of Swimming - in a New Direction with the Alexander Technique
Published 2001 165 pages
This is the original book by Steven Shaw explaining his system of improved swimming based on the Alexander Technique, now known as 'The Shaw Method'.
The first chapter of the book contains a brief but adequate description of the evolution of the Technique and covers its basic concepts. The main emphasis is on awareness, with exploration and awareness whilst swimming being the main tools to produce a freer and more joyful experience in the water. The book looks closely at fitness, contains some very good, practical suggestions for a new approach to swimming; it also devotes a good amount of coverage to anxieties connected to water, where building confidence is emphasised as a basis for learning to swim rather than as something that follows automatically after acquiring swimming skills. There is then much consideration of the technical skills of swimming, emphasising that the key aspects of swimming are the balance of the body in the water and integrating the breathing with the strokes.
Shaw has since written a follow on 'Master the Art of Swimming' , but this book continues to fascinate swimmers of all abilities and, unlike a swimming manual, is in a style that could be read from cover to cover. An accompanying video was made, but is no longer available.