USP – what makes you unique

As I wrote this, I also started reading ‘Awareness Heals – The Feldenkrais Method for Dynamic Health’ by Steven Shafarman and the introduction reinforced so much of what I had been writing about and thinking about myself as a Teacher and Coach.

‘Dr Moshe Feldenkrais acknowledged that even though openly acknowledging our strengths and personal challenges is not always easy.  It is the awareness of both that is important in helping us to grow.

As a Coach, my specialist subject is swimming and stroke technique, the interaction and communication with the learner, helping them understand, overcome challenges they may have is an incredibly important part of my skill set to help individuals meet or even exceed what they thought they were capable of.

Sixteen years teaching and coaching swimming, eleven as Head of Swimming for an independent day school,  I am fortunate that my experience and knowledge allows me to coach a broad spectrum of swimmer,  from those taking their first lessons as a child or as an adult, all the way through to high level competitors.

Experience shows me that we are all unique learners and ONE SIZE does NOT FIT ALL.

As we learn and improve ‘the skill of swimming’ communication between coach and the learner is at the heart of that experience,  we are all unique individuals, with our  own learning styles, strengths, challenges and experiences.

The positive feedback I  receive most commonly, reflects on my communication skills, a skill that I consciously and continually  try to improve. My background plays a key part; Speech Therapy at University, Human Resources and Recruitment into my 30s. Education for the past 11 years.  Swimming a constant throughout.

Skill acquisition requires the use of language – instructions that can literally get lost in translation.  You can say the same instructions in many different ways, demonstrate them, give hands on help to feel them. What works for one will not always work for somebody else.  Having these skills at my disposal is so important to find what works best for each individual learner.

Reflecting on my own USPs my goal is to help any learner harness their potential, face and overcome their individual challenges and encourage and ignite the motivation and perseverance needed to improve and practice.

Yet all of this is also determined by the learners mindset, which is generally separated into two categories: those with a fixed mindset where you believe talent and other qualities are innate and unchangeable.  By contrast, a growth mindset means you believe talent can be developed with practice and effort and that learning and progress also comes from failure.  Do you know which one you are?

It’s always a breakthrough moment when you see the mindset start to change from fixed to growth; because now the glass ceiling is lifting, along with any enforced limitations, who knows what is possible when you believe you can and you’ll also be more likely to enjoy the process a whole lot more while you are finding out.

Alongside understanding our individual learning styles, the key for any coach is to unlock learning, raise potential and help overcome the unique challenges faced by the learner.

We are all unique and uniquely smart and the joy for me comes from figuring out how to help each individual achieve the highest levels possible.

To improve as a swimmer, teacher or coach we all benefit from identifying, reflecting and working on our unique strengths and challenges.

%d bloggers like this: