Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Honey I'm almost home (from the USA!)

Dear Swimmers

I hope you've been enjoying the heat and some great coaching with Coaches Sally, Derek and Ross in my absence. We've had a simply brilliant coaching trip over here in California and as I prepare to pack my bags and leave today to arrive home midday Friday, it's been great to reflect back on a great 10 days meeting some fantastic people and working with some great coaches. For your interest I've pulled together a bit of an image time line of what we've managed to cram in:

Saturday 11th November:

Leave Perth and arrive just 4 hours later in San Fransisco via a dip in Sydney here:


Bondi Icebergs Club


The best swimming experience I've ever had - it had to be done and dusted in less than 15 mins due to only a 2.5hr stop-over connection in Sydney. Short, sweet, but very worth it!

…and in San Francisco here:


The world renowned Stanford University pool - wow! Some epic swimmers have graced these lanes over the years!

Arriving in Palo Alto (silicon valley) just 4 hours after I left Perth was rather bizarre and I got to hook up and stay with a former athlete I used to coach some 15yrs ago in Perth:


Nice pad - Silicon Valley style!


Epic view over San Francisco as we landed

Sunday 12th November:

My drive to work to run a swim coaching session with world renowned Ironman coach (who had no fewer than 35 athletes in Kona this year!), Matt Dixon of Purple Patch Fitness, looked like this:


What can you say?!


A bit chilly on pool deck and 40+ swimmers to fine tune…all of whom were very excited to have me deliver their session as Matt uses our system and refers to us frequently…all the way on the other side of the planet! Very humbling.


A run along the coastline near Muir Beach was in order straight after we'd finished coaching. Stunning. See my quirky video here.

Monday 13th November:

I was invited to spend the whole day with CEO of Finis Inc (who produce all of our swim gear including the infamous Tempo Trainer beeper), John Mix, and his entire development team at Finis HQ to build relations, strategise for the future and to also shoot some fun video clips:


Finis sponsor some of the world's finest swimmers including 4 time Olympic medallist Anthony Ervin


This is Finis's official team mascot, "Finn" the agility paddle 😄

Tuesday 14th November:

It was then just a 1h30m plane ride down to San Diego to meet Adam, Cyndy, John Chip and the rest of our assembled Swim Smooth coaching team:


Cyndy says hi everyone!


Adam wasn't happy unless he hired the biggest, baddest machine he could find for our transport. Epic!


John Chip, Cyndy and Adam reunited again on Tamarak Beach, Carlsbad, CA



Wednesday 15th November:

Today was all about getting ready to deliver our 24th 3-day Swim Smooth Coaches Education Course to coaches #333 to 352 the following day, but not before I guest delivered John Chip's squad in Solana Beach…the same set you guys did last Tuesday 😉 - we do this to ensure absolute consistency in approach with our now 48 Swim Smooth Certified Coaches worldwide and the effort shows:


Some of the growing number of swimmers attending John Chip's squad in Solana Beach, California - many of you will remember John as "Chevron John" from lane 3 on Wednesday's and Fridays right there in Perth - after leaving Chevron John's been on a life changing mission to follow his passion into helping others enjoy this great sport. We are super proud of him!


A quick stop at the world's first ever (and most famous) triathlon store, Nytro, where they stock the entire range of HUUB wetsuits and speed suits that we helped design 👍


Always time for a quick Starbuck's but I have to say it's not a patch on the coffee at Lake Espresso!


The coaching team debrief the night before involved great food, good wine and brilliant company - Stacee (Chicago), Cyndy (Houston), Linda (Florida)

Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th November (inclusive):

And so to the course with 20 coaches from around the world and also 14 swimmers from right across America travelling many miles to attend our 3-day course - humbling beyond words:


"Screw it, let's do it!" (as Richard Branson would say) - minimal sleep, copious jet lag but with great fire in the belly, we managed to get a quick dip in under this wonderful sunrise to start the course


One of the US's leading coaches and former Head Coach to Chile as well as Finis brand ambassador pleased to be learning the Swim Smooth way - we were honoured to have him along!


Coaches Morgon (senior sergeant in the Marines) and Jenn learn about our Swim Types system and how your height, build, gender, wing span and even personality affect how your swimmers swim. Knowing this allows our coaches to better tailor their approach to their swimmers


Coaches Chris and Liz get the same treatment - horses for courses, right?


Adam's "Strategies For Your Business Success" chat goes down a storm, as always!


Head Coach's eye view from the pontoon that made for perfect stroke technique instruction


Coach John working with neo-Pro, Erin on the final day


The Coaches hard at work, mentored by our 8 Swim Smooth Certified Coaches on pool deck to oversee proceedings 


Coach Cyndy doing what she does best - empower people!


Getting some exposure for the Perth Squad 😉 where it all started! 👍


What a team!


A well earned beer after Day 3 - but which to choose from the Land of Choice?!

Sunday 19th to Tuesday 21st November:


No sooner had we finished the course but we were asked to deliver a radio interview with Ironman and USA Triathlon Hall of Famer, Mr Bob Babbitt (link to follow) to discuss the history behind Swim Smooth. We were humbled and privileged to be asked on the show as last week's guest was none other than Olympic Gold Medallist and one of the all time greatest female endurance athletes, Gwen Jorgensen


I was LOST. I found SPORT. I was set FREE. During our tour with Bob of the Challenged Athlete Foundation which has raised over $83 million for disabled athletes to continue their journey in sport often after catastrophic injury


California Dreamin'


Paying hommage to the mecca of triathlon, where it all began, Fiesta Island, Mission Bay, San Diego, CA




Hotel del Coronado - stunning!


Palm tree lined ice rink…on the beach! Go figure!


Epic sunsets!


