Jan Moffat Osband is a part-time Total Immersion Instructor whose specialty is teaching the unteachable.
“I spent 4 years in Southern California at SCAQ in the slow lane,” says the 59-year-old from Perthshire, Scotland. “I was better in breaststroke, and moved up a few lanes during breaststroke. But we didn’t do much breaststroke [in the masters swimming workouts]. But I was unteachable. Even [head coach and former Canadian Olympian] Clay Evans couldn’t teach me.”
Osband teaches adult onset swimmers as well as teaching babies. “Those babies under 4 weeks can swim naturally, relax swimming. But I teach the adults that you have to become one with the harmony. Very much like in horse riding where natural horsemanship is taught by Parelli.”
Osband loves teaching individuals to swim and some of them to swim well, but she encourages everyone to do so in harmony with their new aquatic environment where they find themselves. “You want to join with the forces of nature with all the majestic simplicity,” she quotes Patrick McDonnell who was a famous Alexander technique teacher. “That is why I like swimming, especially when you can do so cooperatively with gravity utilizing the buoyancy that [Total Immersion founder] Terry Laughlin talks about.
We work on four key aspects of swimming for the newcomers: First, we work on breathing, then the horizontal balance of floating, then streamlining and finally propulsion.“
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association