Friday, August 18, 2017

Ever seen this ominous sign...?


Ever seen this ominous sign and thought, "what the flippin' heck?! I paid yesterday?"

Dear Swimmers

I hope you have had a good week and are looking forward to the forecast good weather next week to kick you back into your exercise routine (assuming you ever lost it that is?). Next week looks great - bring it on I say!

So last week marked the 2nd anniversary of us switching over to the new app-based booking and payment system - quite a landmark, I'm sure you'll agree. I ran some stats yesterday and it turns out that between YR1 and YR2 there was just 0.38% variance in attendance over the whole year. Incredible. This shows just how consistent you guys all are and how well the system manages the waitlist spots but equally prevents overcrowding too (which the old manual paper system was susceptible too) - so a massive thanks from me for this continued patronage and support. As someone pointed out this morning:

"Erm, from a business perspective you'd want to be seeing 10% growth, not stasis…?"

…but this is not about growth, it's about consistency. It's about quality coaching. We have a finite number of lanes we can hire in any one session and thus a finite amount of space available to use. As such, without extending the program to another pool (or building our own!), we are already operating at capacity - the app simply helps us manage things much easier…most of the time, anyway!

Most of you say you love using the system, but it does have some quirks, namely the dreaded yellow screen of "death" above which sometimes pops up when you check-in on the iPad on the pool deck. If you only read one thing from this email it is this:

DON'T PANIC! YOU (PROBABLY) HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG! IT ALL GETS WORKED OUT ON A SATURDAY!

…if this, ever shows for you, it simply means that some of your payments haven't been reconciled properly. We do a manual sweep of the "automated" system every Saturday, such that these so-called "unpaid" visits do get eventually picked up and settled. What causes this situation is due to the fact that in order to hold your permanent spot in the squad I have to book you ALL in unpaid for the vast majority of your sessions. You are currently booked in for 5 years, so if you swim twice per week for 50 weeks of the year for 5 years that's 500 bookings you have with us - wow! If you're using a 10 session card and have used 2 credits, really you have 500-2+10 = 492 unpaid visits scheduled. If you happen to early cancel a session (as most do) or access a session via the waitlist (some do) or let your true credits lapse by 1 or 2 sessions (occasionally) this just proves to be a step too far for the automated reconcile function (I'm yet to understand why), thus requiring us to manually check things out.

What the system does do (usually) very well, is send out email reminders when you are truly low on credits or available time, prompting you to top-up. If you happen to miss these (or forget), I will usually send you and ever-so-polite email kindly reminding you to top up.

So if you do happen to see the yellow screen of death, please don't go into situational meltdown or panic, all is (usually) OK, and if it's not, I will follow up with you on a Saturday, using my not-so-automated word processing skills.

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!

Cheers

Paul





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This is what it's all about...

Dear Swimmers

The following post on my Instagram yesterday generated a lot of likes and a lot of positive feedback - thought you might like to take 5 and have a read if you haven't seen it, especially if you either LOVE or HATE your pull buoy…here's why:


This is what it's all about: providing sound, logical advice to our #swimmers irrespective of their #swimtype - Jos here says she "hates the pull buoy" and that "no one else does", hence her tiny pull buoy (it's diddy!) versus the gigantic @huubdesign #BigBuoy - however many more people "hate" the pull buoy than you might be aware of. We have a name for this...Jos has great body position in the water, high hips, long pointy legs with a strong kick - giving her a pull buoy does nothing to assist body position as that's already one of her enviable strengths, but it does take away her propulsive leg kick of course. The exact opposite is true for others (arguably the majority), such that it seems that maybe it's only you who can't use one. Not the case at all. 10 points for guessing Jos's #swimtype ? #Kicktastic - and the people she's comparing herself against? Mainly the #Arnie fraternity (though typically most other #swimtypes do feel at least easier with the pull buoy due to lower aerobic demand). A swimmer like Jos would also typically not find the great gains that many espouse with a wetsuit. This can be frustrating unless you recognise how to make the most of the situation: head position higher and eyes forwards and toning down the kick keeping the heels under the water will help, matched with a low buoyancy wetsuit like @huubdesign - job done! You've got to swim the best way for you, not someone else or the idealogy of the perfect stroke ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ’ช๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ‍♀️ - tune up your weaknesses, sure, but embrace your strengths (Jos would kill it in a non-wetsuit swim like Kona, or better still, in a non-buoyant lake with no wetsuit), don't necessarily start from scratch. You often don't need to. Swim Types: keeping swimming real since 2010 ✌️


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to maintain MOTIVATION in the colder months...


Chilly, miserable mornings at the pool make you feel 100 times more virtuous for having shunned the doona than rolling up during peak season...