Baywatch anyone?


Bromance on the beach with the guy who made my dream of running a truly world class swim coaching program a reality. Thanks Adam!

As ever crew, thank you so much for letting me take the time to go and spread the Swim Smooth word even further afield! I look forward to seeing you all back on pool deck on Monday 27th November.

Cheers

Paul



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Paul away for 2 weeks coaching in the USA!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're all enjoying this wonderful weather lately - it's totally amazeballs!


Just a quick note to let you know that Sally, Derek and Ross will be covering the squad sessions for me whilst I am away in the USA for the next 2 weeks on our annual Swim Smooth USA Coaching Tour. I've got a crazy hectic schedule which promises to be both exciting and engaging in equal measure. Here's what I've got on for your interest:

San Francisco

  • Sunday = guest coach for Matt Dixon's Purple Patch Fitness triathlon squad (he had some 100+ athletes in Kona at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships recently so I'm honoured to have been invited). Matt frequently sends some of his top PRO athletes my way for additional swim TLC work when they're down under, but I've never actually met him. He's very well respected in the triathlon community!
  • Monday = a whole day spent geeking out as the guest of John Mix, CEO of Finis Inc. who make all the gadgets and gizmos we use as our training aids. We're going to be shooting some cooperative video demos together to showcase some of their latest innovations. John has over 45 staff working for him, all of whom are former elite swimmers - such an amazing and inspiring place to work I'm sure!
  • Tuesday = more coaching with Matt Dixon before flying out to Carlsbad, just north of San Diego

Carlsbad / San Diego:

  • Tuesday = meet up with the Swim Smooth Coaching Team - I'm very proud to have a team of 8 coaches from around the USA (including the wonderful Coach Cyndy who'll be joining us from Houston and John Chip from CA - I'll be sure to say hello to her from everyone of you!) supporting me with our upcoming 3-day Coach Education Course at the Alga Norte Aquatic Centre
  • Wednesday = meet the 20 coaches I've personally hand selected from over 120 international applicants to become numbers 333 to 352 to complete our International Triathlon Union / British Triathlon endorsed 3-day Coach Education program. Some of these coaches will then be further selected to attend our 2 week Swim Smooth Certification program in sunny Perth in March 2018. What better way to meet them all than with an open water swim at the iconic La Jolla beach, the birth place of the whole triathlon movement!
  • Thursday to Saturday = 3-day Coach Education Course, culminating on the Saturday with 10 guinea pig swimmers keen to hone their techniques with the newly versed coaches - this creates a brilliant learning environment for all involved, albeit with over 40 people forming the congregation that day, a mojito or two will be in order afterwards!
  • Sunday = meeting with several tech companies keen to partner with us on some exciting new projects (but that, as they say, is about all I can say about that)
  • Monday = podcast interview with the voice of triathlon himself, Mr Bob Babbitt - will send you the download link accordingly
  • Tuesday / Wednesday = some exciting promotional filming for a couple of new projects that are already complete and due out in the next month…watch this space!

I arrive back in Perth on Friday 24th November and will be back on pool deck fresh and energised on Monday 27th November. Until then, keep up the great work and enjoy the sessions with the coaching team!

For your reference, I've just prepared this matrix so that you can see who is typically leading which group, in which lane at each of our 11 weekly sessions:





Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Bremer Bay - a place you really MUST visit!


Road tripping' around the South West!

Dear Swimmers

Hoping you all had a good weekend in my absence. Without sounding like an advert for the Bremer Bay Tourist board, and having asked many of you if you've ever been only to be told "no, not yet" - this is a place you really must add to your itinerary. I hope you'll indulge me with a few of the photos and videos I took with our new swim filming drone to whet your appetite! #NoFilter #StraightOffTheCamera

We have had my family visiting from the UK for the last 3 weeks and took the opportunity to sneak away with them on a secret 5-day camping road trip to Wave Rock (Hyden), Esperance and finally Bremer Bay (somewhere I'd only ever heard the late, great Eoin Cameron talking about on the 5.15am ABC weather report). It was so windy at Wave Rock that we had to forego setting up the tent and booked into a chalet instead and then down in Esperance the wind had followed us and saw us literally survive our way through a harrowing 8pm to 7am gale force wind experience (75-80km/h sustained) during which I wrote my own obituary fearing we'd literally be flattened by a tree or tin roof!


Isla and Jackson looking pretty excited to be at the wonderful Wave Rock, but less excited about the miserable weather!


Everyone happy to have survived the worst that Esperance could throw at us and our canvas tent visiting Hellfire Bay, Esperance.


This photo of Jackson (aged 2) has adorned by parents kitchen wall in Wales since 2011 - finally they get chance to see the wonders of Lucky Bay themselves!


Mother Smooth overlooks a kangaroo with a joey in its pouch at Lucky Bay

Luckily, by the time we got to Bremer Bay the wind had started to die down and we were treated to two brilliant days of sunshine which showcased this part of the world better than we could have ever imagined. 

The Henry Peninsula is home to 5 or 6 great beaches (see the video link below) with the purest white beaches and amazingly clear aquamarine waters - the swimming and body surfing was second to none! In fact - dare I say it - Bremer Bay now knocks off Esperance and Kalbarri as my favourite place in Western Australia. Maybe you should take a look yourself - only 5.5hrs drive from Perth…


See the 4 minute video at https://vimeo.com/240827126 - hope you like the drone footage!


Incredible water clarity - great for a dip (albeit quite chilly!), Little Boat Harbour, Bremer Bay


Bremer's most popular beach, Blossoms


Bremer Bay river-mouth, similar in many ways to Margaret River (at least that's what the kids said!)


Bremer Bay Main Beach



Beautiful colours at Bremer Bay