GET IT!!

Coach Spence


Leave a Reply