Dear Swimmers

Ugh! It's that horrible time of the year again isn't it? It's not just cold, but it's wet, cold and miserable too! Exactly the motivation sapping type of weather that would make you roll over, hit the alarm and wait for something nicer to wake up to, hey? Sadly we can't guarantee you great weather OUT of the pool but we can guarantee an always toasty 28ยบC to jump into!

I was recently at a seminar with this guy (Craig Harper - www.craigharper.net ) and he had some very poignant points about motivation. Craig said:

"Everyone talks about motivation as being this BIG thing. The thing that you blame for not having enough of when you can't be bothered to do something that is genuinely of benefit to you (ED: he's a real Ozzie straight shooter this guy!). But here's the deal - motivation is only the spark that gets the fire started, it's not the fuel that keeps it burning - that's called HABIT. It takes a good 2-3 weeks to establish a habit, but equally, once you step away from your habit, it's so much harder to get it back again!"

His advice? Don't stop - do it anyway:




I went to his seminar not really knowing what to expect, but I have to say it was really great, and if you get chance to see him live, definitely go. His line about "when was the last time you accidentally ate a slice of cake" was priceless for those battling weight issues (straight talker as I say).

Anyway, here's a neat video about the meaning of success for you which can be applied across many things in life - enjoy!


Cheers, and see you down the pool - always know we'll be here come rain, hail or shine :-) (only exception is a severe lightning storm when the pool would close).

Paul

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Don't forget to check out our weekly technique tips here every Friday!


A fresh 2.3ยบC morning awaited this Wednesday's 5.30am swimmers - brrrr!

Dear Swimmers

I hope you have been having a great week and surviving the colder temperatures!

When whilst many of you probably know that alongside the www.swimsmoothperth.com website that I run here in Perth for all your squad and 1-2-1 video analysis booking needs, we also have our main www.swimsmooth.com website too which is due to have it's new facelift completed in about 4-6 weeks to complement the popularity of our web-based coaching platform www.swimsmooth.guru which allows swimmers right around the globe follow what we do here in Perth and access our coaching methodology from wherever they might be and often together with a Certified Swim Smooth Coach:


Coach Lucy's innovative Play Your Cards Right CSS session, Manchester, UK


Coach Mary's super fun open water session in Calgary, Canada


Coach Stacee's new-to-the-USA squad in Chicago, USA


Coach Shauqie's pre-swim stretch session, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Coach Merle's super popular master's session, Dubai, UAE


Coach Bart's ever challenging Red Mist session, Montreal, Canada


Coach Russell's empowering pacing session, Guernsey, Channel Islands

All up we now have 40 international Swim Smooth Coaches dotted around the globe and are constantly striving hard to build this initiative whilst maintaining the most stringent of controls of the quality of delivery - after all we want to know that if someone is seeking the same Swim Smooth experience as you'd get right here in Perth where it all started, then you'd be able to get that in Spain, Sweden or Singapore too! Cool, hey? It's a challenge, but working with these coaches behind the scenes to mentor and train them up in our methods and to empower their coaching businesses is arguably one of the most rewarding experiences I get as Head Coach and founder of Swim Smooth in seeing them deliver truly brilliant sessions and having their own swimmers rave about them on social media too.

So on top of all this, if you're seeking a little Swim Smooth inspiration in your media feeds, be sure to check us out on:


* the blog goes out every Friday evening Perth time at about 8pm and has over 120,000 subscribers each week, making it the world's largest blog on swimming technique - crazy cool, hey? Here are some recent pearlers that you might enjoy (you can sign up to have this delivered straight to your inbox by filling in your details on the right hand side):


Have a great weekend everyone! Owing to a little bit of surgery on Wednesday afternoon I won't be coaching the squad sessions on Friday morning, but will see some of you at the 9.30am session whilst I take a couple who've flown over from Melbourne specifically for a 1-2-1 session with me. Coach Sally will be cracking the whip tomorrow morning!

Cheers

Paul


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jules makes it number 3 of the Triple Crown!


Dear Swimmers

Great news! Squad swimmer Julie Isbill backed up her brilliant Catalina Channel Swim just 12 days ago with a 46km circumnavigation of Manhattan Island (New York) on Sunday, covering the distance in a little over 7h and 20 minutes - a brilliant performance! This makes Jules #150 (in the world) to have successfully completed the Triple Crown of marathon swimming: the English Channel, the Catalina Channel and now Manhattan Island - whoop! A massive well done from all of us here in Perth Jules. Here's her take on the event (from her FaceBook account):

๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘
Swim around Manhattan Island, under 20 Bridges, what can I say... EPIC !!!

