A Request From Swim Smooth - Can You Help Us?

Happy Friday! We have a request - would you assist us by answering a few super-quick questions about you and your swimming?

You can do that for us using the Google Form here: https://forms.gle/b8UbLUpKpWykeWPf6

If you've been following Swim Smooth for a while you will know that our coaching takes account of your individuality - whether you are tall, short, sinky, buoyant, young or less young! Your data will let us give you the right coaching advice and ensure that you get the very most from your time in the water, improving at the fastest rate possible.

By answering this short survey you will be helping us fine-tune some new coaching tools for 2020 which you will be able to put to work on your own swimming to keep those improvements coming.

We can't wait to share those tools with you but in the meantime your data will be super-useful in developing them.

Janine and Neil demonstrate how different we all are. Janine's actually a faster swimmer, so if you
have shorter arms yourself don't despair, it's just about swimming in the right way for your individual makeup.

Here's that form again!

Thank you for all your help with this week's blog Swim Smoothers!
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The Mini Goldilocks Set - Your First Proper Training Set?

A post this week for our new Swim Smooth Community Manager - Myffy - who has a background in several sports but is new to swimming herself.

If you are learning to swim freestyle and working on the basics of the stroke then check out the "Mini Goldilocks" set here and give it a go yourself. If you normally just get in and swim lengths then this might be your first ever structured training session. Mini Goldilocks is perfect for that!

Over to Myffy:

Starting out on Day 1 at Swim Smooth HQ was exciting enough, but my excitement soared when within 10 minutes I was presented with a party bag of Swim Smooth essentials! As I delved into the bag and fully investigated the contents, there were towels, books, manuals and swimming hats for every day of the week:



But I quickly came across some items I had no idea how to use - a Tempo Trainer Pro, Fins and Paddles were among them. Having been busy with other sports and only ever swum occasionally I was excited to get down to the pool and test out all of these new goodies!

With the kit bag in tow, I quickly made my way down to the pool to try out swimming the Swim Smooth way. SS Head UK Coach Adam Young was keen for me to test out a classic Swim Smooth Set - "Goldilocks" - but adapted it slightly to suit my ability level. To maintain the pace throughout this whole set, I got to use my first piece of equipment - the Tempo Trainer! 

Here's the set:

Mini Goldilocks Set

3 x 50m + 1 beep rest
1 x 100m (Baby Bear)

3 x 50m  + 1 beep rest
1 x 200m (Mama Bear) 

3 x 50m  + 1 beep rest
1 x 300m (Papa Bear)


Ideally this session should be swum with a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro in mode 1 or mode 2 so that it beeps once per length to you in a 25m/yd pool or twice per length in a 50m pool.

The goal is to stay with the beep so that it paces you through the swim at constant speed. This should feel quite easy during the 50s but get harder over the 100, 200 and 300! After each of the 50s, stop and wait for the next beep - we call this "one beep rest".


In preparation for the new role, I made sure I was well read on all things Swim Smooth and put the book, Swim Smooth, The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes first on my holiday reading list! Armed with all the theory behind the freestyle stroke, I was now faced with the challenge of recreating this in the pool.
Beep beep!

The book highlighted the importance of getting your breathing technique right, so to feel a bit more comfortable in the water I made sure I started off with a few sink downs. Spending a long time bobbing at the top of the water made me quickly realise that I needed a much stronger exhale to get me to the bottom of the pool more easily. With the stronger exhale I sunk down to the bottom with ease so thought I was ready to set the Finis Tempo Trainer to 0:27s for a 25m pool and started the first 50m of the 'Baby Goldilocks Set'.

[Adam: With more experienced swimmers we use something called the CSS Test to determine your pace per length but if you are new to swimming, take an initial guess (perhaps 35 seconds per 25m in mode 2) and swim a few lengths and try and stay with the Tempo Trainer Pro beep. Too fast or too slow? Adjust the beeper until it feels like you are swimming at a good level of effort but not sprinting to keep up.]

I placed the Tempo Trainer underneath my swimming cap, a device you set to your estimated time for one length of the pool. Start the length on the beep and aim to reach the other end of the pool by the second beep. Feeling very smug with myself that I managed to set the Tempo Trainer to the right mode, I set off for my first lap with a strong push off from the wall. So strong that the Tempo Trainer was forced out of swimming hat and I was left having to swim the wrong way in the lane to retrieve it!

After the minor delay I quickly got back to the set, I was feeling good after the 'Baby Bear' and found focusing on my breathing helped to keep my breathing strong and body position up in the water. Despite this, the longer swims in the set provided me with a real challenge. Trying to keep my breathing strong, arm straight out in front on the breathing stroke and staying in time with the beeper proved to be a bit of a struggle and did lead to a sense of panic, so I decided to skip a beep in Daddy Bear to stay on time.

