Washington Post article on The Dry Land Swim Class, the approach detailed in
The Power of the Press
One August some years ago, I had sixteen people in a dry land class. Jim Yenckel visited and wrote about it in the Washington Post. From that, in September, what I thought would be a small, relaxed class to get ready for next year attracted 69 students. There are people who need the process, who will come out even off season.
It is, unquestionably, a most
unusual swimming class.
Children, he suggests, learn through play, and"it is my observation adults do not play as long or as well as children." When it comes to trying to learn something that would have been easier in childhood, "they have trouble."
What happens, he says, is that
"they wad up" by "trying too hard," constantly criticizing
their performance and struggling for perfection--"trying for right.
If you really get out there and try hard, you can screw yourself up."
A great big pot-bellied man--looking more like a lumpy walrus than the sleek dolphin you might imagine a swimming instructor to be--Griffin quickly deflates doubts about learning to swim on the floor of a classroom at the Silver Spring United Presbyterian Church. He is dressed for this session not in bathing suit, but in crumpled T-shirt, baggy Bermuda shorts, and bare feet.
"If you're sort of skeptical but willing to do it, that's the way I want you to be. I'm very good at this. I really am. People around me believe they can learn to swim."