I always regretted not learning to swim when I was younger and this regret was magnified when myself and some friends decided to get into Triathlon after a few (maybe more than a few) beers and shots in our local watering hole. I mentioned to my friends that I couldn’t swim but with misguided confidence (shots) was sure that I could teach myself quite quickly. Fast forward to my first foray into the pool and it turns out I didn’t even like putting my head underwater for more than a second, couldn’t even tread water and basically looked like I’d been electrocuted (I call it my survival fit) every time my feet left the floor.

So after looking around I came across Tom and Passion Fit and was told that he was an excellent coach/teacher that could hopefully help me and I promptly sent out the SOS. My first discussion with Tom was great, he was very easy to talk to and took the time to understand my issues. We then set up the first session in Tom’s local pool which is a fantastic, relaxed environment and I showed Tom the survival fit – to be fair he didn’t even laugh (well not to my face). From this Tom was able to structure the session based upon my current (lack of) ability and we focussed on increasing my relaxation and confidence underwater with drills such as sink downs and dead mans float – still not sure about the name of this one. It really helped having Tom at the side of the pool as it enables you to focus on yourself and not what can be an intimidating environment for a beginner. Tom’s knowledge really shone through and my progress was such that I didn’t hesitate to book a block of ten lessons.

The first 5 sessions we stayed in the pool and through the use of various drills Tom had me swimming a decent stroke in no time at all. When my progress stalled a little bit we moved the next 4 sessions to Tom’s coaching facility and made use of his endless pool which enabled me to relax even more in a one to one environment and with the use of video feedback helped me take the next step of improvement. I can’t stress enough what a great tool this is for improving swimming technique for beginners like me – being able to see your own stroke and the changes you need to make is invaluable. It also helped with my confidence as I realised I look like a pretty normal swimmer.

I write this the day before my tenth session in which we are heading back to the pool and I can honestly say I am looking forward to it (and every session in the pool) rather than dreading it which in itself is possibly the best compliment I can pay Tom. I guess what I’m really trying to say is I can’t recommend Tom highly enough to anyone of any age that is looking to learn or improve their swim. He has all the knowledge and tools to help anyone, he is incredibly supportive throughout the whole process and if he can get me to where I am now might even have some hidden Jedi powers.

Onwards to Blenheim Tri 2017 I go….. Hopefully no survival fit required

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