Friday, September 22, 2017

Your Swim Smooth Perth Squad Weekly Digest!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're staying warm and dry in this unseasonal spring weather - it was really shocking down on pool deck this morning. Mustn't grumble though, it'll be "cracking the flags" soon enough to coin an expression from my native Yorkshire!

So we have a couple of news items this week for your attention:

1. School HOLIDAYS / Public Holiday - business as usual!

Despite the next two weeks being the school holidays (and Monday the Public Holiday) you'll be pleased to know that it's "business as usual" at the squad, ensuring you're fit and raring to go this summer. We take great pride in minimising "down time" for your training routines, so hopefully this comes as good news to most of you!

2. Janet claims world title at the World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam!


We are super excited to announce that 930am squad stalwart Janet Ferguson smashed the field in the 55-59 Age Group category at the recent World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam. This adds to Janet's World Duathlon title that she won a couple of years ago. Amazing stuff Janet! We look forward to welcoming you back and hearing all about it, if you'll tell us that is (she's hugely modest is our Janet!)!

3. Additional Permanent Spots in the Squad!

It's the right time of year to let us know if you want to seek a coveted permanent spot in the following squad sessions, rather than having to always use the wait list. Given the popularity of the Friday 930am Red Mist Endurance Session, we've even secured an additional 4th lane which we've been using for a couple of months now, so if you can't access the Wednesday 530am squad due to it's popularity, this might be a great chance if you have the flexibility with work.

Here are the spots which are available:

  • Monday (Pure Technique), Wednesday (CSS Development) and Friday at 9.30am (note Friday is a 1.5hr Red Mist Endurance session)
  • Tuesday (Technique Endurance) and Thursday (CSS Development) at 6.15pm

Drop us a line by emailing swimsmooth@me.com if you'd like to secure one of these spots prior to the start of summer, but be quick, they'll get snaffled up quickly!

4. No cigar for Sue but a massive inspiration nonetheless!


As you probably heard via my app notifications this week, sadly Super Sue didn't make it across the English Channel for her 3rd time in a bid to take back her World Record as the oldest lady to have ever swum it successfully. Swimming through freezing fog and water temperatures of 14ºC were sadly too much for Sue, 71, and she and her team made the very sensible decision to put safety before heroics. Of course, it's not Sue's ability to swim incredible distances that inspire us all, it's her love for the sport, her passion, tenacity and beautiful nature which makes us all wish that we could be like Sue when we're in our 70s. Well done Sue! You'll always be a hero in my eyes!

5. 1-2-1 Video Analysis Special with Coach Paul or Sally until the end of the month

Following on from being invited to speak at the 2018 Rottnest Channel Swim seminar a couple of weeks ago to specifically talk about injury management and developing the right stroke for your body type, build and swimming goals, we are pleased to announce that we are offering a 15% discount on our world renowned 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction Sessions by using code "summer18" when you book in for a session with either myself or Sally until 30th September. You might be surprised how seemingly small changes to your technique can have a massive impact on your swimming efficiency and injury prevention. Check it out today, you won't regret it!

To take advantage of this great offer, use the booking app from www.swimsmoothperth.com and input code as follows in the screen below when you get to that point in the booking process:


Availability:

  • Paul - good availability from 16th October onwards
  • Sally - good availability immediately

6. Jason Snell to take up the English Channel challenge in 60 minutes time…


Head to http://cspf.co.uk/tracking at 4pm our time (Friday 22nd September) and check the tick box by "Mighty Mo" to watch 930am squad super fish (what is it with all these 930am legends?!) Jason Snell attempt to become only the 8th person to have swum both the English Channel and climb Mount Everest. You can see a video from Channel 10 about Jason and his stroke in my backyard pool here:


7. Rottnest Channel Swim Program

As per previous years, many people from the squad who aim to swim the Rottnest (or Port-2-Pub) Channel Swim as a Team, Duo, or Solo, simply up their attendance regularity and add in key sessions like this the Red Mist Endurance session to ensure they're well prepared come February / March each year. 

If you're looking for a little additional help with your programming though (especially as a Solo swimmer), you might like to check out https://www.swimsmooth.guru/sequence/cK7/20km-rottnest-channel-swim-full-program/ which for $19.99/mo gives you full access and detail to all our recommended sessions, races and the ability to track and monitor your fitness to ensure you're in the best possible shape come race day. We'll be updating last year's program in the next week ready for kick-off proper on Monday 9th October. In the meantime you might like to check out this helpful 74 minute presentation from 2014 about all the key concerns you might have about the event:



These video tutorials that I did as the Head Coach of the 2017 Karma Resorts Rottnest Channel Swim might also appeal:



8. What really is an efficient swim stroke? Challenging convention with the help of one of the world's best coaches and his most unconventional swimmers!

