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ElaineK
October 9th, 2013, 05:19 PM
Swim instructors and coaches: What do you think about the the progress this swimmer has made? I am neither a swim instructor or a coach; however, this 24 year old watched me swim one day and said he wanted to learn to swim just like me. :bighug: Awwww, I just couldn't resist! He is the second person who practically pleaded for me to teach them how to swim.

Billy is a Korean college student who came here on a student visa and barely spoke English. When I first met him in January, he didn't understand a word I said. Since I started working with him during the summer, he has improved both his English and his swimming quite dramatically. Billy has gone from barely being able to swim at all to this in nine lessons:

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He has learned to breathe on both sides; this is his left side breathing:
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Billy has also improved the path of his arms from swinging very wide to a narrower pull:
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Sure, there are a lot of improvements that still need to be made; however, I think he has improved quickly in just nine lessons. Today, I timed him on a 25 yard sprint and he came in at 19 seconds from a weak push off.

So, what do you think? Is his improvement typical for someone his age or is he progressing at a fast rate? I am hoping to convince him to join USMS and compete in some meets with me after the spring semester. He loves to swim and I think he would have a blast.

__steve__
October 9th, 2013, 05:27 PM
That kid has almost perfect horizontal and lateral streamline alignment.

ElaineK
October 9th, 2013, 05:42 PM
That kid has almost perfect horizontal and lateral streamline alignment.

Yes! Today, he said to me, "I have to kick! When I don't kick, I sink!" :D

I think he will be happy enough with how his swimming looks now to send these videos home to his parents in Korea. According to Billy, he never sent the videos home that I shot of him back in July, because, "When I look at the video, it made me blush in my face!" :lmao:

__steve__
October 10th, 2013, 11:27 AM
Swimming Saves Lives concept at work. Who knows, he may return the gift someday to others.




So, what do you think? Is his improvement typical for someone his age or is he progressing at a fast rate?

All I can say as an adult onset swimmer is it took me years to develop the ability to swim freestyle horizontally, balanced, and straight. That is the toughest part.

From the footage, it looks like he has that part taken care of from the get-go. Because of this the other parts he will need to learn might come easier and more naturally

ElaineK
October 10th, 2013, 02:20 PM
Swimming Saves Lives concept at work. Who knows, he may return the gift someday to others.

All I can say as an adult onset swimmer is it took me years to develop the ability to swim freestyle horizontally, balanced, and straight. That is the toughest part.

From the footage, it looks like he has that part taken care of from the get-go. Because of this the other parts he will need to learn might come easier and more naturally

Thanks, Steve. I will pass this on to Billy, as I believe it will give him more confidence about the progress he has made. Hopefully, it will give him encouragement, as well!

Swimspire
October 10th, 2013, 03:38 PM
So, what do you think? Is his improvement typical for someone his age or is he progressing at a fast rate? I am hoping to convince him to join USMS and compete in some meets with me after the spring semester. He loves to swim and I think he would have a blast. [/QUOTE]

Elaine, Billy's rapid improvement attests to his will to succeed and, especially, to the time and effort you put into mentoring and coaching him! An encouraging attitude and knowledge of swimming, along with dedication on the part of the swimmer, can turn a non-swimmer into a real athlete! Congrats! :)

ElaineK
October 10th, 2013, 05:08 PM
So, what do you think? Is his improvement typical for someone his age or is he progressing at a fast rate? I am hoping to convince him to join USMS and compete in some meets with me after the spring semester. He loves to swim and I think he would have a blast.

Elaine, Billy's rapid improvement attests to his will to succeed and, especially, to the time and effort you put into mentoring and coaching him! An encouraging attitude and knowledge of swimming, along with dedication on the part of the swimmer, can turn a non-swimmer into a real athlete! Congrats! :)[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Swimspire! It has been fun watching him progress so rapidly and have fun in the process. I am finding it to be a completely different experience than working with Gail, my only other "student" who came to me wanting to learn how to swim at 65 years of age. (She is now 66, and I am teaching her backstroke starts and turns to prepare her for her second Senior Games meet in May.) I have posted about her in the "Swim Happy" thread, because it has been a very happy experience, as well. Both are volunteer projects that have been very fulfilling in different ways.

Sojerz
October 11th, 2013, 08:21 PM
Great job Elaine - he is swimming very well I think and especially liked the video of his underwater pull and body rotation - no crossover and hips aren't wiggling around. You're doin a great job. I'm not a coach (either), but for my $.02, maybe work next on arm recovery (higher elbow) and hand entry and catch (getting deep) using ftp drill and others. From the usms home web page a few months or so ago "chop slap stab": http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?aid=2744.

