Last week I had the real pleasure of taking part in a Swim Smooth Coach Education course. It was a tremendous learning experience and I'm now back, buzzing with ideas of things to try out and even more enthusiasm than before.
Swim Smooth are the world leaders in swim coaching and as you'd expect the course was heavily over-subscribed. So it was very special to be amongst the select few from around the world to be chosen. Great too that my friend and fellow Brighton Tri Coach Graeme was also selected. Paul and Adam from Swim Smooth said they were impressed with the exciting things we are doing to develop the Club.
The three day course was packed with a great mix of very practical, active sessions and classroom analysis.
Day 1 included having ourselves videoed and our stroke analysed. The big revelation for me was my high stroke rate which I'd never been aware of before (unlike the persistent left hand thumb-first entry that I thought I'd broken free from!).
There was also a big focus on the model of swim types that Swim Smooth have developed. I'm now ready to come out and let the world know that I am a classic Swinger - and proud of it too. Graeme can bask in his status as a reformed Glider and now a proper Mr Smooth.
Day 2 had some great insights into how Swim Smooth have developed their business and squad coaching. Again, lots to think about for ZigZag Alive and for the clubs I coach in. Later in the day my fast stroke rate meant I got picked to do a Ramp Test, using Tempo Trainers to experiment with changing the stroke rate. In the lane next to me was Channel swimmer Telly from Finland, serenely sliding through the water at half the stroke rate!
Finally Day 3 had us helping out with a full on Swimmers Clinic. Still buzzing from the improvements I can make in my own swimming, it was great to see and help with others going through the same process.
The course does not qualify us to be fully certified Swim Smooth coaches - a trip to Perth, Australia working alongside Paul and the other coaches is needed for that. For now though it feels so good to have done the course, learning from the real masters and from a great bunch of other coaches.
Watch out for some great Swim Smooth inspired sessions!