Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A moment in time...Are we as good as we can be?

A moment in time....Are we as good as we can be?

I have just finished working with the International Coaches in Perth, Australia. Where I have been coaching, tutoring and mentoring them over the two week period.

New Coaches stepping out the comfort Zone on pool deck. 

It is now a few days after they have all left, which has allowed a bit of time for reflection not only upon the 2 weeks supporting the Coach Ed programme but also on my own professional development.

Sue Oldham - Always inspiring - always setting her next challenge.

It got me thinking 'am I as good as I can be'? I imagined if I were, what would that feel like, look like and what would I see. Could this be even possible!!

Shelley Taylor Smith - Talking to the coaches about being realistic and whats really important in life. 

Then my thoughts turn to my athletes and the conversations I have with them about their achievements and occassional disappointments. Do I as a coach support them as well as I can?

Great North Swim - 10,000 swimmers take to the water - To race or give it a go. 

When I say support others - It means just that, I think one of the first steps to being as good as you can be, is for individuals to take ownership of their learning, coaching or training. Do not get me wrong this does not mean they need to know everything, nor does it mean doing everything themselves....But there is a significant difference between the people I work with that take that responsibility for their own goals and desires and the ones that may not have got there yet.

Active Blu training day - Trying something new - Why not

Working with the coaches over the previous weeks, watching them and talking to them about their personal goals for their businesses, home life and overall work/ life balance has been inspiring. It made me realise that all these coaches have done the above and taken responsibility to getting where they want, but also have been realistic about it. 

Watching athletes training hard. 

What I mean by realistic is that they have a goal or challenge, but they have taken into consideration all the factors in their life. Thinking about the time they have free, their family commitments and other elements they needed to consider.

OW skills and a lot of fun

Often I talk to people and they feel they are slightly under performing - But when it comes down to it, they are also managing a family, work, education and much much more. Obviously this differs dramatically from one person to another and although you can admire and learn from others around you, something to consider when trying tot achieve the same goal is the unique differences that make us so special.

OW training Night - Active Blu

People are so inspiring and we should celebrated our achievements more - To manage everything in life is hard, but to achieve goals no matter what they are, when we have so many other things going on around us is truly what makes the world we live in so magical.

My only option to protect myself from the stingers - To funny. 

So going back to the question: Are we as good as we can be? The answer may actually be Yes - In this moment in time I am as good as I can be!! If this is the case thats an amazing place to be.

Doing things beyond comfortable 
I think as a society we give ourselves a hard time, pushing ourselves to achieve and when we do, potentially thinking it was not good enough.

So lets still set goals, challenges and aspirations, but break these down in a way that suits your life,  and celebrate each and every step as you go.

Taking that step. 
I hope this offers you the freedom to do things your way. By this I mean what ever suits your lifestyle, meets your needs and creates the moments you will hold on for for ever. 

Coaching across the world - Sands Beach Resort. 

Be honest to yourself and genuine when reflecting upon your needs and what you want in life -  it will give and allow you a more realistic picture of what is ultimately achievable. 

Pip and Emma - Showing everyone how its done. 

Celebrate lots - ENJOY and I look forward to seeing you all in the water soon.

Windermere 2015
Dream Big


Friday, 1 May 2015

Summer Training - The right mix....

Summer Training - The right mix !!

I have been out in Perth now for two weeks supporting the New International Swim Smooth coaches with the certification programme. It has been an amazing opportunity not only to meet another great bunch of coaches and swimmers, but to also try and capture the culture of training out here in Perth.

Getting the right Mix - RED MIST - This morning Friday 1st May 2015

I have been talking to many of the swimmers, coaches and visiting athletes - asking them about the importance of the "Right Mix" when training.

Open Water Training at Claremont

Across the board it seems thats that they all highlight the need to break the training up. Keep it Simple and make it manageable.

Open Water Training in the pool 
At Swim Smooth we often talk about the Three Keys to training:
Coaching CSS

1. Fitness - CSS / Endurance.
2. Open Water Skills and Practice.
3. Technique.

Often in the UK when the weather gets warm enough to hit the Open Water people tend to neglect the pool sessions. Although we want to make the most of the good weather, try NOT to neglect the pool as it is here that you can monitor and manage your training well, making those slight weekly improvements in your performance. 

The pool environment allows you to swim with a focus and at a pace / speed designed to challenge yourself within the sessions aim. 

However try to get involved in an Open Water training group as this will allow you to develop all those skills you need when racing in similar conditions - the chop, swimming close to others, sighting, drafting and the list goes on. Seeing a boost in confidence and performance when racing or taking part in OW events. 

International Coaches. 

If you get the RIGHT MIX over the summer you will still make those time improvements you are looking for in your times.

The Right Mix:
1 - Open Water Sessions / skills
2 - CSS / Endurance
3 - Technique

Keep it Simple.
Enjoy what you do.

I head back from Perth in 2 weeks to start the Open Water season on the 21st May, if you are looking for support, skill development, OW squads or just a social group to swim with - feel free to email me at 

I look forward to seeing you all very soon - Enjoy :)

Windermere - Start of season.