Hello everyone and welcome to the SwimLabs blog! Over the course of the next few months we will be bringing you some fun content, featuring articles on: technique, training, interviews with Olympians and highlighting some powerful customer stories within SwimLabs.
Today’s feature will be highlighting the topic of “improving technique and self confidence” in swimming. This topic is becoming more and more talked about as we begin to see that there is a fine balance between having good technique and a positive self-image.
Many of you know of SwimLabs as the “high tech” private swim lesson program where you can get one on one coaching, underwater video and continued technical development over the course of your swimming career.
However, SwimLabs also provides a very special experience for both the swimmers and their parents that helps improve one of the most difficult athletic skills: self-confidence.
When we asked a few customers to describe what that experience means to them, we kept hearing words such as, “empowering” and “more confident.”
Perhaps one of the best responses was simply put as, “At SwimLabs, we are treated like family.”
Jessica O’Dwyer of SwimLabs Denver had the chance to sit down with us and share her experience as a customer over the past two years. Like many of you, Jessica has a young swimmer, Emma (10), who swims year round.
Here is what Jessica had to say:
“SwimLabs is a swimming experience like no other. Positive, educational, and effective…. SwimLabs takes a vested interest in your swimmer and we are treated like family. Emma looks forward to being there at least once a month, and we always pick up right where we left off with everyone. As a parent you want to see your child be happy and have success in whatever it is they choose to do. SwimLabs has brought swimming to that next level for Emma, and she is loving it!”
SwimLabs also attracts world class swim instructors who have been swimming at an elite level for much of their lives and even competed in the Olympics. Emma has formed a special connection with one instructor - Kara Lynn Joyce, a three-time Olympian and co-star of “Touch the Wall” with Missy Franklin.
When asked about how working with Kara Lynn Joyce has been and the impact it has had on Emma, Jessica beamed with pride.
“Kara Lynn’s experience and knowledge is invaluable to young swimmers, and she genuinely cares about how Emma is doing in and out of the pool. She has filled Emma’s swimming toolbox with countless tools over the past few years to improve her swimming. She holds a very special place in our hearts. I feel like the relationship between the instructor and swimmer is just as important as the swimming they do, and Kara delivers 100% every time.”
In one particular story, Jessica shared how the relationship with Kara was pivotal in helping Emma’s self-confidence recently.
This past spring season, Emma had qualified for her first state meet and the nerves were overwhelming, as they would be for many young athletes.
“Emma came in to see Kara Lynn after competing at her first state meet, which was an emotional and challenging meet for Emma. Emma could barely get the words out to tell Kara about it, and what happened in that next 30 minutes may have forever changed the way Emma looks at a tough day at the pool.
It wasn’t the swimming she had Emma do. It was Kara’s words. Kara’s compassion, wisdom and advice. Kara’s connection with Emma that day will forever be remembered. From that moment Emma’s swimming, confidence, mental toughness and love for the sport have grown leaps and bounds.”
It is stories like this that inspire and empower all of us who coach and continue to help young swimmers. It also serves as a great reminder of why swimming is such an amazing sport for athletes, adults, parents and the instructors who continue to teach!
Kara Lynn Joyce has been an instructor at SwimLabs in Denver for three years. We asked her to describe what being a coach at SwimLabs has meant to her:
“We get the opportunity to empower young kids and it is the aspect of SwimLabs that I love the most. One thing that I really try to do with every swimmer is to ask them what they see in their own stroke on the video after the lesson. Usually on the first lesson they can’t really see anything. But as we work together over time, they can easily point out where they need to improve in their own stroke. It’s so empowering to see them get excited about learning, improving and making changes in their technique. This is where a lot of their own self-confidence is built and SwimLabs gives that to them.”
One of the best insights we learned was that even though swimmers are receiving one-on-one lessons, over time they end up truly feeling like part of a team. It can be easy to become entirely focused on a specific stroke correction that needs to be made or learning a new technique.
However there is tremendous value in a swimmer’s confidence by having a coach spend time 100% focused on just them. Improving your self-confidence and self-image, along with your technique, is equally powerful.
If you have a great “SwimLabs story” that you would like to share – we want to hear from you! Please email Jennifer Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We look forward to providing you with more great insights into what’s going on at SwimLabs as well as the sport of swimming! Stay tuned!