Paul Wherly

What has swimming got to do with it?

Swimming and learningWhat has Swimming got to do with Learning?

What has swimming got to do with Learning and learning how to use software such as Microsoft Office? Read on to find out.

So there I was in the swimming pool doing my 50 lengths. Yes I know, no need to brag but I do need to set the scene :)

Well, I was swimming up and down and thinking – I do lots of great thinking when swimming. I was thinking that on Wednesday when I swam it was much easier to swim properly than when I was swimming on Tuesday.  So what! I hear you say.

Earlier this year I wanted to improve my swimming. I was one of those people who swim up and down doing breast stroke with their head out of the water – you know what I mean you see them all the time. I signed up for a series of swimming lessons to improve my technique and to learn how to swim with my head in the water. I had always admired the swimmers who swim effortlessly up and down the pool without seeming to breathe!

The first lesson was a bit painful – I did have to put my face in the water. It got easer each week and after four lessons I was able to swim properly with a much improved technique.  I noticed that not only was my technique improved, I could also swim more lengths in the same time.

Having learned to swim properly – I could now swim faster and further in the same time.

Instead of swimming just 30 lengths in half an hour I can now do between 50 and 60 – a huge improvement which means my overall fitness level is improving too.

The impact of learning

So if by having just four swimming lessons I can improve my ability to swim further and faster imagine how learning to use Microsoft Office properly will impact on your productivity.

Have some lessons in using Excel and get those spreadsheets added up in double quick time, freeing up more time for you to talk to your clients and help them out. Learn how to produce spectacular documents using Styles and Templates, and increase your output of those important documents dramatically. Impress your clients and get more work done.

Now when I came in I mentioned that it was easier on Wednesday than on Tuesday. I had taken a break from swimming for a few weeks and was out of practice. It was a while since I had put my new skills into effect. This meant that it took me a swim on Tuesday to get back into the rhythm of swimming properly again.

Practice Practice Practice!

Taking lessons in anything is not enough. After your lessons you need to practice what you have learned. In between my swimming lessons I was in the pool most days, practicing swimming with my face in the water. It is the same with any learning you undertake. In order for the learning to stick, it needs to be experiential and it needs to be practiced.

Next time you invest in training your team, factor in the practice time they will need after learning new skills.  Tell them it’s ok to book out time to practice each day just 15 minutes each day may be all it takes to embed a new skill. The overall benefits will be immense as with better skills and more confidence, your workforce will get more done in less time.

Remember to give us a call to discuss your organisational learning needs – we have many ways of delivering learning – but that is another blog for another day!

OK off for my swim now!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Would you like to talk through your IT Training needs?
Just send through your details and we'll get back to you.