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 have read the letters debating the so-called non-competent swimming teachers that are out there. I think I would be in that category, as I did not start to be a swimming teacher until I was in my late 30s and had not done any sort of competitive swimming. I got involved through a local swimming club which my daughter, who was aged eight, had joined.
As most swimming clubs rely on volunteers to exist, I was encouraged to help the coaching staff so I read some books and was given direction from the other coaches and eventually took my level 1 and level 2 courses. I have been working for the last five years at a leisure centre and also for a swim school teaching the National Teaching Plan up to stage 7.
There is a very important point that the pro-competent swimmer lobby are missing. A vast majority of the so-called non-competent swimming teachers would have started like myself at a swimming club and if you stop people from teaching who are unable to swim fly to a club standard, then you will find that you will end up with a shortage of swimming teachers in the country at a time when we are worried about the amount of kids who cannot swim. I think that the best place for swimming teachers to learn their trade is with a swimming club. This then will give them a chance to study correct stroke and work with swimming coaches.
I once went on one of those CPD courses and the young lady that turned up sounded very good when she was introducing herself, as she was a national swimmer and had been working with some of the best coaches in the country. The problem was that she could not deliver the course and all the teaching points and practices that she covered you could find in a decent book. So the point is: it doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are – if you can’t communicate to the kids, you will not succeed.
The point made in the October edition about blowing out through the nose when doing log-role and somersaults is common sense, not because you were a fantastic swimmer. Also, the P in PGA is for ‘Professional’ and the A in the ASA is for ‘Amateur’. Both are very different in how they are run and you will find that there is a large amount of snobbery involved in golf clubs, so is this the route you would like to take? If so, you will destroy all the hard-working swimming clubs who are delivering a high standard of swimming training by a lot of ‘non-competent’ swimming teachers.