What To Do If You Can’t Get Under 1:45/100m with Gary Hurring

The podcast that helps you improve your swimming, love the water and live a better life.


Coming back as a guest is Garry Hurring who is a former Olympic swimmer and Olympic coach. Gary has coached with as in our Hell Week Camp in Thanyapura, Thailand.
Here are the things we talked about:

01:15 Hell Week Camp At Thanyapura
03:26 Common Things Observed From Swimmers At Hell Week
07:05 There’s No Advice That’s Going To Fit For Everyone
07:43 It’s The Hard Stroke That’s Often The Best Stroke
09:11 Using Different Gears
14:33 One on One Coaching
19:10 The Pit Of Discomfort
22:25 Faults On The Stroke
27:48 Swimmers Struggling With Kicking
28:43 The Lack Of Wanting To Kick
31:10 Swimming Sets
36:31 Different Opinions Being Shared

Previous podcast episode with Garry Hurring:
How To Change Your Technique From An Olympic Coaches’ Perspective Simple Changes, Big Results with Gary Hurring

Effortless Swimming Camps
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2020 Hell Week Camp (Thailand)

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Brenton: Welcome to the Effortless Swimming podcast. My guest today is Gary Hurring, who’s a former Olympic swimmer and Olympic coach from New Zealand. Gary, welcome to the podcast.

Gary Hurring: Thanks, Brenton. Nice to be here.

Brenton: Well, we just got back, what was it, about a month ago from Thailand. We had our Hell Week camps over there, and that was the first Hell Week camp that you’d attended. You’d previously come to the Hawaii camps, but it was the first Hell Week camps. What was your experience over there coaching some of the athletes that we had over there at Hell Week?

Gary Hurring: I think that the standout experience was how amazing the facilities were there. It was such an incredible environment for the athletes to come along and spend a week with the 50-meter pool and the accommodation and the restaurant looking over the pool and all the sports facilities there. It was just a perfect environment for a training camp. The athletes themselves, we had the two groups come in, and they were all quite different, so there were a lot of individual things that I picked up from those swimmers. But just, in general, the thing that blew me away from my first experience over in Thailand, it was just the whole Thanyapura sports facility. It was amazing.

Brenton: Yeah, we’re so lucky to have that somewhat close by to Australia and New Zealand and just to be able to use that facility. I remember five years ago when a friend of mine was working there and he said, “Oh, you should bring a group of swimmers over and bring them over for a camp.” And I originally thought, I don’t know who’s going to want to come over and do a camp with me, but I’ll put it out there, open it up, and see if anyone wants to come. It’s really become one of the things I really look forward to each year when we run these camps in October.

Brenton: And the facilities, as you said, it’s just so perfect with everything on-site, everything’s taken care of, and you can really just train. You can eat without having to worry about cooking or anything. You can sleep, rest, recover, and really just enjoy yourself. So, we were so lucky to have that facility there.

Brenton: This podcast, what I want to focus in on is talking about some examples from Hell Week with swimmers who were able to make some really significant changes to their stroke and to their speed over the course of those seven days and how someone listening to this podcast could potentially make those changes in their own stroke by applying some of the things that we went through at Hell Week. You work primarily probably with the slower lanes there in Thailand, and you mentioned before the call that there was a couple of common themes that you saw there with those swimmers. So, do you want to touch on what some of those common themes were with their technique and how you went about making those changes to their stroke?

Gary Hurring: Yeah, sure. There was two to three things that really did prevail with the swimmers over in the slower lanes that I was working with predominantly. Often the first things that I’m trying to identify just to try and get an overview of the person and see if we can work on the biggest things that I see, the terminology that comes to mind is to work on the big rocks as a theory of trying to get the big stuff right first and then working your way down to the little rocks and working on the smaller, more details of technique, but I would always look for body positioning or the ability for the so-called performance platform of the body and how it looked in the water, whether the hips were high enough, whether there was back arch, whether there was head positioning issues often through breathing and other things that stood out in the body positioning area where the sometimes excessive kicking for the speed that was being generated.

