Interview with Lisa Miyasugi, swimming coach in Tokyo!
Lisa Miyasugi is a Japanese swimming coach. Originally from Yokohama, she started swimming when she was 3 years old. She represented Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and now coaches all levels from beginners to professionals in Tokyo.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am a former Japan National Open Water Swimming Champion and was selected to represent Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I have 18 years of experience as a competitive swimmer and 6 years of experience as a swimming coach for triathletes, babies, children, college students, beginners, intermediate and masters swimmers and challenged athletes.
What do you like the most about swimming?
All life needs water. By nature, human beings are connected to water. Swimming is one way to make this connection. I believe swimming is a basic human instinct. New born babies know how to swim. Everyone can swim if he or she does not fight nature. Swimming is one of the best ways to keep fit both physically and mentally.
What are the benefits of swimming ?
Swimming has lots of benefits for human health such as body toned, attractive and healthy body. My lessons begin with exercises for core strengthening and stretching for flexibility. Swim training takes advantage of the benefits that water offer the human body: water pressure massages the body; water current stimulates blood circulation; and water buoyancy relieves pressure on skeletal joints.
When did you start coaching athletes and why?
I started coaching professionally three years ago. Using my expericences as a competitve swimmer, open water national champion and ocean life guard, I enjoy teaching and training people of many backgrounds and abilities. It's very satisfying to see a student develop into a good swimmer.
What is E3fit?
My lessons are not full of hard sets and workouts, so different from a Masters Program. An efficient, easy and effective swimming form is more important than strength. I teach all four swim strokes. Mastering all four strokes will make you a much faster free style swimmer.
How would you describe you as a coach?
I am totally dedicated to my students. I do not focus only results such as fast times. Everyone is different and has his or her own unique particular goals. I try to address those induividual goals. I believe hard training is good but effective, easy and efficient training is better. In my classes, students share mutual respect and have fun in the workouts.
Do you organize training camps outside Tokyo sometimes?
Yes. I conduct open water swimming (OWS) lessons in the ocean. The OWS lessons are held just south of Tokyo, e.g., Kamakura, Oiso, etc. These lessons are especially helpful for triathletes.
Who can join your session?
I coach all levels, including beginners and competitive swimmers. No age and health recommendation. All levels are welcome, even children.
What are your advice to start as a swimmer?
All my lessons are conducted in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Don’t be scared and join us. Swimming is a natural human instinct. Everyone and anyone can swim. I will get into the pool with you.
How many hours should I train per week as a beginner?
It depends, but I suggest training at least twice a week for beginners.
Can you recommend shops to buy swimming equipment in Tokyo?
I like Sports Zyuen at Ueno in Tokyo.
In which pool, do you train your athletes?
For private lesson, I train at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
And for group lessons:
- Monday night from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at Tokyo American Club
- Wednesday morning from 7:00 to 8:30 am at Shinjuku
- Thursday morning from 7:15 to 8:15 am at Ebisu
- Friday morning from 6:30 to 8:00 am at Tokyo American club
- Saturday morning from 8:00 to 9:30 am and 9:30 to 11:00 am at Spa Shirokane
Is swimming very popular in Japan?
Yes, there are many public swimming pools. There are many swimming schools, especially schools for kids. Most Japanese children know how to swim.
Can you recommend good places to swim in Tokyo?
If you would like to swim at a long course (50m) I would suggest Tatsumi International Pool.
Can you explain the rules to follow in Tokyo’s swimming pools and any particularities compared to Western pools?
You must wear a swim cap and most public pools do not allow swimming with a watch.