#276: Terry Laughlin, The Master Who Changed My Life

The Tim Ferriss Show


This episode will forever have special meaning for me. While I didn't know it at the time, this ended up being the final long-form interview with Terry Laughlin (@TISWIM). Terry passed away from cancer complications on October 20, just two weeks after we recorded this interview. Terry was the founder of Total Immersion Swimming and co-author of Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier. He had a profound impact on me -- teaching me to overcome a lifelong fear of water and swimming (read all about it here). But more than that, he's been an inspiration for the way I've done anything since. Terry coached three college and two USA Swimming club teams from 1973 to 1988, improving each team dramatically. In that time, he developed 24 national champions at all strokes and distances -- the first national champions produced by four different teams. In 1989, Terry founded Total Immersion and turned his focus from working with young, accomplished swimmers to adults with little experience or skill (like me). But it's not just about swimming; Terry's elegant method of deconstruction and logical progression is the epitome of what I strive to do when I'm talking about learning any skill -- from investing to learning languages. It's with a heavy heart but much gratitude that I was able to interview Terry before he passed. Please enjoy, savor, and digest what Terry had to impart. And be sure to check out Terry's gift for listeners to this podcast: a free seven-day membership to the Total Immersion Academy online training center.