Monday, 25 June 2007

A parting that's going to be missed

I been coaching this adult couple for the past 2-3months. They are a wonderful pair of loving and fun adults with a 2 year old son.

It started with the wife calling me one day and telling me she really wants to learn swimming. They stay in Bugis area and do not have a pool there. However, they are allowed to used a pool in Bukit Timah area and there is a shuttle bus that brings them there.

But she finds it very inconvient to take the bus to that condo pool and asked where I coached. When I told her I'm usually based in Yio Chu Kang, she said "Ok, let us try there and see if we can manage travelling there"

After the 1st lesson, I have not heard them asking me to go to the Bukit Timah pool cause they told me they have fallen in love with Yio Chu Kang pool. I don't know what's the magic factor... So, I guess only they know why.

Now, I was saying they are a loving couple, why? Because they always come to swim as a family and yes, that includes their 2 year old son (who always brings alot of smile to people and draws lots of attention)

Here's how it goes... When the wife is learning, the husband will take care of their son and when the husband is learning, the wife will play with the son. Something that I admire them for. Despite having a son, they are still able to manage their time well and do a sports that they like. =)

However, like the chinese saying goes... "There is no endless banquet in this world - 天地下没有不散的宴席 " The couple are leaving for Germany today due to the husband work commitments. And they are leaving singapore for good I guess. I'm sure going to miss them, esp their son. So cute.

But what's heartwarming is that when I asked them: "Will you miss Singapore?"
Rajesh: "Yes"
Me: "What about Singapore you will miss?"
Rajesh: "Swimming. Esp Yio Chu Kang"
~My Heart Meltz~

I did my best in teaching them how to swim in 2months, the breast stoke and freestyle. And also treading water. Hope they will continue to swim in Germany. I still remember the "water-phobia" looks on the wife face when she came for the 1st lesson... Now, seeing how confident she is in the water doing her breast stroke and free style, I feel a sense of achievements and I feel happy for her.

The kind of expression on both the husband and wife face when they realised that they can swim is priceless! And its always @ that moment where both the student and teacher feels proud and over the moon. That kind of happiness cannot be express in form of wordings. I can only be felt. Right in the heart.

Taken quite sometime ago, the wife was changing. A pity, we couldn't take a full family photo


~He's forever that cute~ Fav line: "Just once"



Oh.. and they got me a small token~ Nice wrapped up~



A box of chocolates! So Sweet....


Lastly, I want to thank you Rajesh & family for giving the past few months the laughter and fun in coaching you all. And making me look forward towards my lesson with you all. Its always sad when we have to be serparated. But I sincerely wish you all the best in your career and family and may you enjoy swimming even when in Germany. Best wishes from me.

Gold Test

9 students of mine went for this month Gold Test.. Out of a max capacity of 10 candidates per time slot. So imagine 9 of my students were in it.. Haha... What a spectacular sight! I been waiting for this day where all my students are in 1 slot...

Tot I was very confident that 8 of them will pass their 2laps of 3 mins but I had my reserve for the last student that I enrolled him for this test. His name is Jason. Now here's what happen.. Jason was in a class that totally suits his standard, preparing for bronze test and silver test.. Just when he was about to start training for his silver, his mum came to me and say, his school has a swimming program and she has enrolled him in it.

Her thinking is: "since got more exercise and swimming class, so let him go for it lorz."

I can't object despite me wanting so much to tell her he can skip the school swimming class as he is already learning from me. But the mum "typical kiasu singaporean" expression made me withdraw the energy to object her thinkings.

So just as alot of people think that ITS TOTALLY FINE to learn swimming in school when you have a coach outside, YOU ARE WRONG! 3 weeks later, the mum tell me, Jerry, he has taken the silver test in school already, so dun need to train him for silver anymore.

I was like.. WHAT?! How come he take silver and you never inform me?! I'm his coach! I have already planned out the training and lessons plan for him. Now you tell me he has taken his silver when he's preparing for it?! How can that be!? He's timing can't even hit 4mins! Are you sure?! But she was like.."Yeah, I'm right, you are wrong. Now I wan him to go for gold."

