Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A little giggle on a Tuesday in honour of a great entertainer!





Dear Swimmers

Many of you will no doubt have heard of the passing of English entertainer Cilla Black at the weekend at the age of 72. This was very sad news of course. I personally met Cilla in 2001 as you will see in the video clip below - she even pinched my bum in my Speedo skin suit!! (that's my claim to fame anyway!). 

So in honour of a great lady, here's when I met Cilla in front of a live TV audience that then went out as a Christmas Special in 2001 to a viewing audience of 20 million (their biggest ratings!). Yes, I have no shame!


Have a great week and see you down on the pool deck soon. It's wonderful now the weather seems to be turning!!

Paul

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Help give Fletch a final send off!

Dear Swimmers

Squad swimmer and all-round nice guy with a crazy love-the-cold streak, Fletcher Barr will soon be heading off to swim the English Channel. He's looking for a few play mates in the freezing Swan River (I'm not selling it very well, am I?!) on Thursday (Claremont Jetty) and Sunday mornings (Bicton Baths) for the next few weeks:

Sunday 02-08-15 paddlers or swimmers

Sunday 09-08-15 paddlers or swimmers

Sunday 16-08-15 paddlers or swimmers

Sunday 23-08-15 paddlers or swimmers

They are at the jetty every Thursday meeting 6am for a 6:15 start.

Please contact Fletch on fletcher@keslake.com.au if you're feeling a little brave to even get in with a wetsuit or just to pop down and give him some support!

Fletch actually swims almost 4yrs to the day since I did my Channel swim and with the same pilot too!

Cheers

Paul

Get set for a great Rotto Campaign with a limited-release of 121 Video Analysis Sessions! Get them whilst they are hot!

Dear Swimmers

It's that time of year when many of us think about setting out a pathway for a great Rottnest Channel Swim campaign, and if you're a Solo or Duo swimmer especially there's often the niggly thought in the back of your mind that's saying "I really should get my stroke sorted before I start laying down the big Ks" - and you'd be right, you should!

Ordinarily our 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction Sessions are fully booked for months in advance making the best intentions often hard to cater for, however, now that I've moved much closer to the pool and will be saving significant travel time each way, I'm offering a few limited-release sessions between now and the start of our official commencement to the 2016 Swim Smooth Perth Rottnest Channel Swim Program on Monday 5th October.

We have the following available - book them while they're hot by replying to this email simply with your chosen session(s), full name, email and phone number and take advantage of our 2014/15 1-2-1 Video Analysis pricing ($219 for an initial 75 minute consult and $169 for a follow-up 60 minute session for anyone re-booking again within the last 6 months) by completing your payment details before 5pm on Saturday 1st August at http://www.swimsmooth.com/perth_videoanalysis.html#pay 

Here's the availability:

  • Thursday 13th August at 11.30am only
  • Thursday 20th August at 11.30am only
  • Thursday 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th September at 10am and 11.30am
  • Thursday 1st October at 11.30am only

…that's 11 places up for grabs to the first-come, best-dressed amongst you…you might like to suggest a couple of times that you can be available for to make certain of a spot.

Don't forget, those of you planning an awesome 2016 Rotto Campaign can check out last year's FREE program and webinar at http://swimsmoothperth.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/dear-swimmers-this-years-2015-rottnest.html which will really set the tone for what to expect from the big block of training you had ahead of you! This year's program will feature a fully bespoke training plan within our app.swimsmooth.com which will allow those of you who can't access our squad sessions for whatever reason to have a full step-by-step / session-by-session plan to work through.

Cheers and looking forward to working with you soon!

Paul

P.S of course this offer is open to anyone seeking some individual guidance with their stroke, not just those with plans to swim to Rottnest!




Monday, July 27, 2015

Surrender!

Dear Swimmers

Following on from Saturday's SMS request, if you could please bring down any / all your PAYG cards this week, we will hold onto them and simply keep a register of attendance in this final phase whilst we credit your new 'PAYG (BLUK!)' accounts. We still don't have a definitive launch date (we are still waiting on the data conversion teams estimates), but am hoping we'll be up and running a little sooner than the original 10th August date. Exciting times! We're also moving to our new house this week, so it's all on for young and old right now!

By all means keep a mental / written record yourself of how many visits you make between now and the launch, but rest assured we will ensure that everyone is credited with the correct number of sessions and that any new purchases over the last few days will be added to your accounts with expiries only starting when the first credit is used from that new block.

Thanks! See you this week!

Paul

P.S someone commented this morning that the squad seemed "busy" - I had to reply and say, actually this is "normal" now (21 people for a Monday 7am technique session), what you've seen in the last eight weeks has been 60% less attendance than normal at this time of the year! Hopefully the new system will help manage attendance significantly better and has been in much need for a while - thanks so much for your support and understanding whilst we make these necessary changes and of course, thanks for coming back down and taking advantage of last week's winter special deal! We missed (some of) you!




