Friday, December 11, 2020

Is There A Link Between How You Move And How You Think?

The Swim Types system is a way of understanding your individual swimming by identifying six fundamental stroke styles all the way from beginner to elite competitor. Identify your type and we can give you highly tailored individual advice to improve your swimming - neat.

Each type has a memorable caricature. Find out more about this unique system here:

As Swim Smooth Head Coach developed this unique system of coaching through 2008 and 2009 he also noticed something else, something fascinating. Each of the six types tend to have distinct personality traits unique to them. And the idea of that being possible - that how you move might be related to how you think - is a bit more controversial.

If you are someone who doesn't believe in this connection then that's fine, that bit of the system wasn't for you. Please ignore the rest of this post.

But if you do 'get it' and understand your Swim Type then you could gain an important insight into how your head might be holding you back in the water. Or as a coach, how your swimmers might need different coaching styles to best meet their needs.

There's aspects of Swim Type personalities that relate direct to swimming but here at Swim Smooth we also like to enjoy some of our lighter observations about them. These might not have any bearing on swimming but they are interesting to see none the less. (If any of this seems a bit nuts, remember it's just for fun)

Our observations:

The Arnie/Arnette

- May arrive late for sessions and in a bit of a fluster.

- Often shortens their name as much as possible (e.g. Robert becomes Bob, Rachel becomes Rach).

- May use their partner's email address and type with caps-lock on.

- Has a tendency to say "yes... yes... yes..." or "yip... yip... yip..." to hurry along conversation.

- Tends to see the coaching relationship as transactional.

- Drives a large 4x4 vehicle.

The Bambino

- The first thing they say about their swimming is "I'm really not very good".

- Values the coaching relationship for its own sake.

- Gets a huge buzz from small improvements.

- A strong sense of community.

- Generally warm and open personality.

- Likes stripey tops (we told you this was left field!).

The Kicktastic

- Quite quiet and may appear aloof.

- Facebook profile picture may be a nice view or a wild cat.

- Often wears ankle bracelets or foot jewellery.

- Often turns up late for swim sessions.

- Likes taking notes (can anyone explain why this is...?).

- May be a bit earthy or hippy.

The Overglider

- Dresses for function rather than appearance.

- Prefers the use of their full name (e.g. Jonathan instead of John), this is the opposite of the Arnie.

- Explains their definitions when debating.

- Immediately speed tests new internet connections.

- May drive an Audi.

- May start counting from zero rather than one (why waste a perfectly good number?).

The Swinger

- Lives "in the now" and likes to get on with things without undue discussion.

- The first on the pool deck dying to get in the water.

- Dislikes clutter in their houses.

- If they don't feel useful then they feel useless.

- Likely to say exactly what they are thinking.

- Unconventional - gets frustrated with the system and wants to improve it.

The Smooth

- Likes to lead the lane and have clear water.

- May have dimples.

- Can turn on the charm any time they like.

- Conventional - good at using the system that exists.

- Likes to enter the pool by jumping in feet first and diving forward straight into their freestyle.

- Have great hair and commonly a quiff (once you see this you won't stop seeing it!).

We are currently conducting a big reconfiguration of our websites - the full Swim Type website is down right now - we'll be introducing something new and very exciting to replace it very soon. 

Swim Smooth!

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Best Christmas Presents For Swimming Enthusiasts

Can you believe it is less than three weeks until Christmas? As the 25th gets nearer, the pressure is on to make sure that presents are ready, wrapped and under the tree. But are you still struggling to work out what to get your swim-obsessed friend or want to bulk out your own Christmas list? Don't worry - Swim Smooth's got you covered!

Whether you are buying for a beginner, open water, intermediate or advanced swimmer, the Christmas list is sorted! 

See information at the bottom of this post on last Christmas post dates.

Swimming must-haves:

Swim Smooth Silicon Cap

You can't be seen on the pool deck in 2021 without your Swim Smooth Cap. These bright and stylish swim caps come in 5 different designs to suit your individual taste. We recommend the bright pink or green caps to stand out in the open water. 

