Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Adios Amigos!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you've all had a fine day - the weather has just been immense lately, hey? Best time of year in Perth I say! We've been seeing some really strong attendance in the squad sessions lately, so thanks for your commitment and dedication, even on a few of the colder mornings!

The new Saturday Stoic Sunrise Squad* enjoying the spoils of having completed a challenging 5k swim set in the rising mist!

*please note this session has been extended throughout June for another 4 weeks whilst we await a decision from the council about the viability of this session as a permanent fixture - here's hoping! You can book into these sessions using the app!

So, I'm here at Perth airport about to board and head over to sunny Mallorca in the Mediterranean off the south coast of Spain. "What a life!" I hear many of you saying, but it won't all be fun in the sun, at least it will be FUN and it will be SUNNY, but this trip has a very focused goal, to find the next Sally Scaffidi somewhere in the world! We have 20 of the world's most inspiring coaches, whom I've had picked from right around the globe spending 3 days with us at the BEST Centre in Mallorca, as we put them through an intensive 3 days of Swim Smooth Coach Education. Why is this twice yearly trip so important for our mission you ask? I think this bit of feedback about Coach Sally (who I leave you in good hands with) really demonstrates WHY we go to the lengths that we do to train our coaches to the very highest standards possible. Standards that make me proud to say that these coaches are very much part of our family team and driven by the mission to raise the standard of swim coaching right around the planet:

"The main reason I wanted to send you this email was to say how fantastic a coach Sally is, she communicated extremely clearly to me what she saw as the major flaws in my stroke and how to address them without adding layers of complicated other issues. This gives me a great opportunity to improve rather than a million things I should change. I really appreciated her time and patience (and thunderstorm bravery!). If I improve I will let you know, if I don't, it's my own fault!

The standards that you have set at SwimSmooth are fantastic, the 'Mr Smooth' App, the blog and site and the standard of coaching are immense, I have been so impressed. I particularly liked the real-time feedback from Sally through the headphones.  I have already warned my tri-buddies that they will have to listen to me wax lyrical about it all for the next few weeks!" Keith, UK

So yes, we might enjoy the odd Mojito whilst we are it, and guest coach with some of the best open water swimmers on the planet as part of the international "BEST Fest" (an open water swim race every day for a week, where you accrue points much like to the Tour de France to see who is the winner come the final stage (I'll be defending my amateur title from 2017 πŸ˜‰)), but a work trip it is nonetheless. 

I often have a lot of people tell me that I'm very lucky to do what I do and they are right, I'm extremely grateful for this life that I get to live, much of which has been crafted and designed based on that passion to improve swim coaching worldwide. When you're truly driven by a purpose, anything is possible, the fact that I get to do it in the Mediterranean is just an added bonus πŸ˜‰

Where will your passion take you this year? How and where can you make a difference? This video clip has been instrumental in helping me declutter after a particularly challenging 2017 - I hope you find equal use for it πŸ‘

Cheers and see you back on pool deck Friday 8th June.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Special Charity Quiz Night, 19th May

Dear Swimmers,

Glenn from the squad has sent details through about a great night in aid of a great cause for a great program assisting swimmers with disabilities, Super Fins. Please RSVP to Bastiaan on 0419964215. Thanks!

10 years and 6,000 squad sessions later...

Dear Swimmers

I hope you are having a great day. I just wanted to send through a massive thank you for all your support over the last 10 years of the Swim Smooth Perth Squad. Today marks the 10th anniversary since I stepped out on my own to build my own squad program at the wonderful Claremont Pool, and I've been there ever since! 

A quick calculation shows me that during this period, myself and my team of brilliant coaches (Sally, Cyndy, Derek, Marie, Ross, Sandy, Shelley and Nicola) have conducted over 6,000 squad sessions believe it or not, and a crazy 3,500 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction sessions to boot! This richness in diversity, ability, goals and aspirations has allowed me to take what I've built here in Claremont and transpose it to over 40 locations worldwide (check some of these out on the brand new Swim Smooth website at http://www.swimsmooth.com/coaches/find-a-coach ), so thank you all for being part of that journey. Long may it continue!