Fine, since she insist, and since she has MESSED UP my lesson plans for him, I shall do what ever seems deem for her. I enrolled him in the gold test despite his timing after months training for it remains @ 3min10sec++

Well, for yesterday test he did a surprisingly 2min58sec. If only I didn't shouted @ the poolside telling him how much time he has left, he might just fail. Which I dun wan to see that. I'm just glad that he passed.

So till date, I have a 100% pass rates for NASA bronze, silver and Gold test! Haha.. I have a pretty good records it seems..

Well.. As most coaches says.. When the students go for gold.. its time to go..

I'm so scared these kids might leave me... So I make it a point to take a photo with all of them and I make sure they SMILE! tot not all... some just like to act cool... I be really sad to see them leave me... But I guess, when the time comes, I can't stop them. Its just like graduating from your Pri school and Secondary school. Despite so many don't wants, you still have to be serparated from your teachers and classmates. That's life.
But luckily, technolgy is so advanced. We have blogs and cameras! Well, photos like this remains in my heart forever.

Look at their angelic smiles~ Well, some just like to act cool. Boys~ =)

My beloved students & best class~

Didn't take any pics of them during the test because the coach himself is so nervous about them meeting the 3min limit! Haha~ I do get nervous too! Just that not infront of these kids...

Friday, 22 June 2007

Holiday Program

My holiday programme is coming to an end with the june holidays ending soonz... It was a really enjoyable month. Whats more touching are the feedbacks and comments I recieved from parents and students. Here are a few:

Zhao Liang (10years old): "Jerry, can you extend class by 30more mins?"
Me: Why?
Z.L: Because Swimming is so fun! But only with this instructor!

Zhao liang is the boy whom I blog about in my previous blog. Remember the one whom the mum paid alot hiring a private instructor? Well, he can swim now and he's no longer that afraid of water. Most important of all, I see the confidence he has now in water as compared to the every 1st time I saw him. Which is like 3weeks ago. So, theroically speaking, he learnt how to swim in just 3 weeks. =)

Mrs Dainel (Lecturer @ a private Uni, her 2 kids are with me):
Jerry, I just want to thank you for making my 2 kids enjoy their holidays. They had a wonderful holiday with swimming. Thank you for your effort and my daughter loves you so much.

Mrs Huda (9year old boy named Solihin) She smsed me:
Jerry, I want to thank you for teaching my son how to swim this holiday. I can see that he's now good in water. I never expected that. Thank you.

Madam Xia (8years old daughter):
Jerry, Thank you. I can see that my daugther is not that afraid of water liao. How come last time the coach never teach what you taught lehz? She learnt 6months but learn nothing, you teach 3 weeks, she over come the phobia.

And lastly... from zhao liang grandmother:
He stays in bukit batok, but he insist in coming to this pool to swim. It's destiny and fate that he meets you. He really likes you alot.

Its' little appreciation like these that makes me gives my all to these kids.. No matter how hard it may be to teach each individual... End of the day, it all boils down to my passion for them.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Casio Stopwatch

I lost my favourite CASIO white stopwatch!! Will the kind soul who found it kindly return back to me!!! OMG... my kids are going for their Gold test this sat... and I dun have my stopwatch!! I'm feeling so lousy now!!

Whoever took my stopwatch pls return it back to me.. its my favouritE!

Haiz... guess I gotta go buy a cheap cheap one to "dong" this sat test..... I will never never leave my belongings unattended ever ever again!

Worden did it~!

Remember Worden the kid whom I mentioned in my previous entry? Well... He can swim now! Yeah~ So proud of him... Althought, his strokes are still not that fantasic... but... @ least 1 thing for sure is that he's slowly overcoming his water phobia... and is a brave boy!

Well done Worden. Next on the list will be to correct his strokes, which is another challenge. Cause what the previous instructor taught him was nosenses! Now, he has difficulties in his co-ordination but I know this kid is safe in my hands. The magic hand which can transform him to a good swimmer yet again.

Speaking of which.. Transforming is coming to cinema soonz~! hee

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Mass Swim

Finally I have a rest~ And to update on this blog... Been very busy since sunday.. Sunday Teacher Jerry helped out with Nee Soon South CDC Mass Swim which turn out to be a great success!

And I managed to send in 1 team for the relays... 1st time experience for them which is a very good exposure for the 4 of them. Thought they didn't win anything, the kids won an invaluable experience.