ElaineK
October 11th, 2013, 08:58 PM
Great job Elaine - he is swimming very well I think and especially liked the video of his underwater pull and body rotation - no crossover and hips aren't wiggling around. You're doin a great job. I'm not a coach (either), but for my $.02, maybe work next on arm recovery (higher elbow) and hand entry and catch (getting deep) using ftp drill and others. From the usms home web page a few months or so ago "chop slap stab": http://www.usms.org/articles/articledisplay.php?aid=2744.

Thanks, 'jerz!

Crossover will never be a problem with Billy; he used to pull with both forearms swinging wide outside of his elbows. I have been working on getting his pull to come in narrower, and it's looking a lot better now.

The arm recovery has been the most difficult to correct. The arm on his breathing side (whichever side he is breathing on) has improved; however, he has difficulty with the arm on the non-breathing side. I assigned him the finger tip drill as his "homework" before our next lesson. :D My mantra has been: "Elbows higher than your wrist and wrist higher than your fingers!" (He is quickly learning the English words for his body's anatomy!)

Thank you for the link to Scott Bay's article. I remember that one and got a kick out of "Violence is not the answer!" :applaud:

gdanner
October 12th, 2013, 09:06 AM
So, what do you think? Is his improvement typical for someone his age or is he progressing at a fast rate? I am hoping to convince him to join USMS and compete in some meets with me after the spring semester. He loves to swim and I think he would have a blast.


Great job! I taught a 25 year old to swim last year, but she didn't progress that much through ten lessons. I think getting the hang of side breathing is the tricky part...if they get comfortable with that, then the rest is cake (assuming the instructor is decent). Advancing to competitive levels is another story, of course. Keep up the good work coach! :)

jgt123
October 13th, 2013, 04:10 AM
So, what do you think? Is his improvement typical for someone his age or is he progressing at a fast rate? I am hoping to convince him to join USMS and compete in some meets with me after the spring semester. He loves to swim and I think he would have a blast.

Elaine, Billy's rapid improvement attests to his will to succeed and, especially, to the time and effort you put into mentoring and coaching him! An encouraging attitude and knowledge of swimming, along with dedication on the part of the swimmer, can turn a non-swimmer into a real athlete! Congrats! :)[/QUOTE]

As a fairly new swimmer (almost 2 years this month) I can say that swimspire hit the nail on the head regarding his success and your mentoring/coaching. I thank you (and all the other lifeguards/instructors/experienced swimmers/etc) at the pool who imparted knowledge during my learning process...which is of course still ongoing! The desire to figure it out and having little successes along the way have keep me practicing in the pool 3-4x a week and joining usms. Neither of which, I would have imagined to do or enjoy. Anyhow, congrats to him and you for the great progress. I think any new swimmer would be estatic to be as good as your student after 10 lessons. :applaud: Thanks for posting with video.

ElaineK
October 13th, 2013, 10:25 AM
Great job! I taught a 25 year old to swim last year, but she didn't progress that much through ten lessons. I think getting the hang of side breathing is the tricky part...if they get comfortable with that, then the rest is cake (assuming the instructor is decent). Advancing to competitive levels is another story, of course. Keep up the good work coach! :)

Thanks G! The key to Billy getting the hang of side breathing was getting ear plugs! As soon as he wasn't bothered by water getting in his ear, he was able to get his face down on the water with no problem.

As for competing, I think I will first start with a fast open turn. I'm not sure I want to even go there with a flip turn just yet, especially since I have meniere's and get seasick doing too many flip turns. Teaching him would be more of a challenge for ME than it would for HIM! :eek:

Starts would have to wait, as well, since we do not have dive blocks at our shallow community pool.

ElaineK
October 13th, 2013, 10:37 AM
Elaine, Billy's rapid improvement attests to his will to succeed and, especially, to the time and effort you put into mentoring and coaching him! An encouraging attitude and knowledge of swimming, along with dedication on the part of the swimmer, can turn a non-swimmer into a real athlete! Congrats! :)

As a fairly new swimmer (almost 2 years this month) I can say that swimspire hit the nail on the head regarding his success and your mentoring/coaching. I thank you (and all the other lifeguards/instructors/experienced swimmers/etc) at the pool who imparted knowledge during my learning process...which is of course still ongoing! The desire to figure it out and having little successes along the way have keep me practicing in the pool 3-4x a week and joining usms. Neither of which, I would have imagined to do or enjoy. Anyhow, congrats to him and you for the great progress. I think any new swimmer would be estatic to be as good as your student after 10 lessons. :applaud: Thanks for posting with video.[/QUOTE]

Thanks so much for YOUR post, J! Your feedback, as well as the posts from others on this thread, inspires me to continue with my works in progress. I truly enjoy the process, and it is quite rewarding to see the continued improvement in Billy and Gail's swimming.

