Saturday, June 27, 2015

Final bit of HouseKeeping - your help is much appreciated!

Dear Swimmers,

As mentioned, in an effort to try and stream-line the whole PURCHASE / PUNCH / PARTICIPATE for our PAYG Card system on pool deck, I have been actively seeking a new system to better track attendance and smooth this whole process for all parties. I think I have found that solution! Believe it or not, it might even do away with the need for you remembering to bring your card and then hunt around in the dark for it afterwards too!

The same PAYG flexibility will apply, just a better, more 21st-century-like method of checking you in. I thank you for your assistance - trust me, a little help with this is hopefully going to save a lot of needless admin / faff time down the line for you and us.

All I need now from you is the following couple of bits of information which will help to streamline this process. It shouldn't take you more than 90 seconds to complete:


When you lodge this form it will automatically assign exactly when you did it, so all you need to do is tell me EXACTY how many credits you have remaining on your PAYG card RIGHT NOW, which card you have (10, 25 or 50), and what expiry is listed at the bottom. I will then do the rest. This change-over will not happen instantaneously, so please rest assured that you will not lose any credits, nor is it a problem to continue to load up a new PAYG card the old-fashioned way before this system is put in place.

Thanks for your help on this one - we're nearly there with the housekeeping!


Friday, June 26, 2015

CSS Results, June 2015

Dear Swimmers

This week we've had exactly 100 of you participate in the 400m / 200m CSS Test Set out of 277 of you whom have registered an interest in swimming with the Swim Smooth Perth Squad this winter. Granted, some of you are still awaiting the call up for a spot whilst you reside on the wait list and others of you don't attend the nominated CSS Test Sessions of Wednesday 9.30am, Thursday 6.15pm and Friday 5.30am and 6.30am. Furthermore, some of you wrote to me with legitimate reasons why you could not attend too. 

However, if you haven't completed one and wish to do so, please refer back to the instructions at as I strongly recommend doing one at this stage, irrespective of what level of fitness you're at - it's just a line in the sand remember. Please note, if you do complete your own test, I won't be able to add your results to the official listings below (as you'll see it's quite a monumental amount of work to input and then analyse this data, so apologies but adding in drips and drabs makes life quite challenging once I've officially published the results) but by all means drop me a quick note and let me know how you got on!

Here are the results:

I'd like to make special mention of the following swimmers who I believe had really good results this week:

  • Andrew Graham
  • Cyndy Hetrick
  • David Serich
  • Elliott Cross
  • Glenn Morrison
  • Graham Crocker*
  • Jesper Jensen
  • John Edwards
  • Jonney Sammut
  • Lindsay Dodd
  • Lisa Luckin
  • Matt Cousins
  • Mike Scott
  • Paul McVey
  • Ray Steffanoni
  • Renee Waller
  • Simon Hazeldine
  • Vaughan Davies

*take note everyone - Mr Crocker is soon to turn 66, and is still cracking out a 1:31.5/100m CSS pace! Unbelievably incredible AND he's training full on for various Ironman and 70.3 races around the world. Legend. Nothing more to be said. OK, well just one thing then - this is still a 4s/100m improvement on his last test back in October - who says you can't look age square in the eye and say "I will not relent!" - "Croc" has been swimming with me since 2002 (13 years!) and he never ceases to amaze me with his youthful energy and gutsy performances when they count. He's also an exceptionally nice person who proves that you don't need a huge ego to perform well in this sport - so very proud of you Croc, you inspire me and many, many others! Thank you.

So, what do the above 18 swimmers all have in common? That magic "P" word - they paced themselves out really well in the 400m swim! I am sure that Andrew and Mike won't mind me saying that this is not in their natural inclination to do this (nor is it mine!, but they've taken onboard my advice and have been rewarded with excellent results - nice work lads! The only time I have ever truly raced really exceptionally well is when I've got this one "simple" aspect right. When you look at your own results, make sure you note whether or not this is one of the key things holding you back - you'll see that this applies to a good majority of you. Take a leaf out of my book - get this right, pay attention to it, be diligent about it and you will be rewarded. Doing it consistently in every session is even more beneficial not simply because you're refining the skill of pacing, but because you're consistently tapping into the correct energy systems which elicit the biggest bang for your buck!

