The Shaw Method for swimmers is based on the principles of the Alexander Technique. With the Alexander Technique you learn to move in a fluent and efficient way and to use your body without overloading. This technique is known worldwide and is widely used by professional athletes, musicians, dancers and actors.
What is the Alexander Technique?
Alexander Technique is a simple and practical method with which you can improve your physical and mental functioning. It is widely used by professional musicians, dancers, athletes and actors. However, it is not so well known outside these fields. In the Netherlands, many people are more familiar with exercise therapies such as Mensendieck, Feldenkrais (who was a student of FM Alexander), and Cesar therapy. Worldwide, however, Alexander Technique is much better known than these methods and Alexander Technique is more widely spread. There are currently about 3000 Alexander teachers active, and there are professional associations in 18 countries.
Alexander Technique can be classified under 'education'. You come to class (group or private) to learn something that you can then apply independently for the rest of your life. In that sense, it differs greatly in character from a therapy, in which you let what the therapist does with you. In the Alexander lessons you mainly get to work yourself and the teacher guides you in this, such as learning to play a musical instrument, only in this case you are the instrument yourself.
Moving in a natural way
The traditional way of swimming education is derived from competitive swimming. The Shaw Method of Swim in Balance is unique because it is inspired by the technique of FMAlexander. This helps to rediscover your natural balance and equilibrium. The Alexander Technique is taught by qualified teachers. In the Netherlands, most teachers are members of the Dutch Association for Alexander Technique Teachers (NeVLAT).
What's the benefit?
With athletes and musicians, the effect of this technique is often immediately noticeable in their results, which is why it is so popular with them. When horseback riding, for example, you immediately notice the behavior of your horse if you apply the Alexander Technique yourself. Singers, winds and strings often hear an immediate improvement in sound. In general, your awareness will grow of what you do, how you react to different stimuli. You learn to observe what your own habits are and you learn a method with which you can break them and build new habits in a more favorable way, both in thinking and in movement.
Examples of victory points:
– more peace and overview in thinking
– developing an appropriate muscle tone for the activity you do: neither too much nor too little
– learn to move as efficiently as possible, with the effect of less pressure on the joints and less tension in, for example, the neck
– reduction of neck and back complaints, sometimes also reduction of headaches
– doing exactly what is needed at that moment, without overconcentration or distracting thoughts
– a more beautiful appearance in everyday life and on stage
– easier public speaking, overcome stage fright
Where is it from?
The Alexander Technique was developed at the beginning of the 20th century by FM Alexander, who was studying at the theater school in London at the time. He wanted to be an actor and specialized in reciting Shakespeare's works. However, he had a problem with his vocalization, he kept losing his voice halfway through the performance. Because doctors could not find a cause, he himself started to observe very closely what he did differently on stage than off stage. With this he discovered certain principles that not only solved his own problem, but which also proved to be widely applicable for fellow actors, and musicians, dancers and athletes who were friends. This is where the Alexander Technique arose.
Do you want Alexander Technique lessons without swimming?
You can also learn this technique without combining it with swimming. Swim in Balance founder Esther Visser has an Alexander Technique practice in Haarlem. She regularly teaches (former) students of Swim in Balance swimming courses. You are most welcome. Her practice's website is: www.free-up.nl. Or leave a message behind interest.
For more general information about the Alexander Technique, visit: www.nevlat.nl
“Very nice week in a nice environment to learn the Shaw method.”
“If like me you thought you could never learn to crawl, and if you want to learn to get more impact (not just in the pool) with less force, then this is a course to do. Accessible, nice people, interesting method, wonderful location and real results.”
“I wholeheartedly recommend Swim in Balance swimming holidays. Learning a new stroke really well, with all the individual guidance that every participant needs, is guaranteed to succeed here. In addition, I learned a lot about the Alexander Technique, on which Swim in Balance bases its swimming method – also super valuable for other sports, making music and life in general. Even though we worked hard, it really felt like a holiday – great to hit the sauna after a swim! I wish Swim in Balance many more happy participants!”
“A memorable adventure, where to my amazement I really learned to front crawl, unbelievable!”
"Great, fun course, does what it promises"
"During the basic front crawl course, it was explained step-by-step and clearly how we can crawl according to the Shaw method. This is quite a bit different from what I've ever learned. But because of the clear explanation and the slow build up of the battle, it was easy to adjust. Lydia was also a very nice and enthusiastic instructor."
