Jamie Hubbard’s Background
When I was two years old my parents found me face down, floating in a pool. I remember clearly the experience of drowning; my vision slowly narrowing to one last bit of light focused on the side of the pool wall underwater. My dad resuscitated me and I remember waking up in the hospital. The experience was extremely traumatic for me.
After that, my parents put me in swimming lessons and I hated it. I didn’t trust the teachers, I didn’t want them to let go of me, and I did not want to put my face underwater. Thankfully, my parents kept me in lessons until I was able to swim on my own. I don’t know how, but I eventually learned to love it! I wanted to be on the swim team, and started competing when I was 5. I remember being 10 years old and still terrified to dive in the pool. But, I could swim. I am so grateful to my parents; their perseverance and encouragement gave me a gift that has blessed me my whole life since. A love for swimming!
At the age of 11, I decided I wanted to start training year round. I practiced with the high school swim team two years before I was in high school. When I was 14 I was put in charge of the Summit County Swim Team with 200 swimmers and 5 other coaches under me. In high school I set several school records and became a four-time state champion in the 100 breaststroke and a one-time state champion in the 50 freestyle. My swimming career paid for my college education.
During college I used my teaching and swimming skills with other athletes who didn’t know how to swim or who wanted to improve. I volunteered with an Adaptive Aquatic program called Swim Buddy, working with mentally handicap swimmers in the water. We were paired up one-on-one so they could get the most out of their time in the water. I trained triathletes for the swim portion of their race. I also volunteered to work with several high school teams and coached an age group team. I spent an entire summer in Alaska packing fish in a freezer so that I could swim in the ocean every day. After college I wanted to continue to teach swimming lessons. So I did.
How We Began
In 2008, after teaching swimming lessons and competing for over 15 years, I decided to open The Swim Academy. I was blessed with an excellent mentor, Crystal Sacco, who took me under her wing and helped me get started. I love teaching, and I saw a need for private lessons. Kids don’t get enough time with a teacher or enough practice time when in a group lesson.
Swimming takes a lot of practice. When there are 5-8 kids in a class they only get to practice a skill once every 5-8 turns. I recognized that this was not enough to effectively learn to swim. Practicing the full duration of the lesson created great results and I enjoyed seeing my swimmers progress at an accelerated rate. I taught a young girl from age 1 to 5. In that time, she started swimming 15 yards before she was 2, swam 25 yards freestyle with a side breath at age 3 and did flip turns and butterfly at age 4.
I strive to bring only the best instructors into our program, who are passionate about swimming and teaching swimming to others. They are all swimmers themselves; some competed as an age group swimmer or in high school, some swam in college, etc. Many are still competing at different levels, as time permits.
They use a self guided on-line training system developed in part by my husband. We also hold in-service trainings to improve their teaching skills. The system we use involves a beautiful progression of each skill, and it is this progression that supports effective learning.
My instructors and I teach swimming lessons because we love it! I love helping kids overcome their fears of water. I love watching them master a certain skill and seeing the light in their eyes as they realize what they are capable of doing. I love helping students improve and become better swimmers.
We teach because there are many life lessons that can be learned from swimming: hard work, dedication, commitment, overcoming hard things, reaching one’s potential, the power of the mind, and challenging yourself and overcoming things that you didn’t think you could do.
Swimming has empowered me, and it can empower you and your children.