Wow, what a swim. The currents were awesome, the anticipation of 'Hells Gate' petrifying, but on my swim the worry was in vain ๐Ÿ˜…
The scenery phenomenal, the water quality - uhmm well... I could see my hand in the water, no really I could, in between playing pick up sticks and lawn bowls with my head feeling like it was the jack receiving all the bowls ๐Ÿคฃ

46+km passed by like a flash, quite literally. Well mostly, apart from the Harlem but even that wasn't as sluggish as I had antipicated.

Having gone around the island on the circle line ferry a couple of days prior was perfect. Albeit a little overwhelming and emotional, it gave me a great insight into what I was embarking upon and meant I even knew some of the land marks as I swam round, which was really very cool, and encouraging.

My team, what can I say: WONDERFUL ❤️❤️ things were a little different this swim as we gave all my feeds pre-made to my sensational paddler, Alex which freed Michael up to enjoy the journey and excel himself on keeping everyone informed with his new found career as social media extraordinaire ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜
I didn't get too much opportunity to hang with my skipper, Doug, his right hand man Keith, or our observer, Andi, but all were just lovely; very warm, positive, attentive and kind and kept Michael entertained throughout ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alex, the world's most saught after paddler (Paul: Alex was also my paddler when I won the event in 2013), really was fantastic. I can't thank him enough for letting me sit diligently on his right thigh for the whole duration, while joining in and humouring me as I excitedly yelled out the number of each bridge as we journeyed under, almost loosing count once but then recalled Alex was eating at number 'ate' which I thought was pretty funny at the time ☺️๐Ÿ˜… Phew no. 9 was next. I didn't want to loose count. I was enjoying ticking them off. Thanks for the suggestion Nicolo ๐Ÿ‘

The Hudson only left me with bridge no. 20 so potentially was going to get a bit dull. But nope. It was beautiful and ever evolving including once we reached downtown Manhattan and it was BUMPY BUMPY BUMPY from all the marine traffic ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜

A truly EPIC swim which I am soooo happy to have participated in with the icing on the cake being the third jewel in my 'Triple Crown' of open water marathon swimming #150 to achieve it ๐Ÿ˜Š
http://db.marathonswimmers.org/triple-crown/

Thank you so so so much especially to Michael who not only supports me by coming along for the journey and feeding me on all the swims for hours on end, over night and in all conditions, but also, not only, puts up with all the hours I am away training, but encourages me. Thank you !!!

Also, to EVERYONE else, and I mean that... EVERYONE !!! From my training partners, including Maree & Sharon whom together formed the 'Manhattan Project' 
Neil and Bob who skippered countless Rottnest Channel crossing for me.
David who must have paddled at least 200hours by my side over the last couple of years. 
Amanda, who not only paddled for me but traveled to LA to be by my side through Catalina.
NicoleCae, Leah and Emma who it was super special to share Manhattan with.
Paul and Vladimir who have both been wonderfully inspiring coaches and the great guys and gals at swim smooth who have so warmly let me gate crash their squad this year.
All you crazy, solid, forever supportive buddies at Polar Bears and B&B ๐Ÿ˜
To my non-swimming friends who i'm sure think I'm crazy, but get just as excited as if it was them doing it.
To people all over the globe who surprise me with their interest and support ❤️
And... to the endless number of strangers who give up their days to support us on these sometimes ridiculously long adventures. You guys are the champions and keep me going !!
THANK YOU ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘๐Ÿ‘‘
Couldn't resist repeating a few of my favourite photos and video from the wonderful selection ๐Ÿ’•



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Jule's Catalina Adventure! Completed in just over 10 hours!

A massive congratulations to Julie Isbill who on Tuesday evening completed the Catalina Channel Swim in California - a spooky yet amazing sounding adventure! Well done Jules.

Here's a little run down of the adventure...

Catalina Channel ✅
It was exquisite out there, apart from a gigantic - what I think was a whale that scared the living bedoobies out of me about 90mins in when it was jet black (as it was for hours) apart from the most vibrant and playful biophosphorescence ❤️ and the GNARLY finish.

They said i might get a couple of scratches on the boulders with the surges at the end, and we would call that cute.

OMG we have totally redefined 'cute' and 'an exhilarating' finish. It was Huntington Beach style surf on mobile boulders and as for scratches, yes about 2 dozen, not to mention smashed up, swollen knuckles and toes. Jax swam in with me (as did the other swimmer who swam the channel the same night - how cool we timed it together) and Jax said she was born above that 'beach' and has been paddling this swim for 4 years (& swam it herself last year) and she didn't even know it could get that bad. I guess that's the balance for a velvet, marine filled, moon light sky, picture perfect crossing ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฌ

I am a little tired, battered and bruised but SOOOOO chuffed to have completed and experienced Catalina's beautiful channel ❤️

Did I mention... I swam through a feeding frenzy about 0.5nautical miles from the finish. It was AMAZING !!!!! Bait fish, dolphins galour, spinning, jumping, darting and a sea lion. I swam right through the middle of it all. Dolphins whizzing past, spinning under me and jumping out along side and the cutest (proper cute this time) sea lion came back for seconds as he swam right under me, stopped, rolled over, looked me in the eye and then leaped out of the water - twice ๐Ÿ˜

Just magic and more perfect than I could have asked for in my wildest dreams ๐Ÿ’•

Topped of with a fabulous crew. Michael who as he did last year, didn't miss a beat or sleep a wink, and was right there for the whole crossing preparing my feeds and keeping watch. Amanda who paddled all but 3 hours in the middle when Jax jumped in and everyone else who rotated through. All were positive, warm and friendly. Thank you !!!

