Sunday, December 13, 2009

Does this describe YOU?

  • Do you wish you had learned to swim as a child?
  • Do you avoid swimming pools, and water parks because you think you might drown?
  • Do you find yourself clinging to life jackets while boating, or simply refusing to go out into a boat - because of your fear of the water?
  • Have you taken swim lessons only to feel like your instructor doesn't "UNDERSTAND" that you are not ready to plunk your head underwater and just kick as hard as possible?
  • Do you wish you could enjoy the NON-IMPACT aerobic benefits of swimming?
  • Are you embarassed that you are an ADULT, and never learned how to swim?
  • Have you tried GROUP SWIM INSTRUCTION for Adults only to find that YOU were left behind?
  • Are you afraid to put your head underwater?
  • Have you ever tried a LEARN TO SWIM in 10 DAYS DVD, only to find after 10 days you didn't learn to swim?
  • Have you had a frightening experience in the water - and wish you could overcome your fear of the water?
  • Do you wish you could be taught to swim by a PATIENT swim instructor - who UNDERSTANDS your fears and apprehension?
  • Do you wish you could learn to swim AT YOUR OWN PACE, on YOUR OWN SCHEDULE with proven instructional techniques that work for ADULTS who fear the water?
  • Have you ever wanted to attempt a TRIATHLON - but never signed up because of the "SWIM" leg?
I'm Jane Wadsworth - a middle-aged adult.  I never learned to swim as a child, and for the first "half" of my life, I was terrified of deep water or putting my head under water. I would avoid the swimming pools as a teenager - to risk the embarrassment of not knowing how to swim. I loved to waterski, but only if I wore TWO life jackets - as I never wanted to go underwater. I would stand along the shoreline at beaches - and would only let my feet get wet. I would watch others gracefully and effortlessly swim - and wonder "Why can't I do that"?      

I tried swim instruction.   It was a disaster.   It was embarassing to be in a pool filled with toddlers, with their moms looking on.   I watched toddlers go underwater without crying, while I was reluctant to give it a try.   The instructors seemed very "GI JOE" - and could not relate with people like me -- who had phobias about putting my head underwater.

I had practically given up on swimming.   It wasn't as if I was unfit.   I watched people swimming effortlessly - who appeared physically overweight or unfit.  I couldn't understand HOW they did it - and I couldn't?    I'm actually an athlete.  I've run marathons, skated on inline skates in numerous races, I've competed in national tennis events, ride my bike in Century Rides - and yet I could not conquer the water.

I tried instructional DVD's offerred over the internet - that are intended to help people like me.   I learned a lot of good information -- but not enough to get me to actually swim.   WHY?   Was I just not "getting it"?   Was I a slow learner?

The biggest problems for ADULTS who never learned to swim -- is that we don't know how to "relax" or "breathe" when it comes to the water.  It's hard to relax, when you have anxiety about the water, and even worse when you inhale a mouthful of water.  We don't think about "breathing" when we go about our daily activities.  Breathing comes natural.  But in the water - you have to give it some thought AS AN ADULT.   And I can tell you that NO swim video, or INSTRUCTOR or SWIM WORKSHOP that I have tried (which are MANY!)-- will get you properly relaxed and breathing for swimming -- because SWIM INSTRUCTORS learned how to swim as children.   They don't get it.   They don't realize how difficult it is for US, as Adults -- to tackle swimming without knowing how to relax, and understanding how to breathe FIRST.

I get it.  I'm a professional Tennis Instructor.   I have an extensive teaching background and I am a Professionally certified Tennis Instructor with USPTA and PTR - the two largest Tennis Pro organizations in the world.   I have successfully taught my students how to master new skills and play some of the best tennis they had every hoped to play.  Now I know you are probably thinking - "what does Tennis have to do with Swimming?"    Nothing.   Not one thing.   Except, I know how to TEACH.

It occurred to me one day, why don't I approach learning how to swim and conquering my fears of the water - the same way I teach others how to play tennis?   After all, the methods for learning a sport specific skill are the same - irregardless of the sport.  The two biggest hurdles to Adult-wannabe-swimmers is learning how to RELAX and learning how to BREATHE.  You can't just tell someone "hey - RELAX" or "hey, just BREATHE".    For those of us who did not swim as children -- we need to know exactly what techniques will get us RELAXED and BREATHING properly.   I know how to break down each learning skill into a component that you can grasp.   And, using my teaching skills, and establishing daily progressions and drills for myself -- I learned how to "relax", get comfortable and "breathe" in the water.  I am now enjoying the underwater world -- one that has eluded me for 50 years.