Saturday, July 25, 2015

IMPORTANT: Please complete the final part of the new system's pre-release - BIG THANKS!

Dear Swimmers,

We are so very close to launching the new system, but I please need your kind help to complete the data conversion process as soon as possible in time for a hopeful release on or before Monday 10th August. We had 132 responses from the last form out of the required 277, so please do complete the form to help us out and get these numbers up to 100%.

I will need you ALL to complete this form please, even if you completed a prior version a month ago when we hoped we'd have been launching sooner. Given a few changes and a move to an entire new system in that time, it is imperative that we re-gather this information. Thank you sincerely for your time and effort on this! 


Your help allows us to propagate the entire system with your remaining credits and the sessions you are allocated for. From here on I will simply allocate a username and a password for each of you just before the 10th August to allow you to log into the system from either your computer or your phone with a special app that allows you to cancel out of any sessions you know you won't be attending (due to holidays) and allow you to cancel up to 12hrs before the session for those last minute changes to your own schedule. This allows us to maintain the flexibility that the PAYG system offers you, but by BLUKing us (But Let Us Know), we can better manage the attendance in the sessions and equally plan for when we might look at engaging additional coaches to help on the deck and improve our delivery to you.


All I need now from you is the following couple of bits of information relating to ONLY THE PAYG CARDS YOU HAVE IN YOUR POSSESSION (NOT the ones you might have bought in the last couple of days as part of the winter special unless I have physically given you this card). These winter special credits have already been added for you, with expiries that will start to commence when you physically use the first session from that new block, not when you actually purchased it.


We are having to secure the services of a data conversion specialist team, such is the amount of data we are handling here from 277 people, so your prompt action would be massively appreciated.

It shouldn't take you more than 90 seconds to complete.


YOU MIGHT BE BEST ADVISED TO COMPLETE THIS ON A COMPUTER OR LAPTOP GIVEN THAT A FEW PEOPLE REPORTED ISSUES DOING IT ON THEIR PHONE LAST TIME. YOU WILL RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION PAGE SAYING THANK-YOU IF IT'S WORKED PROPERLY.


When you lodge this form it will automatically assign exactly when you did it, so all you need to do is tell me EXACTY how many credits you have remaining on your PAYG card RIGHT NOW, which card you have (10, 25 or 50), and what expiry is listed at the bottom. I will then do the rest. This change-over will not happen instantaneously (hoping for Monday 10th August at this stage), so please rest assured that you will not lose any credits, nor is it a problem to continue to load up a new PAYG card the old-fashioned way before this system is put in place, the link being http://www.swimsmooth.com/perth_buycard.html or the following links if you are wanting to still take advantage of our special winter offer before 5pm on Saturday 25th July:

10 Session Credits for $140 with a 3 month expiry* (currently $150): Go to: http://bit.ly/1Ii5SvD 
25 Session Credits for $310 with a 4 month expiry* (currently $330): Go to: http://bit.ly/1DtEgOG 
50 Session Credits for $550 with a 5 month expiry* (currently $590): Go to: http://bit.ly/1GBnw82 

Thanks for your help on this one - we're nearly there with the housekeeping! Can't wait to get this rolled out and show you the new Perth Squad website I've been building alongside it all - it's really cool! (If I do say so myself!).


Paul




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Squirrel Away Some Mega Winter Savings and Boost Your PAYG Balance For The New System!


Dear Swimmers

We are getting very close now to launch of our brand new payment and wait list management system which I've been busily creating since May. I would like to thank you in advance for your patience whilst we are putting this new system in place which will have a massively positive impact on the way the squad is run and how you access sessions on a day-2-day basis (more on that in a moment).

As a small token of my appreciation for your patience I would like to offer each of you the opportunity to boost your PAYG credit balance by rolling back the clock to 2014 prices! This offer is valid until 5pm on Saturday 25th July only and strictly limited to one session credit "block" per person, i.e. select a 10, 25 or 50 session card based on your typical usage with the 10s being good for 1-2 swims per week, the 25s good for 2-3 swims per week and the big bertha 50s being good for 3-4+ swims per week:


*when released, the new payment system will allow me to load up these credits into your account balance and have them only commence the expiry period when you use the first session from that block. I will start adding these credits into the system for you now, unless you are in immediate need of a new card and I will just issue one as normal for you to start eating into. So by all means, don't be afraid to squirrel a block away for the winter! Go nuts!

