Click Here to See Our Updated Health and Safety Standards.

The Key to Great Swimming: Air Regulation!

Two swimmers practicing in an indoor pool, visible from above the water surface. Text overlays read, "Air Regulation" and "The Key to Great Swimming!" in white letters against a blue background. The pool area includes tiled walls and safety strips.

One thing that makes me excited about our program and what truly separates us from the industry is our five Core Values. I want to take some time to talk about one of my favorites of the five – Air Regulation.

It is seemingly so simple, the ability to exchange air. In swimming, it relates to the idea of being underwater and letting out your air, then taking in air at the surface. However, this movement completely goes against our instincts.

Every class, you will see our swim instructors spending a fair amount of time underwater because it is pivotal to what they do. They go underwater, not only watch for your child to let go of their air, but to check the relaxation, comfort, and stress level of your child. We want to help your child learn to relax as they let go of their air, which goes against their primal instincts.

This concept relates to competitive swimming. You might notice when you see side-breathing during the Freestyle stoke at the Olympics, the swimmers catch that breath so quickly and it makes their speed overall much faster. Here at Gold Medal Swim School, from the Baby&Me level to the Adult level, we are actually practicing Olympic-level concepts. It is a little unique, a little different, but it is the idea of really watching and valuing the regulation of air.

People often ask me, where does this concept come from? It started back during my college coaching days, both at UC Berkeley and at University of Texas, where we would spend time simply doing bobs in the water. At the beginning of the season, you are working to set yourself up for excellence so we always began with relaxation and breathing. This might even mean simply doing basic meditation on the deck and then carrying that into the pool.

Breathing, relaxation, and meditation are all precursors to great swimming. Remaining calm in a survival situation not only allows us to think more clearly, but it also matters to the very essence of swimming. I am pleased that here at Gold Medal Swim School we not only value it, but we get excited and passionate about it, as well.

Yours in Swimming,

Mike Walker