Gary Hurring: Often you’ll see a swimmer that’s kicking too hard when they’re actually just swimming in an aerobic pace. It would indicate to me that they’re kicking in order to keep lift rather than to actually get any propulsion out of it. And if you can then work on a body position that can help generate its own lift, then that kicking can go away and thus save an awful lot of energy, as we all know how puffed we get when we swim when we kick very hard. So, those were often just big indicators. It would red flag something else that was going on in the swimmer, and I’d then try and rectify that body positioning in however we could do that in a number of ways.

Gary Hurring: The other things that stood out were quite often I would see the swimmers reaching forward too much on their catch. They were catching in quite a shallow position and thus missing out on leverage that they could generate by just generally trying to get a deeper catch and potentially maybe a slightly but more rhythmic stroke rather than the just trying to reach and all about distance per stroke. Sometimes the concept of distance per stroke is not about reaching forward as far as you can with your hands but getting down and getting leverage will then allow you more power to pull yourself better through the water. And that’s how you’re getting your distance per stroke. Sometimes just reaching forward with the hand can be quite just a subconscious way that people think they’re getting distance, but they’re actually not.

Brenton: There’s so much subtlety and nuance to that stuff too, isn’t there? Like, when we work on the catch in the pool, there’s a lot of swimmers who go too deep with their arms and they’re very straight. But then there’s also swimmers who are way too shallow to be able to get any of that leverage that you’re talking about. And so that’s why I think it really comes down to the individual. There’s no advice that’s going to fit for everyone, because there’s all these little nuances to the things that people are doing. And it just depends on what that is for that individual.

Gary Hurring: Yeah, that’s so true. And you were absolutely right, some of the swimmers were just driving down too deeply and not getting any sort of leverage on their catch at all, so very much an individual area of the stroke. Quite often when I first look at someone, trying to ignore the wood for the trees, if you know what I mean, and just almost glue my eyes and see if I can see something standing out with that swimmer. Often, it’s a little bit different, per swimmer.

Gary Hurring: Quite often, swimmers over time, they don’t realize it, but it’s the hard stroke that’s often the best stroke, the stroke that’s making them tired. They don’t realize that they’re actually subconsciously letting that hard stroke go, because they’re doing quite a few laps and it’s tiring to do it that way. They will, as I’ve said, subconsciously, they’re not aware of it. They’ll actually let go of the water a little bit and find an easier way to rotate through the water. So sometimes it’s about bringing the swimmer back to that awareness of actually grabbing the water and working with the stroke that maybe is not such a pleasant stroke to work with so you can develop it and get stronger with it.

Brenton: Yeah, I really like in reference to that hard stroke, it’s not the stroke that’s where you’re pulling as hard as you possibly can, but it’s the stroke that might be quite tiring as you’re pulling through, because you’re holding a lot more water than what you were before. And one of the things that really resonated, I think, with the people at Hell Week, you were talking about different gears, I might actually let you explain it, but the reference or the analogy of using different gears and where you should probably spend most of your time training in the bigger gear, and then when it comes to racing, it makes the lower gears a lot easier to settle into. Can you explain the reference to the gears? Because that helped a lot of swimmers on camp.

Gary Hurring: Yeah, sure. It was a concept that I didn’t come up with. I first heard of it from a famous American coach called David Salo. Several of his swimmers I’ve worked with in the New Zealand swim team, and they really relayed, plus he’s talked to me about it, the gear system.

Gary Hurring: It’s just a really simplified way of looking at the power of a stroke. He talks about five gears. He will talk about that as a training intensity issue as well. He’ll tell swimmers, “I want this set to be done in fifth gear,” or “I want this set to be done in third gear.” And so it sort of relates not only to stroke but in amounts of work or energy that you’re using up in the pool.

Gary Hurring: But first gear, obviously, in terms of a bike or a car or something like that is the big strong cog that maybe takes a bit more power to get around, but once you get that gear moving, that’s when you’re really going to find your top speed. And as you can go down the gears, sometimes depending on distance, you want to try and find the right gear for the distance that you’re working on. And it may be that if you’re doing a long ocean swim, you might want to be settling into sort of a third gear, third and a half, fourth gear. And just finding that efficiency in something that’s quite fast, but it’s strong, you’ve got good leverage, and above all, you’re getting decent speed without getting too tired so there’s sort of a rhythmic energy to that third, fourth gear. And then when you really want to overtake or work to a finish of a race, or perhaps it’s a shorter race, then you want a bit of power into that gear rating, so you might want to be able to chop up.

