Welcome to the Art of Swimming online magazine!
I am a Shaw Method: Gerry McCabe
Gerry McCabe learned to swim at 3 or 4. He remembers a lot of splashing about in the pool as a child, and even as an adult maintained a splashy style until he discovered Shaw Method …
Why swimming? Whilst I would consider myself to be a capable swimmer, I never felt that I was an efficient or stylish swimmer, and always struggled to get my breathing right. I first learned of the Shaw Method when I saw it advertised in my local health club when I lived in North London ten years ago, but it’s taken me until now to get organised and book some lessons.
What attracted you to Shaw Method? It seemed to tick all the right boxes for me, and with 1-2-1 or small group lessons available close to home, how could I not give it a go?
What were your first impressions? I must admit that I felt awkward at the start of my first lesson as there was some standing around, but I soon got over that. I had joint lessons with my running buddy Dominic, which worked well for both of us. Peter Brierley is our teacher and he’s excellent. We initially had a taster lesson and then booked a block of five to learn front crawl. The teaching is systematic, patient and very encouraging, and he brought a video camera so we could see our progress.
What have you learned? We’ve had a total of six lessons so far to learn front crawl. The plan is to keep practising/perfecting that until the triathlon that I’m doing in August, then come back for another block of lessons to learn breaststroke.
How is your swimming now? I am happier with my swimming that I have ever been before – there’s minimal splashing now. I am thinking about the different elements of my stroke, breathing is much easier and I feel much happier in the water these days.
What advice would you give to another swimmer thinking of giving Shaw Method a go? Get on and do it – don’t wait ten years like I did!