David Adams: Helping Swimmers Feel at One with the Water
“I don’t try to swim anywhere; the end of the pool comes to me. You get in a state of oneness. It sounds totally crazy! I try to get to the highest state of consciousness through swimming. I become the center, and everything moves around me. … Do you know what I mean?”
Well, do you? Surfer/swim coach David Adams may not provide your run-of-the-mill swim instruction. (“My approach is quite unique,” he insists. “I’m fairly certain I’m the only one in the world doing it this way.”) But at his Endless Pools® training facility, Wave Cloud Swim School, he gets results.
The Triathlete Who Couldn’t Swim
“The first time he put his face in water was in the Endless Pool in my house,” Adams says of Dan, a swimming student. Adams finds that the Endless Pool makes an approachable introduction. “It’s not a big, intimidating pool.”
“We start with basics: floating, breathing,” he recalls. “For every action, there’s a breath that goes with it.” All seemed on track with Adams’ organic approach until, as he recalls, Dan told him, “‘I have a triathlon in four weeks.’”
Adams felt confident that he could prepare Dan for his first open-water swim. “The Endless Pool gets them used to the current. They already know what to expect. It’s a truly amazing tool. I just love it!”
“His first time out [in the open water] and he’s swimming across the river. He’s so focused on his breath. It was the first time he’s ever not able to touch the bottom. Literally, after eight or nine hours of swimming in the Endless Pool!”
Mr. Universe Used to Sink
Not all of Adams’ students approach swimming quite like he does. His clientele includes people he describes as “all gym-ified. They want to go quickly. I tell them what we’re doing is more like ballet than football. It’s not a sport.”
Perhaps his most ‘gym-ified’ client is a former Mr. Universe. “He’s never been able to swim,” reports Adams. “He’s a bit embarrassed.”
So how do you teach someone who has the opposite of a ‘swimmer’s build’? Adams quickly decided that freestyle was not the correct approach.
“He’s not able to get enough purchase with his forearms. … We’re going straight to butterfly purely because he’s a bit like a dolphin: just pure muscle – and he doesn’t float!”
Of course, that was before he worked with Adams in the Endless Pool. By now, expect that Mr. Universe feels at one with the water.