Tzaneen, Limpopo Swimming Club

Swimming Club in Tzaneen: Shamu Swimming
Coach's Corner

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 into 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 through 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 a 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 into 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 or equivalent of Junior Nationals:

  1. William de Jager
  2. Hendus Jansen van Rensburg
  3. Timothy Varrie
  4. Leander Steenkamp
  5. Nickus vd Nest
  6. Ockert Maritz
  7. Carla Nel
  8. Lizene Kritzinger
  9. Juan Cloete
  10. Bertie Nel
  11. Jané Nel
  12. Wessel Ludick
  13. Rory du Plessis
  14. Estie Wiese
  15. Janke Engelbrecht
  16. Yolandi van Rooyen
  17. Japke Engelbrecht
  18. Benjamin van Staden
  19. Venessa van Rooyen
  20. Zanel Steenkamp
  21. Joshua Varrie
  22. Ruan H-Kruger
  23. Daniel Smit
  24. James Joubert
  25. Jason Loucao
  26. Marnus Kruger
  27. Wayne Swarts

Shamu swimmers at Senior Nationals:

  1. Warren Grobbelaar (2 gold medal at Snr Nationals, 1 silver - 1 gold and one silver International against Brazil)
  2. Estie Wiese
  3. Rory du Plessis
  4. Bertie Nel (finals)
  5. Jane Nel
  6. Yolandi van Rooyen
  7. Janke Engelbrecht (finals)
  8. Wessel Ludick
  9. Lizene Kritzinger
  10. Ockert Maritz
  11. Japke Engelbrecht
  12. Ruan H-Kruger
  13. Jason Loucao
  14. Daniel Smit

Shamu swimmers at Youth Nationals:

  1. Hendus Jv Rensburg
  2. Leander Steenkamp
  3. James Joubert

Our swimmers who achieve American University scholarships:

  1. Warren Grobbelaar – Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington – Kentucky USA
  2. Yolandi van Rooyen – Physio Therapist, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh – USA
  3. Bertie Nel – CA – University of Notre Dam
  4. Janke Engelbrecht - University of Pittsburg
  5. Joshua Varrie
Kind Request from the Coach

No parent is allowed to attend swim practice, as this is a distraction for younger swimmers, coach and interferes with the 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.

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