Matching the client’s comfort level

Today’s students were diametrically opposed. The first, early in the morning, is a seasoned swimmer needing some finesse. More than anything he needs to feel the body moving as one to breathe easier. We went through all the drills, from the glide up to swimming with the wrists in the water. I know I’ve only one more lesson with him and he wants to swim better by the end of it so he received a lot more information than most get in one hour. Though I was sure he got “the feel” before I introduced something else. When I got the twinkling smile, he was ready for the next step.

Then late in the evening (about 11 hours later) I met a 65-year old beginner who has cultivated a fear of water stemming from a scary childhood incident. She’s darling, in great shape, and she was superb. We started with exercises on the steps that are good for stretching out legs sore from hiking. Then I did the Benjamin Franklin trick (see the Mertail Fitness Facebook page entry on Aug 30) so she would put her face in the water without hesitation. It worked! By the end of the lesson she could back float beautifully with the help of a noodle (we floated all around the pool including the deep section), she blew bubbles when her face was submerged, and she was able to pick up the dive toy (ala Ben Franklin). A successful half hour! She schedule three full hour lessons in the next ten days!

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