Lissa Latella has been a swimmer since age six. Today, she and her husband, Dominic, co-own SwimBox, a rapidly growing, three-year-old Virginia swim studio that utilizes a Performance Endless Pool. Still "madly in love with the sport," Lissa is now a periodic contributor to the Endless Pools blog because, she says, "I'm excited to share all of the ways Endless Pools has allowed Dominic and I to work with clients in a way unattainable at your standard pool."
I always enjoyed school. The classes were entertaining and made learning easy, it was a great way to see all of my friends in one place, and who can forget the joys of cafeteria lunches. But what I didn’t like? Homework. Not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I didn’t have the giant green chalkboard looming over me with my teacher working through examples.
There was no chalkboard full of answers or helpful hints at home. Just my notes and textbook full of walls of words sitting silently in front of me, asking me for the answers. This made it very hard for me to learn when I wasn’t in the classroom. I needed the visuals, the demonstrations. I needed to see what I was supposed to be doing before I could learn to do it properly for myself.
Which is the main reason I am absolutely head-over-heels in love with our floor mirrors in our Endless Pool. Well, that and I never met a mirror I didn’t like to stop and look in (who doesn’t like admiring themselves every chance they get? Or, at the very, least checking to see if they have something in their teeth!).
"I am absolutely head-over-heels in love with our floor mirrors from Endless Pools," enthuses Lissa Latella. The lifelong swimmer and co-owner of Fairfax, Virginia's SwimBox swim studio, she appreciates the underwater mirrors' "constant feedback about what's right and what's wrong" with her swim stroke.
No Swimming Homework
Growing up a competitive swimmer, I’ve spent countless hours practicing and working on my technique, but the difficulty of doing that in a standard pool is never being able to see your progress. Without feedback from my coach, I had no clue if I was making a correction properly, or if my technique was efficient, or what I was doing was what I was supposed to be doing.
Don’t get me wrong, my swim coaches have been great throughout the years. But when there’s only one of them focusing on 25-40 swimmers, you’re not getting constant feedback about what’s right and what’s wrong. Even when you’re just training in a standard pool by yourself, you’re never exactly sure if you’re swimming the way you’re supposed to, or if your drills are exactly what they need to be. It also makes focusing on your technique that much more difficult.
Cue the Floor Mirror and angled Swim Mirror in my Endless Pool. All of a sudden when I get in the pool, I’m actually paying attention to what my body is doing. I’m looking at my stroke, I’m focusing on my catch and making sure I’m not overextending my arms, and I’m using my muscles the way they’re supposed to be used. I’m not singing the same song over and over and just trying to get through the set (well, most of the time at least).
By training with Endless Pools' swim mirrors, Lissa learned to "engage my back muscles during my catch and pull." This real-time feedback on her freestyle swimming stroke has taken the pressure off her shoulder joint, which she'd injured before correcting her swim technique.
Feedback Without a Coach
Don’t train with a coach? That makes the mirrors even better! Swimming with visual feedback has been one of the main reasons I’m actually able to engage my back muscles during my catch and pull instead of using my shoulder joint, which is how I’d been swimming my whole life (long story short, I have a tear in my labrum because of this – not good).
I never knew how to make the movements I needed to make before, because I couldn’t see what I was doing. Being able to see yourself from these angles isn’t something I ever thought possible. Sure, you see them on TV with the well-known Olympians training for their next race, but they don’t seem like something that’s attainable to your average Dick and Jane.
Thankfully, Endless Pools has made them available to everyone, no matter who you are. So now there are no excuses for poor technique and not getting your swim workout in.
And hey, even if you just want to get in and swim and not worry about your technique, who doesn’t love an excuse to stare at themselves in the mirror?