Gary Hurring: But as a coach, I notice a lot of times swimmers find it difficult to change gears. So I think it’s a important thing to be practicing and training, that concept of working through the gears. Some swimmers find it very, very difficult to do that, and they find that they get stuck in those middle gears, and they can’t find a top gear or even a lower gear. It is an interesting concept to work with.

Brenton: Yeah. And I like the way that with crews, we’ve got so much time there on camp, you know? It’s not like we’re just doing an hour and a half session. It’s seven days of two sessions a day. I think for those that were struggling with it, we’re able to get them to have a pretty good sense of what they needed to do to be able to shift gears. Like, we did quite a bit of stroke count work, just some fifties, I think it might’ve been like 10 fifties, where we had them do minimum stroke count, but in that minimum stroke count, it’s not like you’re holding the glide for two or three seconds, it’s just keep your normal rhythm going.

Brenton: But the way that you can reduce your stroke count is to either reduce the drag or increase the propulsion and then the effectiveness of your kick and your rotation and your catch and pull. Just getting them to practice that, that’s really like that fifth gear where you’re just looking to really maximize the distance per stroke. And then we did quite a bit of variable pace work. Like, we did quite a few sets of 200s and 100s where we had them go one easy, one medium, one fast, and just giving them their times as they went through it.

Brenton: I found throughout the week, the majority of the swimmers were getting a lot better at being able to shift those gears and change the speed as they went. Whereas there was probably half the swimmers, I’d say, at the start of the camp, who when they went to increase their speed, they didn’t actually go any faster than the second one, and sometimes even the first one. It all just sort of blended into one. That’s the ability to change the gears, but I found they really were able to improve that with those different sets that we were doing.

Brenton: I mean, we saw some pretty dramatic changes with, particularly, some of the swimmers in those slower lanes, where we had swimmers who started out around the 2:30, 2:40 Mark per 100. And then by the end of the camp, they were down to around that two-minute mark when they were really pushing it. What changes did you see happen for those swimmers who were able to make such big improvements in such a short space of time?

Gary Hurring: Well, I think there’s a range of things. Sometimes we would just see those changes from fitness that the swimmers were getting through the week. You’d see them often go on second and third day through a bit of a tired patch, but before the end of the week most of them were really breaking through. And you could see the fitness, especially during all that long course 50 meter swimming outdoors.

Gary Hurring: But technical changes, I’d like to think that they’d embraced the things we’d talked about, and that that was the magic wand. Surely, it is at the end of the day. It’s just that sometimes you can see someone just instantly it’s a light bulb moment, and what you’ve discussed with them, they’ve got straight away, and they’re liking it straight away. But sometimes it’s a three, four, five-day process, and you’ll often see them getting onto what you’re talking three days later. I’ve had several swimmers coming up and saying things like that, “I only just felt what you were talking about on Monday,” sort of thing.

Gary Hurring: So yeah, I think it is a whole range of those sorts of things and just clicking. I think one of the neat things we also get on camp was, because we had so many coaches, that everyone got analyzed by everyone. I would have swimmers coming to me and saying something that you’d said to them really resonated, and then it helped them, and it exemplified what I’d said or something Mitch had said. I think because we were all often on the same wavelength, it just really helped the swimmers to get that reinforcement from different angles and spoken in different ways.

Brenton: Yeah, that’s one of the real benefits I think to being able to have so many coaches on camp. We’ve got seven camps coming up next year, which I think you’re doing six of, so you’ll be at the Noosa camp in March, the two Hawaii camps in July, and then the Hell Week camps in October. And we’ve got, let’s see, minimum three coaches for each of those, but I think even four or five for some of the other camps. And the way that we structure the weeks are in the afternoons, typically in the afternoons, we do two-on-one coaching where we do filming and you get to work really closely with each coach each day. And you’re exactly right, a lot of people would come up to me and said, “Oh, this thing that Gary said, this made a difference.”

