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About Our Animated Swimmer "Mr Smooth"

Mr Smooth is our 'ideal' freestyle stroke visualisation - he has all our swimming technique expertise and knowledge baked into him.

Mr Smooth Links:

Preview: Homepage
Amazing Free Application: Console
Portable: iPod / Phone Videos

The Power Of Visualisation

Mr Smooth has been carefully animated by Swim Smooth to show an 'ideal' freestyle stroke. Using the latest knowledge taken from the elite swimming world we've created something very unique - a powerful stroke technique visualisation tool showing you what an 'ideal' freestyle stroke looks like.

Seeing a great swim technique in action can be very powerful to swimmers - not only do you see and understand stroke movements but your subconscious will pick up a feel for the rhythm and timing of the stroke.

Watch Mr Smooth just before you go for a swim, or the night before. Imagine performing his stroke technique in your mind and try and reproduce that when you enter the water.

Advantages

Mr Smooth has many advantages over watching video footage of a great swimmer:

- The animation has amazing clarity.

underneath
The perfect angle to examine arm recovery and hand entry.

- You can view his technique from angles you cannot normally film, e.g. underneath and surface level shots.

- We've included super-smooth slow motion to appreciate his every movement.

- No idiosyncrasies (even great swimmers have these and they're distracting and confusing to the non-expert viewer).

- A normal body type which you can relate to (many elite swimmers are super tall and broad).

- Accurate control of stroke rate, so you can dial in Michael Phelp's stroke rate, or Rebecca Adlington's or Emma Snowsill's.

- Ability to remove the water for greater clarity, especially useful for seeing the catch phase of his stroke technique.

- The animation is synchronised from different angles so you can freeze him and look at a position from the front, side, top, bottom and rear!

- We added frame numbers to aid discussion and sharing.

- In the Pro Console we have compiled Special Views focusing on key aspects of good swimming technique. They show multiple angles simultaneously giving you a 3 dimensional appreciation of that stroke area.

- In the Pro Console you can also export individual frames as jpeg images to your computer. You can then send to a swimmer or put on the web for discussion.

An Addition, Not A Replacement

Even with Mr Smooth at your disposal, you should still look at video of elite swimmer's technique - that's always interesting and insightful. For instance, check out our footage of Bill Kirby on the Swimming DVD Boxset page.

We see Mr Smooth as an additional visualisation tool for swimmers and coaches to look at stroke technique, not a replacement for anything. If you already own our DVD Boxset, we suggest you download the free Mr Smooth Console - it makes a fantastic accompaniment to boost your understanding of good swimming technique yet further.

underneath
See the catch phase without water and from any angle.

An 'Ideal' Freestyle Stroke

Mr Smooth's stroke is bang up to date with the latest knowledge of the freestyle stroke from the elite swimming world. We use this stroke knowledge to coach swimmers of all abilities, which allows them to develop better feel for the water, greater relaxation and economy, better performance in open water and lower risk of injury.

Swim Smooth believe that different types of strokes suit different swimmers and Mr Smooth has all the key technique elements that every swimmer should aspire to.

Don't miss our introductory presentations about Mr Smooth's stroke for beginner, intermediate and advanced level swimmers. Like all our coaching material, we've organised things for your level of swimming to target our advice more accurately.

Coaches - The Choices We Made

There are a number of freestyle stroke types in the elite swimming world. If you are a coach you'll have noticed straight away some decisions we made when animating Mr Smooth. Let's get technical for a moment:

6 Beat Kick Timing. In distance freestyle a 2 beat kick can have advantages in economy. However for a 2 beat kick to be effective the swimmer needs a good catch and feel for the water, which are normally lacking in beginner and intermediate swimmers. Even for advanced level swimmers with good feel for the water, learning 2 beat timing is a low priority compared to correcting other stroke issues.

Importantly, the timing of the dominant 2 kicks within 6 beat timing is the same as 2 beat kick timing. For this reason 2 beat timing can be coached using Pro Console Special View 6 - the highlighted timing is correct for both 6 beat and 2 beat kick techniques.

We chose a six beat kick for Mr Smooth, a more useful reference for the majority of swimmers.

