As for me, I don’t remember learning to swim. I was two and Clyde Divine taught me at his Swim School in Belmont, California.
My parents put in a pool when I was six. I played in the pool for hours as a kid until I went to Woodside High School where I played water polo, and took advantage of the swimming facilities there. I started diving shortly after and went back to Clyde Divine Swim School to get involved in their diving program.
I’ve been an instructor since the eighth grade. In 1963, I took a class to be a teacher’s aide at the Red Cross, that’s where I met Larry. I’ve been in love with teaching the art of swimming ever since. I started out teaching at the Clyde Divine Swim School until, in 1967, during my senior year in high school, I was asked to help at the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.
From that point on I coached and gave lessons there every Spring and Summer for a decade. I attended Long Beach State where I competed in water polo, diving, and crew. I graduated with a degree in physical education and went on to graduate school at Marymount College in Palos Verde where I also taught the swim school.
I’ve been lucky to have had such great training in my life. I learned from Clyde Devine, from fellow instructors, from my classes and mostly from my students. You get to see what works with some kids and if you get in a similar situation, you can try it with others. You develop teaching techniques based on what works. They can’t teach this kind of stuff in an instructor’s school or in a book. It’s about how you work with people and how you value that time.
Before being offered a managing position at Ladera Oaks I worked for the Huntington Beach Recreation Department. Now I have the great pleasure of directing the Jim Gorman Swim School and working with a fantastic group of instructors, students, and staff.
My swim school helps students become strong, confident swimmers with the right preparation to enjoy and succeed at the various aquatic activities they may select in the future. We want our students to learn right, from the start. This means two things. Students start learning immediately – at their very first lesson, and also, students start learning the correct fundamentals and techniques that are the platform for competitive swimming and diving.