Brenton: Or like an example that I had, one of the swimmers on camp, she was having trouble basically with the exit of her stroke. She was too wide. I think it was on the second day that we were doing the two-on-one coaching, Mitch had said to her, “Look, just imagine that you’re coming into your opposite hip on your other side when you go to the exit.” And that’s kind of the exaggeration she had to feel to fix her exit and get it in closer to her hip. It was just that one idea that allowed her to make that change and just fix something that she’d been working on for a very long time. It’s just different messages. Same point but a different message, and sometimes different things will connect with different people. That’s what I really love. I really want to make sure that people get that pretty much one-on-one coaching at the camp, and that’s why I’m no longer running these camps by myself.

Brenton: I mean, five years ago when I ran the first Hell Week, it was me and about 20 swimmers, and that was way too much. I don’t know if we did video analysis then, but now it’s minimum three coaches if not more. Geez, it makes such a difference with the improvement that people make and certainly makes my job a lot easier as well. Because it’s nice to be able to let you and Mitch and Phil just do your thing, cause you’ve been in this sport for so long, and you know what you’re doing. It’s just great to be able to just trust that you guys, you’ve got the knowledge, you’ve got the coaching there, and you can just do your thing, which is really, really good.

Brenton: One of the things that I picked up from you, I think it was on the first podcast that we recorded, was the pit of discomfort, talking about the awkward and uncomfortable feeling that you’re going to have when you’re changing your stroke. I relay that as much as I possibly can, because I think you put wording to the thing that I knew was there, but I didn’t have a great way of explaining it. And now I really preface camps and clinics with that pit of discomfort that you’re going to go through. For those people who haven’t heard that before, could you explain what that is that people will experience when they’re improving their stroke?

Gary Hurring: Yeah. Well again, not my concept. It was something that was taught to me on a coaching course, and it was very general. It’s not just for swimming, it’s for all sports, but it was a neurologist talked about it. Just in terms of motor-skill learning and neurally adapting to new techniques and new habit-forming, basically his concept was that you pretty much have to go into a discomfort pit, or he labeled it the pit of discomfort. You go into that for a while, because it’s just so alien from what you’re used to doing. So if you’re making a change, unless you go into that pit of discomfort, you might not actually be making any change at all, because it’s the change that’s the uncomfortableness, because you’re basically setting whole new neural pathways. You’re accessing new muscles and different timing sequences, then you’ve ever used before.

Gary Hurring: But if you think about it logically, that’s how you make a new technique happen. That’s how through repetition, through that pit of discomfort, then you come out with a habit. Ideally, what we all want is good habits in the pool or any sort of physical activity that we’re doing. We want those things to be able to happen naturally through repetition and practice.

Gary Hurring: So yeah, it’s something that I really embrace myself whenever I’m doing any sort of sport or training. I always think that uncomfortable feeling is worth persevering through. Oftentimes, if you know that the concept of what you’re doing makes sense, and if you know that the way that you’re doing it should make certain muscle groups feel tired or uncomfortable, then you embrace those specific uncomfortableness feelings, and you work with them, and you bring them aboard as part of your routine. Generally, the pit is just a pit. You’ll generally come out the other end and feel way better because of it at some point. There’s often just that awkward period when you’re making change. That’s pretty much what the pit’s all about.

Brenton: I want to talk about the connectedness in the stroke. One of the swimmers that we had was, basically, having trouble with keeping his arm out in front while he was getting the breath. His arm that was in front kept dropping down, elbow was dropped, and he just couldn’t keep it out there and really get the timing of the stroke to keep it front quadrant. He was just really struggling. He’s quite tight through the shoulders as well, so mobility is there too.

Brenton: But one of the things that you had this swimmer do to be able to keep that lead arm out in front for balance and support and to get a better catch was you actually had him slow down the hand at the back of the stroke through the exit just to be able to keep pressure on the water and provide propulsion for him to be able to keep that lead arm there. Because one of the things you noticed was he was coming out a bit short, which was causing that hand to drop. What are some of those other things in the stroke? Well, first of all, if you could talk about that and how you noticed it, but what are some of those other things that are connected in the stroke as well that you tend to look at if there’s certain faults or flaws in the stroke?

