It may seem paradoxical for us land-dwellers to claim swimming comes “naturally,” but that’s only if you haven’t met Tayla Lovemore. Surging down the lane with an enviable fly stroke at her first swim meet (before she’d been officially taught the skill), Tayla hasn’t stopped dolphin kicking since.
“I was always drawn to the water; I was 6 and I had never done lessons, but I knew how to swim.”
Growing up on the beaches of South Africa, Tayla quickly realized her gifts and capitalized on them at a young age. She certainly wasn’t one to rely on free speed, however, and soon coupled her natural talent with an unmatchable work ethic: the perfect concoction to
become one of South Africa’s fastest swimmers to date.
“I begged to go to practice. I never missed practice; I would be there at 5 am with a fever, when the heaters would break, whenever.”
It wasn’t until Tayla packed up and moved to the States that she fully realized her talents, and one of her biggest goals at Fitter and Faster is tostart the process early.
“It’s the little things like consistently working on your push-offs that get you to your goals. I wasn’t pushed to focusing on the smaller details until college, and I believe it’s something younger swimmers need to focus on from the beginning.”
With a strong eagerness to help the next generation of swimmers, Tayla hopes to bring her talents to the deck, where wisdom from all her days of raw, unpolished training during her childhood can instill a spirit of grit in her students.
“For me the best part about teaching swimming is seeing that moment when kids realize that they have got something right, when something just clicks in their head and they say, ‘oh thats right’. If I’m able to educate them and to understand their body and how they swim faster, I’m teaching them to learn about themselves and how to constantly improve in swimming.”
It isn’t just a one-way street, however, as Tayla fully anticipates to connect with her participants and present them with a mosaic of skills she has learned along the way (while also learning from each new group in the clinics).
“I’m so eager to learn from the best to teach the kids. I want to learn as much as much as I want to teach.”
Advising swimmers to “be a sponge” and take in all they can, Tayla teaches participants how to become students of the sport while taking ownership over their swimming. Gifting them the independence to feel the water and learn what works best for them, Tayla prefers an individualized approach to teaching. Swimmers will feel smooth and comfortable in their strokes with her critiques, finding the most efficient method for their specific strengths. Tayla looks for the small changes that can make the biggest differences, emphasizing the easy fixes that can correct multiple aspects of a swimmer’s race.
“In terms of stroke, I would say if you learn one thing, even if it’s as simple as waiting until the last possible second to break out, it’s important.”
Do you want to learn from someone with a keen eye and a natural feel for speed? Sign up for a clinic with Tayla today!