Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's going A-M-A-Z-I-N-G in the UK right now!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you've all had a brilliant weekend and are enjoying a change of scenery from my ugly mug each morning! I wanted to write and tell you about how it's all going here in the UK and also to show you some photos too - enjoy!

We kicked off at the annual Triathlon Show in London on Friday where I hosted a Q & A with 6-time Ironman Champion, Mr Dave Scott - what a legend! 

Here's Dave with part of our UK Swim Smooth team of Emma, Adam, Annie, Dave Scott, me, Fiona, my Mum Linda (or "Mother Smooth" as she's now widely known), and my step-Dad Steve:

Everyone is buzzing around such a legend! I even got to do two swim sessions with Dave at early-o'clock each day too which was a bonus!

Next up we finished the first day with a 1-2-1 stroke correction session for a lady called Kirsty in front of a group of 100+ onlookers in an Endless Pool flume tank - lots of fun!!!

On Saturday we started with a new presentation that I've been working on for our Swim Types system and invited Olympic Silver Medallist in the 2008 10km open water event, David Davies, to stand up and say a few words about how his stroke style (being very much of the Swinger persuasion) having been totally the right style for him. Other coaches tried to change him over the years, but it always slowed him down (he says), but his original coach, Dave Hala, in Cardiff knew exactly what he needed and capitalised on that - his results speak for themselves:

"People used to say I looked horrible - like a spider, but when I tried to lengthen out and slow down my stroke rate I simply became slower, not more efficient - being like Sun Yang just didn't work for me!"

This was the busiest presentation of the entire weekend from any presenter with over 300 people in attendance (standing room only) - I was super chuffed!

Standing room only!

I then did the second Q & A of the weekend with Ironman legend Dave Scott which went down equally well. Dave is such a smooth operator and really entertained the crowd with discussions on nutrition and training etc. I had to pinch myself at least eighteen times to get a full grasp of where I was and with whom!

Immediately afterwards we called in the "Big Guns" and ran a "Swinger vs Smooth Smackdown" in the two Endless Pools to a huge record crowd between Olympic Silver (2008, 10km) & Bronze (2004, 1500m) medallist David Davies and double Commonwealth Gold medallist (200m freestyle and 4 x 200m freestyle) Ross Davenport. It was arguably the highlight of my entire coaching career and a real milepost in Swim Smooth's nearly-10-year history:

Swinger .vs. Smooth "Smackdown" in front a huge audience at the 2014 "220 Triathlon Show"

We used Dave and Ross to showcase their completely different, but equally valid and effective, stroke styles - and let's face it: who can argue with their credentials! It just goes to show that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to swim technique:

Arm recovery action is NOT a key determinant of swimming efficiency!

Sandwiched between two British heroes!

What a legend: Britain's most successful ever swimmer, David Davies, who's won Olympic medals in the pool AND open water was our guest for the Saturday, just one week after his second daughter was born too!

Weak at the knees in the presence of such swimming greatness!

We finished the day with some video filming of Dave Davies's stroke at a local pool - man machine!

Adam, Fiona, Dave Davies, Annie and me post filming

On our Swim Smooth booth with my Mum and step-Dad Stevie - we've come a long way in 10 years and we're only just getting started!

Yet another milestone: we released our Mr Smooth .vs. Miss Swinger App on the iTunes App Store on Saturday too - get your copy here:

On Saturday night for the second year running we won the "Best Wetsuit Brand" annual award with our HUUB range: for which Dave Scott is now a brand Ambassador along with Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee - sweet! HUUB owner Dean Jackson was so proud - rightly so!

On Sunday I delivered our second presentation on the topic of CSS Training & Development and led with this story: which was really well received despite it being a relatively "dry" subject. It was then back into the pool to deliver a jam-packed 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction session with the 220 Triathlon Show's Editor, Helen Webster:

Now that's an audience!

Helen enjoying her feedback despite the obvious self-consciousness that anyone would feel with so many people looking over your shoulder!

Back in the pool for some stroke correction immediately afterwards!

All-in-all the show went amazingly well. We have all worked so hard on putting these presentations and demonstrations together over the last 3 months so it felt like a great reward to have so many people's attention for so long over the weekend and we thank them all for their interest!

Now, we're on our way up to Manchester for the second Triathlon Show this Saturday and Sunday via a pitstop in Birmingham whilst we continue to work on a truly ground-breaking piece of work which will hopefully be a real game-changer come May / June - watch this space!!

We finish with a 3-day Coach Education Course at Loughborough University on the 14th to 16th March before I high-tail it back to Perth before Mish and the kids realise I've been gone! ;-)

See you all soon and thanks for allowing me this opportunity to head over to the UK and to deliver such an exciting Tour de Swim Smooth!


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