SwimFocused Coaches

Coach Mike Kirkness

Email Coach Mike at mike@swimfocused.com

  • Background in Swimming
    • My love for swimming began as an infant. Over the years, I've come to appreciate all aspects of the sport, and have especially enjoyed sharing my passion for the water with my family. 
    • I have previously, operated Catalyst Aquatics, a private lesson facility designed to help triathletes overcome training plateaus. Our focus on technique was accomplished by a sophisticated underwater video analysis system, unique to Catalyst Aquatics. Clients included professional triathletes such as Jeff Symonds, Rachel Mcbride and Fawn Whiting.
    • My coaching resume includes over ten years of masters and age group swimming, including developing a youth national medalist and the first ever senior national swimmer to come out of the Maple Ridge Haney Seahorses.
    • My own athletic endeavors as a speed swimmer in Canada culminated in competing with the Simon Fraser University Varsity team for over three years.
    Background in Teaching/Science
    • I love to teach science, specifically biophysics and basic scientific principles. But more than that I try to teach how to learn, the joy of discovery and self learning.
    • I am a self-proclaimed "career student". I have my PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry from Simon Fraser University with a focus on the biophysics of collagen.
    • I have been a teaching assistant for many university courses at SFU, and was a member of the board for redesigning the science curriculum in Saskatchewan.
    Coaching and Teaching Adults
    • I strive to teach the understanding and thought process that I go through with each client. Teaching the 'why' makes the changes easy to grasp.
    • I believe that visual learning is something that is misplaced in both science and swimming. By using videos and the rubric, I am trying to bring visual learning to remote coaching.
    • Teaching swimming to adults can be difficult and time consuming. We all juggle multiple commitments, leaving little time for training. However, with personalized sessions and clear instruction, our aim is to "streamline" your learning to achieve focused results. 

    Coach Kurt Murphy

    Email Coach Kurt at kurt@swimfocused.com

    Background in Swimming

    • Swimming started for me as a direct result of my little sister's involvement.  During her first two years as a swimmer I spent every weekend and many an evening at the pool and following an especially busy competition season I decided that if I had to be there I may as well be swimming.
    • Swimming gave me the opportunity to travel all over North America and allowed me the opportunity to interact with people from everywhere, many of whom I am still in contact with.
    • I swam at a Junior National level and upon leaving the sport began coaching.  I have been coaching full time since that day; 22 years straight and I have never worked a day in my life.

    Background in Science

    • I am the current Head Coach of a swim club with over 200 members, and have my National Coaching Certification - Swimming Level 3.
    • Having spent more time on the pool deck in university than in a classroom I graduated with an Honours in Kinesiology and a minor in stress cramming for exams.

    Background in Teaching Adults

    • I spent my first 5 years coaching in a major club running their master's program.  We grew from an average of 4 swimmers per practice to over 30 swimmers attending practices that ran 6 times per week.
    • I love the low key atmosphere that pervades adult swimming.  The urgency is there but the focused tempo of a practice is what really drew me to this demographic.
    • I think the bravest people in the world are those that learn to swim later in their lives.  Imagine a person who has never been comfortable, or never ever swam before, and now imagine they put themselves in an environment that they know is a danger.... and they keep coming back week after week.  Well done to those of you who started their swimming careers at the age of 30!  I look forward to working with you on your future swimming endeavours.