Swim Success Blog -- My personal soapbox on swimming, learning, and life

Red Flag 02 THE way

... the way ...

That requires a Red Flag--not bacause of what it says--rather because of what it doesn't say.

If a swim instructor says, for example, "This is the way to kick," that sounds innocent enough. Right?

What it fails to say is that there are other ways to kick as well. By saying, this is the way to kick, one actually is saying this is the only way to kick.

Argument: No. The instructor is not saying this is the only way to kick. If the instructor meant to say that, (s)he would say that.

Response: It is the responsibility of the instructor to utilize exceptional clarity whenever possible.

So, let's try some alternative statements that offer more complete clarity.

  • This is the kick we'll be learning now.
  • This is a way to kick.
  • This is the flutter kick.
  • This is one way to kick.
  • This is the way I want you to kick.
  • This is the kick that is used with this stroke.
  • This is the kick I want you to use.

Let "... the way ... " raise a red flag in your speech. Then, look for an alternative that improves on clarity.

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