Sunday, September 25, 2011

Please welcome our 8 International Coaches this fortnight!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you've had a great weekend. It turned out to be a lot better than expected on the weather front! I had my first cycle ride in 18 months on Saturday with a few of the guys and girls from the squad (thanks for inviting me!) which was just great.

OK, so as you know, over the next 2 weeks we will have an additional 8 coaches on the pool deck at every session. With myself and Adam also present this will make for a rather amazing coach:athlete ratio so I'm hoping that you'll really all benefit from having them here! They've all now arrived from their respective countries and will be undergoing 2 weeks of further coach training with us with the view to becoming our first officially accredited Swim Smooth Coaches outside of Perth. We're really very excited about this. All 8 coaches have sat our compulsory 3-day Coach Education Course in the UK and have been selected from the 48 coaches whom have now sat this course. In this first week the coaches will be taking very much an observatory role on the pool deck to see how we run things here in Perth, but in week 2 you will see a lot more involvement in the sessions. All the coaches will be keen to liaise with you and assist with stroke correction as well as help with times and words of encouragement etc at the various sessions. 

Having additional coaches on the pool deck in this capacity is great from the increased input you will receive over these two weeks, though we will also ensure that their input does not affect the general flow of the various sessions such that you still receive a great workout as normal. In this respect, I will personally still be the Head Coach at all sessions and will run them entirely as normal, albeit with a lot of additional assistance! We know you're going to enjoy it and there's going to be no better way to kick-start your summer campaign than this!

As a brief introduction to each of the coaches, here is a quick bio of each of them taken from our introductory session this evening:

  • Fiona Ford is a BTF (British Triathlon Federation) Level 3 coach (as high as you can take the accreditation system in the UK) and has been coaching full-time for 2 years now and part-time since 2006. Fiona won her Age Group at both the World Triathlon and Aquathlon Championships in 2006, has 7 Ironman Top-10 finishes (overall) and has a PB of 9h54 over this distance. She is a brilliant athlete, but has the admirable quality of being able to communicate her experience with athletes of all levels. Fiona is based in London, UK and runs a coaching company which specialises in world class training camps in the French Alps and personalised coaching / bespoke triathlon training programs and swim squad training sessions in London.
  • Gabriela (Gabby) Fetterova is a former national swimming champion from Prague in the Czech Republic and is currently building her own swim coaching program in Prague where she hopes to specialise in video analysis and stroke correction. She will be the first coach in the Czech Republic to formally use the Swim Smooth model and she says she's very excited to visit such a beautiful place as Perth to develop her program even further. Gabby says Australia is her dream holiday and swim coaching is her dream job and that she looks forward to chatting with you all on pool deck these next 2 weeks.
  • Craig Maltby is passionate about swimming, especially open water swimming. Craig runs his Langebaan Swim School in South Africa and has access to some great open water  venues and lagoons close by. Craig also runs open water events and races and has noticed a substantial increase in the uptake of interest in these events over the last few years. In July 2012 Craig will swim the Robben Island swim ( which appears to be a similar event to our own Rottnest Channel Swim. Having seen Craig swim, we know he'll do very well! Craig says that he believes Swim Smooth has been incredibly successful and focused on getting people "out there" and looks forward to this opportunity to learn more from us whilst here and meet those of you who swim within the various squads.
  • Steve Casson is the BTF East Midlands Regional Academy Head Coach which selects and develops 14-18 year old athletes with the potential to progress through to the World Class Podium Squad. Steve runs his own successful coaching company as well called and works with adults from novice through to Age Group champions from short course to Ironman distance. Steve is also a full-time triathlon coach, based in Northampton, UK. Having worked with Steve in Loughborough last November, we're very confident that you're going to get a lot from speaking with Steve about your swimming at the squad sessions.
  • Leigh Archer has been involved in triathlon now for 25 years and loves it as much now as when he first took up the sport. He runs and specialises in the Retül bike fit system as well as being the UK distributor for Sable goggles. These are my own personal preference in goggles and I have to say they are fantastic from a fit and anti-fog perspective and were what I used when I swam the Channel. Leigh has an enviable record as a coach and was British Triathlon National Performance Development Coach Of The Year for 2010. He now wants to build his own elite squad and sessions in Loughborough, UK with a focus on stroke correction, whilst all the while sticking to his mantra of "it's all about the FUN!"
  • Steve Bailey is based in Salisbury in the UK and has attended both our 3-day Coaches Course and also several other of our 1-day Swim Smooth Clinics around the UK to further his experience with the Swim Smooth program. He's been coaching swimming for 20 years and has three children all of whom are very strong swimmers. Steve is very keen to also help guide those new swimmers in the UK seeking to get into the longer distance open water events as well as for triathlon. Steve has done a lot of video work with swimmers in the last few years and wants to now develop a successful swim squad in his local area along the lines of what we do here in Perth. He's a great guy and someone whom we believe has a great future ahead of him as he looks to pursue more of a full-time swim coaching role.
  • Martin Hill is also a BTF Level 3 coach and is based down in Yeovil, Somerset in the UK. Martin has developed his own brand of swimming paddles which work on the need to develop a more propulsive catch and feel for the water. We love them! He works with a range of swimmers from novice to "masters" and is looking to develop a larger, more dedicated swim squad over the next six to 12 months. Martin is a very competent swimmer himself and looks forward to meeting you all here in Perth.
  • Julian Nagi is a very experienced Level 3 triathlon coach who has coached over 100 athletes to Ironman success, from first-timers to Hawaii Ironman finishers. He specialises in Ironman coaching, open water swimming and in-depth stroke correction and analysis. He is a British Gas Swimming Ambassador / Coach in partnership with British Swimming and runs his successful coaching program from the lovely Park Club in London. Julian's program inspires his athletes to love swimming and not see it as a necessary evil (which many triathletes do). I personally met Julian back in July 2005 when I was first establishing the Swim Smooth brand in the UK and we have remained in close contact ever since, utilising his club's venue for several coaching clinics over the years.



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