Friday, December 19, 2014

The 12 K's of Christmas!

Dear Swimmers

Firstly, please let me take this opportunity to wish you all a great Christmas and very prosperous New Year! Your support over the last 12 months has been extremely appreciated and I really do hope you've enjoyed every moment of training with the Swim Smooth Perth Squad this year…OK, well, almost every moment - there's been a few blood, sweat and tears shed in some of the harder sessions for sure but I'm sure it's always worth it when you're sat down nursing your post-swim coffee / tea / protein shake afterwards!

Secondly, I wanted to highlight a bit of a plan for anyone seeking to keep their swimming ticking over throughout the holiday season. As mentioned back in August when we outlined the Rottnest Channel Swim program specifically, I am firmly of the belief that you all require (and deserve!) a little down time over the holidays even when training for these big events. 

As I write this, we're still 64 days away from Rottnest and many of you Solo swimmers have already qualified very admirably with your 10km qualifying races at City Beach and Champion Lakes, so it's OK to throttle back a touch just now to give your body a little chance to recover and your mind to refresh and realise why you're doing the event - none of us are racing for sheep stations and one of the most important things is that you get yourself to that start line fighting fit and raring to go with a sparkle in your eye…so be wary of over-cooking it over Christmas when your time would be better spent enjoying some R&R with your families - they'll certainly thank you for it! Don't stop completely of course, but know that the real assault begins again in the final run-in from Monday 5th January onwards!

And if you're not swimming across to Rottnest in 2015, well the coach says you deserve an extra couple of lie-ins this holiday - that's not me going soft, just an appreciation and respect for how you all get up several times each week at the crack of dawn (and often before!) all year long and inspire me with your attendance and commitment!

Here's the (suggested) plan:

  • Saturday 20th December - up to 10km open water swim at the Claremont Jetty, start at 5.30am
  • Sunday 21st December - up to 10km open water swim at the Claremont Jetty, start at 6.00am (I would recommend one or the other of the 20/21st December - rest on the alternative day)
  • Monday 22nd December - squad sessions* 7-8am and 9.30-10.30am = easy technique
  • Tuesday 23rd December - squad sessions* 5.30-6.30am / 6.30-7.30am and 6.30-7.30pm = fun, festive session with a little frivolity and a touch of solid work! Last official session(s) of 2014!
  • Wednesday 24th December - the (up to) 12k's of Christmas open water swim at the Claremont Jetty, start at 5.30am
  • Thursday 25th December - day off
  • Friday 26th December - easy 3 or 4k ocean or river swim or follow this session***: https://app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/ks/ckX/session-13-symmetry/
  • Saturday 27th December - day off
  • Sunday 28th December - day off
  • Monday 29th December - easy 2 to 3k ocean or river swim or follow this session***: https://app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/ks/clR/session-20-exhalation-control/
  • Tuesday 30th December - moderately intense 3 or 4k ocean or river swim or follow this session: https://app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/cAq/cAv/the-classic-red-mist-set/
  • Wednesday 31st December - moderately intense 2 to 5k ocean or river swim or follow this session***: https://app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/tc/chj/session-6-blast-it/
  • Thursday 1st January - day off
  • Friday 2nd January - easy 3 or 4k ocean or river swim or follow this session***: https://app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/HZ/cbG/session-5-drill-pyramid/
  • Saturday 3rd January - the (2nd) (up to) 12k's of Christmas open water swim at the Claremont Jetty, start at 5.30am OR The Cottesloe Classic Mile
  • Sunday 4th January - the (2nd) (up to) 2k's of Christmas open water swim at the Claremont Jetty, start at 6.00am (I would recommend one or the other of the 3/4th January - rest on the alternative day)
  • Monday 5th January - squad sessions** 7-8am and 9.30-10.30am = easy technique First official session(s) of 2015! All sessions to re-commence as normal, see: http://www.swimsmooth.com/perth_timetable.html

