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Author Topic: More Intrigue in Swimming  (Read 4471 times)
Self Rescue
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« on: January 06, 2010, 05:52:12 PM »

http://www.infantswimming.com/isr.htm

I found this  attached to Rob McKay's Gentle Journey web site.  Some of the information on McKay's site is very good, plenty to think about but remember that skill is not valued with McKay.  A friend of mine watched some lessons and the instructor said the kid had been in lessons for several weeks and was almost ready to put his face in.  He and Barnett are as far right wing to left wing as one can imagine.  Somewhere in the middle is desirable.  I want my kids very skilled and happy as can be swimming.  It can be done.  These two super egos haven't figured it out.

It is interesting that McKay attached the letter (did he receive it or write it?Huh?) to his web site.  Who would have thought swimming could be so conspiracy ridden.
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Rubberduckie
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 12:45:06 AM »

Hold on here, I tried to remain silent and just enjoy the analytical side of infant swimming and when I saw this post, I had to say something.

Rob McKay received that email from an ISR employee and did not write it on his website himself. He does teach skill but has a gentle approach to infant swimming not like ISR in which they traumatize children and infants. Rob's philosophy is the psychological well being of a child is as important as their skills. If they are traumatized, it is not right for the well being of that child. Here's an example: if your child plays T-Ball and the coach is screaming at your child. The child is crying but the instruction is correct in teaching the child the skills. IS THIS OK? Answer me, is this OK??  
Or how about ballet lessons for my little girl? What if her teacher is screaming or bending the heck out of her and pushing her around to make her better at her Pirouettes. The instructors are teaching the Pirouette correct but she is pushed around by a bully and my child cannot over come this overbearing, oppressive forcing of her movements as she is crying. IS THIS OK?

Rob's methods are successful and will never in the future lead to possible surprise brain damage or handicap due to over forced submersion, causing lack of oxygen to the brain. You know which ISR video I'm referring to. What is the blame or cause if little Lincoln cannot catch a ball in a few years or has some future deficiency in adulthood. Who caused this?  Are you willing to take the risk at the expense of your child's mental and physical welfare?
This ISR clothed check out video is SICK! http://infantswimmingtruth.smf4u.com/index.php/topic,37.msg295.html#msg295
The parents should sue and go after this idiot for what he's doing to this child. I cannot believe the parents just sat by as he man handled this child, depriving him of air. I would have called the police or pepper sprayed that SOB.

If the child you're referencing finally is able to put his or her face into the water after a few weeks, GREAT! That child is ready for the next step. IS THIS WRONG? Did you force your child to go #1 #2 on command as you shoved the child on the toilet seat as you push, kneaded his stomach and force non-verbal commands on them to potty train? The child needs to be ready to go as stated by many professionals. Children forced into potty training when they are not ready, may develop a significant negative and defiant attitude that will only delay success. So, are Rob's methods wrong? I really don't think so and he has a great valid method that does not negatively impact a child's welfare.

Rob McKay does not claim to be something he is not.

Rob McKay does not terrorize, harass or intimidate his people.

Rob McKay has integrity and is not a fraud.

Rob does not use cult techniques to control his people.

Rob does not openly lie to the public and media.

Rob is honest and very proud of his accomplishments. He is not afraid to voice his opinions.

Rob McKay's people do not hate him.

Rob McKay's people love him.

Do your research before you speak, and don't lump Rob McKay with that scum Barnett.
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Self Rescue
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 07:39:50 AM »

Hey Duckie, glad to see you are still here.  And really glad my post got your opinion posted!!  I have done the research and agree (as I said) that some of the information on his site is good.  You are right that like the YMCA or the Red Cross, after months or years of lessons, a child may finally swim.  And that is fine if that is what you want for your child (plenty of people do).  I would never lump them together, they are as different as cold and hot (I think I said that).  I just found the letter that Rob attached to his web page and wondered what connection Rob had with it.  I have always enjoyed Rob's talks although I don't agree with some of his tactics.  

Sorry I raised your blood pressure but really glad to hear from you.  My goal is to learn from everyone.  We all have much to teach and much to learn.  And as always, "Take what you like and leave the rest."

Lastly, please don't try to stay silent, you are so articulate and I love your input.  
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 11:39:04 AM »

WOW! 
Well, first of all, I want Rubberduckie to know that it is clear from the original post that SR did not lump HB and RM together.  SR did state that they are polar opposites, so you two were agreeing on that point. 

Now I will be classy (and not too sassy) as I give my 2 cents on the meat of the matter:

When I separated from ISR years ago, I got my hands on as much material as I possibly could.  You have no idea how badly I wanted to find something better that ISR!  I did view both of the Diaper Dolphins videos along with videos from the Red Cross, the American Swim Coaches Association, Total Immersion, and many others.  In addition to continuing to teach private swim lessons to all ages, I also received education and training as an age group swim coach and I have coached 10 and under swimmers for the past 5 years.