New Fees:

To move in sync with Claremont Pool's rate increases each year (1st July) and to account for a recent change in council policy* which sees a significant increase in our overheads this coming year, it will be necessary to raise our squad prices from the time of expiry of the deal offered above. I am hoping the deal above will in part help to offset the fact that our prices were raised on January 1st this year following a prior period of 18 months with no adjustment. Going forth, we will raise our prices in-sync with Claremont on the 1st July each year by the minimal possible amount to cover our costs. Here's how the 2015/2016 prices will break down:

  • 10 Session Credits for $156.00 with a 3 month expiry (an increase of just $0.60 per session on current rates)
  • 25 Session Credits for $343.20 with a 4 month expiry (an increase of just $0.53 per session on current rates)
  • 50 Session Credits for $613.60 with a 5 month expiry (an increase of just $0.47 per session on current rates)

*for your information and consideration, our lane hire arrangement at the pool has changed going into the 2015/16 FTY such that we are no longer billed for only the lanes that we use, but now for all the lanes that we book. In the past, if we happened to have low attendance in a session and didn't require all the lanes, we'd only be charged for the lanes that we used. This took some of the stress out of quieter periods. Now though, I am required to forecast how many lanes we will require for the entire year, based on such things as the Winter Squad List that you all registered for (see here: http://swimsmooth.com/pauls_images/Confirmed_Winter_2015_Squad_List.pdf This of course makes sense and is really only fair to potential other users of the pool. It is therefore imperative that we ensure full use of these lanes in every scheduled session with as consistent attendance as possible year-round. This has prompted me into looking at new ways to manage attendance better and I am hoping that you can openly embrace these new changes to the system as they will really benefit everyone. Equally, if your circumstances have changed since you originally put in your session nominations, please help us by letting us know as soon as possible so that we can maybe allocate your space to someone eagerly waiting in the wings!

The New PAYG (BLUK!) System:

In the past most of you have tried to do the right thing - you've been aware we've had a wait list of over 370 people wanting to swim with the squad (such is it's reputation), so when you know you've had a holiday or work trip coming up you'll kindly email / call / SMS that you will be away in the hope that we can offer your spot to someone else. We of course thank you greatly for this courtesy.

The trouble is, this well intentioned action has caused a mountain of administration work for this admin team of one, but sadly with no way to ever effectively communicate and manage the waiting list to offer these spots away. Instead, as the wait list has become ever bigger, attendance has actually fallen away by an average of 3 people per session from 2014/15 back to 2013/14 for fear of mistakenly booking too many people into a session. Action is needed. Thankfully we have found the solution, but will need your help. 

By setting up a simple online account for each of you that you can access either through your computer using our soon-to-be-released amazing new website, or through a special app if you have an iOS device (iPhone / iPad) or Android device (Samsung Galaxy etc), we request that you now let us know up to 12 hours before your session if you will NOT be attending with the simple click of a "CANCEL" button in your account. Of course, you'll be able to cancel sessions up to 12 months in the future too for those times when you know you will be away. There's no longer a need to call / email / SMS to cancel and feel guilty for doing so, you will just hit "CANCEL" within the app or online portal (very simple!) for that specific session and you're done, knowing that your spot will then be automatically offered to someone on the wait list who will benefit. Sweet.

Book - Pay - Cancel - Re-Schedule, all in one simple app or webpage! Now doesn't that sound neat! But best of all, it's way easier than our current set-up and no more standing around in the cold watching everyone's cards blow away…you might even enjoy it!

We're calling this new system a "PAYG (BLUK!)" system - Pay-As-You-Go (But-Let-Us-Know!) - and hope you really enjoy the experience! More details to follow soon…we hope to be fully ready to roll by the start of August as we're pulling out all the stops to get this working asap in order to make up for what has been a very quiet last six weeks in the squad.

P.S I'll leave you with this fun little session that the 5.30am Wednesday "Red Mist" crew did this morning (as inspired by Le Tour de France!) - it was well loved by everyone…if you can make it to the 9.30am session this Friday you'll get chance to try it out for yourselves, or for you 6.15pm Thursday and 5.30am / 6.30am Friday bods we have another special kind of something in store for you so please come down and get that critical mass vibe buzzing once again - it really is lovely back at Claremont Pool!






Thursday, July 16, 2015

It might be chilly, but down at Claremont Pool the sessions are HOT!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you are braving the cold - it's been a little lonely down at Claremont Pool these last two weeks and the "hardcore" are wondering where all their playmates have gone to (whilst gloating about their hardiness too mind!). Ha!

I just wanted to let you know about a great new session that the crew tonight will be doing at 6.15pm and then we will repeat at 5.30am and 6.30am tomorrow too for those of you who can make it.

The session is a twist on a classic pyramid set on some relatively tight cycle times but interspersed with two really "fun" 100m sprints to really test your oomph! The Wednesday 9.30am crew absolutely loved it yesterday and I know you will too tonight or tomorrow, so please do come down if you can…the hardest part is just the jump from the under-cover change area to the pool itself and once you're in it's LOVELY! And just think of how virtuous you will feel afterwards. Please just remember the roadworks at the bottom of Davies Road and allow yourself an extra 5 minutes or so to come via Alfred Road (most likely).

Lastly, for those of you coming tomorrow at 9.30am, we have a real treat for you too - a classic type of "Red Mist" set where the anti is really upped towards the end of the session. Come down to find out more and test your mental aptitude to prevent the Red Mist descending!

Thanks everyone, see you then!

Paul