Our Training Philosophy

Not every swimmer can be an Olympic athlete, but everyone can be a “personal” best.


Swimming as a sport is about much more than racing and winning. The process of developing a swimmer revolves entirely around TIME. Parents of athletes who have made a serious commitment to the sport will testify to the much deeper and more meaningful character building benefits of swimming such as self belief, determination, discipline and eventual emotional maturity that translates in to an inner strength and positive outlook on life that prepare the athlete not just for success in swimming, but also in other aspects of life. By understanding this, one will realise just how short sited the so called “Medal Mentality” is.


Here at Shamu Swimming, the coaching of an athlete to become a successful swimmer is a long term, multi-faceted, work-in-progress – and this process is entirely based on TIME and PATIENCE. It is only though spending TIME in the water that the athlete will develop the flexibility and muscle memory that results in the eventual natural execution of the technically correct stroke. It is only through TIME that this physical ability can be enhanced by the required endurance, achieved only by the development of a strong aerobic base, and to maintain this while keeping up with the changes of the athlete’s body during the growing years. TIME is what allows the coach to develop a proper coaching relationship (or rather a Mentorship) with an athlete, based on an understanding of the athlete’s emotional and physical limitations at any given time, understanding what it is that motivates the person and supporting where necessary. TIME is what allows this growth to take place at pace that suits the natural development of the specific child.


This is not possible to achieve in circumstances where training is limited to a couple of months per year, such as the traditional sporting seasons that most parents are accustomed to and that was applicable during their own school years. By forcing this process in to short annual periods and, at the same time expecting performance and achievement from swimmers, breeds “temporary racers” only and will in many cases result in early burn-out and a loss of interest in the sport. Furthermore, athletes that achieve success in this way usually do so on the strength of their own talent, but will, in most probability, start to fall behind later on due to the lack of all the other aspects of endurance and technical development.


The core objective here is to develop enthusiastic, healthy swimmers that have mastered the technical aspects of swimming over years of training, culminating in eventual success at a particular point in time when technical mastery and endurance coincide with the athlete’s physical and psychological development.


The success of this philosophy can be seen in the achievements of some of our senior swimmers (listed below) that have come through the ranks at Shamu.

 Shamu swimmers at Level 3 and/or Junior Nationals

  1. BulletWilliam de Jager

  2. BulletHendus Jansen van Rensburg

  3. BulletTimothy Varrie

  4. BulletLeander Steenkamp

  5. BulletNickus vd Nest

  6. BulletOckert Maritz

  7. BulletCarla Nel

  8. BulletLizene Kritzinger

  9. BulletJuan Cloete

  10. BulletBertie Nel

  11. BulletJané Nel

  12. BulletWessel Ludick

  13. BulletRory du Plessis

  14. BulletEstie Wiese

  15. BulletJanke Engelbrecht

  16. BulletYolandi van Rooyen

  17. BulletJapke Engelbrecht

  18. BulletBenjamin van Staden

  19. BulletVenessa van Rooyen

  20. BulletZanel Steenkamp

  21. BulletJoshua Varrie

  22. BulletRuan H-Kruger

  23. BulletDaniel Smit

  24. BulletJames Joubert

Shamu swimmers at Senior Nationals

  1. BulletWarren Grobbelaar (2 gold medal at Snr Nationals, 1 silver - 1 gold and one silver International against Brazil)

  2. BulletEstie Wiese

  3. BulletRory du Plessis

  4. BulletBertie Nel (finals)

  5. BulletJane Nel

  6. BulletYolandi van Rooyen

  7. BulletJanke Engelbrecht (finals)

  8. BulletWessel Ludick

  9. BulletLizene Kritzinger

  10. Bullet Ockert Maritz

  11. BulletJapke Engelbrecht

Shamu swimmers at Youth

  1. BulletHendus Jv Rensburg

  2. BulletLeander Steenkamp

  3. BulletJames Joubert

Our swimmers who achieve American University scholarships

  1. BulletWarren Grobbelaar – Engineering,University of Kentucky, Lexington – Kentucky USA

  2. BulletYolandi van Rooyen – Physio Therapist, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh – USA (Final year)

  3. BulletBertie Nel – CA – University of Notre Dam, (2nd year)

  4. BulletJanke Engelbrecht - University of Pittsburg (2nd year)

  5. BulletJoshua Varrie

“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”

From the Coach

No parents are allowed to attend swim practice, as this is a distraction for younger swimmers, coach and interferes with training of your child. Please leave the coaching to me. Your enthusiasm is much more appreciated in the form of complete (physical, emotional and correct supplementation) support to your child, and trusting me with the rest.