This is the fun part about ageing up! Yes, there may be those age-related physical issues that catch up to you when you're 51, but getting to "retire" opens up all sorts of opportunities for reinvention. I never thought I would become a published writer (two local magazines)/ swim instructor at my age! :D

jaadams1
October 13th, 2013, 01:15 PM
As for competing, I think I will first start with a fast open turn. I'm not sure I want to even go there with a flip turn just yet, especially since I have meniere's and get seasick doing too many flip turns. Teaching him would be more of a challenge for ME than it would for HIM! :eek:


Flipturn teaching isn't too bad. Start by standing in the shallow end (away from the walls), and try forward somersaults that return to your feet. Just get the practice of straight over the top, and finish the flip facing in the same direction as you started. A little jump into the flip always helps too. After that work on a flip while kicking or swimming along the surface (just so he doesn't have to worry about contact with a wall). Swim, do the flip. After that, progress into the wall flipturns. Get to where he's comfortable with the flip, hitting the wall with both feet, and pushing off while rotating back to his front again. It won't be pretty or easy (maybe it will), but keep at it. That way he can make fun of tri-guys and noodlers too!! :banana:

ElaineK
October 13th, 2013, 03:10 PM
Flipturn teaching isn't too bad. Start by standing in the shallow end (away from the walls), and try forward somersaults that return to your feet. Just get the practice of straight over the top, and finish the flip facing in the same direction as you started. A little jump into the flip always helps too. After that work on a flip while kicking or swimming along the surface (just so he doesn't have to worry about contact with a wall). Swim, do the flip. After that, progress into the wall flipturns. Get to where he's comfortable with the flip, hitting the wall with both feet, and pushing off while rotating back to his front again. It won't be pretty or easy (maybe it will), but keep at it. That way he can make fun of tri-guys and noodlers too!! :banana:


Oh, I'm not concerned about how to teach him; I don't believe that will be the challenging part. The challenging part will be to keep from getting dizzy and seasick when I have to show him how to do it first. I can handle a few flips, but my inner ear disorder causes my sense of balance to go whacko, and I lose sense of which way is up after that. I'm afraid I'll have to :bolt:if I get seasick! (I'm also thinking it will be hard to explain this problem to him beforehand, because his English isn't that good yet.)

Sojerz
October 13th, 2013, 07:08 PM
Oh, I'm not concerned about how to teach him; I don't believe that will be the challenging part. The challenging part will be to keep from getting dizzy and seasick when I have to show him how to do it first. I can handle a few flips, but my inner ear disorder causes my sense of balance to go whacko, and I lose sense of which way is up after that. I'm afraid I'll have to :bolt:if I get seasick! (I'm also thinking it will be hard to explain this problem to him beforehand, because his English isn't that good yet.)

What James said and there are a boat load of flip turn Youtube videos that he could watch first, and they would save you from having to demo as much.

rtodd
October 13th, 2013, 07:29 PM
I try and teach rolling counterclockwise as I think it makes circle swimming easier since you roll away from the incoming swimmer. I have had swimmers really resist that and I give up. It's not the end of the world.

aztimm
October 14th, 2013, 11:21 AM
Flipturn teaching isn't too bad. Start by standing in the shallow end (away from the walls), and try forward somersaults that return to your feet. Just get the practice of straight over the top, and finish the flip facing in the same direction as you started.

When I swim on my own at the gym, quite often people will ask me to help them with flip turns. I follow this same thing...most people are afraid they'll hit the wall, so we go to the middle of the pool to try it.

I took WSI classes in college some time ago, and I think that's the way they wanted us to do it then too.

rtodd
October 14th, 2013, 08:56 PM
He is dropping elbows real bad in the pull.

ElaineK
January 28th, 2014, 06:41 PM
Billy is starting to think like a competitor. :D On New Year's Eve, he asked if he could join me at Steve Lundquist Aquatic Center where they have starting blocks, so I could teach him block starts. He did a fabulous job, and he had never done a dive before. Too bad I didn't bring my camera that day, because one of this starts was nearly perfect. Unfortunately, on the very next start, he had a severe back spasm and ended up flat-out in the back seat of my car for the drive home. His New Year's Eve was ruined, poor guy. :toohurt:

Anyway, Billy is back to swimming again, after a few weeks of nursing his back and just walking laps in the pool. He has developed a pretty good open turn; however, he is waiting just a little longer before going back to using them during his workouts. In these videos, he just stopped at the end of the pool each time. (By the way, I used my new camera mount/ pvc pipe set up, and it worked great! No more sore knees from kneeling on the pool deck! :banana: )

Here is on Sunday:
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And, here he is breathing to the left:
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Any suggestions and coaching tips would be most appreciated, since Billy is only the second person I have ever taught how to swim. He is now almost as fast as I am!