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