So is that all there is to it? Pace well, get a fancy CSS result and have your name plastered up on this squad blog in front of 750+ viewers? The sceptics might say so (read here if this is you: ) but quite simply, good pacing brings good results in endurance events, otherwise over 90% of all the world records in the pool and on the running track wouldn't have been set this way!

Here's how I graded your pacing, where the numerical values represent the seconds difference between your first 100m of the 400m and the average of the remaining 300m:

What I've also taken the liberty of doing is having a deeper look at your results and tried to demonstrate (let's call it "reconciliation" or even "placate") everyone's results based on where I know you to be at this point in time. Not everyone had a stellar result of course (as predicted even more so this time around given the last 2 week break), so this is how I've tried to do that:

Finally, I've also tried to give you a recommendation of what session I'd recommend you do to bring yourself back up to speed if you were to add an additional solo swim to your program, perhaps at the weekend - this is based on the ratio or drop-off in speed between your 200m and your 400m:

If you have access to our fabulous new app, you can tap into a whole host of sessions in these categories from this link to really assist when you're swimming solo: - equally if you're trying to tune up your stroke technique, you might like to check out these cool fault fixers: or even the full Swim Type Guides as well if you'd managed to ID yourself from the recent squad questionnaire:

Anyway, hope this all helps get you back off on the right foot leading you through the winter with focus and purpose!



Thursday, June 25, 2015

To Time Trial or Not to Time Trial - that is the question!

Dear Swimmers

OK, let's not beat around the bush - yesterday, tonight and tomorrow morning will be our planned CSS testing session (a 400m and 200m time trial) to get us off to a really good start now the pool has re-opened.

All the excuses under the sun…

I've already heard quite a few excuses and reasons why some of you flatly refuse to be there for this testing, but let's look at the positives:

  1. a CSS test will let you know exactly where you're at - good or bad - so we can accurately gauge what level you should be training at going forwards and also where to position you within the pecking order of your lane at this point in time
  2. it is purely a line in the sand, nothing more, nothing less
  3. no one else really cares what your CSS pace is (seriously, they don't!)
  4. my comprehensive analysis of the results will show you in an instant three key markers: a) what your pacing was like, b) what your drop-off rate is like between the 400 and 200, and c) what types of sessions (endurance, speed or threshold) I would recommend you focus on to get you back up to speed quickly
  5. a CSS test of 600m in total is actually easier than a CSS session of 2km so in some ways it's better to kick-start your program like this than simply launching back into a hard session

So try and take the ego and apprehension out of it - as your coach knowing that a) its the winter and b) most of you have taken the two weeks off, I am not expecting anything from you. I'm certainly not expecting lots of improvement from the previous race season. Help me to help you by simply turning up and doing it.

Knowing what it's like to hit rock bottom…

With the prospect of selling our house and all the planning for the new winter program I am happy to share that I have let my own swimming slide for the last 5 to 6 weeks. I figured I needed to "move on" at the start of this week and did my CSS test. It has hit absolute rock bottom. You might feel the same way after two weeks with the pool closed, but trust me, six weeks off is shocking. I still did it though - practicing what I preach. Prior to Rotto this year I was down to 1:12/1:13 per 100m for my own CSS…yesterday 1:23 - eek! You might be thinking "pah, I'd love a CSS of 1:23!" but at 10s per 100m that's about a 14% reduction in performance, which would equate to someone normally at 1:45 per 100m dropping to just under 2:00 per 100m. That's big! So yes, I understand and feel your pain and apprehension about taking a test and feeling like you're not ready and that you don't want to "embarrass yourself" but seriously, you're not doing this - putting yourself on the line, taking it on the chin and then using this information to better move forwards is what it's all about. 

