Today I really tuned into the swim coach who coaches my kids (and me). In this particular class, I was on deck - my kids swim with adults, but I'm no where near their level, so I sat and just watched how he coached to each of the 7 people in the class. None are training for the olympics...some would like to do a triathlon, but with no particular event goals other than to just get better. My kids, who won't participate in formalized sports endure swim coaching to please their mother who insists on formalized, regularized exercise. So, while they were all pretty close in ability, their ages/genders/technical skills and fitness were all over the map, but much like a Spinning® class, this didn't seem to be a hurdle for the coach.
He is so positive that sometimes the guy who finishes first gets a little more critique than the woman who finishes last. I sort of mauled that over....and realized that while one might be tempted to shout "hurrah - well done!" and "better luck next time" respectively, what he was truly doing was coaching to each individual. The guy who finished the speed drill first was sloppy in both stroke and kick and could have done better. The woman who came in last had improved her personal time from the previous week - the last place person was the star! I just love that. But even with the first place dude, he was never harsh or critical - it was stated facts and observations and specifics plus a little humor.
As the class progressed he was having them tack on additional skills as they mastered them lap by lap - first lap, body position, second lap - kick focus, third lap - stroke, etc etc...and as he got to 5 or 6 technical skills to focus on he acknowledged that it didn't have to be perfect today, that it was a goal. He said that some drills will be wholly necessary for any improvement and for others totally irrelevant and that they should incorporate what works for them and drop out what doesn't work for them.
I don't know...as a budding swimmer, I grew tremendously watching the swimmers deck side today. But as a coach, instructor, motivational fitness leader, I feel I grew as well. I don't need his words or any thing specific, but I feel influenced, rejuvenated and inspired - simply because I got to watch another professional in the act. Highly recommend it!
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