Recently, one of my TI swimming students commented that he was hesitant to teach TI to his friends out of concern that he might teach them the wrong things, that he might mis-represent TI.
He is a professionally minded engineering type who wants to do things right. And he doesn’t want to give the impression to his friends that he knows everything nor claim to be a certified coach when he is not. However, this man obviously has the mind and the heart of a true coach. He is already using his TI skills and coaching insights to brilliantly train his company’s dragon boat team!
I am ultimately looking for people who are TI Coach material- I love helping people find liberation in the water and in their mind through TI, and I want more people to come along side to help me reach more people.
I have subsequently invited this swimmer to step into the training process to become a TI Assistant Coach. Since it is possible for him and I to train and work together several times a year we can use an apprenticeship pathway toward the objective of becoming a full TI Coach one day.
But from this comment I saw the need to explain something to him at the beginning that might be helpful to you also. Without any special title I gave him the permission to get in the water with his friends and start sharing what he knows of the TI concepts to help others.
One of TI’s mission in the world is to create self-coaching swimmers- smart swimmers. We expect coaches to be able to look at a swimmer’s struggles and needs and show them the best ways to improve their skills on the shortest, most pleasant path. We want TI Swimmers to be as smart as coaches. One of the best ways to fulfill that is to turn around and start using your TI intelligence to help others.
In order to do this you need to start responding to those people who ask you for help. Start looking at these swimmers they way you have been looking at yourself, the way your TI Coach has been helping you. Then apply what you know to start exploring ways to correct the problems.
It is likely that you don’t know all that a trained TI Coach does, but you’ve got to start with what you’ve got. Then you can start to see where you need to add more training and experience. A student who is already involved in the work will absorb a lot more of the coach training than a student who is merely preparing to do it in the future.
By all means, jump in there with your friends and share the liberating concepts of TI, as best as you can!
Just be open with your friends about what you know and don’t know, and use what you have tested on yourself in the water and don’t try what you have not. It’s a basic ethic that can open the door for you to credibly help the swimmers around you who want your help to swim like you do. That can set you free from worrying about being seen as some swim professional you are not (yet).
But it just might launch you on the path of becoming one!
And we hope this is exactly what will happen.
TI Coaches are foremost TI Swimmers. We are coaches who swim. You would expect only a practicing martial artist sensei to teach his/her martial art, no? Well, we expect the same of TI Coaches. In this way TI is very different from other coaching programs.
By the fact that you swim and practice passionately with the TI technique and mindset puts you on the coaching path already. The next step is answering the call to help others. For most of us (perhaps ALL) it was irresistable.
By spending some time trying to help others you will test your own knowledge, and you will test your own passion to coach others.
The most important aspect of the coach training process happens from your own swim practice as you examine your skill, your own body and your mind. The bulk of the ‘classroom’ for becoming a coach will happen in the water while you are swimming. The next large portion of training will come from interacting with other swimmers who want help.
This is not a replacement for the incredible TI Coach training and certification process we have built- it is the foundation for it.
But it doesn’t stop after you get that certification. We are coaches who are dedicated to continual improvement no matter the obstacles in life- in our swimming and in our coaching. Once you get that training you will just begin to discover the world of knowledge and skills you yourself can pursue, that you can guide your swimmers toward as well.
I coach better because I practice my own swimming with extreme attention to detail. And I swim better because I coach with great care for each student. They feed each other. In my practice I insert myself into my students struggles as best I can and then practice working out of those struggles so I can most effectively guide them also. In my coaching I watch and learn from my students struggles and breakthroughs and receive insights from them that will improve my own swimming as well. I teach my students and my students teach me.
In just about any sport or profession you will notice a big difference between coaches who practice the art they teach and those who don’t. I would argue that only those who practice TI deeply can teach it most effectively. The method will produce some good results for just about anyone who picks it up to help others, but the coaches who deliver the best service are those who, by their own TI swimming practice, are intimately acquainted with every detail of the technique, the learning pathway, the teaching method and mindset of TI. We are patient and confident with the method and I believe we get the best results because of it.
So do more than just enjoy your TI swimming. Go out and share what you’ve got when someone asks for your help. It’s the best way to learn what you really know, learn what you really don’t know so you can focus your study and practice better.
When you discover that you want to get some formal training to start helping those friends more effectively, contact me and I will explain the pathway you can take to get the skills you seek.
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