Michael Jamieson Swim Academy
Michael Jamieson: Olympic medallist, public speaker on topics in sport, proud Scotsman…
…and our newest partner! Michael’s latest project takes him back to his hometown, Glasgow. In contrast to his competitive past, Michael has started a Learn2Swim programme, and is aiming to improve the journey swimmers take through the sport – back in the community he started in.
Michael spoke with us about the Academy, his goals, & how CoursePro is helping him achieve them.
Please give some background on the academy and swimming as a whole at Michael Jamieson Swim Academy.
I’ve recently transitioned out of competitive sport after a very privileged career as a pro. There were many areas of my swim journey that I feel we could improve on; the connection between teacher/coach & athlete, the level of knowledge & expertise the teacher/coach has & perhaps most importantly, the manner in which this is communicated to the swimmer & how it makes them feel/engages them.
We want to create a real learn to swim journey, with self-awareness development, communication & skill acquisition the main goals. Every swimmer leaves having had a real experience & wholesome journey with the programme, where it’s a choice to continue in the sport, but undoubtedly they have the skills to do so.
What prompted the expansion from elite coaching in London, to Learn 2 Swim classes in Glasgow?
I think I’ve answered this above but to add; there has always been a missing connection between graduating from a learn to swim programme & entering club training. Young (& old) swimmers are taken out of a ‘learning’ environment & placed into a ‘training’ environment too quickly & this results in a slowing down of skill acquisition. I want to create meaningful partnerships with clubs to continue to offer a learning environment for swimmers to continue their technical improvement.
“We want to create a real learn to swim journey, with self-awareness development, communication & skill acquisition the main goals”
Are you pleased with the initial launch and reception of the Learn 2 Swim programme?
It’s been fantastic. I’ve always had great support from Glasgow & this was always going to be the location we launched in. I feel like I’ve been lucky to have such a strong connection with the people of the City & everyone has been very welcoming of the programme & excited to enrol!
What drew you to using CoursePro in the first place?
Recommendation from a friend who also runs a Learn2Swim programme in London.
In your eyes, how successful has Swimming been at promoting beginner participation over the last few years?
Not very. It’s a huge market & an absolutely vital skill to learn. With greater running costs & fewer adequate facilities, we are fighting an uphill battle; that shows the need for engaging, purposeful content is greater than ever. We must do more to teach new skills to young individuals in the water & constantly leave them with the power to choose where to pursue their development.
Without adequate skills, often the decision to pursue the sport is taken out of their hands – as teachers of the sport, we must take more responsibility to deliver a high-quality product with small classes to maximise contact time.
Why do you think CoursePro is benefiting the way you run your programme?
The online payment functionality saves a lot of man hours, allowing easy access to our directory & maintenance of the programme. It will allow us to expand at a challenging, yet manageable level.
“We must do more to teach new skills to young individuals in the water”
Do you have any advice for other Swimming Clubs or the Swimming industry in general?
Simplify things, spend more time on developing skills that will give these young individuals the option to pursue swimming post-Learn2Swim. Communication is absolutely vital; allowing the swimmers to be challenged, yet giving them time & space to explore their own potential & develop body awareness. It’s tough for swimming clubs given the demand, but there are too many clubs operating with too many swimmers; use the local learn to swim programmes to create ‘development’ squad links where small classes can be lead on skill-based learning/training to complement their development within the club.
Are there any plans for the future that you can share?
Deliver a high-quality product in Glasgow, review & repeat at a manageable level with real high-quality teachers & CAP2 supporting us!