The International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Transpersonal Swimming Institute have teamed up to create a new generation of swim instructors who understand how to teach people with a fear of water.
The Sarasota, Fla.-based TSI currently uses a technique to teach adults who are apprehensive of water, and plans to extend this teaching to children as well. The new program will target YMCAs and parks and recreation departments.
?To learn to swim, [people] have to be in control in the water,? said M. Ellen Dash, founder and director of TSI. Using this method, Dash has taught many instructors how to work with adults. Those instructors, in turn, have applied the method to their children?s lessons as well.
Through the TSI method, ISHOF and TSI are offering a two-month training program to teach individual swim instructors how to coach adults and children who fear water. ?There are three big things,? Dash said. ?Teaching teachers, teaching adults as we teach the teachers, and having what the teachers learn trickle down to their kids? lessons.?
ISHOF?s contribution to the program includes logistics, recruiting and marketing, said Bruce Wigo, CEO of the Fort Lauderdale-based ISHOF. In addition, the program will leverage the ISHOF brand name. And because ISHOF is a nonprofit organization, instructors can pay for the program as a tax write-off.
According to a 1998 Gallup poll, 46 percent of American adults are frightened by deep water, and 64 percent fear open water.