Modus Operandi…

Don't shy away - here's how to approach it properly tonight / tomorrow:

We will start off with 300 or 400 easy freestyle, followed by some 100s with the fins and pull buoys. After this we will do 3 or 4 x 100m with 20s rest at what you perceive to be your average 400m pace. If you're going to screw up your pacing in the Time Trial (and most historically do), do it now, not during the actual Time Trial(s). Then we'll re-group* and perform the 400m Time Trial followed by 5 to 8 minutes of easy swimming / rest and then do the 200m Time Trial. Break these efforts down into four:

  1. 1st quarter (i.e. 100m for the 400m or 50m for the 200m) set off at no harder than 80%. EVERYONE always says when they mess up their pacing "but it felt so easy at the start!" and are then bemused that they find it really hard at the end and yet their 1st 100m was miles faster than their average - it wants to feel steady and controlled at this point!
  2. 2nd quarter aim to settle into your pace. Feel an awareness of effort of course but confidence that you haven't overcooked it yet.
  3. 3rd quarter aim to lift your effort level by 10% or so - chances are your speed won't actually pick up, but if you have the energy to do this at this point then chances are you'll maintain pace which leads to a good result.
  4. 4th quarter aim to bring it home strongly and feel like your final effort is a sprint to the finish!

*given that I'm hoping you will read the above and be inspired enough to leave any expectations behind and simply come and give it a go, it will likely be quite busy in the morning. Please bring an extra towel and maybe a sports jacket to stay warm if you wish. The plan will be to split the group into two and have one wave swim whilst the other wave rest / watch / place bets on who will blow up etc! After they've done their swim they will rest whilst wave two does their 400m . The two waves will once again then swap over and each perform their 200m efforts. Depending on numbers we'll either operate with 3 lanes and keep 1 open for easy swimming, or operate with 4 lanes and give you a chance to have a light easy swim pre / post your effort, requesting you hop out and stay warm whilst the other waves completes their respective effort.

Quick tip for the swim geeks amongst you…

If you can't wait for me to work out your new CSS pace, then simply take your 200m time from your 400m time and divide the answer by two - that's your 100m pace and is a great party trick to wow your swim mates with your mathematical genius! For example, you swim 400m in 6:00 and 200m in 2:50, 6:00 take off 2:50 is 3:10, divided by 2 is 1:35/100 et voila! Your CSS time in an instant.

Lastly, please ensure you listen out for your cumulative finishing time and be sure to report you 400m and 200m time back to myself and Cyndy prior to leaving to ensure we have you all recorded, irrespective of how good or bad it is.

Remember, no one really cares what you do tonight / tomorrow, but there is a lot of value in just doing it, just doing your best on the day and then knowing exactly where you're at. Someone mentioned to me "I don't need a stinking Time Trial to know where I'm at - I'm rubbish right now!" they then proceeded to tell me where they thought they were at within a range of 6 to 8s per 100m…but that's simply not useful enough - way too much margin of error for your future training. Get it right now and we can then chip away at it. Chances are it'll come back quite quickly if you are consistent with your efforts at an appropriate starting point.



Monday, June 22, 2015

And you thought YOU had it hard in the cold morning air! Spare a thought for muggins here on pool deck! LOL!

Dear Swimmers

I thought you might find this article in the West Australian today a little amusing as you prepare to pop back down to squad this week. The full article can be read here:

Hotting it up in Hong Kong:

So whilst the pool was closed (which, if I might say is splendidly clean and fresh now!), I took the opportunity to head up to Hong Kong for several days of coaching with the local triathlon and open water swimming community. I had a fantastic experience and felt like I was treated like royalty which was really unexpected but very, very nice indeed.

