Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ANZAC weekend swimming and video analysis...

Dear Swimmers

Hopefully you'll be pleased to know that despite the ANZAC public holiday this weekend, it'll still be all systems "go" at the swim squad this weekend, allowing those of you whom are training for the Busselton a Half Ironman next week to still top-up and fine tune before the event.

The following sessions will all still be on as normal for clarity:

Thursday 6:20am meet for a 6:45am start at Claremont Jetty for a 2-4km open water swim
Friday 5:30am, 6:30am, 9:30am
Saturday 1:00pm*
Monday 7am, 9:30am

*during this session we will be of course practicing some open water skills at the Claremont Pool - this could be a great opportunity to use your wetsuit and get yourself feeling comfortable with that for the following weekend. Also, as this session always works best with more numbers, please feel free to invite a friend along with you who doesn't ordinarily swim in this session. The cost to them will just be $5 cash as a special for this Saturday and also the following Saturday 2nd May** whilst we have the coaches over and whilst I am back on pool deck. Please take advantage of this great offer!!

**this 1-2pm session will still be on during the Busselton Half Ironman weekend for your reference - hope to see some of you along then!!

Lastly, we have the 5 coaches over at the moment whom you've all made feel very welcome - thanks for this. As a gesture of good faith and to help their learning we have 5 FREE places for a session between 2-4pm next Thursday (30/4) at the Claremont Pool to come and have your stroke filmed, critiqued and then some work done on your stroke. Each swimmer will then get a copy of their footage and analysis as well as receiving a complimentary 1 month free access to our exciting new app to help continue your learning. I will be aiding all the coaches with the support of Coach Emma too. This is a strictly first-come, first-served offer and valued at $219 each so please respond asap. Thanks.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Amazing weekend down in Margs for those of you into surfing!

Dear Swimmers

A little off-topic this one but I know many of you are well into your surfing and thought you might appreciate seeing these snaps I took down in Margaret River this weekend at the WSL Margaret River Masters - did anyone else make it down there? Very inspiring - the weather was sensational!

See you during the week and remember we'll have the coaches with us for the next fortnight - please say hi!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Return from the Land of the Long White Cloud!

The best way to see New Zealand without a doubt!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you have all endured the wet weather last week - I heard it was quite the tropical monsoon climate!

I will be back on pool deck tomorrow (Monday 13th April) for the 7am and 9.30am sessions. We're now less than 3 weeks away from the Busselton Half Ironman which I know many of you are doing in some capacity or other! Following this we will look to instigate a bit of a winter program to keep your mojo high during the colder months, aiming to start Monday 18th May. I welcome any feedback / ideas that you might have for this one.

Following my UK work trip and the New Zealand Easter holiday, I am really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and seeing how everyone is getting on!

Just a quick reminder, from next Monday 20th April for a period of 2 weeks we shall have six international visiting coaches with me on pool deck: Emma Brunning (whom many of you already know and love) will be back to help mentor the five new coaches (Emma and Lucy from the UK, Russell from New Zealand, Enrique from Spain and Fenella from Hong Kong) who we'll be putting through their paces on pool deck at all the sessions. I'm hoping you'll all benefit greatly from having a greater coach:athlete ratio during this period and look forward to seeing you all down there showing them what you can do! No pressure! ;-)

I thought I'd take the liberty of sharing with you a few of our snaps from our 10 day trip to the north island of New Zealand. We were primarily over there for one of my best friend's wedding (he'd asked me to be his official photographer for the day which I was chuffed to bits about!), but took the opportunity to travel around the island for the remainder of the week in a motor-home. This was very reminiscent of mine and Michelle's 6-month trek around Europe in a similar vehicle (called "Sid the Swim Smooth Bus") exactly 10 years ago…but this time with two stow-a-ways in the form of Jackson (6) and Isla Rose (3). It made for a great holiday and I have to say I totally fell in love with the country - well worth a trip if you've never been!

This greeted us on the first morning - Hot Water Beach, the Coromandel - arguably one of the nicest beaches I've ever seen - the water was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I put Jackson straight to work, digging a hole in the beach to create our very own hot water spa bath! Neat!

It was then down to Rotorua for the wedding and a boy's fishing trip to start the day - ai, ai, Captain Jackson!

My tutor Kirstie from the University of Bath had her little boy Lucas 36 hours before Jackson was born - she's the sister of my best mate Dan who was getting married - JJ and Lucas got on like a house on fire having never met before!

Having it large on the dance-floor - reminiscent of many a party gone by with Dan…in fact without this man (my Australian back-packing buddy) I'd never have visited Perth in the first place 13 years ago! Funny how things work out - he and Carma now live in Melbourne.

The four of us together in my makeshift photo booth which proved very popular with all the guests!

My new favourite swimming location - Lake Okataina - the water was so clean, fresh and pure that you could drink it!

Even Jackson fancied a little dabble - imagine my surprise when I turned around and he'd swum all the way out to me, about 100m off the shore!

De Brett's Spa Resort in Taupo - an amazing place for a family camping trip, complete with natural mineral spas and water slides all on site!

