Ian has over 20 years’ experience teaching swimming and the Alexander Technique and has taught hundreds of people to swim. He emphasises the importance of learning to do less, simple but not always easy, and especially enjoys helping non-swimmers and people who are nervous in water.
From specialist experience gained from years of daily, hands-on work, Ian helps you learn to enjoy the support of the water.
“Learning to swim shouldn’t be a struggle because confidence in the water is gained by doing less. People who are nervous in water need to be shown how to think differently; to learn to trust it to support them and to enjoy the process, of learning and of moving through it.
“Trying too hard to swim, especially using conventional strokes, is stressful. Being in the water can help you to relax and it’s helpful if this, instead of getting from A to B, is the aim of your swimming lessons.”
While he’s very comfortable in water, Ian has no personal interest these days in swimming for fitness, or covering great distances. For him, the real benefits of swimming have nothing to do with measuring distances/ times/ fitness gains, or seeing the water as any kind of obstacle to overcome. Instead, we can use it to support us, to help us undo tension, breathe and move.
In his younger days, Ian did a language degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, taught English in Tokyo and spent six years working as a Careers Adviser in schools, colleges and a young offenders’ institution. He set up Swimming Without Stress in Oxfordshire in 1996 and gave up his day job in 1998 to train with swimming and Alexander Technique pioneer Steven Shaw. He continued teaching in Oxfordshire until 2003, before setting up the residential course in Wales.
Ian’s been married to Cheryl since 1991. They have four children, a grandson and two dogs.
Visit our blog for Ian’s thoughts about swimming, learning and teaching, using the Alexander Technique.
Have a look at our YouTube channel for videos of Ian working in the water, on himself and with others.
The video below shows Ian swimming in 2017.
See customer feedback from people who’ve enjoyed our residential course.