I think your thoughtful blog on teachers and teaching deserves a response. Three years ago I plucked your book off a library shelf and stood reading it. Your opening description of a struggling swimmer fitted me exactly, your promise to teach me to swim easier, further and faster had my instant attention. I read the book and started the exercises. I bought the book. You gave me an explanation of what better swimming was and told me what I could do to achieve it. I have begged poolside coaches for just such advice and always got told I was doing all right and to try harder. I bought the DVD and in the process found the website. What a marvellous resource. Like all your pupils I have improved steadily and am loving the journey. I enjoy your enthusiasm and most of all I like your willingness to continually evolve both your understanding of swimming and the teaching of it. The evolution of teaching methods between the two freestyle DVDs is evidence of that. Perhaps the best feature of TI is the distributed nature of the knowledge and understanding that we get from diverse coaches and pupils on the website.
There is a huge difference between trying to teach thirty year ten students social studies and teaching highly motivated adults swimming. For a start you have our complete attention and we believe what you have for us is relevant. Most of us would crawl over a rocky foreshore to attend you. The real trick is choosing suitable entry behaviour. Our agendas are all different, from aspiring race champions to casual recreational swimmers. All of us are starting from different levels of understanding and ability and it is hard for a professional in any code to identify that level and start from there. Remember the early computer program manuals written by programmers? They were a nightmare. On the other hand I remember a university pre- exam math tutorial where the tutor anticipated every question I and the class had as if he had a line into our heads.
Twice before I have found and used a mentor who had skills and knowledge I needed to improve other recreational abilities and now at a distance I have you and the forum fulfilling a similar role. Thank you.