* these squad sessions are open on a priority-basis to all swimmers given the expectancy of lower numbers next week, i.e. priority is given to those who normally attend these sessions. Space may be available for other pre-existing squad participants (from other sessions), but cannot be guaranteed. A max of 8 to 10 swimmers per lane will be permitted for these sessions. By all means pop along and see, but please don't be disappointed if I cannot allow you to swim and you haven't already notified me of your intent to attend as requested a couple of weeks ago. There is a high chance of space being available in the Tuesday 6.30pm especially. Thank you!
** normal squad place allocations will resume from Monday 5th January onwards.
*** these sessions can be accessed by registering for the new Swim Smooth Coaching System web app at https://app.swimsmooth.com - if you do so before tomorrow, the monthly cost is just $13.99 and you are free to unsubscribe at any time - this is a great way to keep your swimming ticking over and even give you a little "homework" for the holidays to improve whilst everyone else is watching Disney Movies! Trust me, you'll love it!

Cheers and have a great one!

Paul




Friday, December 12, 2014

The wait is finally over! Today we enhance the way swim coaching is delivered for the better!

Dear Swimmers

You may or may not be aware, but in amongst all the 430am wake-up calls six days per week, the hours spent telling you to "Mind That Gap!" on pool deck, the partnerships created with national and world governing bodies in both swimming and triathlon, over the last two and half years we've been building something VERY special which will change and enhance the way swim coaching is delivered for the better!

Announcing our NEW Swim Smooth Coaching System!


A personal coach for swimmers, triathletes and coaches! Available for you to use wherever you are on any phone, tablet or computer - in fact anywhere you can access the internet!

The Swim Smooth Coaching System is a revolution in swim coaching resources, having everything at your fingertips from simple pointers and videos through to training plans and ideas makes this a must have for any coach, or swimmer who utilises Swim Smooth methods. This is all of Swim Smooth's ideas and philosophy, all created and developed right here in sunny old Perth, put together in a seamless one-stop package with inbuilt intelligence to guide you smoothly through the system.


You can access the entire system for much less than the cost of two squad sessions per month! Just think, even when you're working away and can't attend our squad sessions here in Perth, you can stay right up to date and have a plethora of sessions at your fingertips to keep you on track!

In the words of Jeff Davis, Lane 3, MON 7am / WED 530am / FRI 530am squad swimmer:

It looks and feels like an app but it actually houses the entire Swim Smooth coaching system: training sessions, training plans, instructional videos, swim type stroke correction and much more all at your fingertips! My only regret is that now everyone will have access to Swim Smooth's secrets!

Here are some more pointers from swimmers within the squad whom you will be familiar with:

As an athlete, it tells me what paces I need to be training at - there's no hiding from the numbers! It allows me to access so many training sessions that the possibility of boredom no longer exists. Keeping this Smooth motivated is no mean feat!! As a coach, It's the single best tool in coaching my triathletes to become better swimmers. It helps me know where they're at and how to make improvements. For my athletes it helps them better understand their swimming style, the drills needed to improve their biomechanics and the type of training needed to improve!! It covers all area's and ultimately makes me a better coach!!

Guy Crawford, Pro Triathlete & Coach and occasional squad swimmer :-)

Although I swim 3 sessions a week in the Perth Squads, I was keen to get a copy of the Catch Masterclass DVD for an upcoming month's holidays in Europe - I've improved my CSS to the tune of over 20 secs/100 in the last 2 years, but I've been looking for ways to make my next step improvements. I have four 50 meter pools in 3 countries that I plan to visit to keep my training going over the Christmas period….now that I've signed up for the new Swim Smooth Coaching System I have all your resources in one online spot; including the full Catch Masterclass video series accessible for free! There seems no end to the plans/ sessions/ videos/ technique tips and coaching available, so I'm looking forward to properly making use of this over the coming months. Perfect timing for my next phase of assault on my CSS :-). Thanks Swimsmooth!