There are two very distinct debates that are taking place here:  the FIRST has been partly handled by Rubberduckie, and she is right, the ends do not justify the means!  Doing something because it is vital doesn't give you permission to do it poorly or harshly!  However, if it can be done gently and lovingly, teaching children to remain horizontal in the water at all times is still a valuable skill.  After reading Rubberduckie's post I went back and reviewed the entire RM website.  His philosophies remind me of "outcome based education."  It doesn't matter when they learn it, only whether they learn it.  That is appealing to some and not to others, especially when you are talking about reading or math skills (and you can't die from illiteracy).  His philosophies also remind me of several parenting books I've read like "The Happiest Toddler on the Block".   HAPPINESS is the ultimate goal rather than the results.  I have even read a book citing an example of a mother who went out in the rain and disassembled the swing set, brought it inside and reassembled it because she didn't want to tell her child "no" because the tears would be unbearable.  This type of mother would choose RM over HB!!  I wonder what that mother would do if her child didn't want to get into their car seat?  I suppose just stay home.  Even if the child was headed for Disney World, to cause tears or unhappiness for the journey would be cruel and heartless, right?
 
The SECOND debate going on here is regarding the value of properly taught initial swimming skills.  To make my points here more clear I will not dwell on the fact that every time a baby, toddler, or small child LIFTS their head to breathe they are struggling!  Sometimes that struggle is just for a moment and sometimes it is a scary few moments or scary sequence of several quick struggles.   That fact aside, after analyzing Diaper Dolphins 1 and 2, I have to tell you that the postures learned in this program are the most inefficient I've seen in any program and they are not conducive to any swim stroke.  The neck arched with the chin far from the chest, the shoulder blades pressed back and the back arched, the knees bent up into the chest and the bicycle kicking.  From head to toe the postures are not conducive to efficient swimming and effortless forward movement through the water.  In fact, in Diaper Dolphins 2 there is a section where RM discusses working on correcting bicycles kicks, but his program up to that point is clearly where the bicycle kicks originated, and then were practiced over and over!  That kind of muscle memory will be very difficult to overcome.  Bottom line, regardless of the age of the child, the hips and the feet should never leave the surface.  Yes, that would require rolling to the back to breathe for an infant, toddler or small child which, by the way, is just a larger approximation of a side breath.  And as soon as the child is long enough to generate a proper flutter kick on their back without sending waves up near the mouth (say 2.5 to 3) the floating days are now backstroke beginnings.  I can not imagine an easy path to backstroke for a RM student.  The neck arch would put their face right under water as the knees go on auto pilot with that bicycle kick, which sends a rush of waves and currents toward the mouth and face.  And what has an RM student learned to do when they need air?  Lift their chin and press their chest forward harder, so now we have a student who needs air performing a back dive underwater toward the bottom of the pool.  I have seen students in this scenario do a back flip underwater!  OOPS, didn't mean to scare anyone into thinking a RM student could be learning to drown.  That is not my goal here.  I can assure you that every swim drill, at every level, works to train horizontal postures and downhill swimming, so it truly is best if children learn to swim that way from day one.

In summary, the more time I spend coaching 10 and under swimmers, the more I become convinced that long axis and short axis strokes are more easily acquired by children whose initial swimming instruction did not include head up breathing.  No drowning prevention scare tactic needed!  And if you believe breaststroke and butterfly are executed with head up breathing, you are incorrect.  The chin is close to the chest or neutral for the breath in both of these strokes.  I am on a continual quest when it comes to my swimming education.  I will never stop seeking information and knowledge.  So although I have learned that rolling to the back to breathe happens to be THE superior method, I have also discovered that HB is not the inventor of that concept or method.  Actually, after all that I have learned in the last 6 to 10 years, that idea is laughable!
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 12:04:18 PM »

Yikes, IIA, I think it is safe to say you just blew any trade secrets claim.  ISR is a loser to have lost you.  I am more amazed every day at the talent on this blog.  Thanks.
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SOFA KING COOL
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 10:21:10 PM »

I like Duckie's point. I think Duckie sees the lumping together as 2 extremists. We know the one is bad so I think Duckie saw it that way. I kinda see it that way also reading through it. I wouldn't want to get lumped with the bad one either. We all know what bad is, and it ain't Michael Jackson. It's kinda like saying, "Satan and Jesus are freaks." I just lumped two opposites together as one

Just sayin.
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 10:37:26 PM »

AHH, ok, I get it.  I can see how that could be offensive.

Oh, and I have to say that MY passion for horizontal aquatic postures, hips and feet remaining at the surface, and precise 180 degree rotations IS NOT shared by HB or the ISR organization as indicated by his training program or evidenced by the numerous videos present on YouTube.

Swimcerely,
IIA
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Self Rescue
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2010, 05:35:06 PM »

While I would never compare either of these fellows with Jesus or satan, neither is all bad or all good (kinda like the rest of us), cold and hot are extremes that come to mind, too cold is uncomfortable and so is too hot.  Somewhere in the middle is where I want to be.  While I don't want to teach a head popping, happy, struggling mess, I also don't want the mess evidenced by the ISR YouTube videos.  