Gary Hurring: Yeah, I’m a firm believer that there’s all sorts of magic rhythmic patterns in swimming. It’s quite mathematical in some weird way, in an artistic way. Everything’s related. Long axes strokes, freestyle and backstroke, it’s related to the body roll. Your roll from side to side is the engine that powers your stroke, but you can’t get a good roll unless your kicking timing is correct and the feet give you a little bit of pressure in order to push the hips and the shoulders and get that roll going. You need to purchase on your feet in order to get the body rolling. So the timing of the kick is incredibly linked, whether it’s a two-beat kick or a six-beat kick, so that just rolls from side to side with the hips and shoulders. And then, the stroke is in sync with that as well.

Gary Hurring: There are little patterns. Like, if you’re looking at the front end of a stroke, also have a look at the back of the other arm’s stroke. What’s the finish of a strike doing while the other stroke’s catching? Because if you’re not pushing back enough with one hand, then you’re not getting that good push and glide that’s reaching you into the next stroke with the other hand. There’s a real connection between the finish of one stroke and the catch of another.

Gary Hurring: It was something that I really worked on a lot with backstroke. Backstroke’s slightly different from freestyle. There’s not a catch-up aspect to it at all. It’s a very [inaudible 00:24:36] stroke, but you really need a seamless transition of push from one hand into the catch of the other. That concept itself is very, very similar in freestyle, even though it’s slightly different timing of where you’re doing that. But those sort of things, the timing of the breathing, working with the roll of the shoulders and the rhythm of the kick, all of those sort of things, trying to get those timing patterns right, oftentimes it’s even more noticeable in strokes like butterfly and breaststroke. If you get the timing out on those strokes, the stroke can be very, very hard to do.

Brenton: One of the things I’ve started to give a lot of the online members who send their videos in for analysis is tending to look a lot more at the feet. If the timing’s out and that connectedness with the kick and the rotation in the front end of the strike, if it’s not quite there, a lot of them, I’ll give them six 50s with a kickboard and a snorkel, building one to three. So easy, medium, fast 50, do that twice through. It doesn’t need to be a lot if they’re not doing anything at the moment, but just that pure kicking as part of their warmup and doing that across four or five, six weeks, I’ve seen a big difference just in the entire stroke once they have that more effective kick with that little bit of downwards and upwards pressure with the down and upbeat.

Brenton: Yeah, exactly right, for the swimmers where there’s just no connectedness through the kick, it’s very hard to get that front end working without it. I think when I first probably started coaching triathletes, I had probably a bit less of a focus on it, because I was like, well you don’t really need to be kicking hard for those longer distances. But the thing I was missing there was, well, yeah, you need an effective kick though, which means that it’ll help you with the hip rotation and everything else. It is certainly important. Even though it’s not necessarily going to provide a lot of propulsion, it will help with everything else. It’s something that I’ve started to look a lot more at.

Brenton: For swimmers who struggle with kicking, there are a lot of swimmers who can’t go forwards when they’re kicking, their ankle in flexibility is really bad, I just get them to start out with fins on and get started that way. And then that will help to loosen up the ankles. You’re probably best having some good fins like the DMC fins that we recommend. Because if you’re using maybe some of the Speedo fins, which can be very stiff and very heavy, then it’s not great for your ankle flexibility. So, some good fins, just kick with those first, then a kickboard and a snorkel so you’ve got your head down, and then you’ll eventually get to the point where you can just take them off and move forward. It might be a very slow progression for people that might be in their fifties, sixties, and so on, and you’re very tight through the ankles, but you can get there, and it can make a world of difference once you do. Have you seen that with a lot of swimmers who are in their fifties and sixties who have maybe come from a running background and-

Gary Hurring: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, we’ll try not to generalize too much, but there does seem to be a lack of wanting to kick of the adults, especially you’ll see from some of the triathletes, so it’s interesting you say that. My adult fitness and triathlete ocean sport squads, you see them lifting their noses up to doing kick steps.