Hopefully you follow our weekly blog at www.feelforthewater.com which goes out with tips and techniques to help you with your swimming every Friday evening (Perth time). If so, you'll have seen our in-depth article on what is referred to as "Swim Golf" or "SWOLF" for short. In fact, if you own a wearable piece of swimming technology, you might have even seen a SWOLF score yourself of your own swimming pop up after each swim you've done. For years this metric has been held up as a good measure of efficiency, but here we debunk that myth for good:


Knowing these stats, trends and quantitive data then, I decided to approach and yesterday interview a coach with 5 Olympic Gold medals to his name, four of who are with the famed and somewhat "unconventional" Janet Evans from the USA, whose 800m freestyle world record stood for an amazing 19 years and was only broken in 2008 by the UK's Rebecca Adlington (one of my favourite swimmers of all time). Watch the video interview below as I challenge convention with Bud McAllister (Head Coach of WAIS swimming), ask the question "why is everyone typically taught to swim the same way even though we KNOW we are all anthropemtrically very different" and ask his advice on his favourite training sets (note how similar they are to our coveted Red Mist Endurance Sessions!).

This was a definite highlight of my 20 year coaching career, watch the interview here and apologies for some of the wind noise in the background:


Coach Paul with coaching legend, Bud McAllister, 5-time Olympic Gold Medal winning coach!

That's a wrap folks! Thanks for listening!

Paul


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Honey, honey, honey...


Gives you a whole other reason to wear your goggles!

Dear Swimmers

Whilst we are waiting for newzzzzzz of Sue Oldham and Jason Snell to swim the English Channel (should have been today, 13th September but the weather is proving uncooperative), squad swimmer Chris Knott (lane 1 Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 5.30am) has bee(n) buzzzzzy creating some awesome raw honey which quite a few of the squad have already bee(n) using to power themselves through some of the harder training sessions. Details are below should you wish to contact Chrizzzzzz directly - enjoy!

Cheers

Paul


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ever wanted to know the history behind Swim Smooth here in Perth? Listen on, it's an interesting story!




Dear Swimmers

I told you the sunshine was eventually going to come out this week, hey? Loving it!

I had the awesome opportunity yesterday to record a podcast as the first guest on the new WA Real podcast hosted by Bryn Edwards talking about the 13 year history of Swim Smooth of how I set up the company here in sunny Perth and how it's grown over the years to now see our format being delivered in 119 countries around the world through our partnership with the International Triathlon Union and also our 40 officially Certified Swim Smooth Coaches. I thought you might find this useful listening given especially how the Perth Squad here in Perth is very much the "engine room" of what we bring to the world of swimming - some of you even get a mention!

As Bryn says:

"The world's most passionate swimming coach, Paul Newsome shares his swim coaching journey and the story behind Swimsmooth – the most pre-eminent swim coaching brand. Listen as Paul talks openly about how he learnt to coach the individual rather than the technique, how he developed the Swimsmooth approach to swim coaching in the face of conventional wisdom and how he, together with his business partner, have built Swimsmooth into the company it is today, and the challenges that that success brings. Bryn and Paul also delve into why more and more people are drawn into undertaking big challenges like ironman and solo swims to Rottnest."


Digging Deeper from the podcast:

As some of you are probably aware (through social media and just from chatting with me on pool deck recently), I've been going through a bit of a rough time over the last month or so due to numerous episodes of direct plagiarism of our work and even several businesses internationally using our name and claiming to be us illegitimately, as well as one case where our most significant project to date appears to have been used to help a major brand develop a very similar system. 

It's been quite depressing to see all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that we've put into Swim Smooth being taken in this manner, but as many people have encouraged, something will only be mimicked (especially by the big guns) if it's deemed to be successful and viable, so we have to take heart in that my "baby" is on the right track at least! It still doesn't make it hurt any less though. Some say "that's just business". I get it.

The internet has been a great aid to us developing the reach that we have achieved in the last 13 years (which includes a subscriber-ship of 120,000+ swimmers worldwide who follow our weekly blog at www.feelforthewater.com - making it the world's biggest swimming blog (we think!)), but also makes it very much easier than it was 10+ years ago to take advantage of someone else's hard work too. It's bitter-sweet, I guess.

Nevertheless, as ever in life there are two routes to take - the positive (proactively continuing to use our passion and expertise to push forwards) and the negative (being consumed with fighting the fires). We have opted for the positive route and are enthused and motivated now greater than ever before. We will to continue to be genuine in our quest to help as many people around the world as possible enjoy this great sport of swimming and show them that no matter what their starting point, they too can become good swimmers for life. And it all starts here in Perth with you all. That is what this is all about, why I get up at 4.20am every morning to do what I love doing. I am privileged to have this opportunity, to have crafted this niche and am humbled to be called your coach and for all the support that you have offered me over the years. I am merely a swim coach to the core, but have received some wonderful mentoring lately from members of the squad who are trying to assist with their massive wealth of business, finance and legal advice for which I am hugely grateful. Confrontation, depression and angst is gradually being replaced by excitement, anticipation and the awe of what could be possible.

