Terry Laughlin the founder of Total Immersion passed away this October.
I first became aware of Terry Laughlin’s work in 1995 when I was researching for my book the Art of Swimming. I was really impressed by the clarity of his writing and simplicity of his descriptions and I felt he was a kindred spirit.
What I particularly liked was that he was making swimming more accessible to adults that were late to take up swimming. What came through was his excitement, you could feel his passion very clearly through his writing.
Terry had a big digital presence way before he published his first book, he was very generous in the way he shared his information. He had a drive and desire to get more people involved and he made swimming more accessible. Before Terry came along swimming training was limited to coaches and master swimmers, but Terry provided tools videos and a process so people could start even without a teacher. I think he had a very generous character. He approached things in the spirit of abundance, especially when he first started out.
When I read his book I decided to write to him and we corresponded a little. I finally met him in 1998 in New York at West Point Military College where he was coaching. I observed his work and we swam together and he showed me around, he was very hospitable.We both saw eye to eye in the belief that swimming is not about effort but about your relationship with water.
I also learned how the drill and practices could be applied to a large group of 30-40 people; Terry was able to manage this really well, he had an ability to command a group and keep them focused. He also encouraged me to offer my own techniques to a broader range of people.
Many people I have worked with have found Terry Laughlin’s training very useful. We give thanks for his life and huge contribution to swimming.