Front Quadrant Timing. Some elite sprinters use rotary (or 'windmilling') stroke timing very effectively at very high stroke rates. However for developing swimmers, rotary timing makes it much harder to develop a good catch and gives much less support when breathing (particularly at non-elite stroke rates).

We chose front-quadrant timing for Mr Smooth - it's easier to co-ordinate, is more controlled and more efficient for the vast majority of swimmers.

Non-Extreme EVF. There has been a growing trend in the 21st Century to teach an extreme Early Vertical Forearm (EVF) technique to elite swimmers. This was pioneered predominantly by the Australian freestyle swimming greats such as Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe. The position requires very good alignment in the water and very good rhythm and timing to be effective.

Most importantly, these very extreme positions require a lot of shoulder mobility and strength - our belief is that the injury risk of extreme EVF is high to developing swimmers.

For these reasons we chose a more conventional high elbow catch technique for Mr Smooth, featuring the key teaching points for a great catch: High elbow. Elbow higher than the wrist at all times. Fingertips pointing straight down after catch initiation. Bent elbow on pull with hands pulling straight under the body without S Shape.

Find out more about our thoughts on EVF on our advanced swimmer's Catch Page.

The Mr Smooth Free Console

The Mr Smooth Free Console is a free application from Swim Smooth for your PC or Mac. We've released it for free so that every swimmer can get the full benefit of Mr Smooth - make sure you get it yourself.

The console runs on your computer and allows you to control and view Mr Smooth from 7 different angles. You can also control his swim speed (stroke rate), watch in super-slow motion, freeze the footage to study it and remove the water to make your view of his swimming technique even clearer.

Quite simply jaw dropping.

The Mr Smooth Pro Console

console
The Pro Console: Special synchronised views of key aspects of the stroke - here we take a close-up look at breathing technique.

The ultimate! We devised the Mr Smooth Pro Console as a special tool for swimming coaches and enthusiasts.

The Pro Console contains all the features of the free Console but includes 'Special Views' of key stroke technique elements: kick, head position, breathing technique, hand entry, body roll, catch and pull, kick timing and front quadrant timing.

These Special Views are zoomed in from multiple angles to fully understand that area of stroke technique. Perfect for understanding the 3 dimensions of the stroke.

Unlike the free console, The Pro Console is licensed for commercial use, including coaching.

Find out more about the Pro Console.

Mr Smooth & Console Development Team

Swim Smooth worked with two incredible partners in the development of the Mr Smooth animation and the consoles. We thought we were dreaming when we wrote our specification for Mr Smooth but we were totally blown away when they delivered:

tank creativeProfessional animation company Tank Creative used their expertise in 3D CGI from the film, broadcast and advertising world to develop the Mr Smooth animation. Find out more about them: www.tankcreative.co.uk

cyan commerceWeb and software developer Cyan Commerce developed the very funky Mr Smooth Console applications for us. Find out more about them and their creative excellence here: www.cyancommerce.com

Swim Smooth Terms and Conditions

Swim Smooth Links

work on your swimming catch and rip up your races.
why not learn to swim freestyle today?
plenty of open water swim tips here.
all about freestyle technique to swim faster.
how to train your threshold swimming methods.
learn to swim better than having a swimming teacher on your poolside.
a guide to triathlon and swimming in a wetsuit.
if you can't swim it's no problem, we can help.
some effective kick drills from experts Swim Smooth.
don't miss mr smooth, an amazing swimming movie from Swim Smooth.
tips for advanced swimming and swimmers.
more open water swimming from Swim Smooth.

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WANT MORE??
Get Mr Smooth on your desktop with the Mr Smooth Console. Watch him from beneath, above and behind! Freeze frame. Slow Motion. Stroke rate control. You can even remove the water to make things super-clear!!
DOWNLOAD THIS TOTALLY FREE DESKTOP APPLICATION NOW!

Get Mr Smooth on your IPOD or Phone!

Swim Coach?
Check out our specialist visualisation tool for coaches - The PRO Console.

Underneath view...
underneath
...of freestyle swimming technique.