Right now, myself and Adam feel hugely empowered to look at how we go about funding the growth and development of the next phase of our Swim Smooth journey and I very much hope you will continue to be along for that ride - it's sure to be an exciting one!

So please do have a listen to the podcast and even share it around to friends and family who might find it interesting; it's certainly a study in how following your passion - and realising where your motivations truly lie - is what living a fulfilled life is all about, warts and all.

And if that's all a little "too deep man", I'll finish off with these cool bubbles from squad swimmer and über-fish Byron Kimber (CSS of 1:08/100m!) to lighten the mood. See you on pool deck soon!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Ever seen this ominous sign...?


Ever seen this ominous sign and thought, "what the flippin' heck?! I paid yesterday?"

Dear Swimmers

I hope you have had a good week and are looking forward to the forecast good weather next week to kick you back into your exercise routine (assuming you ever lost it that is?). Next week looks great - bring it on I say!

So last week marked the 2nd anniversary of us switching over to the new app-based booking and payment system - quite a landmark, I'm sure you'll agree. I ran some stats yesterday and it turns out that between YR1 and YR2 there was just 0.38% variance in attendance over the whole year. Incredible. This shows just how consistent you guys all are and how well the system manages the waitlist spots but equally prevents overcrowding too (which the old manual paper system was susceptible too) - so a massive thanks from me for this continued patronage and support. As someone pointed out this morning:

"Erm, from a business perspective you'd want to be seeing 10% growth, not stasis…?"

…but this is not about growth, it's about consistency. It's about quality coaching. We have a finite number of lanes we can hire in any one session and thus a finite amount of space available to use. As such, without extending the program to another pool (or building our own!), we are already operating at capacity - the app simply helps us manage things much easier…most of the time, anyway!

Most of you say you love using the system, but it does have some quirks, namely the dreaded yellow screen of "death" above which sometimes pops up when you check-in on the iPad on the pool deck. If you only read one thing from this email it is this:

DON'T PANIC! YOU (PROBABLY) HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG! IT ALL GETS WORKED OUT ON A SATURDAY!

…if this, ever shows for you, it simply means that some of your payments haven't been reconciled properly. We do a manual sweep of the "automated" system every Saturday, such that these so-called "unpaid" visits do get eventually picked up and settled. What causes this situation is due to the fact that in order to hold your permanent spot in the squad I have to book you ALL in unpaid for the vast majority of your sessions. You are currently booked in for 5 years, so if you swim twice per week for 50 weeks of the year for 5 years that's 500 bookings you have with us - wow! If you're using a 10 session card and have used 2 credits, really you have 500-2+10 = 492 unpaid visits scheduled. If you happen to early cancel a session (as most do) or access a session via the waitlist (some do) or let your true credits lapse by 1 or 2 sessions (occasionally) this just proves to be a step too far for the automated reconcile function (I'm yet to understand why), thus requiring us to manually check things out.

What the system does do (usually) very well, is send out email reminders when you are truly low on credits or available time, prompting you to top-up. If you happen to miss these (or forget), I will usually send you and ever-so-polite email kindly reminding you to top up.

So if you do happen to see the yellow screen of death, please don't go into situational meltdown or panic, all is (usually) OK, and if it's not, I will follow up with you on a Saturday, using my not-so-automated word processing skills.

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

Cheers

Paul





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This is what it's all about...

Dear Swimmers

The following post on my Instagram yesterday generated a lot of likes and a lot of positive feedback - thought you might like to take 5 and have a read if you haven't seen it, especially if you either LOVE or HATE your pull buoy…here's why:


This is what it's all about: providing sound, logical advice to our #swimmers irrespective of their #swimtype - Jos here says she "hates the pull buoy" and that "no one else does", hence her tiny pull buoy (it's diddy!) versus the gigantic @huubdesign #BigBuoy - however many more people "hate" the pull buoy than you might be aware of. We have a name for this...Jos has great body position in the water, high hips, long pointy legs with a strong kick - giving her a pull buoy does nothing to assist body position as that's already one of her enviable strengths, but it does take away her propulsive leg kick of course. The exact opposite is true for others (arguably the majority), such that it seems that maybe it's only you who can't use one. Not the case at all. 10 points for guessing Jos's #swimtype ? #Kicktastic - and the people she's comparing herself against? Mainly the #Arnie fraternity (though typically most other #swimtypes do feel at least easier with the pull buoy due to lower aerobic demand). A swimmer like Jos would also typically not find the great gains that many espouse with a wetsuit. This can be frustrating unless you recognise how to make the most of the situation: head position higher and eyes forwards and toning down the kick keeping the heels under the water will help, matched with a low buoyancy wetsuit like @huubdesign - job done! You've got to swim the best way for you, not someone else or the idealogy of the perfect stroke 😀💪🏊🏊‍♀️ - tune up your weaknesses, sure, but embrace your strengths (Jos would kill it in a non-wetsuit swim like Kona, or better still, in a non-buoyant lake with no wetsuit), don't necessarily start from scratch. You often don't need to. Swim Types: keeping swimming real since 2010 ✌️


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to maintain MOTIVATION in the colder months...