The very first Swim Smooth Perth Squad session at Claremont Pool, Monday 5th May, 2008 - Chrissie (centre) and Liz (right) are still regulars to this day! Well done girls!

The squad now boasts 12 weekly training sessions accessed by 360-400 people per week in the lovely year-round 28.5ΒΊC water temperatures of Claremont Pool. It's been an amazing ride and one which I personally enjoy as much today as I did all those years ago! 

Of course, Swim Smooth itself has been around a little longer (into our 14th year now), but the local squad here in Perth will always be the "engine room" to what we generate on an international scale, including being the official swim coaching partners of the governing bodies of British Triathlon and the International Triathlon Union. One off my proudest achievements though is simply that many of you have been with me for every one of these 10 years and many more besides prior - you challenge me every day to keep things spicy, fresh and new. Thank you.

So a proud day indeed! And if you missed out on one of the free silicon Swim Smooth swim caps on Saturday as a very small token of our appreciation, please pop along tomorrow and take your chance on grabbing one to keep your winter bright and joyful this year!

Thank you everyone - getting up at 4.20am EVERY day of the week now is always a challenge, but always much less so knowing that I have a great group of supportive people around me sharing that very same passion, swimming for the enjoyment and challenge of it.

See you poolside!


Friday, April 20, 2018

Does your Swim Smooth Squad app keep crashing? If so, here's what to do!

Dear Swimmers

Several of you have brought it to my attention this week that during the checkout process on the Swim Smooth Squad app on an iPhone, when you're attempting to but some more session credits, the app will crash preventing you from topping up your account. This will be affecting you I'm told if you've recently updated your phone to iOS 11.3. Apologies if this has caused you some grief!

How to fix it:

  1. press and hold on the Swim Smooth Squad app icon on your phone to make it jiggle around and give you the option to delete the app by pressing the "X"
  2. open your app store and search for "Swim Smooth Perth" or simply follow this link
  3. reinstall the app and you should be good to go again (don't forget to log back in of course)
  4. alternatively, this link will allow you to login from your desktop / laptop computer and top-up that way

Hope that helps! Have a great weekend!

P.S we've got some last minute cancellation spots available in tomorrow's NEW Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim at Claremont Pool 0530-0700 - please use the app to register - thanks! It's a cracking little set tomorrow!



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

ANZAC Day - no 5.30am and 9.30am squad swims next Wednesday - sorry!

Dear Swimmers

I hope those of you with kids aren't being over-run during the school holidays and you're enjoying a little extra time with your respective brood!

Just a reminder that next Wednesday is of course ANZAC Day (April 25th). The Claremont Pool will not be opening until midday on this day so unfortunately our 5.30am and 9.30am sessions will not be running next week. If you normally attend these sessions, you don't need to remember to cancel out of them as I have done a blanket-sweep for all of you already.

You might like to "catch-up" on some of your swimming by attending the NEW Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim 5.30-7am on this Saturday (21st April) and / or next Saturday (28th April). They are currently both showing as fully booked and have for the 3rd and 4th week in a row gone to waitlist, but I strongly suspect there will be some dynamic movement here due to the holidays allowing those of you in the waitlist positions of say 1-8 to get a place…so please be quick to register to snag one of those potential places. Just use the app to easily add yourself in.

I will personally be away with my family camping in Kalbarri Monday 23rd to Friday 27th April, but I leave you in the very capable hands of Coach Sally in my absence next week. See you Friday and Saturday this week though before I go!

Have a great time if you're going away yourself!


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim - Round 2 this coming weekend!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you are having a great start to your week.

I just wanted to reach out and thank those of you who came along to our inaugural Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim last week at 5.30-7am. I've been receiving some excellent feedback about the session, so thanks for taking the time to email / SMS / call that through, it's very much appreciated!

