Miracle Swimming is a new system of teaching -- since 1983-- that guarantees that adults who are afraid in water will learn to swim. We define learning to swim as personal water safety: learning to be comfortable, safe, confident, and free in deep water. Once you overcome your fear of deep water, you can swim: then you may learn strokes if you desire.
Our system is easy and fun. Every single last adult learns to swim -- to be free and confident in water, shallow and deep -- at his/her own pace. On average, this is typically two weeks (48 hours) of Miracle Swimming classes. The "magic" is in the way it's taught. It is a universal teaching paradigm that cannot fail that was released in our DVD in 2000 and in our book in 2006. Adult non-swimmers can learn 30-100% of it by reading our book. Our hope is that every single adult swimming student in the world will have access to this modern system in order to learn successfully the first time, with a smile.
Does anyone fail? No, not if they use the system. If they don't use it, i.e. if they push themselves or don't follow instructions, they fail to make tangible progress. This happens to about one of our students a year.
Is the system painful or hard? No, not at all! It's fun.
Does everyone learn to be free in water? Yes, if they take both Beginning and Next Step classes. Occasionally a student needs more time, and two Next Step classes are necessary. Everyone goes at his/her own pace based on one's history and one's willingness to stay true to oneself. There is no poor student! One student took classes for 18 months straight. She overcame her fear and became a trans-Pacific sailor, on "watch" by herself in the dead of night in the middle of the Pacific. Then she became one of our instructors.
The system's implications are vast. It is applicable to all teaching and learning. Every adult and child can learn to swim on their first attempt, enjoyably.
The large traditional swimming instruction agencies, old and new, have much to learn from Miracle Swimming. Each has been informed of the change in paradigm that brings success they cannot duplicate. They continue with their methods. However, instructors who want to learn to teach afraid adults—our instructor trainees—have turned their thinking around 180 degrees. Our training changes instructors' minds, shows them things they've never seen, and gives them the vocabulary and concepts to teach all adults successfully. To date, over 50 instructors have been trained worldwide.
WHY IS IT NEEDED?
Everyone should know how to swim. Just as everyone needs to know how to cross the street, knowing how to swim can save your life. You may only need to know it once.
When adults take conventional lessons, panic is a common experience. It causes people to quit. Panic prevents people from learning to swim.
The discovery of how to prevent panic in teaching swimming is like the discovery of the wheel in transportation. Once you have it, you would never go back to your former ways. It opens up a new world. Without it, teaching afraid adults strokes is futile and learning to swim for afraid adults is virtually impossible. Alternatively, it takes months or years of "tempered struggle." Once you understand the 5 Circles System, you will agree that there is nothing more fundamental to safety or to panic prevention than Miracle Swimming. To our knowledge, without this system, learning the nuts and bolts of preventing panic doesn't happen. However, learning to swim is inevitable if you learn panic prevention: it can't possibly fail.
Our system is based upon:
- being comfortable all the time,
- going at your own pace
- The 5 Circles Teaching System.
It literally guarantees learning.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MOST ADULT SWIMMING LESSONS TODAY?
Since 1912, adults and children have taken swimming lessons developed by Wilbert Longfellow. Longfellow's program was adopted by the American Red Cross and the Red Cross later trained the Y. Many other countries have adopted this system. When Longfellow was alive, those lessons apparently taught both swimming...the ability to be reliable for ones safety in deep water... and strokes, to adults and children. He said that in order to learn to swim, fear must be overcome first. Today, however, adults are not taught to swim in traditional lessons: they are taught strokes. We call such lessons "20th Century swimming lessons." They have been exported around the globe, other countries unaware of the shortcomings.
At Miracle Swimming, 21st Century swimming lessons go to the heart of the problem and fix it.
The foundation of learning to swim has three corners: Safety, Comfort, and Control. If you have Safety, Comfort, and Control, you will automatically get propulsion. It won't be terrifically efficient propulsion until you learn strokes. But you will be safe, confident, and free in deep water. There appears to be no other swim school in the United States that uses this.
WHY AREN'T AFRAID ADULTS TAUGHT TO SWIM INSTEAD OF STROKES IN TRADITIONAL LESSONS?
Most conventional instructors believe they are doing a good job. But there is a worldwide belief that teaching strokes is the same thing as teaching swimming. It is not true for adults who are afraid.
Since learning strokes does not equal learning to swim, afraid adults don't learn to swim unless they come to us... or unless they take weekly lessons for years from instructors untrained in Miracle Swimming. We teach adults to be one with the water, confident and peaceful in the deep. Once you are confident and safe in deep water --no longer focussed on survival-- you have attention to spare for learning strokes. We teach everything you wish to know from panic prevention to confidence, strokes to boogie boarding, snorkeling to SCUBA diving.
WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT LEARNING STROKES EQUALS LEARNING TO SWIM?
Because it works that way for kids. But kids and adults have different needs.
Panic Prevention is the skill that opens the door to learning if one is afraid; it provides optimal safety as well as the best chance of a positive outcome even if a good swimmer is in a frightening situation that could lead to panic.
Many adults have accumulated a degree of fear from an experience, memory, or a teaching. Adults learn differently than kids and must be taught differently. Miracle Swimming is fun. It is designed for adults who are fearful in deep water.