First Principles: Aristotle, Elon Musk . . . and YOU!
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 25th, 2015

Before he was a world-changing entrepreneur at Paypal, Tesla, and SpaceX, Elon Musk studied physics at Stanford University. When he switched from physics to tech startups, he brought along a conviction that “First Principles” thinking—drilling down to the foundations of a problem to view it in an entirely new way—should guide business decisions as well […]

The Most Swimming Fun I’ve Ever Had–in Only 20 Minutes
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 17th, 2015

On July 10, I had the pleasure of experiencing all my favorite aspects of swimming in just a bit over 20 minutes—perhaps the most concentrated swimming enjoyment I’ve had in 50 years. The occasion was the inaugural Mystic Sharkfest. (Several people recoiled when I told them the name of the event: Did it involve swimming […]

How to Make Your Stroke More Efficient in only 10 Minutes
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 9th, 2015

Would you like to make your stroke markedly, noticeably more efficient in as little as 10 minutes. Doing the right drill, in the right way, can achieve stroke transformation faster than any other means. Here’s a summary of ‘first principles’ of maximizing the value and efficacy of stroke drills from my recent series of posts […]

Learning to Swim . . . and Believe
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 6th, 2015

Each day, on Garrison Keillor’s brief daily NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac, he reads a poem. If you’re a regular listener, you may have heard the one I reprint below, about the first day of summer swim lessons for children. I missed it this morning, but fortunately TI enthusiast Cynthia Ford, a law professor at […]

Trevor’s Transformation: From Anxious to Amazing in 4 Months
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on July 3rd, 2015

From Terry: Trevor Robinson attended an 8-hour workshop I led in February. Two weeks later he sent me this in an email:  “Being a TI self taught rookie, it was invaluable to receive the support and coaching from yourself and staff.  Not only was I able to actually ‘feel’ how drills are supposed to feel when […]

Stroke Drills, A Personal History, Part Three
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on June 24th, 2015

In my last personal history installment of this series on stroke drills, I described three life-changing insights that have shaped my view of stroke drills, and how we use them in the Total Immersion Method. Introduction to my first balance drill by Bill Boomer. In less than 10 minutes, I was freed from a thought […]

Will You Swim Better (and learn faster) with a Smile?
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on June 17th, 2015

I’ve been giving a weekly lesson for 11 years to Jeanne Safer, a prominent psychotherapist and author. You might wonder what Jeanne might have to learn after 400+ hours of lessons, and countless additional hours of practice. Jeanne swims for health and the pleasure of learning and self-mastery. Like me Jeanne feels that the promise of […]

How Stroke Drills Can Strengthen Focus
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on June 9th, 2015

Saturday, June 6, I was a guest at the first anniversary celebration of the Catskill Recreation Center, in Arkville NY, deep in the heart of the beautiful Catskill Mountains, an enjoyable 75-minute drive from my home in New Paltz. In her email inviting me to participate, Becky Manning, the center’s director described it as “an […]

‘Curious’ Experimentation and Holistic Skill-Building
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on June 2nd, 2015

This week I take a temporary detour from the relatively narrow focus of the past few weeks on the history, purpose, and effective use of drills to look, through a wider lens, at the process for learning new swimming skills. Today’s post was prompted by an email from an attendee at a Smart Speed workshop […]

Stroke Drills: A Personal History, Part Two–Vessel Shaping
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on May 26th, 2015

In 1988-89, after nearly two decades of coaching young club and college swimmers, I had three life-changing experiences I resumed swimming after a 16-year hiatus. I met Bill Boomer—a coach who saw things as no one else had. I began to coach adults–most of them new to swimming. Born-Again Swimmer In August 1988, despite only […]