Sean Webb, AKA "Mr Tight-pants", Lane 4 TUE/FRI 630am & Lane 3 WED 530am squad swimmer

I love the new web-app. I already have your book and swim with the squad here in Perth yet I've already learnt so much more by watching the videos and explanations of why we do what we do - I particularly like being able to watch drills executed correctly and there's just so much more great content I know I've only scratched the surface!

Rhian Chin, Lane 2 WED / FRI 930am squad swimmer

As both swimmer and coach can't believe the amazing supply of information to be found here. Provision of training sessions and video footage are incredibly useful and so easy to access. Got to be the best swimming site out there!

Viki Shelver, West Coast Masters, Joondalup

As a swim coach of a large surf life saving club in Western Australia with swimmers of varying abilities from beginners to elite athletes competing at Australian Championship level, I am often faced with the challenge of trying to develop swim sessions and a variety of drill sets that cater for the different levels. For the majority of the time as a coach I can identify the errors in my athletes strokes and can correct them but at times I get stuck and I am lost in how to proceed or help the athletes. Luckily Swim Smooth's web-app is the answer to my problems.

This interactive website has an abundance of resources from how to set out a coaching session, different types of swimming styles, drills and a variety of different swim sessions to cater for all levels and abilities regardless of what their swimming goal is.

The one thing I like most about this website is the interactive break down of the variety of drills. With each drill, the drill is broken down into small segments and shown in a variety of different angles both on top of the water and also underneath. I think this is fantastic as I can have an electronic device on pull deck to show novice swimmers exactly what we are trying to achieve and be able to isolate the key areas in which they are lacking. As well as the drill break down, the main teaching points are reiterated in dot points which aids as a reference for me to reinforce the key points of the drill to the more experienced swimmers.

By having the link to the variety of swim styles I also can access which drills are the most effective for the swimmer to improve their efficiency in the water for their unique swim style.

As a swimmer of nearly 30 years and a swim coach of 10 years, I have never come across such an amazing swimming resources as the one that Swim Smooth have created.

Anna-Lee Hazell, Swanbourne Surf Living Saving Club Coach and FRI 530am Lane 4 squad swimmer

I am so thrilled to finally get this massive labour of love out of the door and hope that you can all make use of what is the culmination (and start!) of ten years dedicated work in this area that I love so much!

Have a great weekend!

Paul, Adam and The Swim Smooth Team


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Confirmation that swimming on Saturday 20th, Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd December will still be on!

Dear Swimmers

As promised I thought I'd share with you that the following swim sessions will proceed as normal:

  • Saturday 20th December 1-2pm with Coach Sally
  • Monday 22nd December 7-8am and 9.30-10.30am with Coach Paul*
  • Tuesday 23rd December 5.30-6.30am and 6.30-7.30am with Coach Paul*

*our Kalbarri Christmas break has changed to the 26th December from the 21st December allowing for this change.

…we will then take a Christmas break, recommencing on Monday 5th January with the 7-8am and 9.30-10.30am sessions as normal. I am anticipating slightly lower numbers for these sessions, so please let me know if you wish to attend as a one-off. Thanks.

Hope that all helps.

Stay tuned for news on Friday / Saturday about an exciting new product we're launching that will seriously help improve your swimming and give you some good guidance at times when you cannot make the squad…it's been 2.5 years in development and now the wait is finally over!!

Cheers

Paul



Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Minara Resources Swim Thru Perth is on Sunday 18th January - don't miss out!

Dear Swimmers,

Two great races coming up this next month and a bit:

Both classic well-run events to get your flippers into!

Cheers

Paul


Friday, December 5, 2014

Swim Smooth's 10 Year Anniversary - The Journey Is Just Beginning!

