Experts in swimming lessons for adults

Interview with Chinchu, a Swimming Student

ADULT SWIMMING LESSONS NETHERLANDS HOLLANDRead our interview with swimming student Chinchu from India 


How long have you been living in The Netherlands and what brought you here? 

I’ve been in The Netherlands for five years now and I moved here to be with the man of my dreams whom I met on my solo Eurotrip. We’re married and have a little baby girl now.

Why were you looking for swimming lessons and what goals did you have in mind?

I always wanted to learn to swim but there were no options to take classes while I was growing up in the Middle East. While I lived in India, there weren’t many options to learn swimming as an adult. I had started some lessons here in Rotterdam but had to stop since the school discontinued. When I started again with you guys, I was hoping to overcome my fear of water and actually learn to enjoy swimming.

How did you come across Your Personal Swim Coach?

I found it via Meetup, the app matched your school to my interests.

What helped you to take that first step to enroll?

Strange as it may seem, it was delivering my baby that gave me the courage to join lessons. I figured that if I could get through a terrible child birthing experience, I could learn to swim for sure.

Did you experience any hesitation in the beginning?

Although I had done some basic lessons a while ago, it was really hard to start again. I was totally freaked out and wondered if I would ever be able to swim a few laps with ease.

How did you experience the lessons?

I started with Christina who handled me with patience and understanding. She tolerated my excuses and whining, helped me overcome my fear and encouraged me to persevere. Lucio took over later and focused on technique, keeping the lessons light with his special brand of humour.

Can you tell us what have achieved so far?

I can do a wicked backstroke, and even manage a sort of butterfly stroke. The rest of the strokes are a work in progress but I’m getting there. I did manage to swim in a natural sea water pool while on holiday in Tenerife. Considering that I was too scared to ever try to float on my back, I’ve come a long long way.

Will you keep on swimming in the future?

Hell yeah!

Did you learn anything in addition to swimming skills? 

My performance during the lessons often fluctuate from exceptional to embarrassing. Some days I would get very frustrated with myself for not meeting my own expectations. These lessons have helped me get insight into my own behavior and have made me realise that if I put my mind to it, what seems impossible can become reality.

Do you have any advice for those considering swimming lessons? 

What are you waiting for? No better time than the present!

What else would you like to share with Your Personal Swim Coach.

You’re doing a good job guys! I’m really glad that I came to you. My new goal is to go from the shallow pool into the deep pool and do some actual swimming there. Hope that will happen soon!

 

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Swimming Tip- How to Tread Water to stay afloat

Treading Water is the key survival technique that enables you to keep your head above water, preventing you from sinking under and potentially drowning.

You will learn how to tread water with Your Personal Swim Coach as soon as you are ready.  It is a key skill to master when moving into deeper water.

Watch our water treading video or follow the instructions below to help you to learn this useful skill.

Step 1.  Practice the arm movement while standing in shallow water.  Arms are just as important as legs for treading water.

The arm moment known as “skulling” involves sweeping your forearms back and forth, moving outwards from and back towards your body.  Keep your wrists still throughout the motion and tilt your palms away from your body on the outward stroke and back towards your body on the inward stroke.  This will push the water around you from the force of your forearms.

Step 2.  Move to deeper water where your feet cannot touch the bottom, but remain holding onto the side of the pool.

Keep your body vertical, with your legs below you.  Kick your legs in a scissor motion, known as the flutter kick.  Do not bend your knees, but keep your legs flexible and relaxed and with pointed toes.

Step 3.  Staying close to the wall, let go and practise the arms and legs together.   At first, you can use a floatation device to help you. This kick motion can become exhausting quite quickly, so it is useful to learn the second kick technique that can keep you afloat for longer.

Step 4.  Holding on to the side of the pool once again and with your legs vertically below you, learn the a circular kick motion that is less exhausting, but slightly more difficult to master than the flutter kick.  This is a basic breaststroke kick.

–  Put your legs together straight, with your heels touching, knees together and toes pointed outwards, like a ballet dancer.

–  Keeping your heels together, bend your knees up and out to raise your heels up towards your body.

–  Still with your toes pointed outwards, kick your legs downwards and to the sides, as if you were going to stand on the bottom of the pool with your legs apart.

–  Bring your heels back together, back into the straight leg first position, ready to begin the cycle again.

Repeat this cycle while holding the pool edge, until you feel comfortable with the movement.