Even though the final swim was tough, it did not take away from the enjoyment of the swim and my eagerness to return to the water. And I've learnt several valuable lessons for my next session! Don't push off too hard from the wall! Stay calm and breathe - focusing on my breathing was a great way to switch off from everything outside of the pool. Don't be too harsh on yourself if you don't quite manage to complete what you set out to do, the way you wanted to do it. Being consistent with your training is key and you will still see improvements!

If, like me, you are new to the world of swimming, the Swim Smooth Guru has some great programmes to help you out. Try our Learn2Swim programme or the 'Boosting the Bambino' programme and experience the joys of life in the water:





Bye for now,

Myffy


Swim Smooth!
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What Can A Swim Smooth Coach Do For Your Swimming?

At Swim Smooth our mission is to help everyone of any level swim better, wherever they are in the world. In a nutshell the world needs better swimming!

But what make a Swim Smooth coach different from other swim coach? Why should you be seeking one out?

Our founder Paul Newsome started Swim Smooth in Perth, Australia in 2004 based around two key elements which still hold true today:

- Innovative video analysis and stroke correction methods focusing on the needs of individual swimmers - coaching the swimmer not the stroke.

- A fun, motivating squad environment based around effective training methods for distance swimming, triathlon and open water.

15 years later, the "mothership" Swim Smooth squad still remains strong in Perth, but the innovative Swim Smooth vision and techniques have extended to all corners of the world via our heavily trained SS Certified Coaches.

Here's the class of 2015 training in Perth:




We currently have nearly 50 coaches worldwide with Swim Smooth certification ready to make ground-breaking improvements to your swimming. Every Swim Smooth coach has been hand selected and heavily trained by the core Swim Smooth team, a process that takes around a year for an already experienced coach. This culminates in two weeks intensive training in Perth with the oracle himself Paul Newsome.

Each coach specialises in providing an individualised approach to your stroke correction that makes it truly effective whatever your height, build, natural ability or experience level:

Many swim coaches would ask Liz to swim with a long smooth stroke style like Chris.
That would be a disaster for her swimming.
Not only that but every Swim Smooth coach also runs group training focused around developing your swim specific fitness for distance swimming and open water skills. You'll notice a huge benefit from these sessions if you swim well over short distances but underperform over longer, or if you struggle in open water.

Find your nearest coach here: https://swimsmooth.com/coaches/find-a-coach

Want your own Swim Smooth Coach to help you with your swimming? What can our coaches offer you? There are three main ways you can interact with our coaches around the world: 1-to-1 video analysis sessions, group training sessions (squads) and clinics and camps:

1-to-1 Video Analysis Sessions

Our 1-to-1 video analysis gives you the ability to see your stroke from every conceivable angle, above and below the water. Expertly filmed by your SS coach, this footage system gives you incredible insight into your swimming:

SS Coach Mary Jessey filming her swimmer in Calgary
Following filming, your coach will use their in depth analysis skills to show you what you are doing in the water and clearly explain what is currently holding you back:

SS Johanesburg coach Jana Schoeman analysing a swimmer's footage during training.
Don't worry about forgetting anything from this analysis as you will take home a recording of the footage and feedback, so you can review it again whenever suits you.

Your coach will then have you back in the water for the stroke correction portion of the session, taking you through the processes and drills you need to tune up your stroke in just the right way:

SS Alicante Coach Enrique Plannes Marcos - working on correcting a swimmer's stroke in a chilly London pool!

Swim Smooth Squads

Join other swimmers just like you in one of our Swim Smooth squads all around the world. Our coaches run a number of sessions every week, using our Swim Smooth principles to improve your swimming technique, fitness and open water skills. We pride ourselves in providing a welcoming, inclusive and positive atmosphere in all of our squads - so come along today!

If you are quite new to swimming don't be put off by the word "squad" - it's just a group of like minded individuals like yourself working on improving their swimming in a structured environment. You don't need to swim like a fish or look like an underwear model to join either - we come in all sorts of speed ranges, shapes and sizes.



In addition, all our squad members will have free access to the Swim Smooth Guru so they watch all the drills for the upcoming sessions and access all the other resources, such as our elite swimmer studies, drill library and fault fixer plans.

Swim Smooth Clinics, Camps and Workshops

Unable to attend our Swim Smooth squad regularly? No problem! Our coaches offer one-off half/whole day clinics and workshops for swimmers to improve their stroke and swimming technique. They will use our innovative video analysis and unique drill set to provide you with an in depth analysis of your stroke and action plan for improvement. This allows you to go back to your own pool and practice all the skills you have learned!

SS Coach Cyndy fine tunes her swimmer's catch.
See the feedback below from Coach Laura Ansell's recent trip to Barbados to deliver 1-to-1 clinics and workshops to local swimmers:

vimeo.com/369814149

Want to find your nearest Swim Smooth Coach? Head to our website to find the best coach for you to take your swimming to the next level: www.swimsmooth.com/coaches


Swim Smooth!
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