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!