The Chicago Blue Dolphins Swim Studio is a one-of-a-kind environment for rapid delivery of swim instruction and stroke improvement. The Swim Studio is:
- Endless Pools designed for precise instruction and endless repetition and refinement
- Underwater and ceiling-mounted mirrors for real-time visual feedback
- 360 degree video recording and playback to aid in micro-adjustments to your stroke
- A bundle of tools and technology to give you feedback on your performance in the moment
In the past, you would need to be a member of a top-tier collegiate swimming program to gain access to such a high-tech learning and training environment. Now you can get it at the Swim Studio, right smack in the middle of the City of Big Shoulders.
Our coaching staff has taught many thousands of lessons over our collective careers. We unanimously agree that we are much more effective teaching in this environment than we ever have been in conventional pools. Here are six major reasons why we love teaching in our small but mighty pools.
1. Endless Pools Help Us Teach the Best Strokes
Every swimming stroke can be deconstructed into a movement pattern — a simple, efficient sequence of movements. Great swimmers repeat this pattern flawlessly at high speeds and for long distances.
The rest of us see our strokes break down as we speed up or we get tired. Some of our first time students’ strokes degrade so fast that they can look like three different swimmers over the course of 20 strokes!
The Endless Pool is perfectly designed to teach efficient movement patterns. Swimming in the current allows you to practice the core movement pattern just once and stop. Our advanced video software allows you to watch what you just did, visualize any changes you need to make, and do it again until you get it right. THEN you can add more repetitions or see how you do against a faster current speed. The result is rapid improvement and precision learning.
2. The Swim Studio Delivers Enormous Visual Feedback
Swim Studio brings into play your most powerful learning resource: your eyes. Even if you are predominantly a verbal or kinesthetic learner, visual feedback makes up a major part of how you learn. We consider our visual approach vastly superior over traditional instruction where the instructor delivers verbal instructions and, if you are lucky, demonstrates the stroke or adjusts you while you swim.
We designed our Swim Studio around providing real-time and video feedback to complement our verbal and kinesthetic instruction. Underwater and ceiling mirrors provide you visual cues in real-time as you swim. Video cameras and TVs in the pool room provide you with a video record of what you did on your last swim. Our instructors can rewind, pause, and slow-frame advance to show you precisely what you need to fix. No longer will you wonder if you made the necessary correction. You’ll be able to see the improvement with your own eyes.
3. Swimming in Place Speeds Improvement
It’s a little ironic that stationary swimming can yield the most progress. Swimming in place using our Endless Pool currents helps you improve faster in the following ways:
- Stationary Coaches — You coach will be in the water with you at your side. While you are swimming, your coach can make changes to your body position, arm stroke, and kick.
- Stationary Video — Our coaches can move a video camera to any angle, above or below the water line, that she feels will be helpful for your learning. You’ll get a long video clip of the same position to give you a consistent view of your stroke to help you spot where your form degrades. Our coaches can also watch you as you swim and make real-time adjustments — what we call arthroscopic coaching.
- Stationary Mirrors — Like the fixed video camera shot, you’ll be able to swim directly over, under, or in front of a mirror to allow you to lock into what you are doing in that moment. When a coach adjusts your stroke, you can see exactly what it looks like when you are positioned correctly. As you pick up speed or go for longer distances, you can watch for those visual cues and make adjustments as you go.
4. Endless Pools Force Superior Swim Technique
The very nature of swimming in a current forces you to swim with impeccable body position and steady speed. To stay in one spot in the current, you need to position your body correctly on every stroke to minimize resistance. If you swim with poor form, the current will push you backward, downward, or sideways. Staying in one spot also requires you to control your speed and cadence to match the Endless Pool’s constant current speed. Many new swimmers, youth and adult, move backward and forward in the current because their technique isn’t steady and efficient. The discipline you learn in the current will make your stroke feel smoother, easier, and faster when you return to a conventional pool to practice.
5. Endless Pools Teach Impeccable Speed Control
Swimming in an Endless Pool makes you keenly aware of your pace and how changes you make to your stroke effect your pace. Unlike a conventional pool where you can speed up and slow down without noticing, the current jets (i.e., our “merciless beasts”) will let you know if you’ve deviated from your target pace. You’ll know precisely when your stroke has improved because you will either feel like it’s easier to go the same speed or we’ll need to speed up the current to contain you. No pace clock or stop watch can provide the same feedback.
6. Our Endless Pools are Warm
We maintain a cozy 90 degree water temperature at our Swim Studio. One of the biggest impediments to learning swimming is cold water. When you are waiting for instructions in an 80 degree lap pool, you shiver and focus more on trying to stay warm over anything the instructor is saying. By keeping your body comfortable, we help you maintain focus during your swim lesson to get the maximum benefit for the time invested.