Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ever wanted to know the history behind Swim Smooth here in Perth? Listen on, it's an interesting story!

Dear Swimmers

I told you the sunshine was eventually going to come out this week, hey? Loving it!

I had the awesome opportunity yesterday to record a podcast as the first guest on the new WA Real podcast hosted by Bryn Edwards talking about the 13 year history of Swim Smooth of how I set up the company here in sunny Perth and how it's grown over the years to now see our format being delivered in 119 countries around the world through our partnership with the International Triathlon Union and also our 40 officially Certified Swim Smooth Coaches. I thought you might find this useful listening given especially how the Perth Squad here in Perth is very much the "engine room" of what we bring to the world of swimming - some of you even get a mention!

As Bryn says:

"The world's most passionate swimming coach, Paul Newsome shares his swim coaching journey and the story behind Swimsmooth – the most pre-eminent swim coaching brand. Listen as Paul talks openly about how he learnt to coach the individual rather than the technique, how he developed the Swimsmooth approach to swim coaching in the face of conventional wisdom and how he, together with his business partner, have built Swimsmooth into the company it is today, and the challenges that that success brings. Bryn and Paul also delve into why more and more people are drawn into undertaking big challenges like ironman and solo swims to Rottnest."

Digging Deeper from the podcast:

As some of you are probably aware (through social media and just from chatting with me on pool deck recently), I've been going through a bit of a rough time over the last month or so due to numerous episodes of direct plagiarism of our work and even several businesses internationally using our name and claiming to be us illegitimately, as well as one case where our most significant project to date appears to have been used to help a major brand develop a very similar system. 

It's been quite depressing to see all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears that we've put into Swim Smooth being taken in this manner, but as many people have encouraged, something will only be mimicked (especially by the big guns) if it's deemed to be successful and viable, so we have to take heart in that my "baby" is on the right track at least! It still doesn't make it hurt any less though. Some say "that's just business". I get it.

The internet has been a great aid to us developing the reach that we have achieved in the last 13 years (which includes a subscriber-ship of 120,000+ swimmers worldwide who follow our weekly blog at - making it the world's biggest swimming blog (we think!)), but also makes it very much easier than it was 10+ years ago to take advantage of someone else's hard work too. It's bitter-sweet, I guess.

Nevertheless, as ever in life there are two routes to take - the positive (proactively continuing to use our passion and expertise to push forwards) and the negative (being consumed with fighting the fires). We have opted for the positive route and are enthused and motivated now greater than ever before. We will to continue to be genuine in our quest to help as many people around the world as possible enjoy this great sport of swimming and show them that no matter what their starting point, they too can become good swimmers for life. And it all starts here in Perth with you all. That is what this is all about, why I get up at 4.20am every morning to do what I love doing. I am privileged to have this opportunity, to have crafted this niche and am humbled to be called your coach and for all the support that you have offered me over the years. I am merely a swim coach to the core, but have received some wonderful mentoring lately from members of the squad who are trying to assist with their massive wealth of business, finance and legal advice for which I am hugely grateful. Confrontation, depression and angst is gradually being replaced by excitement, anticipation and the awe of what could be possible.

Right now, myself and Adam feel hugely empowered to look at how we go about funding the growth and development of the next phase of our Swim Smooth journey and I very much hope you will continue to be along for that ride - it's sure to be an exciting one!

So please do have a listen to the podcast and even share it around to friends and family who might find it interesting; it's certainly a study in how following your passion - and realising where your motivations truly lie - is what living a fulfilled life is all about, warts and all.

And if that's all a little "too deep man", I'll finish off with these cool bubbles from squad swimmer and über-fish Byron Kimber (CSS of 1:08/100m!) to lighten the mood. See you on pool deck soon!

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:


…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!



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 😀💪🏊🏊‍♀️ - 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 28ºC to jump into!

I was recently at a seminar with this guy (Craig Harper - ) 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).


Thursday, August 3, 2017

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

A fresh 2.3ºC 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 website that I run here in Perth for all your squad and 1-2-1 video analysis booking needs, we also have our main 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 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!