Tom Kwok



For professional advice for swimming, refer to the Swimming and Water Safety textbook by American Red Cross, which includes rich content with illustrations. Chapter 4 on hydrodynamics is a recommended read.

The "Total Immersion" book lists sensory cues for effective swimming, including:

The benefits of swimming to physical health include development of specific muscle groups, improvement to breathing and posture, and reduction of pain caused by arthritis.

My advice #

Some non-professional advice for myself as a beginner or "pre-beginner" swimmer aggregated from my reminders are as follows.

Before swimming:

During swimming:

After swimming:

As a lifeguard reminded me, never stop learning. Sounds old, I know you know. Ask different instructors for correction in body position and technique as different people tend to notice different ways that a beginner swimmer may go wrong. Get unsolicited advice for free from people who talk about other swimmers as they chat, which is sometimes helpful but sometimes annoying.

Overcome fear and anxiety. Improve body flexibility and muscle strength. Massage, yoga and dead-lifting may help. Go to the pool every day for a week to develop the familiarity with and whole body sense of being in the water.

Bar plot of frequency of my pool visits each month in 2019

Swimming levels #

After many intense coaching sessions and much self-practising, I was able to go from level 1 at the start of the year to level 4 by the end of the year 2019. However, level 4 is still unsatisfactory for sea survival. There is still a long way to go to being a proficient swimmer. Swimming ability level descriptions are provided in the following table.

Swimming ability level descriptions (Source: Melbourne University Sport program sign up form)