I ran two 1-day Swim Smooth Clinics (each for 15 swimmers) and yet were inundated with demand for these sessions, so we ran a special open water skills session (a-la the Saturday 1-2pm squad session here in Perth) on the third day and also a special seminar on open water skills which was attended by nearly 100 people at the exclusive Football Club off the race course. It was a great experience and I very much look forward to returning. I even had the opportunity to work closely with six of the local coaches and to help them start the process of delivering Swim Smooth material regularly up there in Hong Kong - four of the six were former Olympians too, which was really humbling to know that we have that kind of support and interest up there in Asia.

Here are a few of the photos from my trip for your interest and amusement:

Stanley Park

"Proper" Peking Duck

The view from my room at Coach Dom's place (Mid Levels)

All smiles after  the open water skills session

With all the past and present members of the Hong Kong Triathlon committee

Getting posh at the Football Club

Working with former Olympian, Anne-Marie Munk

Working with former Olympian Sandy Chan

Drafting during the open water skills session in water that was 34ºC!!

Taking a "chill pill" between the sets

Eagle-eyed Newsome looking for occasional flaws in an Olympian's stroke

End of Day 2 of the Swim Smooth Clinic series

With coaches Dom and Craig

End of Day 1 of the Swim Smooth Clinic series

Putting them through their paces with a CSS test

With 3-time Olympian (in two sports no less - swimming and rowing) Coach Fenella Ng

Coaches Dom and Anne-Marie - Anne-Marie has been trying to get me up to Hong Kong for 7 years! Wish I'd gone sooner now knowing how great it was!

Focusing on the catch

Torpedo kick race!

The classic Y-T-W-L stretch routine

Coconuts in the pool with Coach Anne-Marie (we should get these down at Claremont Pool - awesome hydration!)

The view from the Peak - spectacular

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Right down to the wire!!!

Dear Swimmers

This looks like it'll be the last slightly-off-topic message you'll see from me in a while and I thank those of you who've actively taken an interest in us trying to sell our home in the hope of moving much closer to the pool for all those early morning starts!

We have what looks like it'll be our final home open today at 11am at 15c Selina Street, Innaloo and would love you to share this information with anyone you know who might be in the hunt for what is now a $50k off bargain! All offers will be presented.

All the cards are stacked up for us to come good right at the last moment, but equally it could all fall over in the blink of any eye now as well! Nothing like a bit of pressure then! Reminds me of racing down the Hudson River with Lachie Hinds in hot pursuit - I came good then but dare say I had more control over the situation than I have of this one! It'll either happen today or it won't so please forgive me for using this channel of communication as our one last ditched attempt at making what could be wonderful happen!

This is the link to our place:

All enquires can be made with Brad on 0419 345 400 or Kate on 0438 345 401 from the Hardingham Team at Realmark.

I thank you for taking the time to read this. On Monday you'll either see a big smile or a pragmatic ho-hum knowing that we did all we could for a dream that was always going to be a long shot. Either way we'll be celebrating - a new house or a new start in our old one! ;-)

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Confirmed Winter Squad Listings are now up!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you are doing well? I've just heard great news that the pool will be re-opening as planned on Monday 22nd June, starting with our first session at 7am - Pure Technique - to get you back into the swing of things!

I hope they are all correct now as it's been a monumental amount of work getting to this point and I dare say without these 2 weeks, this just wouldn't have been possible!

We are just looking at potentially getting some swipe cards to replace the old paper PAYG cards (same payment system - just a little more high-tech which will make it easier for you to swipe your card - not waiting around for me - and easier for us to track attendance). I will keep you posted on that one!

