Be prepared to leave Peter Holoda’s Fitter and Faster clinic hungry for more of swimming! His infectious love for the water will ignite your swimmer’s passion for the sport – and quite possibly for the international swimming scene.
Hailing from Europe’s oldest country, this Hungarian has the hardware of a renowned swimmer yet maintains perspective on what the sport is all about:
“I just love swimming in general. For me, it has always been about more than just winning medals or going to practice – it’s about inspiring others. If one kid goes home after my clinic thinking, ‘That’s cool, I want to be a swimmer now!’ it would all be worth it. I like working with kids a lot, because they are so excited about everything we teach them. You can see it in their eyes when you inspire them. It’s really cool to become someone’s role model, in a sense.”
Peter has the unique experience of being exposed to the sport in multiple countries, equipping him with the skills to communicate with swimmers of all backgrounds: “I have basically been to every part of the world and learned how to deal with people from all different backgrounds – it helps you grow, in a sense. Now, I can find the common language with everyone I interact with. Swimming is different in all areas of the world.”
These strong communication skills come in handy when giving detailed feedback to participants at clinics: “I’m a guy who likes details – probably too much. All the swimmers love focusing on these details, asking: ‘How am I doing on my turn? How can I pull differently to go faster? What can I do to make my start better?’ I can find the mutual interest to connect and give them all of the tools to improve. I encourage experimentation with different techniques, because what works for one athlete may not work for another in the next lane.”
Drawing from his own elite experience, Peter specifically helps swimmers find the best body line and streamline by experimenting with depth, head position and catch: “I love focusing on catch and play around, trying it with a wide, narrow, deep or shallow pull. It starts with the catch, but I work on the recovery phase as well.”
While his expertly trained eye can guide swimmers toward finding the best stroke that works for them, he cautions participants about the importance of taking these new insights home to practice daily:
“Remember – one clinic is not going to make miracles. We teach them something and want them to take it home to do it day in and day out, every practice and every lap and every stroke. You don’t show up to a clinic and now you’re Michael Phelps! You show up, learn what he does, then go home and practice it for years, and then maybe you’ll be on the same level.”
Good technique compounded on days, weeks, months and years is what it takes to be great, even when the going gets rough. “I remind swimmers, even the younger ones, that they tend to be sloppy in the water when they’re tired and low on energy. That’s how they will feel at the end of the race, so it is extremely important to still perform their strokes well,” he says.
That’s what makes swimming such a fun sport – it’s dynamic and a continual process toward progress. You can constantly switch things up or focus on different technical aspects. But all of this – fun and all – is wrapped up in hard work and helping others achieve their goals as well: “That’s what swimming is teaching me. You’ve gotta be a hard worker, and you have to acknowledge what other people are going through; you’re not the only one hurting or struggling. It helps you appreciate people in general and what they do, too.”
This attitude of collective striving helps Peter create an environment where swimmers feel safe to try new things, challenged to push to the next level, and excited about the future possibilities with swimming. You’re in for an exciting time at his Fitter and Faster clinics. Sign up for his next one today!