Step 5.  Hold a floatation device (such as a kick board) to practice the leg movement away from the wall, but still close enough that you can hold the wall if you need to.  When you are ready, put aside the floatation aid and combine the arm movement skulling, along with the circular breast stroke movement legs.

You should be able to keep this treading water going for longer periods each time.  Start with ten seconds, then gradually build up to a minute.

With this skill mastered, you will hugely increase your level of safety in the water.

 

 

 

Improving Your Swimming – Frestyle (Front Crawl)

Here are some top tips to help you on your way to a better freestyle technique!

  • Look down at the bottom of the pool, not up ahead of you.   This will keep your head and upper body in the correct position to remain streamline.  It will also help you to stay horizontal and keep your legs up.
  • Keep your legs relaxed and flexible to allow you to kick from the hips, not from upper body or from the knee.  Do keep your feet relaxed but toes pointed.
  • Use your arms to pull yourself through the water.  The arms push water back, past your hip and pull you forward.

Watch our series of Freestyle improvement videos to get you on your way to having a smooth, powerful freestyle stroke technique!


Your Personal Swim Coaches posts weekly tips on our You Tube Channel.  Be sure to check out all of our instruction videos to help you on your way to more confident swimming!

Overcoming Your Fear of Water – Quick Tip #3

“Something made you afraid in water. For most people, it was a frightening experience in water or possibly out of water. Also for most people, a parent was afraid in water or “didn’t swim.” For a few people, the cause of fear is unknown. Virtually always, there was a loss of control. This fear can be healed” (Melon Dash, Conquer Your Fear of Water: An Innovative Self-Discovery Course in Swimming, page 5).

Overcoming Your Fear of Water – Quick Tip #2

Tip #2: Mastering a skill, such as gliding in the water, means you are able to do it without thinking. When you reach this stage through repetition with our patient coaches, you are ready to move onto the next step. 
At Your Personal Swim Coach, we appreciate your courage and we have the patience to help you until you feel in yourself that you have truly mastered a skill. You can always check feedback from your personal coach by checking our Zwemscore system. This can give you the encouragement you need, so you know that the repetition is paying off and you are doing well!

Overcoming your fear of water: quick tip #1

Tip #1:  Feeling safe in the water comes from realizing that you are in control. When you have that, then you can gain the focus you need to be able to concentrate on learning the skills of swimming.
Our expert swim coaches stay in the water with you during the first stage of our learning progression, so that you are able to feel safe and comfortable with the knowledge that you are in our capable hands.

Interview with Alicia, a Swimming Student

Read our interview with swimming student Alicia from Malaysia. 


 

How long have you been living in The Netherlands and what brought you here? 

I’ve been here for close to 13 years now and [initially] came here to do my degree.

Why were you looking for swimming lessons and what goals did you have in mind? 

I used to be able to swim when I was a kid and after a long a break from swimming I developed a fear of drowning. That stopped me from getting back into the water again. In order to overcome this fear I set myself a goal of doing a sprint triathlon. Hoping this goal would force me to finally take swimming lessons and get over my fear.

ALicia

How did you come across Your Personal Swim Coach

A friend liked your page on Facebook and that is how I found out about your school.

What helped you to take that first step to enrol? 

The fact that the lessons where close by and the size of the group was small. Also that the pool we
would first be swimming in was shallow enough that I could stand and feel safe in.

Did you experience any hesitation in the beginning? 

I remember how hard my heart was beating the first day at the Holiday Inn swimming pool.

How did you experience the lessons? 

The lesson was great and the teacher was positive and very reassuring and that helped me feel a
little bit more comfortable in the water. She let me go at my pace.

Tell us what you have you achieved? 

I have been swimming for more than a year now and I attend the advance classes in Voorschoten
(Sport Class). It’s a great feeling knowing that I’m comfortable to swim in pools where my feet can’t touch the ground.

Will you keep on swimming in the future? 

Most definitely.

Did you learn anything in addition to swimming skills? 

I think the best thing these classes gave me is the gift of being comfortable in the water.

Do you have any advice for those considering swimming lessons in The Hague? 

If you are like me and have a fear of the water I would like to say that we are a lot stronger than we
think we are. Give it a try and because you are always in a safe environment you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.

What else would you like to share with Your Personal Swim Coach?

There are no words sufficient to thank the teachers that I have had the fortune of being taught by.
Your patience, teaching approach and your advice have gotten me to where I am today and I’m
loving it.