Also, thanks for all your feedback and input on how best to improve the Swim Smooth Perth Squad. An interesting point came up in a few cases about individual stroke technique feedback. Obviously we offer 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction sessions as your go-to source for the best possible analysis and feedback on your technique (bookings now being taken from mid-September onwards - see link above to reserve a spot), however I thought it worth highlighting what feedback you might expect per session type as we have a process of ensuring that the feedback you receive in a session matches the type of session:

  • Monday Pure Technique Session = feedback on stroke technique and performance of drills
  • Tuesday Technique / Endurance Session = feedback on performance of drills and maintenance of pace
  • Wednesday / Friday Red Mist Endurance Sessions = feedback on maintenance of pace and encouragement to keep swimming!
  • Wednesday / Thursday / Friday CSS Sessions = feedback on execution of the set and motivation to hit target times and what resulting times are
  • Saturday Open Water Skills Sessions = feedback on sighting, drafting, turning techniques

…this is not to say that if you attend a Wednesday early morning Red Mist session that I won't occasionally hand out a few pointers about your stroke (especially if you've recently done a 1-2-1 session), but that the feedback will 90% of the time be session-type specific. Hope that makes sense and is fair and reasonable? For a great source of information on improving your technique and homework for performing the drills optimally etc, make sure you check out - packed full of information that will compliment pool-side feedback nicely.

Don't forget, if you're in need of a new PAYG card to kick-start the re-start of the Winter Program, those can be ordered here:

I would imagine the first couple of weeks will be a little busy as everyone starts off with good intentions, so please read the listings, lane-orders and paces etc and be nice to your fellow swimmers! If you are in the "Reserve List" (i.e. wait listed) you cannot attend until we give you written notice - please abide by this. Equally, if it looks like numbers will remain high, we'll look at bringing in some additional coaching support to facilitate smooth deliveries. Thank you for your understanding and patience in all respects and don't forget we'll be doing some CSS testing later on this week too!

Cheers and see you Monday or later on next week!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

UPDATE: Winter Squad Allocations

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're doing well? Another lovely morning in the river yesterday - I'll be there at 7am tomorrow again if anyone's keen before I shoot up to Hong Kong for a weekend delivering some Swim Smooth clinics up there - should be fun! 

You'll see from the length of this report that I literally "have nothing better to do" (the words of some, not of mine - hopefully this is all ends up being very useful long-term for you, the swimmer!) whilst the squad is in temporary closure. Do please ensure you at least scroll to the bottom though as our unofficial squad listings are there to view now.

OK, we've had an amazing response to the Winter Application form with 230 of you so far registering your interest. I have gone back through all my lists of attendees from the last 2 years and those that I know have been swimming relatively regularly and have determined that we're missing only about 15 people. I've contacted them all directly so just hoping they touch base with me asap to let me know their intentions for the winter squad. Needless to say it's been a mammoth amount of work and has only been possible due to the pool closure - so for that I'm glad.

Some interesting data has come from the form so far, in summary:

  • almost a 50/50 split between guys and girls
  • average age is 46
  • average CSS is 1:42/100
  • we have a very healthy balance between those who are currently competitive and those that are swimming for fitness, fun and friendship - I like this!
  • we have a very dedicated and consistent core group of members - I thank you for this!
  • the squad's most popular Swim Type is "Swinger", followed by "Arnie"*

*this fascinates me as worldwide we see more of this trend:
So the question I'm left asking myself, is:

  • Does Perth have an inordinately large Swinger population due to our strong association with ocean swimming and the Swinger's natural aptitude towards this environment, or…
  • Is the Swim Smooth Perth Squad popular because we recognise and cater well to the needs of Swingers who are ordinarily passed over as having "poor form"? Or…
  • In the process of coaching you to primarily be good open water, long distance swimmers, have many of you morphed into the Swinger style to capitalise on it's benefits in this environment?

…answers on a post card! Of course just as big of a revelation is that we only have a 13% Overglider population within the squad compared to the world "norm" of 40.6% - so could we literally be changing the world of swimming for the better from right here in sunny Perth? One of the USA's top open water swimming coaches Gerry Rodrigues seems to agree: - he's even used several of the terms and phrases I personally coined over here in Perth as far back as 2004 "dead spots", "over gliding" etc. A great article and well worth a read!

