So we all know coach Spence, each week offering us great technical advice and handy tips on swimming, swimming techniques, swim schools, swim safety and much more.  I have known Coach Spence for a while now and over this time, either herself or her staff have hounded me to come and try a squad swimming session with Coach Spence, so after months of harassment, all in a good way, I finally decided to stop talking about it and go.

In all my years in the swimming retail and wholesale industry, I had never done a swimming squad, under the careful guidance of a coach.  Myself, like many of us out there, the word ‘SQUAD’ scares me.  The visualisation of a coach standing on pool deck barking orders at you and having to keep up with others swimming in your lane, let alone turning up in your swimwear with all your swimming gear, in front of people you have never met, having all the eyes of others in the group judging you, I mean really, who would want to put themselves through that.  Well I thought, stuff it, I’ll give it a go!

So on Saturday 17th November, I fronted at the pool at 6.25am ready for my 1 hour Squad class, with fins, kickboard, goggles and pull buoy in tow under the experienced and watchful eye of Coach Spence.  Having been my first squad I was quite nervous and didn’t know a single person in the group.  There were 18 people in the squad group, myself one of them.

Mel, Coach Spence and Alex.

Coach Spence broke us into 3 groups, beginners to a squad, which is where I placed myself having never done one before, intermediate and advanced.  I was introduced to everyone in the group and Coach Spence let everyone know where I was from.  Everyone was very friendly and made me feel really welcome.  Now that the introductions were done, it was now time to begin!

Coach Spence put us through various swimming, arm stroke techniques, kicking and breathing drills, all the while spending time with us individually if required, to explain the finer details or to correct us, help us or guide us through some of the drills and techniques, much to my surprise I was able to do a butterfly kick, which I never thought was in me!  Surprisingly the hour swim squad went really quickly.  The entire squad was a real eye opener for me, it was fun, informative, tough but fair and overall I learned a lot and enjoyed myself.

At the end of the squad, we all did a cool down, which to my surprise, involved duck dives in my lane down one side of the lane and slowly walking back down the other.  At the end of the cool down, we all got out of the pool and I chatted with many of my other fellow squad swimmers and then I was off home.

I must say for someone who has always been scared of doing a squad swimming session, I must say, I am definitely converted and I will be back each Saturday, under the watchful and experienced eye of Coach Spence.

Thanks Coach Spence for changing my entire thoughts on Squad Swimming. Now I know that there is a place for all levels of swimmer in a squad and that it isn’t that scary.  I am now reminded of why I always enjoyed swimming and why we all should do it.

If you are interested in taking part in Coach Spence’s class it is held every Saturday morning at 6.30am at the Moorooka State School swimming pool, home of the Moorooka Marlins Swim Club, corner of Beaudesert Road and Sherley Street Moorooka.  The class goes for an hour and is $10 per session.

Mel (from Swimwear Shack)

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