I am NOT a professional swim instructor.  I am not a Life Guard.   I am not a "Michael Phelps".  I am not certified in anything that has to do wth aquatics.   I am Jane Wadsworth, someone who was deeply terrified of the water - and with my background in teaching, I taught myself how to RELAX in the water, BREATHE properly, and now swim. I could easily go about my business, now that I have finally conquered the water - but what joy is in that?   

So, I put my teaching skills, and my TRUE APPRECIATION of Adult fears of water to the test.   I wanted to see if I could help other ADULTS, like me, who REALLY wanted to swim - but were afraid.   I wanted to see if RELAXING and BREATHING was as much an issue for other ADULT non-swimmers -- like it was for me.  I wanted to see if I could help other ADULTS who never learned to swim -- discover the amazing JOY of becoming harmonious with the water.   I wanted to see if I could help others conquer their fears and anxiety in the water.

I started by taking my teaching methods to the pool - and begin working with aquaphobic adults.   The results were stunning - both to me and my students!   With a 100% success rate - each aquaphobic adult learned to relax, become comfortable in the water, and apply breathing techniques.  Once they learned to breathe and be comfortable - swimming became easy.  The response from my students was the same.   They were amazed, thrilled, and insisted that my techniques were remarkable and unique.  

Soon, adults from nearby water aerobics classes - asked me to help them learn to swim.  They could see the success I was having with my students - and it became apparent that MANY adults never learned to swim, and/or were fearful of the water.   They longed to be in the lap lane, swimming carefree - instead of holding tight to buoyancy aids in the shallow end of the pool.   I wanted desparately to help each and every adult overcome their fears, and learn to swim -- but there wasn't enough time in the day.

As a long-time TEACHER, I understand the importance of "building blocks".  You achieve success, by building upon each prior success.  You achieve confidence, by having more successes.   And, there is no greater feeling of accomplishment, than learning a new skill.

The TIPS on this blogsite...are unique for those of us with a fear of the water. Why is this important?   Because, I know HOW you need to learn - and succeed in the water.  Follow the tips on this site...and start enjoying the world of water. It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This could be YOU -- watch Sylvia's amazing becoming a swimmer

There is no question -- Sylvia enters the pool with great trepidation.   She has avoided water activites her entire adult life - due to a frightening near-drowing experience as a teenager.  Despite this scare, Sylvia truly wants to overcome her fear of the water - and learn to swim.   Using our carefully defined program for adults, watch Sylvia wash away her fears - and become comfortable in the water.   You TOO, can learn to swim as an adult!

Sylvia shares her fears before stepping into the pool:

(click on any of the filmstrip images below for a larger view)

1.  You can see Sylvia clings to the pool edge, and the fear of the water shows clearly on her face.   We proceed slowly and methodically, using a series of proven techniques to help Sylvia relax in the water.

2.  Many people struggle to relax in the water.   With our proven one-step-at-a-time techniques, Sylvia gets closer and closer to the underwater world - until finally she is ready to take the plunge.   Sylvia puts her head underwater for the first time, and comes up for air - smiling!

3.  Now that Sylvia is becoming increasingly more relaxed, we try a few underwater "games" - to continue with the concept of staying relaxed, and learning how to hold your breath, and blow out underwater bubbles.

4.  It is now time for Sylvia to feel buoyancy.   At first, she doesn't believe that she can float on her back.   Her mind is telling her that she will sink.   By using our techniques on understanding HOW to float - within a few minutes, Sylvia is on top of the water, completely relaxed - and amazed that she has accomplished SO much in 60 minutes.   Something she has struggled a lifetime to achieve.

5.  Eager to continue the learning process - Sylvia applies proven techniques, and begins to understand the concept of breathing IN (when up for air), holding her breath, and breathing bubbles OUT.   She learns how to synchronize her breathing with the rotation of her body - and before she realizes, she has started the mechanics for learning freestyle.

Now that Sylvia has experienced the thrill of being relaxed in the water - she shares the moment - one that you TOO can achieve.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yes, you CAN too!

The moment I learned to swim - at the age of 50 - I was hooked!  A brand new underwater world was now open to me.   It didn't matter to me if the pool was outdoors and the water temperatures in the upper 60's - I had finally become comfortable in the water and was going to make up for 50 years of lost time!   Below - late fall in Georgetown, MD, I brave the cold pool water with my wetsuit - and loving every minute of it!   Maybe you won't choose to swim in cold swimming pools -- but imagine the JOY of being able to swim in the lap lanes (or even open water) - and saying GOODBYE to your fears!