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Swimming that changed my life.

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

A few years ago my life took a turn for the better. I decided to teach myself to swim better; particularly to do front crawl more effectively, so that I could swim, let's say, more than 2 lengths without getting tired.

I found a book called Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin with the subtitle of "Swimming that changes your life". A bold statement by a bold man taking on a swimming community, who at that time (and still is largely), was addicted to training swimmers by encouraging muscular effort and repetition. Terry saw it completely differently and invented a "smart" way to practice swimming.

He based his thinking on an idea from legendary swim coach Bob Boomer who had the brilliant idea (an "elusive obvious"!) that to swim better and faster you need to focus more on streamlining and less on muscle power. “The shape of the vessel matters more than the size of the engine.” By ‘engine,’ he meant muscular and aerobic power. As soon as I heard about this I was intrigued and I knew there was a connection to Feldenkrais Method.

Wide arm recovery

In Feldenkrais Method, we often talk about reducing effort. When I first started to practice Feldenkrais in my 20s, I floundered with this idea. "Effort is good", I thought. "Trying hard is noble" and you can only get things to happen if you push a bit, no? Well in many areas it seems that actually we often "effort, try and push" INAPPROPRIATELY and this prevents us from reaching our goals. This is now what my work often involves; helping myself to feel when I am using inappropriate effort to achieve a goal and helping others to identify where, in their life, they might be pushing too hard, and actually hurting themselves.

If this sounds interesting and you think some intelligent guided effort reduction is what you need then come to classes or one to ones with me and you will find many improvements in your life. See for classes.

If you fancy being able to swim better then you should seek out your nearest Total Immersion coach, go on line to study videos or you could even go the old-fashioned way and read the book!

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