Summer time is the best time to hit the beach and the swimming pool to stay cool and get that sun-kissed glow that everyone around you will envy. However, even in our tropical paradise of a country where we have the sun almost all year round, not everyone knows how to swim. Some people are fearful of the water, or of getting sunburned, while others simply don’t want to put a swimsuit on because they aren’t comfortable showing off so much skin.
However, swimming is more than a fun summer activity – it’s one of the most important life skills you can learn, especially with today’s extreme weather conditions – you never know when you’re going to need it. If you can swim, then you’ll enjoy snorkeling, and cliff diving, and many more popular activities for beach-goers, but more importantly, swimming could be a means for survival.
Despite all the excuses which you may have not to swim, learning how to swim can help you overcome them. Do you have a fear of the water? Swimming will make you comfortable to be in it. Are you worried about not being in shape? Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise when it comes to toning and strengthening your body, as well as greatly improving your cardiovascular health. Whatever it is, there’s simply no excuse not to learn, especially not when you can have so much fun learning how to with the right coaches, and with the right methods.
Swimming lessons are readily accessible, but why not learn under one of our country’s best? Archimedes Lim is a talented swimmer who has represented the Philippines in world competitions and has earned international accreditation as a competitive swimming coach. Today, apart from coaching several teams and swimming clubs, he also manages his own swimming school – CAL Swim School.
“I believe that swimming has helped me a lot. It has given me experiences and opportunities that I think would have not been possible without it,” he shares. “I think our goal of making swimming a positive experience sets us apart from other swimming programs. Our goal is not only to make you a better swimmer or just learn how to swim, but to actually enjoy doing it.”
Coach Archie believes that this is the only way that one can truly enjoy swimming, whether as a skill or as a sport. Swimming is something that anyone can learn, no matter how old they are, or how fit they are. “Our summer swimming program gives everyone the best chance to enjoy swimming. Being able to cool down, get healthy, and learn a new life skill in one summer clinic is something that only swimming can offer during summer… Everyone can enroll anytime, start from their own level and progress at their own pace.”
Why is this so important? It is crucial for all first-time swimmers to begin with the fundamentals – for instance, with learning how to blow bubbles in the water. (In fact, this breathing pattern for swimming makes it one of the best forms of exercise for people with asthma!) The CAL Swim School program ensures that you begin from where you are as a swimmer, and that you work your way through properly, whether you are a total beginner or if you are familiar with the basics of swimming.
It is a fact that, at first, learning to swim may seem like an intimidating or even frightening prospect for those who have never tried it before. “The biggest problem or hurdle that a first-time student encounters is the fear or uneasiness in the water (which is a new medium for most) but once they start getting confident and actually start relaxing in the water, all other skills will follow and become easy to accomplish,” Lim explains, once again emphasizing that becoming used to the new environment of being in the water and learning to enjoy it are two of the things that make swimming easy to learn.
“Swimming can give you so much if you just enjoy and give effort in learning it… swimming as a competitive sport is one of the best sports in terms of promoting good health, teaching values, and building strong character,” he says. “Ultimately, since we started with competitive swimming, we want to continue to build Filipino champions who will become sports heroes of the country and ambassadors of swimming.”
In fact, several students of CAL Swim School have developed into superb swimmers. Among them are Jeremy Lim, Raissa Gavino, Romina Gavino, and Chloe Daos, to name a few, all of whom are young and talented athletes who have been competing internationally.
Coach Archie has several methods to help his swimmers improve their technique. Correcting their form is one of the most important, as this is essential for them to be able to swim more efficiently, maintaining their speed and movements without using up too much energy. To do this, CAL Swim School employs technology as well as their coaches’ swimming expertise to correct their swimming form. Apart from this, they have land training, which includes weights to improve strength, and even practice yoga together. Building strength, stamina and flexibility is vital for swimmers; yoga in particular is an important complement to sports as it increases athletic performance as well as reduces proneness to injury.
At the same time, they have been exposed to the global swimming scene where they can prepare themselves to compete. This has garnered them quite a bit of recognition in the Philippines as today’s up-and-coming athletes to represent the country abroad in notable international swim meets, which has most recently included the 45th Singapore National Age Group Championship in Singapore Sports School.
As important as it is to practice by swimming laps, becoming a great swimmer is much more than that. With this training program, Coach Archie and CAL Swim School have produced swimming record-breakers, international gold medalists, UAAP champions and MVPs, and athletes who can compete on a global level. This is a training ground where you can become the best swimmer that you can be.