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TI coach Johnny Widén

Below you can read my swimming story. From having been a promising 13-year-old to someone who in his old age found a new incredible joy in swimming. A joy I have Terry Laughlin, founder of Total Immersion Swimming, to thank for. A swimming joy I try to spread to my swimming students.

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  • 1961-1967 Competition swimmer

  • 2004- Exercise swimmer

  • 2010- Open water swimmer

  • 2010 Test swimming before the upcoming Luleå Midnight Swim

  • 2010-2012 Vansbrosimmet

  • 2010 October-November: Perceptual Motion Freestyle in 10 lessons dvd - student

  • 2011-2012 Luleå Midnight Swim

  • 2011-2012 Sim the Arctic Circle

  • March 2012: Total Immersion Workshop in Örebro - student

  • 2012 October: Open Water Camp in Cirali, Turkey - elev

  • 2012 October: The Total Immersion Video Contest - winner

  • 2012 October: Coach Certificate Course, London, England - student

  • 2012 October: Certified TI coach

  • 2012 December: TI course in Luleå with Anna-Karin Lundin, - assistant coach

  • January 2013: Open Water Camp for Beginners, Maho Bay, Virgin Islands - coach

  • January 2013: Open Water Camp for Alumni, Maho Bay, Virgin Islands - coach

  • 2013 January-March: TI course under the auspices of Luleå swimming club - coach

  • 2013 September: Open Water Camp in Cirali, Turkey - coach

  • 2013 October: Open Water Camp in Kas, Turkey - coach

  • 2013 October: Coach 2.0 Course, London, England - student

  • November 2013: TI Clinic, Örebro - coach

  • 2014-2019 Swim the Arctic Circle (missed 2013 due to rib fracture)

  • 2014-2020: A number of TI courses in Luleå in collaboration with Lulekamraterna - coach

  • 2016-2020: A number of training sessions "Smart Speed" for TI swimmers who have the basics and want to be faster - participants and coach

  • 2019- Winter swimmer

  • 2020- Ice wax builder

  • 2021- Winter swimming coaching


Almost beat Gunnar Larsson
At the beginning of my swimming career I was a breast swimmer and then became district champion in Västerbotten several times. At best, I became the Norrland champion in the 100m breaststroke. I also participated in SM and JSM a few times. At Skol-SM I was at best four. For some reason, I lost the technique in breaststroke. I could not swim fast anymore. I changed to a medley where I at JSM was at best six with Gunnar Larsson a few tenths ahead of me. Considering Gunnar's later career, I usually brag that I almost beat him. :-) At the Swedish Championships I was at best 10th. In backstroke and butterfly swimming, I have some final places at Skol-SM. In addition, a number of DM wins in different swimming modes. In recent years I also have some gold, silver and bronze medals from the Masters-SM.

From IT to TI
Before I retired in September 2012, I worked at Luleå University of Technology, where I started in January 1973. I have been a teacher in computer science, numerical analysis, mathematics and media technology. I have also worked at the Computer Centre at the university and made a detour to the software industry as a programmer and product manager 1985-1995. In 1995 I returned and remained until retirement. During my last stay at the university, I called myself an e-meeting evangelist and was, among other things, responsible for SUNET's meeting service (SUNET = Sweden's university computer network). E-meetings are meetings over the Internet with, among other things, audio, video, whiteboard and shared documents. I was also one of the founders of Marratech, a company that developed and sold software for meetings. Marratech's software and licenses were acquired by Google in 2008 and Google+ Hangouts and later Google Meet is the result we can see today from that acquisition.

It's a bit funny that it needed a pandemic to make e-meetings popular.

I have some thoughts about what a virtual coaching environment would look like, ie what distance coaching would look like ...

Well, enough about this, now the rest is about swimming.

How to swim energy efficiently?
I was an active swimmer from 1961 to 1967. In 2004, I started exercising regularly. In 2010 I became interested in swimming in open water and took part in a test race for Luleå Midnight Swim and also swam Vansbro that year. After Vansbro, I felt that I wanted to be able to swim better and faster. The only solution I saw then was to simply make sure to start training hard. To get me more muscle and better condition.

However, I had thought a lot about why some could swim so much faster than others. It was especially a swimmer, Henrik Johansson Berlin who I checked out in our pool. It looked like he was pulling himself through an invisible rope. His swimming was so effective. How the hell did the man behave? Google was my friend who helped me find Shinji's famous clips and thus the solution, namely Total Immersion.

TI evangelist
I got the dvdn Total Immersion Self-Coached Workshop: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in 10 Lessons ... and followed the lessons one by one for about 6 weeks in the fall of 2010. By following Total Immersion's excellent forum and reading some books, I got a good foundation and a good understanding of what Total Immersion is. As I became passionate about Total Immersion, I began to try to convince others of its benefits. I had simply become a TI evangelist!

Workshop in Örebro
In the spring of 2012, I participated in a workshop for Total Immersion in Örebro with Mat Hudson and Pawel Lewicki as coach and Lennart Larsson as mentor. Getting direct feedback from a TI coach was very valuable. Significantly more efficient than driving on your own, videotaping yourself, going home, analyzing, waiting for the next pool session and trying to correct the mistakes you have seen.