Interview with Swimming Instructor & Co-Owner, Mandy de Vries

Read our interview with swimming instructor and co-owner, Mandy de Vries. 


When did you decide to become a swimming instructor?

When I was a young girl I fell in love with the world of water and swimming. I was a member of a swimming club for many years and I obtained 24 swimming-related diplomas over the years (rescue swimming, swim stroke techniques, water polo, synchronised swimming etc.). As soon as I obtained these diplomas my coach asked me to assist him and his team in teaching young kids the Dutch ABC system. Since then I’ve never stopped teaching people how to swim!

Interview Photo Mandy

In that case, for how long have you been teaching and who are your current students?

Since I was 14 years old I became an assistant coach for kids age 4 to 12. Two and a half years later, at age 17 I graduated as a certified swimming instructor. Since then I have educated children for several swimming schools, in addition to my high school years and my Bachelor and Master degree in Developmental Psychology (Orthopedagogische Wetenschappen). Then, more than 2 years ago I met Christina as a colleague via another swimming school for kids. Christina had started her own school for adults and not long afterwards I began helping her out with a few lessons. In no time we were partners in crime!

What makes teaching at Your Personal Swim Coach so special?

Working together with Christina and our amazing and enthusiastic team of coaches makes everyday special! Our school focus on high quality lessons for everyone who would like to learn how to swim or would like improve upon their current level of swimming. We teach everyone from complete beginners to athletes who would like to partake in a triathlon from age 1 to 100. Everyone I meet in the pool has her/his own story. In a really short period you get to know each other quite well which results in really special connections. This makes my job rewarding, inspiring and fun!

What is an ideal swimming lesson? What makes it successful for students?

In my opinion a successful lesson starts with a good connection between a swimmer and the coach. A swimmer must experience the feeling of being welcome and that her/his coach listens to any individual preferences, goals and needs. With this in mind a coach develops a lesson plan to achieve the best results in a comfortable way. A coach needs to be critical and creative in selecting the right exercises. In summary: A ideal lesson should meet the needs of an individual student by giving the attention they need in a fun and comfortable manner.

Tell us about a moment you’ll never forget as a swimming instructor.

I’ll never forget those moments when swimmers achieve big breakthroughs during a lesson. I enjoy those moments when you celebrate their achievements together. Most beginner swimmers never dare to believe that they will in actual fact swim one day! Our first diploma test day in December 2014 was one of those moments. I felt so proud when gave our advanced students their certificate which showed that they had become independent, comfortable and safe swimmers in deep water! I can’t describe in words how amazing it is when people push themselves to the limit and achieve their goals.

Interview with Daniel, a Swimming Student in The Hague

Read our interview with swimming student Daniel, who trains in the Hague. 


Where are you from?

I am from Rwanda.

How long have you been living in The Netherlands and what brought you here? 

I came to The Netherlands in 2006 to work for an international organization.  

Why were you looking for swimming lessons and what goals did you have in mind? 

I always considered swimming as very good exercise with lots of health benefits. My ultimate goal was to become a confident swimmer mastering all the styles. 

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How did you come across Your Personal Swim Coach

I found the school through social media.

What helped you to take that first step to enrol? 

I immediately seized the opportunity since I always wanted to learn how to swim.

Did you experience any hesitation in the beginning? 

As you know, learning something new can be a scary experience especially for adults. However, acquiring a new skill is also a thrilling experience. That’s why I had no hesitation as swimming was one of my favourite sports.

How did you experience the lessons? 

The first sessions were a little bit challenging. At the beginning I thought I would never be able to flutter kick in order to perform the crawl technique. Another big challenge is the coordination of the legs and arms movement combined with the right breathing technique.

Tell us what you have you achieved? 

My biggest achievement is the determination of putting the advice from my coach into practice.  Since I have the basics, I now need to improve all the techniques and better coordinate all the movements in order to be a confident swimmer with good stamina.  

Will you keep on swimming in the future? 

Absolutely!

Did you learn anything in addition to swimming skills? 

Oh yes! Meeting new people from different background is always good for someone who values Cultural Intelligence. 

 

Do you have any advice for those considering swimming lessons in The Hague? 

I encourage them to join! They will not be disappointed!

What else would you like to share with Your Personal Swim Coach?

Nothing much apart from saying thank for your patience towards my slow pace in learning.

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