Can you be a swimming expert - without being a swimmer?
I am an expert - but not on swimming.
I have worked with some of the world’s top athletes to help them optimise their performance - just not many swimmers…
I have expert knowledge and years of experience assessing and treating humans both with pain and problems moving - or - without pain but still wanting to move better.
And that’s where the crux of this lies:
The human body is designed to move: To perform in a way that produces results in the smoothest and most efficient way. This applies both to normal daily activities and to athletic performance in various sports. But the performance is not specific to each specific sport or pursuit. It is dictated by the way we are made and our bodies are able to move and produce force.
Every sport is a test of how we are able to optimise our body towards the best results - and although some sports make slightly more demand on certain abilities, the overall athletic performance is much more similar between sports than it is different.
A boxer throws a punch in a surprisingly similar way to a tennis player playing a forehand. The backhand has many similarities to the golf swing. And - swimming is more similar to running than it is different to it.
That is why someone - like me - familiar with assessing and addressing human movement is ideally positioned to work with swimmers, even if they have no particular career within that sport themselves.
My role is as part of a team within which the athlete - in this case the swimmer - is the key part, but he/she relies on the help, advice and guidance from several professions in the immediate and extended circle.
The Swimming Performance Institute has, as part of its core message and purpose, a programme that enables better communication between these different professions. This means that the swimmer, but also the others around him, has a better understanding of the way their roles come together to make his or her performance as good as it possibly can be.
We enable all the people in the team around the swimmer to identify the problems that may be holding this back. If through the screening process a physical problem is identified, the team will therefore have the language and the appreciation of what this is, and who they should refer to to get the best resolution of this limiting factor.
Levels 3 and 4 of the Swimming Performance Institute’s teaching programme are geared toward improving the knowledge of coaching professionals and physical therapists in the management of potential and actual swimming injuries.
Certification at this level will become the golden standard for coaches and medical professionals involved in injury management and athletic development of swimmers.
These parts of the programme are yet to be released, but they will build on the level 1 and 2 programmes to provide further tools for the better understanding and cooperation between coach and medical professional. By presenting the newest research translated into specific treatment and rehabilitation protocols with guidelines for the roles each profession plays in these towards returning the swimmer to the pool and the results he/she is able to produce when fully rehabilitated.
In the meantime, until the level 3 and 4 teaching programmes and certifications are released, I urge you to use your local injury experts (physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors) to help manage and ideally reduce the high incidence of injuries in our swimming populations. They are all experts in the human body and even without swimming expertise, they will bring something to the team around your swimmers that will enable you to change up the game.
Jesper Dahl DC CCSP CCEP FRCC (sport)