I've added some more graphs and charts below from the feedback form to satisfy your inner nerd (you might need to click on the image to view the detail):

The last chart is interesting and with any luck there's 33 of you out there who have just received this blog for the first time - welcome!

Lane Allocations:

Finally then, I have compiled an "unofficial" Squad List for the 2015 Winter Program. This is not yet set in stone as priority will still be given to those 15 I haven't heard back from yet over newbie applicants. I also haven't defined the Lane Order properly yet or the order of the Reserve List (so don't panic there!) or assigned the group CSS paces either - so this is just a guide only. "Please don't book your tickets" just yet etc

Green spaces indicate possible available spaces within the squad, subject to confirmation from the other coaches, Sally and Cyndy who run the evening and weekend sessions. Yellow highlighted names are those swimmers who've applied for more than one session on the same day (if this is you, please indicate which would be your preferred option now you've seen the listings). If your name is on the Reserve List for a particular session, you cannot attend that session until direct notice is given.

In the past we've formerly highlighted a "Buffer List" which essentially showed 8 to 10 people as confirmed per lane (depending upon the type of session) with an additional 2 to 4 listed to account for the versatile / flexible nature of the PAYG card and it's peaks and troughs - some sessions are busier, some sessions end up being quieter etc. In reality this just used to confuse people, so I've now removed it. 

Typically though, even though a couple of the sessions read as being quite busy (Wednesday 5.30am and Friday 5.30am / 6.30am), these have had no additional swimmers added to them above what we have been taking on a session-by-session register over the last 4 months. So saying that I expect little or no change to the dynamic of these sessions going on the fact that our busiest session in the last 4 months has been 43 people (10.75 people per lane). This happened once. 

Attendance is a little like Perth summer temperatures - we have a couple of +40s every now and again, but the average seems to be about 28 to 32 in the 4-lane sessions and 16 to 23 in the 3-lane sessions.

Where things often get a little tricky is in lanes 2 and 3 where depending on the specific allocated CSS pace that day and who shows up, despite the whole session maybe only having 36 people, these middle lanes can be busier than average as the dynamic will still work better than if there was a set 9 people per lane for example. As always, the job of the coach then is to manage that properly and for us to give guidelines on appropriate lane etiquette (see here: and here:

So here's the listings - please get back to me asap with any mistakes you might be able to see or if I have mistakenly missed you out entirely!

One, final, final thing:

If we still have some of the green spaces left by the end of next week, then I shall open these up to the wait list (387 people). My intention here is to formalise the possibility of the 7.30-8.30am sessions on a Tuesday and Friday and offer space here if the demand is there. I have had very little demand from any of you already registered for these specific sessions (you're obviously happy with your routine and that's more than OK), so am anticipating very little shuffling around if they do become available. Please help me though by raising my awareness of your interest in those 7.30am sessions so that I can look at where gaps in the 5.30am and 6.30am sessions might open up. You are not committing to anything or forfeiting your current space, just letting me know. Thanks!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Epic Conditions at the Claremont Jetty this morning!

Dear Swimmers

Firstly, apologies if my SMS* "broadcast" this morning either caused any confusion regarding the planned river swim at 7/7.15am and/or woke you up. I plan to use this method of communication with you only in the event of a significant change to any of our planned sessions, e.g:

  • in the event that you would be otherwise unsupported in what was originally planned as a coached or guided session as per this morning (thus changing the duty of care to you)
  • in the event the pool is closed due to inclement weather (thus saving you unnecessarily driving to the pool)
  • as a prompt to remind you about the start of a new program or the closure for a major holiday, e.g. Monday 22nd June when the pool re-opens, or Christmas
  • any special promotions, e.g. in the event that a coveted 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction session becomes available at short notice due to a cancellation (this will be a very rare occasion in all likelihood!)
*you will have only received this if you recently registered for the Winter Squad here.

