Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

“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 tomashbytraining@gmail.com 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!

SwimBetterNowIntro

Advertisements

I never thought I would be posting videos like this on my “CrossFit Blog”, but this makes me really happy. A few weeks ago I posted a proposal video from the CrossFit Dallas Central Crew, and now I am posting one a little bit closer to home.

Just yesterday, actually, I posted my thoughts on Teachers, and mentioned my good friend Broderick Turner. (Which is probably why I feel so compelled to share this with you guys today!) This morning Broderick let me know that he had proposed to his girlfriend. Check out the awesome way he chose to do it, too. This is the Broderick I know and love. 🙂

She said yes, by the way.

CONGRATS, BRODERICK!!!!!!

In my opinion, good teachers have the ability to influence kids in a way no one else can. They have a different impact than parents, siblings or friends, and can spark intellectual curiosity to an extent that in some ways cannot be matched outside of their “classroom” setting. I have always been truly inspired by good teachers. I can list the names of a few of mine over the course of my 16 years of schooling that I know I will never forget.

This is one of the reasons I am so proud of my very good friend, Broderick Turner. Broderick, (who used to introduce himself in business meetings to Senior Vice Presidents as “Broderick, like Mathew Broderick… only black”) is a math teacher at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and has found a way of connecting with his students unlike any other teacher I have seen. This type of stuff makes me strive to want to be more like him as a teacher and a coach. I’m really proud of him and what he’s doing.

Some of you may be wondering: “How does any of this even remotely relate to CrossFit?”

First of all, to me, being a CrossFit Coach is much more than just helping people learn about how to do a squat. It’s about explaining the “WHY’s” to your athletes, showing people the benefits of efficient movement not only in the gym, but outside as well, and then sitting back and marveling as you see their lives change for the better through the knowledge you’ve helped them learn. We are more than just “trainers”. Each one of us has the title, each one of us should have the skills, but most importantly, each one of us absolutely has the obligation and responsibility to be teachers in our gyms.

Here’s a video of how Broderick took a potentially boring task (teaching the Quadratic Formula to his 9th and 10th graders), and related it to his students. He didn’t sacrifice the integrity of the subject matter, he didn’t settle for below “standard”, but he did break the subject matter down in a way that probably got the attention of his kids a lot more than standing at a chalk board and preaching in a monotone voice.

Mr. Turner, great job on keeping your teaching “Constantly Varied” and very “Functional”!! There are a lot of CrossFitters out there who will appreciate your efforts and creativity, and I can only hope that more teachers out there take this kind of pride and passion in their work. With that, our educational system is going to grow and change in ways that are nothing but positive!

*****The video had an error while he uploaded it onto YouTube! When we get a complete version, I’ll post it on here. But this will still give you an idea of what he’s doing!*****