Open Water Camp in Cirali
In the fall of 2012, I was at an open water camp in Cirali, Turkey, hosted by TI Master Coach Mat Hudson. An absolutely fantastic experience with a lot of swimming in a wonderful environment. One of our coaches was TI founder Terry Laughlin. It was decided that I would go to London a couple of weeks later and train as a TI coach.

Terry blogged

I made the following movie

TI coach

Teachers were the TI coaching course were Terry Laughlin, Suzanne Atkinson, Mat Hudson, Tracey Maison Baumann and Jai Evans. A very rewarding and good course, which made me a certified TI coach with the opportunity to help others swim better and to also develop my own swimming. The fact that every TI coach should be able to swim and demonstrate the TI technology is something that attracts me a lot and gives confidence. So it's about living as you learn and that is a motto I have followed through life in various contexts.

I made the following movie

Assistant TI coach
In December 2012, Sweden's first TI coach Anna-Karin Lundin held a course in Luleå with me, Sweden's second TI coach, as assistant coach. It was instructive and fun to see how Anna-Karin works and get to know her. Anna-Karin is based in Gothenburg.

Video competition winner
During the summer of 2011, a video competition was announced where you would tell in 3 minutes about how Total Immersion has changed your life. I immediately grabbed and cut together with the help of old and some newly filmed material My Total Immerson Story. I won that competition and the prize was the entry fee to an open water camp in Maho Bay in the Virgin Islands. Before the winner was chosen, I had managed to become a TI coach and my profit actually consisted of having the opportunity to work there as a coach.

Terry blogged about it

He also invited me to another blog about how I created the film

Maho Bay Open Water Camp
In January 2013, I participated as a coach in two training camps in open water swimming in the Virgin Islands. One for beginners and one for alumni, those who have been to Maho Bay camp before. It was two fantastic weeks and a very educational experience.

TI course in collaboration with Luleå swimming club

For six Sundays during January to March 2013, I held a TI course with nine participants. To help me, I had three master swimmers from Luleå swimming club, Maria Rhodin, Henrik Johansson Berlin and Stigbjörn Åman, all trained TI swimmers.

Open Water Camp in Cirali
For a week in September 2013, I coached with Mat Hudson, Tracey Baumann, Sam Williams and Mustafa Karaaslan with a group of swimmers in Cirali, Turkey.

Open Water Camp in Kas
For a week in October 2013, together with Mat Hudson and Mustafa Karaaslann, I coached some swimmers in Kas, Turkey.

Coach 2.0
In October 2013, I attended a Coach 2.0 course in London led by Terry Laughlin. It was about how to practice to swim faster and longer through intentional practice (Deliberate Practice). So just let us know if you want to develop your swimming further.

TI Clinic, Örebro
In November 2013, a two-day TI Clinic was held in Örebro under the leadership of Terry Laughlin and with Tracey Maison Baumann and me as assistants. Day 1: TI 1.0 and day 2: TI 2.0

Coach 3.0
My experience and knowledge from all camps for open water swimming has made me a coach 3.0

Winter swimming
Over the years, I have often swum in cold water, but not colder than 7°C. In the autumn of 2019, I was inspired to swim in really cold water and trained in 0°C water until February 2020 and the Scandinavian championships in winter swimming. It resulted in three gold medals. 25m ice butterfly, 50m and 100m freestyle.

This is shown in the film I made in a video editing competition where I won a second prize.


Open water

Swimming in open water is something much more fun, interesting and comfortable than swimming back and forth in the box filled with water that a pool is. It gives a completely different freedom. You can swim continuously in your bubble without being interrupted by these constant turns in the pool. During the summers, I have swum countless meters in various circumstances. From gliding forward in flat water to following them in high waves without fighting them. To simply become one with the water. An indescribable feeling.

Then having the body adapted to warm "South Sea swimming" in thirty-degree water to "Arctic" swimming in zero-degree water has been a very rewarding adventure.


In addition to my own swimming, I have also participated in a number of open water swimming competitions

  • Vansbrosimingen: 2010, 2011, 2012. Also reported for 2013, but a rib injury put an end to participation

  • Luleå Midnight Swim: 2010 (test swimming), 2011, 2012. Unfortunately closed after only two years

  • Swim the Arctic Circle: 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Had to give up 2013 for the rib injury. 2020 and 2021 canceled by the Corona virus

Winter swimming
Over the years, I have often swum in cold water, but not colder than 7 ° C. In the autumn of 2019, I was inspired to swim in really cold water and trained in 0 ° C water until February 2020 and the Scandinavian championships in winter swimming. It resulted in three gold medals. 25m ice butterfly, 50m and 100m freestyle.

This is shown in the film I made in a video editing competition where I won a second prize.

3 Elements

Ice hole builder

Katalin Orosz and I built an ice rink at Svartöbrinken, Luleå. Brinkvaken.

Winter bath coaching

I was asked by the staff association at the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten to coach some of their staff in Vinterbad on two occasions. At one point, they wanted a one-minute film of what I filmed for the project Air is Free.

Visit Luleå

This is how it should be
Part of a campaign for Visit Luleå

TI courses in Luleå in collaboration with Lulekamraterna
I have coached a number of TI courses in Luleå during 2014-2020 and I will continue with more courses as soon as the corona pandemic allows. Read more ...

Personal coaching
I have also coached a number of swimmers on a personal basis and I will continue with more lessons as soon as the corona pandemic allows. Read more...

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