Opting out:

If you do not wish to be kept informed by either SMS or by email you can:

  • Email: unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of any email titled "Swim Smooth Perth Squad Blog" (I cannot do this for you due to anti-spam regulations)
  • SMS: reply to any SMS simply with the single word "STOP"

I had specifically asked this morning if you could reply ONLY if you did still plan to swim, however, it turned out that the SMS service did not allow some of you to do this. Apologies if this caused any consternation. I now know what the issue was and this will always prevent a reply from you given the "broadcast" nature of the SMS. In future I will not request any action from an SMS, they will purely be bulletin statements for your notification. Ultimately I hope they will save you time, effort and energy and thank you in this instance today for your support and understanding whilst I put in place these new and improved measures during this 2-week break.

Our main method of communication of non-urgent "normal" news will always be via the Blog which comes to you automatically as an email newsletter to your nominated account which you can choose to read (or not!) at any time.

River Swim Schedule:

For your reference then, I do plan to be down at the river on the following mornings over the next 2-week period:

  • Tuesday 9th June (2-4km familiarisation)
  • Thursday 11th June (2-4km timed swim)
  • Thursday 18th June (400m intervals)

A recent invite up to Hong Kong to deliver some Swim Smooth clinics next week will prevent me being around more frequently than this, but I hope to be able to at least share with you in person my most favourite swimming spot in Perth! 

We will meet at 7am for a 7.15am start. Location is the Claremont Jetty off Jetty Road: 

The river this morning was simply beautiful (as per the picture above). I'd guesstimate a water temperature of 16-17ºC following a quick foot dip with the only other swimmer who turned up this morning (Rhian - well done Rhian). We even saw a dolphin! Wetsuits and a swimming buddy are advisable for most.

This is a great venue to swim and keep yourself ticking over the 2-week break. Equally though, please enjoy one of the other pools if you plan to follow the program I sent out here.

Cheers and once again thanks for your support whilst I capitalise on the time available in this 2-week period to make a good swim program truly great.


Friday, June 5, 2015

158 entries in already and counting!!

Dear Swimmers

Just a quick note to thank you all for your prompt assistance with completing our Winter Squad survey / application. The responses have been flying in (158 and counting!) and I will do my very best to try to get you into the spots you have selected.

Here's the link again if you're yet to fill out yours: 

One quick thought came to me this afternoon and that was to look at the potential of winding back the clock to 2009/2010 potentially and look at offering an additional Tuesday / Friday 7.30-8.30am squad session (subject to lane availability). This ultimately dwindled at that stage into the winter months however we didn't have a waiting list at that point, so potentially this might be doable if there's enough demand. 

Nothing is guaranteed yet (as it will also require some adjustment to my next 6 months of pre-booked 121 sessions), but if you are currently swimming Tuesday / Friday in either the 530am or 630am sessions and would be interested in shifting to a potential 730am to 830am session instead, please let me know via reply to this email. ONLY those interested in this need inform me of that but I will continue to assign based on the existing format until I get this verified as a possibility.

Lastly, it's a bit "do or die" for us tomorrow on the house sale, so please wish us luck in selling Princess Isla's castle! We've significantly price adjusted as per details at so fingers crossed we get some interest otherwise it might be back to Plan B for a while! ;-) At least I feel like we've done all that we can at this stage - now we just need a little luck to be on our side. Que sera, sera!

Cheers and have a great weekend and the next fortnight without me cracking the whip - remember though, I did take down some benchmarks to see where we were at today to contrast with where we might be in 2 weeks! Try to keep ticking over if you can!



Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Dear Swimmers

It has come to my attention that some of you might be slightly confused as to whether you need to complete this form:

…especially if you have been swimming in the squad for a long time and think I must know your schedule and can vouch for your consistency? Whilst these things are true in many cases, I need to please request that you ALL complete the form irrespective of whether you've been swimming with us for one month, ten years or if you're thinking of registering your interest in any spots that might become available.

