While having lunch with my daughter's swim coach a few weeks back, he mentioned that the best coach he ever had made him feel like he saw everything in the pool. Like the coach was only watching one swimmer and that was him. Thinking about it, that's a pretty cool trait to have as a coach, especially when you have 15 swimmers in a pool.
Then I realized that my coach has that. It actually freaks me out a bit because my stroke (especially breaststroke) has been known to crack the lens of a camera when it tries to focus. It's so ugly, I routinely ask to be last in my lane so nobody has to see it.
So far Brian has only commented on my freestyle but he's pointed out most of the things that I do wrong. Every time I explain to him how I'm going to fix some problem he diagnosed or my plans to get my hips up or something, he reminds me of something else I'm doing wrong that would just make it all worse. Seriously, it's like there is a list of 15 things he needs to fix.
Anyway, I got lucky today. My two lane-mates were having him watch their freestyle and he gave me that look that we was going to critique me too. So, I did the only smart thing, swim really fast right up on my lane-mate's heels so that he wouldn't have time to watch my stroke at the end! I got away with it, too.
Some day my stroke will be better and I won't have to worry about these critiques but without the critiques my stroke will never be better. The true paradox of swimming.