We always like to hear from you. To make it easier to get in touch we’ve brought some of our popular letters to the editor feature online. Every month we’ll feature one of the letters that appears in Swimming Times magazine online to allow you to have your say and leave comments on issues that relate to you.
If you would like to submit a letter to appear online and in the magazine please email firstname.lastname@example.org or send your letter by post to Swimming Times, SportPark, 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3QF.
I totally agree with Sasha Whyatt’s letter in February issue, that you should be able to swim all four strokes to pass as a swimming instructor! I believe, not only would it improve coaching standards in this country but more importantly, the pedigree of our coaches!
It doesn’t happen in any other sport, where a coach or trainer cannot ‘play the game’. How can a tennis coach demonstrate the backhand or serve to a pupil if they’ve never held a racket? Or how can a ski instructor show future skiers how to slow down and stop on the piste, to avoid potential disaster? I’m a qualified Olympic weightlifting coach and a part of our coaches course, is to execute the two disciplines in weightlifting, with three snatch and three clean and jerk, competently and within the rules of our governing body. Yet in swimming, I find it inconceivable that qualified instructors do not have to swim a single metre in any of the four strokes! Why? Ridiculous!
I believe, like Sasha, that the grade 2 instructor’s course should be changed to include a competent demonstration of all four strokes, either by a 100m IM swim or singular, so we can weed out all the these incompetent ex-lifeguards, that have the gall to call themselves ‘swim instructors’ just because they’ve been teaching water babies for 20 years.
Sorry to be blunt, but is it any wonder our sporting nation never produce swimmer like Michael Phelps, who can boast 18 Olympic medals and countless world championship medals in all four strokes, and has totally dominated 100m and 200m butterfly spanning three decades? Yet ‘so called’ swimming instructors choose to ridicule Sasha Whyatt’s idea, of a simple 100m IM swim under 2 minutes, which I believe would improve the pedigree of our coaches.
My opinion is totally unbiased because swimming isn’t my sport but I would pass the Sasha Whyatt test quite easily because I’ve been taught all four strokes by a coach that got into the water to put her words into action! Surely that’s the best way forward for the future! And butterfly is now my strongest stroke, so if I wanted to improve it or master the art of the Michael Phelps’ three ‘kick’/one pull fly drill, I wouldn’t want to be taught by some cheerleader who can’t swim, that stands on the side of the pool and probably doesn’t even own a swim suit or pair of trunks. I’d go to Michael or Sasha every time!
Enough said I think! I rest Sasha’s case!