I live in the Seattle area and swam competitively when I was younger. Now at 59, I wanted to increase my stroke efficiency and technique. I had read a lot about the Swim Smooth (SS) approach and felt it was the way to go. I discovered there wasn’t an SS coach in my area but thankfully one near Chicago where I care for my mom 10 days out of each month. Her name was Stacey Seay. Knowing how busy summers can be for swim coaches, I called her immediately. Quite frankly, I didn’t expect a quick response but was pleasantly surprised when she replied a day later. She had an engagement in San Diego but before you know it, she had me on her calendar.
One discovers quickly that Stacee not only has a wealth of international and domestic coaching and training experience but you are her main focus from the time you walk on the pool deck to the time you leave. You never get the feeling she’s looking at the clock. On the contrary, one gets the sense if she didn’t have other appointments that followed, she would spend more time with you for the same price. After my videotape session, we methodically discussed and analyzed my stroke technique using the latest swim software technology. I say, “we” because Stacey wasn’t just a “talking head” like some swim technique specialists can be. She encouraged me to make comments on what I thought was right and wrong about my swim style. In others words, she was teaching me how to teach myself which is what good coaches do. Stacee deconstructed every aspect of my stroke and explained the kinetics behind why I wasn’t swimming as “smoothly” as I could be. I was able to see on her laptop screen how my stroke compared with an Olympic athlete’s more efficient stroke. It was revelatory. Everything I was hoping to gain from the videotape session was achieved.
Once I had an intellectual understanding of what needed to change, Stacee had me go through a series of progressive pool exercises to help me rebuild my stroke and kick. Some parts felt like I had to start all over but Stacee always found ways to alter an exercise to achieve the desired goal. Talking to me continually through an underwater mic, she pushed and encouraged me at the same time. Before long, I could feel my large muscle groups engage. I was able to experience how much farther I could swim with one catch and pull. I was elated.
At the end of our 90-minute session, Stacee reinforced what I had learned by rehearsing everything on the videotape which was stored on a memory chip for me to take home. The chip also continued a wealth of information regarding my specific swim style, workouts and how to apply the swim smooth philosophy to other strokes.
In closing, I feel truly fortunate to have found Stacee because she’s not just a pro coach but a personable, articulate and whole-hearted instructor who wants you to believe in what you can achieve. She lives this out by dedicating her time to developing the human potential through noble organizations like Dare2tri. She inspires me and she will inspire you.
Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to do a 1-2-1 session with Coach Stacee of Swim Smooth Chicago. In an effort to improve my swim this past year I have tried nine different coaches in private and semi-private lessons, three masters groups, and a two day TI workshop. Due to my lack of progress I decided to take the one hour flight to Chicago from Minneapolis to see her. I learned more about my swimming and how to improve in that one session with her than I have learned this past year. Without doubt Swim Smooth is the most comprehensive swim program out there. But what impressed me even more was Coach Stacee’s ability to break down my stroke and show me where I need to improve. I entered the session with her not only frustrated with my lack of progress, but demoralized wondering what I was doing so wrong. I left feeling confident as I now have a plan and am optimistic I will be able to take the next step forward. I was very nervous about the whole process, but her demeanor and confidence that she could help me made me feel at ease. Thank you for your hard work in making so many resources available and an even bigger thank you for having someone of Coach Stacee’s abilities available to implement your program.
Vaughan Athletic Center
1212 Indian Trail
Video Analysis is the only way to see what your stroke really looks like. Stacee is
awesome! She is obviously a pro. Her analysis is super helpful and she shares so
much info on drills and specific ways to improve. Very Motivating!!
Jean Araujo – Chicago, IL