Adult swimming instruction in Colorado's Front Range
Certified Senior Coach
Brian Vande Krol
I’m what’s known as an “Adult-Onset Swimmer”. This gives me recent perspective to understand the struggles of an adult who wants to swim better.
Although I learned to swim at an early age, and even competed on my 9th grade swim team (the slowest team in my city of 4 schools), I never got serious about swimming until I started competing in triathlon in 2005 at the age of 43. During my first year as a triathlete I struggled just to get out of the water. I wasn’t slow, but I expended way too much energy to complete the swim, leaving little for the bike and run. It didn’t seem right that I could be in good shape for biking and running, but that I should suffer so badly on the swim. The hordes of swimmers that passed me certainly didn’t look any stronger than me. I continued to work harder and harder at swimming, with little improvement. It seemed that it would be forever before I would be fit enough to complete a swim with enough energy to run to the bike and perform well on the bike and run.
Enter Total Immersion. When I discovered Total Immersion, it made so much sense! Technique was the obvious missing element of my swim training. As I improved my balance and learned to swim through a small hole in the water, swimming became much easier. My newfound enthusiasm transformed me into an eager student of Total Immersion methods and philosophies. I became a regular contributor to the TI Discussion forum. Terry Laughlin, founder of Total Immersion read my posts and was impressed by my grasp of the concepts discussed. He suggested that I become a Total Immersion Teaching Professional, and in December, 2006, I studied under Terry to gain my certification. I’ve been teaching adults to swim ever since then. I enjoy "spreading the love” of swimming to others. My own swimming continues to improve. In September, 2007, I competed at Ironman Wisconsin (see video), which includes a mass start of 2400 swimmers for a 2.4 mile swim. By relaxing and employing a variety of focal points throughout the swim, I beat my goal time for the swim and emerged from the water feeling great. On the other end of the swimming spectrum, I competed in a Master’s Swim meet in December of 2007. I swam the 100 IM, 200 IM, 50 Butterfly, and 50 Free, taking 3rd place in 3 of the 4 events (disqualified in the 200 IM for an illegal turn). This was only 2 ½ months after learning Butterfly! Compared to the Ironman swim, these are very short, intense races. Once again, by staying relaxed and employing focal points, I beat my seed times in each race, and swam faster than I thought possible!
My experience with Total Immersion, and the experience of my students demonstrates that there is a smarter way to swim, and TI is that way!