Today we’d like to introduce you to Gemma Hollis.
Gemma, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The stress and strain of working for a multinational corporate business, the heartache and grief of ongoing medical struggles I reached that point in my life where one asks, “what’s it all about!” I’m a big believer in giving life 100%, we get 1 chance and we control our path via a series of decisions, we make on a day to day basis. I was unhealthy, overweight and needed to make a change. I happened to be swimming in the pool at the apartment complex we lived in at the time, in Singapore and an Australian lady asked me, what I was training for?!
I was just swimming. Water has always been my happy place. I could swim almost before I could walk and have always loved water sports. There is something about the sense of calm water brings and also the overwhelming sense of its power that has always drawn me in.
This question led to my introduction to the sport of triathlon and I’ve never looked back. Fast forward and I left my corporate career and trained as a swimming instructor. I was working for the Australian International Swim School teaching children to swim and started an adults beginner swim squad for those that were doing their first triathlon. The light in the eyes of children when they’re learning to swim is simply amazing. Knowing you’re giving them a life skill is infectious. I was hooked. Then, I worked with adults that had hardly ever swum and they tackled the open water to complete a triathlon. To help these people on their journey was just amazing. I knew this is what I wanted to do as a career.
We then moved countries and I continued to shape my career as a swim coach. I was working for myself doing 1 on 1 development work and also working for a swim school teaching small classes. I started to get a feel for the work I really felt I could add the most value and where the best return on the investment was for the swimmer.
3.5 years ago, we moved to The Woodlands and I decided that this was the ideal opportunity to set up my dream business. The rest they say is history. I built a pool that would enable me to develop my business in the way I wanted. I have been able to develop my skills and expertise, certifying with Swim Smooth, becoming their 3rd certified coach in North America. We are also fortunate here to have community pools accessible all year round so I have a swim squad that trains weekly, has a great team atmosphere and is a perfect way to train and develop swim technique and endurance.
I am passionate about helping people develop their swim skills. That might be an adult learning to swim, a child developing their skills to achieve a new swim team milestone, or helping people in the world of Triathlon. That could be someone swimming their first event or a pro triathlete looking to shave seconds off their time to help achieve Championship goals.
I am so fortunate to have a job I love and to work with people that are amazing. Being part of their journey is a huge honor and however big or small my role is, it’s something that I take very seriously.
Has it been a smooth road?
There are always challenges to building and growing your own business. I’ve been so lucky to have found great mentors and an amazingly supportive community that these challenges have been manageable. My business has evolved, both from my development and also in response to the needs of the community of swimmers I work with. It’s been important for me to remain flexible whilst also ensuring I remain unique.
There is a lot of great coaching options in our community and more than enough swimmers to go round. I accept the challenge of working within the existing framework in the community providing development opportunities to swimmers to help them maximize their swimming goals and dreams.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Push Glide Kick LLC – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My business, Push Glide Kick LLC, has developed due to my passion for swimming and my belief that to be the best swimmer that you can be or to achieve the swimming goals you need to have the balance between great technique and effective training.
I work with individuals and their goals. I am looking at how to best develop their strokes, make their training most effective, and how they manage this within life, existing coaching or time limits.
I called my business Push, Glide, Kick because this is the basic swimmer sequence. All swimmers, whatever level, all start from the same point. It’s about great foundations, getting the basics embedded in the strokes, in order to swim further, faster and more efficiently. My early swimming education and certification focused on the balance between stroke technique and developing distance and speed. This is a philosophy, I follow daily with swimmers.
I’m known for my stroke development work, especially with freestyle. I do work with many competitive swimmers across all 4 strokes, but freestyle is the stroke for triathlon hence the biggest proportion of my time is with this stroke.
My freestyle work is predominantly with triathletes or adults looking to swim for fitness. I specialize in video analysis of strokes, providing the detailed visual to the swimmer of their stroke in the water. This can be a huge insight for people as they often can’t ‘feel’ what they see. An analysis session also includes a detailed stroke correction and development session where we can start to make the changes needed in order to develop the stroke for the individual. That may be to prevent/fix an injury, make them faster, or more efficient in the water.
My stroke correction and development work on a 1 to 1 basis highlighted the need for swimmers to be able to practice drills and also for them to be reviewed frequently without the need for it to be a focused 1 to 1 session. This led to the creation of my swim squad, which provides individual training in a group swim environment. I support the Swim Smooth training philosophy in these sessions, utilizing individuals’ critical swim speed. This provides effective, specific training to individuals, whilst providing the motivation and camaraderie of group swimming. These sessions are pre-booked and attendees limited in number to ensure the most effective environment to achieve great results in a timely manner. We are able to develop peoples freestyle stroke technique, whilst providing excellent training for success in open water and distance swimming.
I’m really proud of the swimmers that I’ve worked with, being open to making the changes they need to achieve their goals. I’m proud of the reputation I have built in the community and how people have trusted me to help them. I love the variety I have in my working week. The variety of swimmers I am fortunate to work with. The scale of learning to swim, to highly successful competitive swimmers and triathletes, provides a huge scope of work and interest. It also makes me appreciate the similarity in the desire, drive and focus of these swimmers.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The Woodlands and the Houston area is a great active community, supporting each other in providing great coaching, races and training opportunities.
- Website: www.pushglidekick.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pushglidekick/
Gizeh Romero Photography, Eric Largerstrom, Andi McKinley