If you have been to one of our swim camps before, you may recall that we tend to wander onto topics that go way beyond swimming itself, when interest and opportunity presents itself among our students.
We like to think about and work on:
- body awareness
- adaptability to change
- a better view of discomfort
- finding flow state
- resilience in the midst of hardship
- a positive regard for failure
- positive habit formation
- deliberate (deep) learning
- improved personal narrative
- tapping into a sense of meaning
- a problem-solving attitude
- emotional self-regulation, and co-regulation
Do any of those look useful to you and your situations?
I could summarize by saying that our camps are about building better relationships whether participants are consciously aware of this or not. By this I mean that we are working with different concepts and applying those in different activities (not just in swimming) which improve the connections we make inside ourselves, between our body and the environment. This may even go so far as helping improve the connections we make between one another, because improvement in those other connections can transfer over and positively affects how we interact with other people.
Our coaching and our manner of training is increasingly influenced by a growing understanding of trauma, both the healing and the prevention side, in the context of relationship. We’re not ‘therapists’ in the technical sense, but we’ve had countless number of guests tell us how their experience has been therapeutic. And this is not by accident. We are consciously, deliberately setting up things a certain way in the atmosphere and activities to foster these kind of experiences. Because we understand some things about the human body-mind-social system, we have compassion and patience for working with people who feel stress, fear, anxiety, and inner resistance which has previously been keeping them from doing what they’d like to be capable of.
I’ve been guided in this by a profound concept I’ve picked up from studies in interpersonal neurobiology:
safety is healing
If we can set up a gathering of people and activities that create a warm, accepting, patient, peaceful, attuned, responsive experience – we have gone a long way toward making that ‘safe’ place to be.
I could put this another way, for those who don’t feel so much is broken inside: safety is rest.
This has even more obvious socio-biological roots. When our brains sense the dangers and threats are far away, it will let the rest of the body relax and rest more deeply. When our brains sense we are accompanied by safe people it will let us relax. Going off to an attractive place (away from the burdens at home), being absorbed in a simple set of activities in a beautiful location, surrounded by kind, friendly people can make that kind of a release easier to find.
When we come to camp, many of us (including the coaches) can use a little bit of rest, if not a lot, and in ways we probably don’t completely realize. When we find ourselves in a safe group for a few days or even for a few hours, we may notice things inside ourselves calming down, opening up and changing in positive ways without even doing something intentional to make it happen. Like giving a some water then setting a drooping plant in the sun, it perks up and spreads its leaves to capture more of the invigorating rays; It starts showing signs of growing again.
Yes, we all come together at swim camp under the pretext of learning to swim or practicing advanced swimming skills or whatever, but we end up discovering there is so much more that composes our well-being than that. I invite you to come and discover this for yourself.
Check out our camps for this coming year: