Thursday, September 27, 2018

Announcing New Swim Smooth Coaches In Mallorca, Portland and North Florida!

Working on your stroke 1-to-1 with a fully qualified
Swim Smooth Coach is a revelatory experience.
Swim Smooth are very proud to announce the certification of three new Swim Smooth Coaches in Portland Oregon, Gainesville Florida and Mallorca Spain.

Training to be a SS Coach is a huge undertaking. Developing the necessary skills and experience of advanced video analysis, stroke correction, squad coaching and open water skills takes time and cannot be rushed. We are fortunate enough to be able to pick our coaches from a large talent pool but even for very experienced coaches, the intensive training takes at least 1 to 2 years to complete.

Whether you are a complete beginner or elite competitor, when you see a Swim Smooth Coach you can be assured you are seeing a talented highly trained individual with the very best coaching methods at their disposal.

Congratulations Karyn, Gretchan and Tim!

For full information on all our coaches and to find your local Swim Smooth Coach see:

Karyn Austin - Gainesville, Florida:

Coach Karyn started swimming competitively at the age of 10 and continues to train and compete with as much passion as ever.  She has been coaching swimming and triathlon full time for over 15 years.  She enjoys working with all levels of swimmers from pure beginners to Elite level athletes.  Her goal is to share her love for the sport with all ages and turn them in to lifelong lovers of the water!

In addition to her Swim Smooth Certification, Karyn is a USAT Level 1 and 2 Coach.  As an athlete Karyn has been ranked several times as All American by USA Triathlon in Triathlon and Aquabike.

She has also finished Top 10 in her AG at Ironman Wisconsin and competed for Team USA at Short Course Worlds in Hawaii and Switzerland.  She is a 3 time Master's Swimming Champion in the 50, 100 and 200 breastroke.

Karyn coaches with passion, excellent communication skills and a sense of humor.  She LOVES a challenge, and believes everyone can improve and/or learn how to swim!

Gretchan Jackson, Portland Oregon, USA:

Gretchan’s love of swimming is infectious!

A spark was ignited in 2014 when she plunged into her local river and discovered her love of swimming together outside with others.

Her admittedly ineffective freestyle stroke led her to the discovery of the Swim Smooth training, first as a self-taught swimmer and now as a Certified Swim Smooth Coach. Determined to master her own freestyle stroke, Gretchan has spent the last three years using the Swim Smooth methodology, improving her own Critical Swim Threshold Speed by over 20 seconds/100m and now she wants to help you do the same.

Tim Tandy, Mallorca, Spain :

Tim’s always had a passion for exploring human potential after being fascinated watching a firewalk as a small boy on the TV program Duncan Dares (he’s done nearly 80 of them now).

Discovering what people at the top of their game are doing and modelling it has been a key element to everything Tim does in his coaching.

I often tell the story of my own swim history. Having swam as a boy I arrived at the pool now in my 30s and thought how hard can this be? Two lengths later I got out totally exhausted. Perseverance improved my fitness but not my technique. So I joined a club, had lots of advice as to what I was doing wrong but unfortunately I had no idea how to correct it.

Having now raced multiple Ironman and qualified for the GB age group team I started from the same place where everyone starts and have experienced the same fears and frustrations.

"If I can just get through the swim? Then i’ll be fine"

"I can't do that race because I'm not a strong enough swimmer!"

"What if theres a wetsuit ban?!"

These are the statements I hear all the time. I'll give you the confidence, ability and tools for the swim to set you up for a great race!

For full information on all our Swim Smooth coaches and to find your local Swim Smooth Coach see:

And for more information on training to become a Swim Smooth coach:

Swim Smooth!

Friday, September 21, 2018

A High Elbow vs. Elbow Led Recovery

If you asked 100 people what is important in an effective freestyle stroke, many would say "high elbows" - referring to a classical high elbow arm recovery over the water:

This style of arm recovery is used by many swimming greats such as Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe and Rebecca Adlington (shown above). But is it the only way to recover effectively over the water?

Actually no, many other great swimmers recover with a straighter arm, opening up slightly at the elbow to bring the hand much higher:

Users of this style include great athletes such as the Brownlee brothers, Richard Varga (above), Michael Klim and Sharon van Rouwendaal.

This works well in open water because it keeps the hand well clear of waves, chop and other swimmers in close proximity. However it is also frequently used by pool swimmers too - especially if it feels natural and "right" to them.

