Interview with Andrea Lovrantova: Conquering the Water
How do you start swimming? How do you fight your fears? Read the story of Somerton swimming coach Andrea Lovrantova and her approach to coaching.
Some people can learn to swim, some are born to do it, but everyone should give it a try. This is what our swimming coach Andrea Lovrantova believes in. As a former professional sportsman, she has a profound sporting experience.
In this article for Somerton Andrea tells about swimming in her life and her approach to training sessions as a swimming coach.
Sport is my everything
Andrea started swimming in high school. She was an active child and always had a lot of energy. Her parents took her to the swimming pool so she could use this energy to her advantage. This is when she found her passion for swimming.
Andrea’s sports track record is pretty impressive. She did pentathlon at school and competed in national tournaments. She also worked as a swimming coach in Texas and served in the Czech Republic army. She got her fitness degree in yoga and pilates in Australia and now she settles in Manchester, UK. A real citizen of the world!
Does age matter?
Andrea teaches adults of any age and children from 3 years old. She says kids are easier to teach: “Children tend to have more interest and less fear when it comes to swimming. You just have to find the right words to encourage them and the training will run smoothly.”
It doesn’t mean that children learn faster, though. It depends more on the person than on their age. Although Andrea works with every client individually, some can swim like a fish after a few lessons while others need weeks to learn.
The only challenge is your fear, fight it!
Sometimes to achieve your goal you need to overcome your fears. A lot of people are scared of water and this is where Andrea comes to help. “Some people are afraid even to see the water. I appreciate the effort they make to overcome this.”
Fighting your fear takes time and patience. At first Andrea speaks with clients to understand how they got their phobia. When she knows the reason, they start to work on their fears step by step. Soon they can touch the water, then they stand in it. At last they are ready to swim.
“Slowly my clients start to tolerate the water
and I think it is a victory for me as well as for them.”
Show me what you can
The first class with Andrea always starts with a talk. She asks you about your swimming experience and skills. She is a very pleasant and positive person so it is easy to open up to her. After a talk she asks a client to show her what they can. People are not always honest about their abilities but Andrea can objectively assess their skills.
“Sometimes people tend to overestimate their skills or think poorly of themselves.
But my job is to help, not to judge.”
And the training begins. Andrea creates a training plan for each client individually. There is no universal 100% working solution. Everything depends on the client and their progress. Many coaches prefer to show the movements outside the pool. Andrea prefers to teach when she is in the water with clients. She believes this way people can understand her better so she can gain their trust.
Before you dive…
Andrea is very serious about safety measures. This is the first thing she teaches each and every client. Swimming is fun but you cannot treat it lightly. Here are top 3 safety rules from Andrea.
1. Keep your head in the water
You cannot swim with your head on the surface. So you must not be afraid of water getting into your eyes, ears, or even your mouth. This is normal. You need to get used to it so you will not panic in emergency situations.
2. Learn to breathe while in the water
In swimming breathing is everything. So before you swim alone or in the deep pool, learn how to breathe in and out properly. This is what a swimming coach comes in handy.
3. Train power over speed
You may want to swim well and fast. But at first, you need to train your muscles and learn how to move your body in the water. The speed will come with time.
Andrea found her passion in swimming. Now she shares it with others. Her biggest reward is the feeling that she helped people learn something new. “I love to see the confidence growing in their eyes. They let go of your hand and continue to move on their own. They are excited about their success and you are excited too.”