Jackson definitely gets his adventurous streak from Michelle…this is minutes before he took to a 15m high ropes course!

Isla looking on as her big brother shows her that heights aren't anything to be afraid of (maybe I need to observe more closely as I'm petrified of heights!)

Isla was too little for the ropes but decided to practice her Haka - unprompted!

Unfortunately we got rained out on the day we were going to walk the mighty mountain pass at Ruapehu! Good fun in the puddles was had though!

Loving our special necklaces from the famous Waitamo Glow Worm Caves!

A real highlight was a trip to Hobbiton - the movie set for the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - simply awesome!

The tree above Bilbo Baggins' house "Bag End" is not real - it cost designers $250,000 (one of the single most expensive props in movie history) to create the prop from steel and silicon but is amazingly life-like!

These two little hobbits were just about the right size for Hobbiton!

Isla's New Zealand lamb (she is fascinated by lambs and sheep!)

I even managed an 'impromptu' mini Swim Smooth Clinic for 7 swimmers in Auckland on our final day whilst Mish and the kids hit the butterfly and dinosaur park!

Life in Sid Mark II

Amazing sunset for our last evening - here at Clark's Beach near Auckland.

…and here we are right now, at 38,000ft flying back to Perth - everyone tuckered out but dreaming of our next adventure!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

UK Round-up and Beach Swimming Friday 27/3 and Monday 30/3 at 9.30am

Dear Swimmers

Well I've been back a week now and it's great to see so many of you still enjoying your swimming as we start to go into the colder months (relatively speaking!).

9.30am sessions

Just a reminder that this Friday 27/3 and Monday 30/3 for the 9.30am sessions we cannot use the pool due to two final carnivals (after this we're totally plain-sailing for the next couple of months*). We will run these 9.30am sessions at Cottesloe Beach meeting at the grass bank facing out to the pylon immediately to the north-side of the Indianna Tea Rooms. There was discussion about potentially running one of these sessions at the river - I will gauge interest in this with those who attend the Friday session and keep you posted over the weekend.

Pool Closure

*don't forget the pool is due to close for a period of 2 weeks from the 6th to the 20th June for some essential maintenance. It is unlikely that we'll be able to run any of our usual sessions during this period I'm afraid. I do apologise for the inconvenience. I have put in requests at other pools for some lane space during this time but it's looking a little unlikely due to other bookings. I will keep you posted on this front too!


Please note that the last session before Easter will be Sally's 6.30pm swim session on Thursday 2nd April and the first one back will be Cyndy's 5.30am/6.30am Tuesday 7th April session. There will be no sessions during the Easter holidays for the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Apologies for any inconvenience. I will be taking a short family holiday to New Zealand from the 2nd to 12th April, returning to the pool deck on Monday 13th April. One of my best friend's is getting married in Rotorua on Easter Saturday and I will be doing his wedding photos - sweet!

UK Trip

My UK trip went really well again this year - thanks once again for supporting me with these trips - they're truly very beneficial and I always come back nicely refreshed with some new ideas and evil plans formulating! 

We attended the 220 Triathlon Show for our fourth year in a row and this year created our own booth which was very well received and nicely demonstrated the new - see below:

Annie, Adam and Mother Smooth (Linda) prior to my arrival in the UK (I missed all the hard work setting it up - what a shame!)

The stand prior to the arrival of all the visitors

I was asked to deliver three keynote speeches for the audiences up in the seminar room on the topics of: setting appropriate goals based on knowing your CSS pace; open water skills; and a live video analysis "before and after" session with some historical video footage taken from the Swim Smooth archives. Based on the popularity of these talks I've also been asked to deliver the same speeches for on the 4/5th July in Sydney, which I'm really excited about.

Of course this job of mine comes with a lot of perks too - here I am taking former Pussy Cat Dolls singer / dancer Kimberly Wyatt through a swim analysis session as she's due to undertake her first triathlon this season:

Kim looking on as I help to fine tune a swimmer's stroke in the Endless Pool

Dontcha wish ya swim coach was hot like me…?? No, ok well fair enough, I couldn't resist and Kim seemed to find it funny at least!

Live stroke correction for the audience

The stand with people checking out the new web app 

Even the young kids were mesmerised by the new app!

Then it was up to Northampton to deliver two 3-day Swim Smooth Coach Education Courses. We had over 120 applicants from around the world for the 15 spots available on each course. These went really well and given the new web app we were able to spend much less time on the theory of our methodology over precious years and more time on the practical application as each swimmer / coach received a 1-month free subscription to the app.

Annie looks on with her funky new t-shirt

Coaches get down to the nitty gritty of 121 stroke correction

Jazz Hands Part 1

More nitty gritty!

Everyone in their Swim Smooth caps - a great sight!

Coach Roy from Holland helping refine his swimmer's form

Jazz Hands Part 2!

Martynas (swimmer, centre) flew all the way from Lithuania for one day with us and set a Swim Smooth Clinic "record" of 1:11/100m CSS pace - incredible!

I also got to spend a couple of days with my Mum, Dad and little Sister (who's not actually that little - she's just 18 months younger than me!), so all in all it was a great trip!

Cheers and see you all on the pool deck soon!