So if keeping the elbow as the highest point isn't the key to an effective arm recovery, what is it? We would say that it's actually about leading with the elbow. Watch this short extract from a recent Swim Smooth Video Analysis by Paul Newsome to find out more:

As Paul discusses, fundamentally we are looking for the elbow to lead the arms recovery. Here's Olympic Gold Medallist Sharon van Rouwendaal showing this in action:

The problem comes if you start to lead with your hand before your elbow:

This is symptomatic of swimming flat in the water with not enough body rotation or roll in the stroke.

We can clearly see this with Coach Cyndy demonstrating below. First with no rotation in the body we can see how the arm recovery has to be awkward and round the side with the arm leading:

But with good rotation the arm carries much easily over the surface, elbow led:

As Paul mentioned in the video, a Finis Tech Toc is a great tool to help you develop more rotation in your stroke:

For more information about Tech Tocs and to purchase visit:

Also check out Swim Smooth's full step-by-step stroke correction process to develop more rotation in your stroke in the Guru here (subscription required):

Swim Smooth!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Develop A Perfect Hand Entry (Even If It's Not Your Birthday)

Our Head Coach Paul Newsome just turned 40 and received a very special present from squad swimmer, closed friend and Manhattan Island Marathon Swim paddler, Amanda:

It's a bespoke finely crafted solid jarrah wood piece. And as you'd expect from a well educated squad swimmer (!) it also depicts perfect hand entry technique :

Notice how the hand enters the water with the palm facing down, entering fingertips first. Here's Paul in action doing the same:

This is how you should enter into the water when you swim freestyle. Not only does this set you up for a great catch at the front of the stroke but it places minimum stress on the shoulders.

Many swimmers enter thumb first with the palm facing outwards, in fact this used to be taught to kids in the UK any many other places around the world:

This internally rotates the shoulders, placing a lot of repetitive stress on the joint. In fact it's the leading cause of shoulder pain and injury in swimming. If that's not bad enough, after entering the water your hand tends to slice downwards making it very hard to develop a good catch:

If you are not sure how you enter into the water then give this a try the next time you swim. Keep your hand held flat with your fingers held slightly together and see if it reduces stress on the shoulder or gives you a greater sense of attachment and propulsion.

So a huge thanks to Amanda for a fantastic birthday present but also perhaps for helping many swimmers improve their stroke!

Further Information

If you are a Swim Smooth Guru subscriber, you can find out more about hand entry technique here:

And also follow our step-by-step fault fixer process, containing all the drills and methods you need to remove a thumb-first entry from your own stroke:

You can see our other key fault fixer processes here:

Swim Smooth!

Friday, September 07, 2018


Enter discount code BACKTOPOOL in the cart to receive your discount.
(Minimum spend £25 / US$30 / AU$35 / €30)

Remember, EVERY product in our Swim Shop is subject to this discount! Use discount code BACKTOPOOL during checkout to receive your 10% saving.


You can combine both offers and save up to 30% in total on these limited stock items!

HUUB Kickpant - Additional 20% OFF
Zogg Aquaflex Goggles - Additional 20% OFF
Zogg Predator Goggles - Additional 10% OFF
Finis Circuit Goggles - Additional 10% OFF
Swim Smooth Funky Trunk Mens Bathers - Additional 20% OFF
Swim Smooth Funkita Womens Bathers - Additional 20% OFF
HUUB Women's SKN Swimskin - Additional 20% OFF
HUUB Archimedes 2 Wetsuit - Additional 20% OFF
HUUB Aegis 3:5 Wetsuit - Additional 20% OFF

Don't delay - sale must end midnight TONIGHT!

Swim Smooth!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Further Reductions In The Swim Smooth Sale

We've just further reduced the following products by up to 20% in the Swim Smooth Swim Shop.

Remember you can save 10% on EVERYTHING in our Swim Shop with by using discount code BACKTOPOOL in the cart.

So yes that means you can combine both offers and save up to 30% in total on these limited stock items!

Don't delay - sale must end midnight on FRIDAY:

HUUB Kickpant - Additional 20% OFF
Zogg Aquaflex Goggles - Additional 20% OFF
Zogg Predator Goggles - Additional 10% OFF
Finis Circuit Goggles - Additional 10% OFF
Swim Smooth Funkita Womens Bathers - Additional 20% OFF
HUUB Women's SKN Swimskin - Additional 20% OFF
HUUB Archimedes 2 Wetsuit - Additional 20% OFF
HUUB Aegis 3:5 Wetsuit - Additional 20% OFF

Swim Smooth!