SWIMMING TRAINING AT SWIM IN BALANCE
Participants in our 6-week courses are taught by highly trained swimming trainers, who work according to the principles of the Alexander Technique. This means that a lot of attention is paid to a healthy and efficient use of your muscles, that we move according to the logic of our anatomy, that we think from the anatomy of the body. The swim trainers will point out the alignment of your head, neck and back. You will understand how to float in the best possible way and that this has nothing to do with whether you have air in your lungs or not. The swim trainers are trained to teach you how to inhale (passively) and actively exhale via the breath reflex. We also divide all movements of a swimming stroke into propulsive and non-propulsive movements, with the result that you save a lot of energy and can swim much longer.
What kind of people become swim trainers at Swim in Balance?
Their professional backgrounds differ greatly, but they all have in common that they see this as a nice addition to their other profession, that they enjoy working with people, that they are interested in the human body and the human psyche, that they are enthusiastic about the Alexander Technique and that they love water a lot. Often they have a medical background. For example, we currently have 2 nurses and a doctor in the teaching team. However, some are also professional musicians or have sailed at a high level.
If you are interested in becoming a swim trainer at Swim in Balance, please contact Esther Visser, the founder of Swim in Balance. We are expanding rapidly and have room for more teachers. After following all our courses as a student, an intensive internal training to become a swimming trainer at Swim in Balance is possible.
Is swimming training in open water possible and what does this entail?
The swimming styles you learn at Swim in Balance are ideally suited for swimming longer distances in open water. However, you cannot automatically start swimming in the same way as in a swimming pool, because there are major differences. That is why we offer open water swimming workshops during the summer months (June-October) for people who have already learned a swimming stroke in our pool. We then go deeper into keeping course in the water, dealing with waves and so on.
You can also take the same 6-week courses (crawl, breaststroke or butterfly) on open water weekends. Then you immediately learn the new swimming stroke in the element where you also want to apply the stroke. This appears to work very well in practice.
Swimming training for advanced swimmers
In the advanced course crawl ('level 2') we provide swimming training specifically aimed at maintaining the swimming stroke for longer, which is of course ideal without the restrictions of a swimming pool. We can easily swim longer distances outdoors and organize swimming training specifically for this. Many people find outdoor water more pleasant than a swimming pool, because there are no chlorine and chemicals in the water and the acoustics of a swimming pool are often restless. Many people also train for a (quarter or half) triathlon and the swimming training in open water at Swim in Balnce is ideally suited for this.
What characterizes the swimming training at Swim in Balance?
The swimming training at Swim in Balance is aimed at learning and improving your technique. So expect that during the lessons you will often stop, think for a moment or receive a clue and then swim a bit further. You do not need to be in good shape to participate. The lessons at Swim in Balance are often described as 'hard for the brain, easy for the body': it is sometimes more like brain gymnastics because a lot is asked of your imagination for movement and planning the next steps.
The result (if you practice for a while) is that you learn to swim 'smarter' and don't put any effort at the wrong or unnecessary moments. This saves you energy. However, it does require some mental discipline and attention. You could also compare it to 'mindful swimming'. If you stay focused on what you're doing, you can quickly improve your technique and get results.
If you just move on autopilot, you can still make so many meters, but your technique will not improve and will even become increasingly sloppy. We are therefore not in favor of 'setting your mind to 0' during exercise. It is much more fun and interesting to keep observing whether there is still room for improvement.