The Swim Smooth Book

Published in 2012 by Wiley & Son, this is our complete guide to improving your swimming! Packed with tips, advice and processes to help you improve your stroke, wherever you are on your swimming journey. 

Buy here:

Top Picks For Beginner Swimmers:

Pull Buoy

The humble pull buoy is a simple but essential tool to help you develop your freestyle. Crucial for many Swim Smooth drills, it allows you to turn off your leg kick and focus on arm technique to help you move more efficiently in the water.

FINIS Freestyler Paddles

These paddles are perfect for beginner swimmers. The in stroke feedback they give you allows you to focus on hand entry and position in the water at the front of the stroke. 

Floating Fins

These fins provide you with plenty of additional propulsion so you can focus on constructing your freestyle stroke. They are also perfect for breathing and alignment Swim Smooth drills such as 6/1/6 and 6/3/6 - key drills to help you gain more confidence in the water.  

Top Picks For Intermediate Swimmers

Finis Agility Paddles

The first thing you'll notice about these paddles is the lack of a finger strap. That makes them very comfortable to use but there's so much more to these paddles than the strapless design. The unique shape and profile of the Agilities help you initiate the catch at the front of your stroke so you can develop that all important high elbow catch. A brilliant and unique paddle from Finis. 

Finis Tempo Trainer Pro

Many Swim Smooth training sessions are built around pace-controlled swimming. Whether it is working on your stroke rate or pace in the water, the Tempo Trainer helps with all of that - we like to think of them as a power meter for swimming (only much much cheaper!).

Finis Floating Fins

Don't be tempted by short zoomer style fins. They're great for elite swimmers performing over-speed training but for intermediate swimmers working on their stroke technique you need a mid length flexible fin to give you the right level of propulsion.

Top Picks For Advanced Swimmers

Another brilliant paddle from Finis, the ISO paddles force you to control your pull pathway in ways you have never experienced before. Providing either inside or outside loading you will need to focus on pulling through correctly under the water - remove the paddles afterwards and hey-presto, you'll gain heightened sensory awareness during your entire pull from front to rear.

A snorkel is a great idea in principle, allowing you to focus on fine tuning your underwater stroke without the interruption of breathing. However, at Swim Smooth we only tend to use them with more advanced swimmers as their feeling in use can be quite distracting (and sometimes even claustrophobic). More advanced swimmers can handle this just fine so unleash this powerful tool on your swimming.

Finis Pulling Ankle Strap / Band

Want to work on your rhythm and timing? You might think of a band as offering your resistance training in the water and whilst they certainly do provide that, they also force you to use a continuous arm stroke with good rhythm, otherwise your legs will immediately sink. If you are thinking about racing in open water then you'll gain a huge amount from some short sets using a band. By putting a little rhythm and purpose into your stroke you will dramatically increase your efficiency in disturbed open water.

Top Picks For Open Water Swimmers

Finis Tempo Trainer Pro

As you know, great open water swimmers need a sense of rhythm and purpose in their stroke to help them drive through disturbed open water. The Tempo Trainer Pro is the perfect tool to help you fine tune that aspect of your swimming. Use yours in mode 3 to increase or decrease your stroke rate in a super controlled way and assess the impact on your performance.

HUUB Sphere Buoyancy Short

Gents, transitioned to the pool for the winter but missing that uplift from your wetsuit? Grab a pair of these neat buoyancy shorts - nearly as much lift to your legs as a wetsuit but without chronic overheating after 400m!

Delivery During A Pandemic

Your Swim Smooth order will be shipped immediately from the UK. Official last Christmas post dates are listed below but please note that some countries have additional customs backlogs due to the Covid19 pandemic so please order in plenty of time if you wish to receive your order by Christmas.

UK: Dec 21st
Australia, New Zealand: Dec 4th
Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central+South America, Far and Middle East: Dec 9th Canada, Cyprus, Malta: 10th Dec
Greece, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA: 11th Dec
Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg: 16th Dec

Swim Smooth!