Swimming, why?

Who writes works in a pool of a small town in Sardinia for the past 8 years. Already Swimming Instructor, last November I wanted to take the qualification of I Level Swimming Coach.

For those who do not know the world of swimming in Italy, or those who live it daily but do not know how federal technicians forme themselfes, it is right to explain that there is a regional and a national formation. First and second level instructors (called respectively Student-Instructor and Basic Instructor) are trained at regional level by the Regional Committee of belonging. Once you have acquired the title of Basic Instructor you can access the specialization courses: Water polo, Synchronized Swimming (today called Artistic Swimming), Salvamento and precisely the Agonistic Swimming. The courses at national level are organized once or twice a year: a week of full immersion for 56 hours of intensive lessons. Each course costs around € 500 (approximately 580 dollars), and as you can imagine, 99% of national courses (not to mention 100%) are organized where the land is not surrounded on all sides by the sea. For us islanders the only way to reach the headquarters of these courses is by sea or by air.

So in order to qualify I had to attend the course at the Federal Center of Ostia for a week and come back after a month just for the exam. For the whole course the expense has been remarkable. An expense that I already knew would not have been even remotely repaid by the job as a coach of two or maybe even three years. However, I would like to underline that the training course was highly professional: I was able to study under the guidance of the technicians of the National team, and in the center where olympic and world champions such as Gabriele Detti and Gregorio Paltrinieri are trained. I learned things that I had never even imagined in 8 years of work.

But let’s get back to why I should have done this course.

Many technicians of many societies do not take this qualification here in Sardinia, and still train swimmers despite the Federation impose the formation. Very often they train doing damages and deluding their students; and then one wonders why swimming in Sardinia can not get the same results as in the rest of the nation! I have just made this speech since then ignorant about it: if they say that you have to take this qualification, there will be a reason!

Let’s be clear, however, the sense of taking patents and qualifications is to exploit them and make them earn pennies. Investments are also made with conscience. I was already working as an instructor, and having grown a group of pre-competitive players for the past two years, I would have inherited this year as a group of Esordienti B with or without a trainer’s license. So I could have spent my money on something else rather than investing in something that would not give me any additional income.

Suddenly I thought I had no idea how to spend my life …

But it’s not exactly like that.

You see, I must admit that the swimming world, for those who work there, is not one of the best worlds … and this is all the more evident in Sardinia. In fact, there are many jealousies among colleagues, and it is customary to make headway (sometimes with dramatic effectiveness) speaking badly of others rather than working and demonstrating their abilities: they “burn earth around those who do not like” . The salary treatment is then at least questionable: we are all-rounders, “underpaid” for sports performance and therefore without the right to contributions, sick days or holidays are not available. Sometimes it can happen that if one day you arrive in the pool but your students are not there and they took a day off, for that time when you should have worked your salary take a day off too, and you take a break. Not to mention that it happens that we are taken by ignorant (fortunately few but very heavy) parents who think they know more than we do, and claim to have a conversation with you to just accuse you: they give you arrogant if you try to kindly explain to them the things (that you have studied, and they do not).

But you see, despite everything I do all this for a reason …


Swimming is an art, and we technicians have the honor and pleasure of teaching the finesse and coordination of movements to small children who are eager to learn. And as an art, it is difficult to practice and teach: and having a group of children about to get into agonism, I could not, as their teacher, not be ready to be able to complete the task in the best way.

The course was necessary to make the teacher able to be a teacher.

You see, it’s not easy to make a child lurch back and forth in a 25-meter pool, it would be much easier to make them passionate about football or basketball by having a ball available. And it is not easy to team up by practicing a sport that is considered the individual sport par excellence. Yet with a little ‘passion, and with the right knowledge, you can do it and you are lucky enough to create teams, which not only give satisfaction, but can give emotions. They arrive at the pool happy and happy to be together: and it does not matter if you play with them or if you have a long and exhausting workout scheduled, the next day they will come back with more enthusiasm than the day before. You know their strength comes from the enthusiasm and passion that you coach put them. But the opposite is also true: If they had not been there, you would have never done what you’ve been doing for 8 years.

Inside a pool there is a lot of energy that travels from one body to another passing through the water. Enter into those who relax after a night of hard work, and explodes into the arms of the amateur swimmers who want to feel the fatigue to the bone. It echoes in the screams of the coach and is transmitted to the agonist who tries to demonstrate the effects of hard training. So I load my boys for the races, and they enthusiastically reload me so that I can continue to transmit all my passion to them.


Categorie: English Blog


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