I do appreciate that it's a bit of an ask to get you to spend 15 minutes or so answering some fairly formal questions (boy have I been copping a bit of joviality on that front this morning!), but it will help me massively in the foreseeable future to better plan out available lane space and ensure consistency in what is otherwise a very flexible PAYG system for you the swimmer. I'm taking this golden opportunity with the break at the pool to do that. 

This morning was a classic example of the peaks and troughs we can experience - we were borderline too busy at 5.30am and consequently the "Red Mist" started swirling a little too prominently in a couple of the lanes (not always a bad thing for this session!), but then had only 11 people along in 3 booked lanes to the 9.30am session, whereas I have knowingly turned away at least 20 people in the last few months for this session. It all probably works out in the wash of course, but if there's space there for others, we need to identify exactly where it is.

Don't panic, no regular swimmer's place in the squad is in jeopardy, we just need to ensure that we're making maximum use of our lane space given the changes in fees and structure going forth set out by the pool, whilst maintaining the PAYG format.

The other benefit of everyone completing the survey / form is that I gain valuable emergency contact information that I've never had direct access to before, and also to any medical concerns that I should be aware of, all in confidence of course. I'm crossing my T's and dotting my I's given that I do have a duty of care towards each and every one of your welfare's too.

Please help me to help you - I really appreciate your time and effort! I will now leave you "be".



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Swim Smooth Perth Winter 2015 Squad Applications are now open!


Dear Swimmers

Thank you kindly for your recent feedback on whether you felt the PAYG card system (as has been in place for the last 8 years) was still the best solution for accessing the Swim Smooth Perth Squad. The feedback was tremendous and plentiful and definitely in favour of sticking with this method which pleases me as I do feel it works out best all round too. Its also comforting to know that we have been getting it right for so long now as well!

Given the upcoming break whilst the pool is closed from the 6th to the 21st June, I thought it prudent to make best use of this available admin time for myself to enhance the session delivery / offerings / sign-up process, and to ensure that we are attaining the desired number of swimmers per session given such an extensive wait list of nearly 400 people. It seems a shame to be forfeiting other keen-bees if space is truly available in certain sessions, I'm sure you'll agree. In fact, I'm sure you all have a friend, colleague or even a family member waiting desperately in the wings for a spot! On that note, if you plan to take some time off this winter and relinquish your spot and don't wish to go to the extent of filling a whole form to do so - please just reply back to this email and let me know if / when you're likely to be back.

Due to the nature of the flexible PAYG card system for you the swimmer, it's always tricky for us to know exactly how many people might show on a particular day, but with your help and input and this fancy feedback form, we should be able to refine this whole process better than we've ever been able to do before. Doing so will ensure consistency of numbers year-round and help to reduce the impact of an increase in lane hire fees and altered booking procedure for the coming FTY. I'm trying to cover all our bases essentially to keep offering the best value possible to you the swimmers and to allow us to keep using the wonderful Claremont Aquatic Centre as much as we are doing.

So, please complete this form BEFORE 12PM ON THURSDAY 18TH JUNE 2015* and to the best of your ability to allow us to more accurately gauge squad attendance over the coming months:

The form should take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete (it took me about 5 weeks to write and test - LOL!).

Given the super flexible nature of the squad's PAYG card system, we are hoping that you won't mind sparing this time to help us out with lane management and forecasted attendance which in turn will better help you enjoy your session knowing that we can regulate this as effectively as possible.

Thank you!

*only applications received before this date will be accepted in the 1st round of applications before opening any additional space to our extensive wait list of nearly 400 people on the 23rd June 2015. If for whatever you cannot complete this form before that point, please email us at as soon as possible to account for you. Equally, please forward this link and ask your lane buddies if they've completed theirs to ensure that we don't miss any of the regulars out!

Kind regards

Paul Newsome
Head Coach & Founder
0431 540 980