My question remains, why would RM let his web master post that letter on his web site?  Many of us have web sites, and I can't imagine posting negative stuff about a competing school.  McDonalds does not bad mouth Burger King on their web site. Seems unprofessional to me.  Just asking.

BTW, to all you guests:  Sign up, this is just a bit of the great debates going on inside.  
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Randy Rhoads
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 01:04:46 AM »

I don't see a problem with this because the internet should be free. I'm an extreme advocate of internet freedom.

The world of swimming has become a large culture that exists a bit larger than anybody can imagine. I always thougtht it was simple and just swimming, but it's not. The inside culture has it's history and hangups. I don't know how this posting of the email makes a difference for anything. More power to him.

Duckie stuck up very tough for McKay and likes him which would lead me to believe that he's a really good person with integrity. Nobody said jack for HB anywhere because they know that anything worthy would just be a lie to brown nose.
For McKay, if a prize trophy drops in his lap, then he has the right to show it off. Maybe HB pulled some dirty crap on McKay and what comes around came around.  We all know how HB is and there is proof in all the newspaper articles. Remember slander, sabotage, and defamation. False phone calls to CPS and who knows what else. This is all documented in news papers and court papers. I know you've all read them.  Look what happened to SIS. Facts are facts and it is what it is, you can't hide it.

I say do whatever makes you happy and paybacks are a be@tch sometimes. I would not do dirt slinging but if somebody or competition was evil to me. I may do the same thing. War is war and once it starts, it may never end. I know I always treat everybody with respect and never burn any bridges. I know my concience is clean and never will somebody do that to me. I've seen and heard how everybody was hurt by HB and ISR and how they and their families felt. Some people are not forgiving. You can only get away with that for so long and someday somebody is going to say something back. I believe this is an instance of it.

McKay seems to be a good person, so Happy New Year to McKay. Thanks for helping out the employee with a conscience that came clean.

Not relevant to this post but my 2?

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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2010, 03:53:12 AM »

Thanks RR, that may be the answer.  The internet proves to be instant Karma.  No question ISR deserves it.
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 09:02:02 AM »

Unfortunately, ISR's answer to everything is to have McKay served by their attorney's to remove "the threats made to them" (they see anything they did not publish as a personal threat to their lives, health, etc.). You keep checking the site. I bet is gone within a week!
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Charming1
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2010, 10:22:35 AM »

This is quite interesting. I never imagined there was this much to swimming. I didn't see any threats made there.
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 11:57:21 AM »

If you are talking about RM's site, no there are no threats there that I can see.  However, because RM seems to have more integrity than HB, the following observation surprises me:  RM seems to be disgusted that ISR and HB would use "scare tactics" with parents regarding drowning (i.e. if you get your child wet at all and don't put them through our program first they will drown, it's better to be face up crying than face down silent, etc).  Yet, RM comes close to crossing the line of using scare tactics himself by suggesting that any child crying or unhappy while they are learning anything is being traumatized.  In fact, he also suggests that true learning can only take place when a child is in a calm or happy emotional state.  That notion is endearing, but not realistic.  Children are constantly learning!  A child who touches a hot stove didn't fail to learn something!

No question, when it comes to RM's beliefs about a child's learning experience being joyful, he is COMPLETELY sincere.  When it comes to his method of teaching swimming skills, he is sincerely wrong.
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 09:56:10 PM »

I don't know about this last comment. I don't think RM is wrong both ways. He has his right to opinion and technique as we do. HB would say RM is wrong because he is ignorant and arrogant about his deal. RM would probably be the same way. They both have the choice to say what ever. We all have our opinions. Remember swimming should be collaborative for the safety of the children to prevent tragedies.

This commenting of who is right and wrong is counter productive to infant swimming.

The root of this discussion has to do with deciding the integrity of the two heads. How can you trust a person that lies all the time compared to a person that doesn't? Who's program is right. I would answer both are right to some degree and both are wrong to some degree.

For HB the liar with no credibility, his program records and mission could be seriously flawed and not true. If you can tell the public and media that you are something your'e not just so easily, then everything else said is just BS. What a way to f!Ck up something that could be good. Because there is no true data to decide what is right and safe, we can all implement our own opinions based on our past experiences.
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 10:21:49 PM »

I only suggest and take the position that RM is "sincerely wrong" when it comes to teaching INITIAL  swimming skills based on ALL of my research and education at EVERY level of swimming.  This is not isolated to my own initial learning as an ISR instructor.  As I stated previously, I got my hands on as much material as I possibly could to find something better than ISR.  I have learned a lot from many resources, but I got nothing of value from RM's Diaper Dolphins videos.  And as I see it (and work with it daily), you can not easily move a Diaper Dolphin forward into any stroke progression program, you have to move backward to correct postures exponentially.
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