FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM A REGULAR SWIMMING TEACHER?
As a Total Immersion Coach I am confident that our way of teaching swimming is more effective and helps swimmers to learn much faster than traditional teaching/coaching. Unlike regular teachers we don't teach swimming by shouting from the side of the pool, or by counting (4 x 25m etc.) sets with a stop watch. Instead Total Immersion Coaches will often teach in the water and can demonstrate all parts of the technique they are teaching. Also to back up the systematic way of teaching TI there are dozens of books, e-books, videos and training plans available that can help swimmers to learn the technique. (e-books and videos are available at - use the coupon code coachjamesharding for 10% off.)
IS THE INSTRUCTION ONLY IN ENGLISH?
Currently I am only able to offer full instruction in English as I have recently arrived in Germany and am still learning the language. If you have questions and it is easier for you to write in German I am happy to answer these. If there is enough demand for lessons in German I will employ an assistant to help with translation.
DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SWIM BEFORE TAKING LESSONS WITH YOU?
Yes. I am not currently offering lessons to complete beginners (non-swimmers) or to very young children*. You will gain most from my Total Immersion coaching if you can swim freestyle / front crawl for 25m and are comfortable with your face fully in the water. You don't need to be excellent swimmer already, just fairly confident in the water and happy to wear goggles, swim cap and to get your hair wet. If you have any other questions about what is required to start learning TI please contact me.
*(There are some Total Immersion coaches who do teach complete beginners and young children, and I am happy to put you in contact with them)
DO I NEED TO PRACTICE BETWEEN LESSONS?
To really gain the most from the coaching you will need to practice as often as you can in between lessons. This is important because many of the things you will learn require your body to relearn and develop new muscle memory and to challenge some of the inefficiencies that come from "survival-focused" swimming. Through Total Immersion you will develop a technique that will help you feel balanced and secure when swimming and this often requires some retraining of old habits.
CAN YOU TEACH ME BUTTERFLY, BREASTSTROKE AND BACKSTROKE?
At the moment my focus as a coach is on helping swimmers improve their freestyle / front crawl and this is often the stroke that people want to master first. However the principles which are used when teaching Total Immersion freestyle like balance, streamlining and propulsion are equally applicable to the other strokes. Swimmers find as they learn TI freestyle their other strokes improve anyway as they are generally becoming more efficient and balanced in the water.
HOW MANY LESSONS WILL I NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU AND HOW OFTEN?
The great thing about Total Immersion is that you regularly see swimmers completely transform their stroke over the course of a few lessons or a weekend workshop. Some swimmers may need more frequent lessons than others and all benefit by having a TI Coach check your stroke because there will be things you won't be aware of when swimming. Swimmers who get a good grasp of the technique might space lessons out more in order to provide time to practice and "embed" what has been learned.
Got another question? Get in contact