Top of everyone's feedback seems to be that they "loved the mix and variety" of our 5 session types, as indicated in the image above:

  1. Pure Technique
  2. Technique / Endurance
  3. "Red Mist" Endurance
  4. CSS (Threshold) Development
  5. Open Water Skills / Fun

…and that the 90 minutes seemed to fly by, even for those who've never ventured beyond our standard 60 minute classes. This is really pleasing to hear and as such it definitely seems to be a crowd favourite in terms of composition. Each week for the next 7 weeks of our 8 week trial, we shall vary this mix and it's even been suggested that we do a part-by-part reveal so that you never know what's coming up to add to the excitement of that!!

This week again has gone to a wait list for this session, though last week we had 8 people still on the waitlist by midday on the Friday and then everyone ultimately got a spot to swim given the dynamic nature of people having to cancel out before 5.30pm on the Friday evening. So don't despair - if you haven't got an official spot yet, try using the waitlist and then coming down if you get the call-up to be part of what I see as becoming a great staple to our weekly program!

Have a great afternoon!


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Saturday is almost upon us!

The dawn of a new era at Claremont Pool - the start of our Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim is this Saturday, 7th April!

Dear Swimmers

Many thanks to all those of you who've registered for this week's inaugural Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim at the Claremont Pool! We can't wait to get coaching you!

The session will have a unique feel to the rest of the week's usual squad sessions and during this initial 8-week trial period will essentially blend elements of our five swim session types:

  1. Pure Technique (i.e. drills and skills)
  2. Technique / Endurance (i.e. pull, paddles and bands work)
  3. "Red Mist" Endurance (i.e. solid endurance work to really challenge you)
  4. CSS Development (i.e. increasing the pace to really boost your threshold)
  5. Open Water Skills development (i.e. swim specific fun!)

Each week we'll vary the ratio around these key areas and aim to target specific events in the long-term, i.e. half / full Ironman, Rottnest swims and the open water swim series. 

In a nutshell, for those of you familiar with the squad, it won't be quite as hard as a Wednesday "Red Mist" session, but will contain a lot more variety, including some fun races and challenges in the latter 10-15 minutes.

A warm welcome from the Swim Smooth Perth Squad to those of you who are new to the squad with the inclusion of this new session!

Here are some important points if you will be joining us this Saturday:

  • the session will commence at 5.30am and run until 7am each Saturday, starting Saturday 7th April and running for 8 weeks as a trial period until Saturday 26th May
  • if interest is deemed viable by the pool, we hope to be able to continue to offer the session going forth, possibly with an extension to 2 hours (originally speculated as 5am to 7am)
  • we will be using lanes 1 to 4 from the shallow end of the 50m pool at Claremont for these sessions (this is the other side of the pool closest to reception for your reference)
  • the session for the first 2 weeks filled completely within less than 36 hours of announcing it - whoop!
  • we are now taking a wait list for these sessions, so there is still the chance to get in, but you need to ensure you are registered to the wait list via the app
  • if you have a spot but cannot attend, please cancel up to 5.30pm on the Friday evening before to release your spot to someone on the wait list and avoid being charged for your place
  • you will need a valid credits in your account to attend - to top-up, please use the "Buy Services" option in the app or use this link
  • if you complete 4 or more of the 8 sessions on offer in this trial period, you will be offered one of the inaugural permanent spots in this squad going forwards (like gold dust!) so please ensure you are registered for the tail-end of the trial period also to avoid missing out!
  • if you are brand new to the squad, please email back with your CSS pace (average pace per 100m for a 1500m swim or details at http://www.swimsmooth.com/training.html) so we can better allocate your lanes
  • you will need to bring: 1) fins; 2) pull buoy; 3) paddles; 4) a sense of humour and that famous digger spirit!

See you on Saturday!

You can be assured of a well tailored, individual approach to your swimming with any of our squad sessions, delivered in a fun and supportive environment!