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Meet Coach Jean-Paul Pinzón of Swim4Me

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jean-Paul Pinzón.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jean-Paul. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The Swim4Me story is one of inspiration, family tradition and longtime dedication.

Decades ago, my grandmother developed a key collaboration with Crystal Scarborough, a pioneer of swim instruction who helped make hundreds of thousands of kids “water safe.” (She reportedly put a coin in a jar for each one). Building on Scarborough’s unique approach to swim instruction, which she was able to decode through her long experience in physical education, my grandmother became the Director of the Beverlywood Swim School. She brought her four children, including my Aunt Annie and my mom, into the School. And before long, at age ten, my mom started teaching there as well. She and my aunt were invited on a month-long tour of Japan, spreading the unique techniques practiced at BSS and teaching thousands of babies how to swim.

My mother grew up to become known as ‘Coach Kathleen’ — taking her experience swimming and training in Culver City and building a reputation as one of the foremost swimming instructors in the country. Her success, which attracted the attention of many A-list celebrity clients, always intrigued me. I’ve been swimming competitively my entire life. Then, after college, I decided to jump right into the family business. I taught just a few kids at first, then increased my clientele to a point at which I now teach over 130 kids a week!

Through the skills I absorbed from my family, the hard training I went through — both swimming myself and applying specific teaching techniques — and through my new invigoration of the business through the enhanced social media presence I campaigned, I have reached my current position as a partner at Swim4Me, working with clients that include some of Southern California’s elite.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being in the water for seven plus hours a day takes a real physical toll on the body, which can be trying at times. But my mother and I find it worth it given the end result of making kids safe. Other than that, I don’t worry too much about the challenges of building our business. By having the passion for what I do and giving it 100%, rewarding work always seems to follow.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our method involves building self-assurance as well as skill, getting kids accustomed to the water from a very early age. It incorporates the successes my mother achieved teaching children with disabilities, using love and repetition to overcome limitations. We specialize with babies and toddlers, starting with those as young as four months. Babies are born with a kicking reflex that goes away around six months, so it’s great to take advantage of this natural head start.

I always try to bring a dynamic and tailored experience to each client, priding myself on adjusting to different levels of ability and expectation. This requires me to be a problem solver, adjusting my methods for different students’ needs and personalizing the learning experience each time. Some kids are not as coordinated as others, and it requires a lot of intricate psychological games to get them to the next level. I distract the kids from their anxieties about having water in their face by using toys and animation. I also use projection, pouring water onto dolls so they can see how it’s safe.

This yields real results, producing human beings that are ready for the water and the world, which is what I’m most proud of. But I also enjoy creating videos to show parents at different stages of the process. Using appropriately triumphant music, I edit clips together showing their little ones succeeding in the pool. It’s a personal touch that many people seem to respond to. Most of our clients come to us from word of mouth alone.

We are a family-oriented business, taking a long history that’s passionate about swimming and swim instruction and bringing it to families across the West LA area. All of our lessons are one on one, with a structured yet sensitive approach that builds confidence, strength and the skills to be safe in the water. I firmly believe learning to swim should be creative and fun! Water is your friend. You don’t have to fight the water; just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.

I’ve been doing this job for seven years, and I feel that each year I get better and better at it. I was born to work with kids. They feel my positive energy and respond to it. Children can read you so well and so quickly, and have no qualms showing it. So I make sure to keep learning myself and improving what I do. I always stay positive and focused on the future.

Nothing makes me prouder than seeing my students succeed. I have a real passion for teaching. To me, each child is like an empty canvas with no knowledge of how to handle themselves in the water. Then, after I repeat a series of commands with my hands as well as my voice, they eventually become finished works of water-savvy kids. After working with so many children over the years, this is still a miracle to me, every time.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
LA is a great place for a business like Swim4Me! The weather’s fantastic, the people are friendly, and there’s plenty of opportunity to put our teachings to work in all kinds of fun water activities. The city has many people of means who can afford first-class instruction. In fact, we’ll be looking for additional teachers soon to accommodate all the demand. Of course, it could be better for someone just starting out to look at a smaller market. But our business is certainly thriving.

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 310-529-1298
  • Instagram: @SwimGuru
  • Email: jeanpaulpinzon@gmail.com

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1 Comment

  1. Dina Zaky

    December 26, 2020 at 21:19

    I lobe your story. I love your passion. Most of all I love that all the kids look so happy learning to swim! 🙂 will definitely be recommending you to friends and family!

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