Chilly, miserable mornings at the pool make you feel 100 times more virtuous for having shunned the doona than rolling up during peak season...

Dear Swimmers

Ugh! It's that horrible time of the year again isn't it? It's not just cold, but it's wet, cold and miserable too! Exactly the motivation sapping type of weather that would make you roll over, hit the alarm and wait for something nicer to wake up to, hey? Sadly we can't guarantee you great weather OUT of the pool but we can guarantee an always toasty 28ºC to jump into!

I was recently at a seminar with this guy (Craig Harper - www.craigharper.net ) and he had some very poignant points about motivation. Craig said:

"Everyone talks about motivation as being this BIG thing. The thing that you blame for not having enough of when you can't be bothered to do something that is genuinely of benefit to you (ED: he's a real Ozzie straight shooter this guy!). But here's the deal - motivation is only the spark that gets the fire started, it's not the fuel that keeps it burning - that's called HABIT. It takes a good 2-3 weeks to establish a habit, but equally, once you step away from your habit, it's so much harder to get it back again!"

His advice? Don't stop - do it anyway:




I went to his seminar not really knowing what to expect, but I have to say it was really great, and if you get chance to see him live, definitely go. His line about "when was the last time you accidentally ate a slice of cake" was priceless for those battling weight issues (straight talker as I say).

Anyway, here's a neat video about the meaning of success for you which can be applied across many things in life - enjoy!


Cheers, and see you down the pool - always know we'll be here come rain, hail or shine :-) (only exception is a severe lightning storm when the pool would close).

Paul

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Don't forget to check out our weekly technique tips here every Friday!


A fresh 2.3ºC morning awaited this Wednesday's 5.30am swimmers - brrrr!

Dear Swimmers

I hope you have been having a great week and surviving the colder temperatures!

When whilst many of you probably know that alongside the www.swimsmoothperth.com website that I run here in Perth for all your squad and 1-2-1 video analysis booking needs, we also have our main www.swimsmooth.com website too which is due to have it's new facelift completed in about 4-6 weeks to complement the popularity of our web-based coaching platform www.swimsmooth.guru which allows swimmers right around the globe follow what we do here in Perth and access our coaching methodology from wherever they might be and often together with a Certified Swim Smooth Coach:


Coach Lucy's innovative Play Your Cards Right CSS session, Manchester, UK


Coach Mary's super fun open water session in Calgary, Canada


Coach Stacee's new-to-the-USA squad in Chicago, USA


Coach Shauqie's pre-swim stretch session, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Coach Merle's super popular master's session, Dubai, UAE


Coach Bart's ever challenging Red Mist session, Montreal, Canada


Coach Russell's empowering pacing session, Guernsey, Channel Islands

All up we now have 40 international Swim Smooth Coaches dotted around the globe and are constantly striving hard to build this initiative whilst maintaining the most stringent of controls of the quality of delivery - after all we want to know that if someone is seeking the same Swim Smooth experience as you'd get right here in Perth where it all started, then you'd be able to get that in Spain, Sweden or Singapore too! Cool, hey? It's a challenge, but working with these coaches behind the scenes to mentor and train them up in our methods and to empower their coaching businesses is arguably one of the most rewarding experiences I get as Head Coach and founder of Swim Smooth in seeing them deliver truly brilliant sessions and having their own swimmers rave about them on social media too.

So on top of all this, if you're seeking a little Swim Smooth inspiration in your media feeds, be sure to check us out on:


* the blog goes out every Friday evening Perth time at about 8pm and has over 120,000 subscribers each week, making it the world's largest blog on swimming technique - crazy cool, hey? Here are some recent pearlers that you might enjoy (you can sign up to have this delivered straight to your inbox by filling in your details on the right hand side):


Have a great weekend everyone! Owing to a little bit of surgery on Wednesday afternoon I won't be coaching the squad sessions on Friday morning, but will see some of you at the 9.30am session whilst I take a couple who've flown over from Melbourne specifically for a 1-2-1 session with me. Coach Sally will be cracking the whip tomorrow morning!

Cheers

Paul