Swim Classes Return to Falk Center
Swim classes are back at Einstein! On the first Monday of every month, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.*, anyone in the Einstein community—from newbies to competitive swimmers—is welcome to attend swim classes at the Falk Recreation Center, led by longtime swim coach Robert “Bobby” Warren.
“We have a lot of different skill levels among our current swimmers, from advanced swimmers to people who have barely been in the water before,” said Bobby.
After swimming competitively in college, Bobby coached middle school and high school swim teams. He’s currently commissioner of the New York City Public School Athletic League swimming and diving program, which means he oversees the city’s 80 high school swim teams and runs the city championships every year.
So far, his hour-long classes at the Falk Center have covered basic swimming styles, including the breast stroke, backstroke, and butterfly, along with drills for improving the way swimmers push off the wall and how they “glide” in the water between strokes. During the classes, attendees also can work on improving their technique and their breathing.
“At one of the first classes, we had someone who wasn’t comfortable putting their head under water,” said Bobby. “By the end of the lesson, they were bobbing up and down with good confidence.”
A Tailored Approach
The Falk Center has hosted well-attended swim classes in years past. When the former instructor, an avid swimmer living on campus, moved with his spouse upon her graduation from Einstein, classes were no longer consistently available. Christopher LaColla, assistant manager of the Falk Center, who oversees aquatics, hopes these new once-a-month classes take off so the center can add more classes at different times.
“Bobby is very knowledgeable, and we’re happy to have him on our team. He has vast experience in aquatics,” said Chris. “His class can meet the needs of all levels of swimmer, from beginner to former competitors. He can tailor his teaching to their needs, so someone who wants to work on their swimming technique can do so while getting a good workout, yet beginners can get over any timid feelings in the water and learn how to be comfortable in the water and to swim more effortlessly.”
If you’re an inexperienced swimmer, Bobby may be the perfect coach for you. He didn’t start swimming seriously until he was in his 20s. He was at a meeting for resident advisors as an undergraduate at Alfred University and someone asked him if he wanted to join the swim team.
“I showed up in a Hollister bathing suit with no goggles, got into the pool, and joined a college swim team. I had no idea what I was doing,” he said. “But I fell in love with swimming and everyone on that team.”
His wife is a Ph.D. candidate at Einstein, so he’s been using the Falk Center pool for the last few years. That’s how Chris met him and asked him if he’d coach at Einstein once a month.
Bobby comes to Einstein after his day job as a health and physical education teacher at a middle school in Jamaica, Queens. He loves teaching, especially swimming.
“I think swimming is the greatest thing you can possibly do for your body,” he said. “Unlike running, which is high impact, swimming is very low impact. It’s something you can do for the rest of your life.”
*Beginning October 15, swim classes with Bobby will meet on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The Falk Center also offers a weekly swim instruction class, on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. The instructor, Francine Mahoney, is among the center’s longtime lifeguards and also has worked as a swim instructor outside of Einstein.
While there is no charge for members of the center for these offerings, non-members can purchase a guest pass for $8 or a guest pack of five passes for $35. Pool hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays recently expanded, and the time for Women’s Open Swim on Sundays has changed. Check the center’s online schedule to learn when the pool is open.
Posted on: Friday, October 11, 2019