For as long as I can remember, I have loved the water. More than anything I have loved to play in the water. Growing up in Venezuela on the warm waters of the Caribbean was a great experience. Most weekends we went to the beach and I spent a lot of time in the serpentine pool that was part of club we went to. As far as I know I never participated in any swim lessons. As a teenager I swam breaststroke competitively as part of a summer league in Vermont. During the “winter” months (there is no winter and no change in seasons at all in Venezuela) I learned to sail, first a Sunfish and then I was a crew member on a Flying Dutchman. Those were fun days. Capsizing one of those boats just meant more time to play in the water. Venezuela is also blessed with some of the most beautiful tropical islands anywhere. We often sailed there for weekends and were able to explore the coral reefs when they were still alive and vibrant in their colors. Yes, it was magical and I was fortunate to have been able to live that life. When it comes to swimming, though, I may have settled into just playing in the water without thinking too much about my stroke if it wasn’t for the fact that I developed an interest in triathlon in the 1990’s. My first season I competed swimming breaststroke in a wetsuit! I may have been having fun, but it was quickly apparent that I needed to do a bit more than that. The next couple of years I took lessons and joined a group to train by swimming freestyle. Once again comfort, endurance and enjoyment were not an issue. Technique and efficiency were, though. And that’s how Total Immersion came into my life.
My friend Celia, en experienced triathlete, told me about an upcoming TI workshop and I decided to join her. It was eye opening and life changing. For the first time I realized that there was more to swimming than just playing or moving in the water without some kind of plan or purpose. The whole weekend experience was amazing. I loved the progressive nature of the course. I loved the attention to detail and the ability to have my body go into very specific positions. My race swims became enjoyable and faster. I had the ability to swim more efficiently and still be able to focus on my surroundings at the same time.
Not long after I made the decision to become a Total Immersion coach. After 15 years I am scaling back and have retired from being a Total Immersion coach.
My favorite lesson to share with my students is that in bringing their full mental attention and their physical energy into the present moment, they will find success.

(Image credits go to my dear brother Johann Napp and to Christian Rebuffo)

Helenita Jacobs


Total Immersion Master Coach (2003-2018)

Miracle Swimming Licensed Instructor (2008-2016)

USAT Level 1 Coach (2004-2008)