Posts Tagged ‘Lifeguard and Swim Coach’

“YOU DID IT!!” I yelled, as she took the goggles off of her head, revealing the largest smile I had seen on someone’s face in a while. I was excited, too!

Rachael had just swam the entire length of the pool for the first time in her life without help. She is also 39 years old and up until a month ago, couldn’t even get close to the side of the pool without her heart rate going through the roof and her body tensing up. However, her 6 year old daughter has been taking swim lessons and “wanted mommy to play” in the pool with her on the weekends. Knowing that her little girl would soon be jumping off of the diving board in the deep end, she decided that the time had come to face her own fears and learn how to swim so they could swim together.

Stories like this are not at all uncommon. In fact, in my twenty-plus years of teaching individuals how to swim, I hear more and more adults say they share perspectives like this all the time. “I avoid beach vacations with my family because I’m scared to go in the ocean.” “My partner never wants to go tubing at the lake because she’s scared of not being able to touch the bottom.” “I had a really bad experience as a kid and almost drowned, haven’t recovered since.”

On top of being an incredibly effective full body workout and a great low impact form of exercise, swimming is also a survival skill. The ability to safely keep oneself afloat in water should be critical for all adults.

Motivated by wanting to help others learn and improve this critical ability, a few years ago I hosted my first “Swim Better Now” series, and it was a huge success. Since then, I’ve taken on dozens of new athletes in the pool; some were triathletes looking to improve their efficiency for long distance swims, but most were adults simply looking to gain confidence in the water.

Since so many people have been asking me to do them again, I’m bringing them back!

Each week of the “Smashby Training’s: Swim Better Now” Clinic will include practice sessions of up to three varying ability levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. A more detailed description of these three courses can be found below.

The criteria for the Intermediate Course is as follows:

  • Swimmer should be able to complete 100 yards (or 4 lengths) comfortably without stopping
  • A basic understanding of proper breathing technique (either to one side or both) should be established
  • Athlete can efficiently tread water or float safely in the deep end of the pool when tired without touching the wall or lane ropes
  • For athletes who do not yet meet these criteria listed, the Beginner Course option should be selected. Athletes who easily meet or exceed the requirements for the Intermediate Course should register for the Advanced Course option.

Course objectives include:

Beginner Course

  • Basic Water Safety (how to keep oneself afloat safely in deep water)
  • Introduction of proper stroke timing of arms, legs, and breathing (for freestyle stroke)
  • Proper functional use of swimming equipment such as Kick Board and Pull Buoy

Intermediate Course

  • Increased efficiency of stroke technique and timing of breathing for freestyle stroke
  • Skills and drills using swimming equipment (Kick Board and Pull Buoy)
  • As requested, introduction to flip turn technique and additional strokes (backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly)

Advanced Course

  • Fine-tuning of freestyle stroke mechanics
  • Advanced speed, flip turn and technique drills
  • Technique work on additional strokes (backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly)
    Athletes in this group may also be looking to compete in an aquatic event (triathlon, swim meet, etc.)

Are you interested in attending one of these clinics? Here’s what you need to know:

Who should attend? Anyone who wants to improve their swimming

What are you signing up for exactly? One hour swimming clinic, programming and athletes grouped by ability level

Where will clinics be held? The Golden Community Center

When will these happen? Sunday mornings, date(s) to be determined based on interest (hoping for Mid-March)

PLEASE comment on this post, or email if you’re interested in attending, along with which course level is best for you.

Pass along the word to anyone you know who might benefit from these sessions as well, please.

I hope to see you all soon!



CrossFit Founder, Greg Glassman, released a video today that has been circulating around the interwebs.

In this short clip, he shares a conversation he had with the CrossFit Physician that compares the human body to a car and says that we should view our body is if there were “No Spare Parts”… when this part goes, you’re done. He explains (and this is my own summary/interpretation) that he views CrossFit trainers as useful agents to help make a difference in how people live their lives and take care of their bodies so that we can run our cars for as long and healthy a life as possible.

Then, Glassman draws a comparison that I was able to relate to on pretty much every level.

I’ve got an analogy for you. Physicians are lifeguards. Trainers are swim coaches. When you need a lifeguard, you need a lifeguard, not a swim coach. But, if you need a lifeguard, you probably needed a swim coach and didn’t get one.” ~ Greg Glassman

In my life, I’ve held both of those positions for many many years (Lifeguard and Swim Coach), and can tell you that those two roles hold distinctly different functions in a person’s life. While I honored the responsibility and valued the impact of knowing that my actions were charged with changing someone’s life/death status (Save them, they live. Don’t save them, game over.), it was definitely not my dream job.

Instead, I’ve always enjoyed giving people the tools to improve their own lives so that hopefully they would never need that lifeguard to jump in and save them.

Good news, friends… I’ve been a lifeguard AND a swim coach for over half of my life. You’re in good hands, regardless. But if it were up to me, I’d rather be your Swim (CrossFit) Coach.

Carry on 🙂

p.s.- No running on the pool deck!

Video courtesy of CrossFitHQ YouTube Channel