Understand swimming: my new book

My new book entitled, “Understand swimming: a guide for parents, swimmers, and coaches” should be available for purchase next month. Initially, the book will be sold only in Poland (and in Polish). Since I decided to self-publish, the plan is to make enough money to cover the costs of publication in the US.

But what is the book about? It is hard for me to answer this question. In fact, it is easier to say what the book is not – it is not a book that will teach you how to swim.  As it stands, the book offers four major chapters – elementary school, middle school, high school, college – with ten sections each. In my analysis, I touch upon many aspects of swimming:

  • How not to support your children in sports?
  • Why your first coach is the most important one?
  • Why learning technique from Michael Phelps is a bad idea?
  • Why routine matters?

I wanted to write a book that I was hoping to read twenty years ago. I started working on this project in 2009 and it is probably a good thing it took me a decade to complete it. I would like to believe that I became wiser in that time, but that will be up to the reader to decide.

Many parts of the last chapter (college) offer a critique of a Polish model of development, which is highly centralized. I was not able to escape my formal training in comparative politics. In fact, upon re-reading my proofs, I was almost surprised how many of my ideas are shaped by thinkers such as Nassim Taleb, Daniel Kahneman, and even Milton Friedman. I have a whole section about why inclusive solutions, ala those recommended by Acemoglu and Robinson in Why Nations Fail?, are the only way forward for the Polish Swimming Federation.

When this book is translated into English, some of my arguments will have to be no doubt re-shaped. It is a matter of simple asymmetry that readers in Poland care more about American solutions, rather than vice versa (my arguments can be anticipated here and here). I should also add that many of my arguments “travel” well to other disciplines, because I argue (and believe) that athletic disciplines are united by the same essence.

For now, I am excited to see this book in print soon. Can it be published in the US this year? Maybe. But with this type of project, I am simply learning by doing.

I will keep you posted!

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