Katie W - Carluke manager at DSH

A new edition of our Let’s Tak series, this time with Katie!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at DSH 

My name is Katie and I oversee DSH’s Carluke and Outboard Pool locations as well as our leadership programming. I work with our instructional and deck lead staff to help them grow and develop in their roles so they can best support our clients and students. 


What do you like most about swimming?

Swimming is a full-body exercise that to me, feels very relaxing and natural to do. I love the cooling and refreshing atmosphere over a hot, sweaty gym. It has also opened the possibility of so many unique activities. I love everything from swimming, water skiing, canoeing/kayaking, paddleboarding, white water rafting, or just floating on the water with friends. I am happy when I am doing anything in the water.   


What do you like most about teaching how to swim?

I love seeing the look on a swimmer’s face after their first independent float or swim or finally achieving something they’ve been working on. It’s a quiet smile and a look of excitement. You can see they feel a sense of accomplishment and I love celebrating that with them.


What’s the most challenging part about being a swim instructor?

Sometimes, it’s challenging to figure out each swimmer’s unique learning style. There are a variety of teaching methods, drills, and games with aims that can be applied to help a swimmer learn and overcome an obstacle they may be facing, but sometimes it takes time to find the right approach that each student connects with. 


Any advice for future swim instructors? 

If you’re looking to develop your confidence, public speaking, creativity, or leadership abilities and want to pursue some form of education or leadership role in the future, becoming a swim instructor is a great stepping stone. Interacting with small groups and teaching students something you enjoy is very rewarding and helps you develop all of those core skills in a way that feels fun and natural. You never know who you might meet or the doors it will open for you.  


Why should parents sign up their kids for swim lessons? 

Swimming is a life skill. Something that can be enjoyed at all ages for exercise, recreation, to pass the time, or to cool down on a hot day. However, water can also pose a threat to those who lack the necessary skills to enjoy it safely. Signing your children up for swim lessons or taking lessons yourselves is the first step to preparing everyone in your family to enjoy the water safely.   


Any advice for those parents? 

It’s important to remember every swimmer learns at a different pace. What might come quickly to some may take longer for others. There is no right answer to the question “how many lessons will it take for my child to be safe” or “how many lessons will it take for my child to be able to swim on their own”. Everyone’s journey is unique. Regular and ongoing swim lessons will help your child meet (your and their) goals. 

Additionally, having young swimmers practice their bubbles and develop comfort with getting their face and head wet should be encouraged and practiced at home in the bath and will go a long way in the pool. 


And finally, any advice for swimmers? 

Always keep swimming! Swimming is a fun, low-impact sport that is enjoyable at any age. 

I’ve met many older adults who either take up swimming later in life or are grateful to have swimming experience either because they’re now at an age where they have time to travel and want to be able to experience swimming as part of their vacation, due to injury where they want to use swimming as a rehabilitation method, or just to be able to cool down on a hot Summer day. 

Thank you Katie! Want to know what else our team has to share? Check our other Let’s Talk interviews here.