This summer, while teaching swimming on a magical Greek Island, I had an extraordinary encounter with Monachus Monachus, the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Only a few hundred survive and most people on the island had never seen one.
Teaching the Shaw Method for me is an incredibly interesting and rewarding way to earn my living. One of the things I love the most about my work is enabling people to move beyond what they ever thought possible…I often say if you teach someone to swim the front crawl they will shake you by the hand and say thank you, but if you teach someone to do a sustainable and enjoyable butterfly you have made a friend for life.
Dry land work is a unique and an integral part of learning the Shaw Method. We have developed a series of movements that have designed to be practised both in and out of the pool that builds up a new understanding of how to perform the strokes in a way that promotes optimal alignment and ease of movements.
If at the age of 17 when I was already feeling burnt out from the hard slog of competitive swimming, you’d said to me that one-day teaching people how to swim would be at the heart of my life I would have never believed you. But life has a way of taking unexpected turns and here I am over 30 years later, having developed the Shaw Method and spending most of my time in the water – either working with others or refining my stroke, and gaining immense joy and satisfaction from both.
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.