Brenton: Yeah.

Gary Hurring: I can see on the surface that it’s maybe not relevant, especially when you get a wet suit on. But I keep coming back to, it just makes you a better swimmer because you cause stability. If you’re kick timing throughout, it helps the rotation probably through the stroke and through the hips. There’s some absolutely amazing world-class, world champion swimmers that have been two-beat kickers. You don’t have to have a six-beat, powerful sprint kick. The timing and the drive of those two-beat kicks is usually very good for a good swimmer.

Gary Hurring: So, it is something that I think is very important. I think being able to kick with, like you say, good flippers, being able to do different types of kicking, I think is very important. Just kicking on your front with a board, generally puts you in a bad body position. It arches your back, it lets you bend your knees but too much focuses on a down-kick more than an up-kick. So I like to mix up the kicking, do some on your back. Especially on your side is very good, because you’ve got even pressure both ways in the water so you can feel an up and a down kick. That drive coming from both directions of kick is really, really important. That drive, that purchase that you want to be working with the hips and the height of the hips and the roll of the hips, that sort of thing I think is very important. Just to mix it up, and just look at it as an overall part of swimming. It’s just a drill, basically, to try and help the rest of stroke improve.

Brenton: Yeah. And just to finish up, as we’re going through some of the sets at Hell Week, typically, we’d have one more of a training session in the day and then one more skills and technique focus session. In the sessions where we’re working a bit harder, and it was more of a training session, as you’re working with some of those guys and girls in the slow lane, particularly, think of the DC special, which is the 40, 50 set that we always finish up Hell Week with, where, basically, the set is 16 50s where you go every fourth one fast, 12 50s where every third on is fast, eight where every second is fast, and then the last four all fast, what message did you have for the swimmers as they’re going through that in order for them to be able to maintain their pace in those fast ones throughout the whole set and keep their stroke together? I think in both weeks and across all of the lanes, people really finished off well with that, that DC special set. What were some of the messages that you were giving to those swimmers to be able to sustain their pace?

Gary Hurring: A lot of times I was actually trying to hold them back, cause I knew the length of that set, what it was going to be for the level of the swimmers. A lot of times it was a bit about, hey, let’s relax more now, just stretch it out, work on your stroke on these easy ones, and so on, just so that we could get the different paces of gears. I think a lot of the swimmers, I was basically giving them times on every one that they were coming in. And I don’t think a lot of those swimmers had had that degree of coming in and someone telling them exactly how the work that they’ve done equated to an improvement in time. That sometimes was just a really nice thing to have, that knowledge of what your time pacing is. So yeah, that was a great feeling. I really enjoyed working with the swimmers on that one.

Brenton: I know just from my own history, it’s quite motivating if you’ve got someone there giving you your times and you don’t need to look at your watch, don’t need to look at the stop clock. You’re getting your times there, and all you need to focus in on is your output and your effort. I’d say, half the swimmers at each of the camps here probably don’t get that on a regular basis just in their squads, so they’re not exactly sure what the effort required is for the times. And yeah, in terms of holding back at the start of, let’s say, a 2K main set like that, you’ve really got to hold back, because it’s pretty easy to burn all of your matches at the start in the first 10 to 15 50s if you are going completely and all out in those fast ones.

Brenton: You’re right, a lot of it is about knowing how to pace it and how to just take it easy at the start, because, I mean, it doesn’t usually take a lot of extra effort to increase the speed. It means you just hold that good technique, add in a little bit more effort, but you can see a pretty good result, a couple seconds per 50 faster by doing that. Your easy ones might be a five out of 10, and your fast ones might be an eight out of 10, but it’s pretty easy to go to a 10 out of 10 and maybe only go half a second faster for that 50, but you’ve burnt your matches early on. Whereas, all you want to do is just sit at that eight out of 10 instead. I think that’s what can be a real skill to learn to do. But the more often you do those types of sets, the better you get at it, and that really transfers into your ability to hold a good pace in the races that you’re doing.

