Can you be too passionate?

Yesterday G was trying for her 75m Swimming badge. She’s making excellent progress with her swimming now and is a real little fish.. Hakes by name, Hakes by nature! I always feel nervous when she’s trying for a badge as I know she’ll just be able to do it if she pushes herself. Because 75m takes a little while for the children to swim and they do it individually G’s class were split into two, one lot did it in a lane with their normal teacher, and the other lot in the lane with the lady who runs the swimming group.

The lady who runs the group is fabulous, she really does care about the progress of each child and is passionate about getting them to improve each week. If a child is new to swimming and kicks off, she really has none of it, she’ll focus on getting the little one swimming whatever the cost. I’ve seen her ask molly-coddling parents to leave the poolside so their child can concentrate on swimming instead of wailing for their parents.

To her credit, she gets results, I’ve seen even the most stubborn of children start swimming after screaming through several lessons. She shouts and hollers at children, she’s terrifying, but proper old school.




I felt my heart sink when G was ushered away from her normal teacher, and she climbed into the pool and started swimming. Within seconds G was being shouted at.

 “ARMS OVER! ARMS OVER! “

 G was doing well and turning her head to the side to breath as she went. Every time she did this, she got shouted at..

 “EYES IN THE WATER! EYES IN THE WATER! “

G was really losing her rhythm, I think she was puzzled at basically being told not to breath, and after three lengths of constant shouting it was clear G couldn’t cope. I saw her bottom lip quivering and she stopped.

 “I can’t do it!” She cried.

She climbed out of the pool and was told she could have another go after she’d had a rest. When she climbed out she looked over to us, she looked so sad, it broke my heart. I smiled at her and gave a thumbs up as she went back to her teacher.

After five minutes rest she got into the pool for the second attempt, this time with her teacher. Her teacher has a good amount of shoutyness mixed with encouragement. G did four of the six lengths needed, but bless her she looked tired. Loz charged to the edge of the pool with little J to ‘cheer’ her through the last two lengths. She got a second wind and charged on through to the end, she’d done it!

I understand that the lady who runs the club wants all the children to do well and succeed, and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of old fashioned discipline. I do think the constant barking of instructions is counter productive though, G just looked so puzzled as to why she was being shouted at the whole time. No encouragement was giving, it was just SHOUT, SHOUT, SHOUT! I’m hoping next time when it’s the big 100m the same thing doesn’t happen! 

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2 Comments

  1. Ella Ralph 03/07/2012
  2. Eveline 07/07/2012

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