How many people does it take to get a girl across Catalina Channel - it appears 11 ๐Ÿ˜œ official observers, skippers, deck hands, chef (to make the team breakfast, ensuring there is enough left overs for the swimmer and paddler at the end ๐Ÿ‘Œ
not to mention all the training support up to this moment, and all the online support throughout the crossing. Thank you, thank you, thank you, ALL ๐Ÿ˜˜

Hope all is well for you too. Onto a little recovery time now for us, before ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž Manhattan in 12 days time xx ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿณ๐Ÿณ

Friday, July 7, 2017

Jules is swimming Catalina!


For all those of you keen to keep an eye on one of our marathon swimming stars, Julie Isbill will be swimming the Catalina Channel in California next Tuesday 2-3pm Perth time. Tracking information is below for those of you keen to watch how Jules gets on. She's been training up a storm with the 930am and 530am #RedMist crews, so here's a big good luck from us all Jules!

P.S Jules then tackles the mighty Manhattan Island swim just 12 days later to complete the tri-fecta or Triple Crown as it's known: English Channel, Catalina Channel and Manhattan Island!

Here's Jules:

A massive thank you to all at Swim Smoth Redmist sessions who have helped me train for these upcoming little adventures ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿณ

CATALINA CHANNEL: ~11pm-midnight start LA time on night of 10th July.
That's ~2-3pm start time on Tuesday 11th July, Perth time.

Tracker is:
http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0IVZfijZKeNxXLbfGuPnMqMLgOFz1D4rE 

MANHATTAN: ~7am start time New York time on morning of Sun 23rd July.
That's ~7pm start time on Sun 23rd July, Perth time.

Tracker is:
https://track.rs/20Bridges/ 
๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿณ

Thanks heaps ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Jules


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Coach Marie doing a Fundraiser for Prostate Cancer

Dear Swimmers

Simply sublime weather we are enjoying at the moment hey?! Something else!

Hope you enjoyed all those 50s this morning on a tight time cycle. Makes you appreciate how much the longer continuous swim at the end of them all allowed you to get into a much better rhythm and surprisingly smash the beeper!

Coach Marie will be doing a fundraiser on Friday 28th July for Prostate Cancer if you'd care to assist and join her on some Whiskey and Gin tasting? Details in the image below. Bookings at www.trybooking.com/QHFQ

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Around the world in 14 days - Swim Smooth hits Europe!

Dear Swimmers

I hope you are all doing well and have had a great couple of weeks with coaches Sally, Ross and Derek - I look forward to seeing how you're going on Friday morning (just in transit now between Mallorca - Prague - Milan - Abu Dhabi and Perth, phew!).

I wanted to piece together a bit of a visual story about what I've been up to in the last 2 weeks. The photos certainly show some fantastic locations that we've been fortunate enough to go to and whilst there has certainly been the opportunity to sit back, breathe, contemplate and even enjoy the off mojito or three, it's certainly been a very action-packed and hugely productive 2 weeks which has culminated here in Prague with a very exciting project that we will be kicking off very soon!

Here's the summary, we've delivered:

  • a 3-day Coach Education Course for 20 coaches from all around the world
  • a 1-day Swimmer's Clinic for 10 swimmers from all around the world
  • an open water clinic in pristine, clear, safe waters for 45 swimmers from around the world
  • a Red Mist Endurance session for 45 swimmers from around the world









We've also competed in 7 open water races over 6 days as part of the simply brilliant www.bestopenwater.com festival - think of this as the Tour de France of open water swimming if you like, covering a total of 32km - I even managed to collect the spoils in the non-elite category:


And formed some epic friendships in the process, allowing us to chip off the best non-elite team relay too:


With stunning views and morning swims every day in the lush mediterranean:





So if you fancy it next year, take a watch of this summary video clips to whet your appetite further:










And whilst I can't say too much about what I've been up to planning the next phase of Swim Smooth's objectives here in Prague, let's just say it's going to be:




And as it says at the John Lennon wall:

Do what you love, love what you do!


…a  very apt way of finishing this great trip to Europe!

See you on Friday!

Paul