"All my life I was afraid of water and afraid of learning to swim. But after 6 weeks of Water Confidence I managed to leave most of my fear behind. Fantastic, I am very grateful to you!"
"Take a course. Swim in balance is good for your body and mind!"
"I have (already) followed a very nice course. Under professional guidance I was taken step by step in learning a new swimming stroke. It feels like dancing in the water. Recommended!"
“I really benefit from the lessons and come home happy every time.”
“I have never dared to put my head under water in all my life. After 2 lessons with Esther I completely got over my fear and because of that I was able to snorkel with the sea lions and their babies during my holiday in Galapagos!!! Top!!!!"
“I've been trying to teach myself the front crawl for years. With regular lessons you are quickly “forgotten” as a beginner. Esther teaches you, in a relaxed way, a very nice stroke without forcing your back or shoulders. From water habituation (floating) to the entire stroke. Recommended!”
“The course really made me realize that the more aligned you are in the water, the more comfortable swimming is. Very glad I learned this, thank you!”
“Celebrating a holiday and also learning something has never been so much fun!”
“Instructive course, recommended!”
"Finally working on my front crawl in a relaxed way, before I mainly did this with brute force, but now through Swim in Balance courses and exercises this is done in a relaxed way, very happy with it."
“This special journey has brought me a lot, through the Alexander swimming technique and the relaxing way of teaching I have become friends with water again. Besides this “friendship reunited”, other wonderful people and experiences have come my way. Thanks for this special week.”
“My experience with the course was teaching the professional approach of the correct technique, in both the group instructions and the individual guidance, as well as the conviviality.”
“Being always a bit afraid of the water, this has really been a life changing experience. I will not be doing the Olympics any time soon, but I definitely am happy with the outcome.”
”I thought the crawl basic course was a very nice course, very relaxed setting, Niels is a great teacher with an eye for detail, and a clear explanation. Before the course I had no experience with the front crawl, and now I can swim the front crawl in a good and relaxed way, and I have the basics to train this stroke in a good way. Outside the bath I also benefit from the body awareness that you get in this method, so that I am more often aware of my posture and can improve it.”
“Nice course. You learn to swim again, but in a constructive way. Very nice to discover that you can swim quickly with not much effort. And the crawl like this is a beautiful stroke.”
“In small steps, with good instruction and stimulating guidance, the basics for chest crawl learned in a short time.”
“Great lessons, fun and effective.”
“The swimming holiday to Croatia was wonderful! Good weather, beautiful people, learning new things every day in the salt water pool, fun optional activities and plenty of free time to go your own way. Perfect!"
“I thought it was a great experience to learn so much in such a short time! The classes were at the same time very relaxed, completely relaxed! Delicious! I had surgery on my back a few months ago, the result is not good, I hesitated to take the classes, but it has given me a lot of good! Recommended!"
“I was very happy with the front crawl level 1 course (in the swimming pool) as well as the 2 hour workshop in the lake 't Wed. Both have given me the skills to feel confident to swim laps in a pool or to swim in open water. Esther is a great instructor with patience and a passion for this sport. She is very relaxed and explains things in a concise and encouraging way. Anyone interested in improving their technique so you can swim more efficiently would benefit greatly from following Esther's courses.”
“This course completely fulfills the promise! Really fun and educational to do.”
“Perfect course. Never thought that something I've wanted to do for years could be taught so easily. I wish I had done it years earlier.”
“A wonderful mix of sporting effort and relaxation. Exactly what I needed! Sun, sea, salt water and inspiring swimmers!”
“I have experienced the Shaw Method as subtle, friendly, logical, natural, intelligent and effective. The instructors are calm and thoughtful. The technology is made up of building blocks so that you can fall back on the basics if you have lost the technology for a while.”
“Esther taught me the basics of the front crawl in 6 lessons. The lessons are very clearly structured and ensure that you slowly get used to a new habit. The Shaw Method provides a relaxed way of swimming where relaxation is the most important. The advanced lessons allowed me to continue working on my technique and since then I have been jumping in the pool with great pleasure and confidence. Thanks!”
“If you thought you could swim, give this a try. You will learn relaxing techniques from expert teachers in a beautiful swimming pool on the coast of Croatia.”
“A wonderful hour of relaxing in the water and at the same time developing more feeling. Nice to experience how effective it is to apply the Alexander Technique to swimming! I recommend it to all swimming enthusiasts.”