Dear Swimmers

I thought I'd share this link with you from our main blog to read over your morning coffee:


Thank you all so much for your support, enthusiasm and encouragement over the last 10 years (some of you have been there right from the start - and even before - so an extra special thanks to you!). It's been a blast and as I say, the journey is just about to begin! 

Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement next week!

Paul


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christmas Holidays and Fees

Dear Swimmers

Wow! What a weird few days it's been weather-wise - we even got evacuated from Challenge Stadium yesterday thinking it was due to the lightening but discovered there had been a chlorine gas leak! Seeing the lifeguards come running out with full-on gas masks on was slightly disconcerting I have to say! Anyway we escaped unscathed and were well looked after…

As is the norm we will be pausing the squad sessions over the Christmas period for just under 2 weeks to allow everyone a little R&R and time with their families etc. If you don't like to slow down over this period, don't panic either, I have a very-soon-to-be-announced solution which will appeal to you tremendously too! Watch this space.

Down Time

Currently we're looking at the last session being Saturday 20th December (1-2pm open water skills session) and then re-booting on Monday 5th January with the 7-8am technique session. However, I just need to clarify availability with the coaches for Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd December and subject to their availability - and your interest (which you don't need to inform me via email but please let me know casually next Monday / Tuesday in the appropriate squads) - we may run these sessions as well. 

I will keep you posted after next week.

Fees

As mentioned back in June, our lane hire fees were again increased this year by another 10% on the already substantial increase last year of 33%. I mentioned in June that as attendance numbers were looking good for the winter (which they have proven to be), I would hold off increasing PAYG Card and 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction fees and see how things panned out until the end of the 1st quarter as a token of my appreciation for all your support. That quarter has been and gone and with an annual increase of approximately $6k in my lane fee costs this year, I can report that we have covered 80% of the increased costs for this 6 month pro-rata period with your attendance, but I will regrettably have to increase our fees from 1st January 2015 onwards. 

The following fees will be:

  • 10 session card = $150 (or $15 per session) with a 12 week expiry
  • 25 session card = $330 (or $13.20 per session) with a 20 week expiry
  • 50 session card = $590 (or $11.80 per session) with a 25 week expiry
  • Casual Session = $18
  • 121 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction Session (75 minutes) = $219
  • 121 Stroke Correction Follow-Up Session (60 minutes) = $169

Please note currently my first 121 session availability is mid-April 2015 if you were thinking of enquiring on a session. All swimmers currently booked in for a 121 session will be sent a separate email offering them the 2013/14 prices if payment is made prior to 1st January 2015.

Thanks for your understanding and support on these matters. I've held off increasing our fees for 18 months but inevitably we have had to make this adjustment owing to the increased lane fees at the pool. They tell me it's a "fact of business" but it has to be my least favourite thing to do! Sorry.

Paul




Friday, November 21, 2014

Proudest day of my life...well, after the birth of Jackson and Isla of course!

Dear Swimmers

I am so excited to let you know that today we announced a long-term partnership with the International Triathlon Union (the ITU) - the world's governing body for the Olympic sport of triathlon. Swim Smooth have been selected to be the ITU's official coaching partner to help educate and train up their fleet of affiliated coaches from 119 countries around the world!

It's almost precisely 10 years to the day since I founded Swim Smooth right here in sunny Perth and now all the great coaching that you receive on a day-2-day basis at Claremont Swimming Pool will now be accessible to swimmers and triathletes all around the world. I am so proud I'm just bursting (sorry for the big head!).

I would like to add in a special thanks to all of you whom have supported me over the years, through 1-2-1 sessions, attending the squads and just being the great people that you are. I love my career and wouldn't rather be doing anything else in any other sector for any amount of mullah!

Without what we do here in Perth day-in/day-out none of this would be possible, so in your own special way you too are very much part of this partnership too and I cannot thank you enough!

Have a great weekend,

Paul

P.S here's the full announcement: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2014/11/announcing-swim-smooths-partnership.html