My brother and I had the BEST time yesterday, Suzie. Thanks so much for the wonderful introduction. We're coming back Friday morning for another swim!
Suzie is a terrific coach and mentor. I have learned a tremendous amount from her, not just about my stroke, but about open water and marathon swimming. She brings the perspective of someone who has worked very diligently to improve her own stroke and of someone who has trained hard and planned out all aspects of marathon swims. She very generously passes on her own experiences and her learnings as a coach over the years.
Suzie is also a wealth of knowledge about SF Bay and cold water swimming. Marathon swimming is really, I think, where she provides her most unique insights. That is an area that requires a very special union of swimming ability, endurance, athleticism and mental toughness--not to mention logistics. These skills are analogous to those required for Ironman distance tri's. And so too I think that is why she can relate easily to triathletes and their psychology.
Whatever your skill level I do believe she can give a swimmer "the edge up" with her coaching.
I am someone who has a very difficult time with cold temperature and coupled with being a rookie in the open water swim event, I was very much out of my comfort zone. Suzie's coaching style and her patience are what helped me manage those elements, develop technique and skill to complete the open water swim. She is the best.
On a recent trip to San Francisco, I had an excellent open water swim lesson with Suzie Dods. Suzie has an amazing wealth of experience coaching and swimming in the open water, including swimming the English Channel, Catalina Channel, and all around San Francisco Bay. So in addition to the actual swim lesson, I got to learn about the history of open water swimming in San Francisco, visit the 130 year old Dolphin swim club, understand how the tides work in SF Bay, and hear about some of Suzie’s channel swims.
The actual lesson was me swimming in Aquatic Park with Suzie right next to me in the kayak evaluating my swimming technique and directing me through a number of drills to develop my open water swimming skills, like navigation, how to sight, dealing with different conditions, etc. This was really a great morning spent with an impressive swimmer and coach. Since my return home, Susie has been a massive help answering lots of my questions, providing advice and encouragement. Thanks so much, Suzie.
Grant from "Oz"
You are AWESOME Suzie!!! I'd probably still be afraid of the cold Bay water if it wasn't for you!!!
We need more people in the swimming community like you! :)
I had my first open water swim lesson at Aquatic Park with Suzie to prep for a triathlon race. Being introduced to the frigid bay water for the first time, I was petrified by the temperature. She was very patient and took time to explain the water condition, your body's physiological response, and how to cope with it. She guided me through open water swim techniques like sighting, strokes, breathing, and basic safety issues, then went over the basic geography of Aquatic Park. I went in with a wetsuit; by the end of the lesson, I swam with just a swimsuit, and a regular swim cap and felt great, which was completely unthinkable before the lesson. All the fear of swimming in the cold water has turned into newly found enthusiasm for open water.