There were 8 teams and I was in one of them team! Haha, so funny right... Students racing with teachers. But I was there to give them the support. And the rest of the teams were mostly adults. I'm glad that they took part in it. Shows the sportsman spirit in them! And. HEY! At least they were not the last to come back, which is a very good achievement. So proud of them.....

Next year, hope to send in 2 teams for the relays and hopefully they can achieve something. For me, its not important to win. Its what you learn in the process that's more important.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

A new student, old problem

I have a new student again. Remember keith in my previous blog? He's facing the same problem as keith. Has a water phobia because of the previous instructor. Well, this time, this "coach" is from a swimschool which I do not wish to name here. But my student, call him Uncle Partick.

They have this 2 pool @ their condo.One deep pool abt 0.9m to 2.1m and another baby pool abt 0.4m. And the 1st thing my student see me today he say this to me.... Uncle Jerry, can I swim @ the baby pool?

Of course I say YES! I never rejected any students request especially if the parents told me before hand that they have phobia for water. So after about 15mins @ the baby pool, I found out that he was really really afraid of the deep end @ the other pool as the previous instructor kept scolding him and keep throwing him into the pool. Yes! You read it correctly, THROW!

I mean, he's just 5years old! How can u do that?! I understand that he wants to build water confident in him but thats' not the way, You don't throw and scold the kid @ the deep end especially when he's afraid of water.

And its very serious! He can't even blow bubbles correctly, he can't even float! Omg... I seriously dunnoe what he has been learning... This student is definately more difficult to teach then keith cause I have to re-correct his foundation..... I have to bring him out of his water phobia.... And all these takes time.... I hope the parent can give me time.

And he's not the only student that faces such problem. I have another parent coming to me today and say. Jerry, I have spent $2,000/- on swimming coaches in trying to teach my son to swim.....

When I heard that? I said....

Me: "What?! Sorry.... $2k?! Did I hear you correctly?"
Mum: "yes"
Me: "Erm.... Sorry to say that.. but I dun believe that he actually learn how to swim before! He looks like a total beginner to me just like any other kids"
Mum: "I know what you are trying to say that. That's why we decided to change coach. And hope to continue with you if he shows improvement. But I dunnoe how to slot in swimming into his hetic schedule"
Me: " I can only try my best"

Yes. Kids nowadays do have a very very hetic schedule. And its really hard to change the swimming habits of a kid who has a very bad experience with the previous coach. Its still ok if the previous coach did a good foundation job. Else, like my new student.... God.... Its like teaching an old dog new tricks.

Its not totally hopeless....... Just that... More time is needed. Parents need to understand that.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Rest in Peace Pei Er.

Sorry for not updating this blog... Really sorry... I have been very very busy with the holiday classes.... And have to attend meetings too... Will update abt this meeting later... So excited! I wanna blog abt the 6 year old girl who drown in Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort.

When I first read the news, my heart really really sank.... How come such a young girl lose her life just like that? Her parents must be devestated. I hope they can recover from this news soon.... I know its not easy to do it especially when according to the papers, there were 2 lifeguards on duty... But in case you are reading these... I hope you can be strong.

She maybe gone now but I believe her spirit stays in your heart forever. I know the feeling of losing your loved ones. But life still has to go on. Pick yourself up... Its a crucial period for you 2. My condolences.

Below is the news about the girl. Rest in Peace Pei Er.

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/070604/5/singapore280076.html

Saturday, 2 June 2007

7years old boy call Keith

I have a new student. His name is Keith. His 7years old. He used to have a swimming instructor who coaches him. However, it seems that the instructor did not have enough patient with him and decided to call it a day. Thats what I heard from his mother.

Well, after today trial with keith, I find that he's a rather unusual kid who kinda "live in his own world". However, he's super attentive!! So unlike of what the previous instructor had describe to the mum. Well, I guess with experience, comes with knowledge on how to deal with different kids.

And I was even more surprise when the mum told me that it was Keith who wants to learn swimming and not the mum that wants him to learn. So cute when he asked her... "Mum.. Can I learn swimming? But I don't want to learn from Uncle Shawn"

I guess Shawn was the previous instructor... Will post pics of this cute boy when I get my camera.. Till then...