Gary Hurring: Yeah, absolutely. And oftentimes that eight out of 10, an effort would be the 10 out of 10 and time without them realizing it. You know, you’d get the fastest time on the ones that were just being worked on efficiently and, like you say, at about an eight level. You would often see swimmers as they tried harder perhaps create more drag by thrashing or so on.

Brenton: Yeah. And that’s one of the things that can be good about camps. The environment is everyone’s generally pretty relaxed. Maybe at the start everyone’s figuring it out first day so they’re not as relaxed, but as they go through it, people are in a good head space. We do those breathing exercises. They’re in paradise. The weather’s good. It’s sunny. Everyone’s just in that head space where they’re not trying to force things. And that’s what I notice, I guess, at a camp compared to maybe a squad is that people are just in that environment. People can change a lot, a lot easier and a lot quicker, when they come from that place of calmness, of relaxation, and not trying to overdo things.

Gary Hurring: Yeah, absolutely. You saw people settle in as the week went on. It was just such a beautiful environment with all the trees around them and all the water.

Gary Hurring: Like we were talking about earlier, I think from my point of view working, having that sharing ability with all four of us coaches, it’s quite novel. Because coming from a high-performance background, the coaches might talk to each other about concepts, but the high-performance swimmers or the coaches were often very possessive about their swimmers, and they didn’t want other coaches working with them. So, you know, it was all about the relationship between that coach and that swimmer. And you see that a lot in high performance swimming. So, it’s so refreshing to have those different opinions being all dished out, four different coaches giving concepts. But again, they’re generally not different concepts. They’re all pretty much on the same wavelength that we were working with, because we are talking so much out of the pool about our coaching concepts with each other. We’re all sort of learning from each other at the same time. It is just a really novel thing, I think, especially from my background as a coach.

Brenton: Yeah, and it’s good to be a part of that. Like, for me, I really thoroughly enjoyed the camps in Thailand, because it’s just a good group of coaches. All the swimmers, they’re there cause they want to improve, but they’re also there to have a holiday, to be able to relax, and just enjoy being over there.

Brenton: Next year, we’re coaching it at Noosa, Hawaii, and in Thailand. If you’re listening, and you want to work with myself and Gary, all of those camps are on our website, so you can check out the details there. But basically got Noosa in March and May, Hawaii in July, and then the Thailand camps in October. So yeah, we’re really looking forward to those and having you back there on deck. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Brenton: And as you said, it’s probably a slightly different environment to what you’re used to. We train hard, and we put a lot into it, but I just really love the relaxed environment that we can have at each of these places. And the fact that we get to go to such beautiful destinations, I mean, I really love them. That’s why I’ve got seven camps going next year, where it was, what was it, three this year? I just thought, yeah, this is what I really enjoy. So I want to just do more of them. Which of the camps are you looking forward to the most?

Gary Hurring: Oh gosh. You know, honestly, I really, like you, enjoy them all. You know, I haven’t done Noosa yet, so I’m not sure what that’s like. I am looking forward to that, cause I’ve never been to Noosa, which is a strange thing. I think it’s almost transplanting, isn’t it? Hawaii was quite similar to me to Thailand in content of what we were delivering. There was a bit more work in Hell Week then in Hawaii, but, in general, it was really the focus on technique and working with the swimmers and trying to find the challenges involved with helping people to improve their strokes. So I look forward to that no matter where that is. So yeah, I don’t know if I have a favorite yet.

Brenton: Yeah, no. It’s-

Gary Hurring: I’ll let you know next year.

Brenton: I’m looking forward to all that. Thanks for joining me on the podcast, and we will catch up in March. And yeah, really looking forward to that first camp in Noosa.

Gary Hurring: Yeah. Thanks very much for having me on the podcast again. I’ll look forward to it in the future.




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Amazing swimming and fitness podcast

Love, love, love listening to Brenton and his guests. Always learning something new to add to my swim sets with drills or training sets. Also very motivational guests with great tips to add to your fitness routine. I love the stories of the longer distant swims and what’s involved. I’m always smiling after listening to these podcasts!! Thank you so much !!!!



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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen