Anthony is a father of Taylor 18 years and Tori 15 – two girls.
Anthony is the owner operator of Swimsafe Murrumbeena. He has managed the Murrumbeena Swim School since its formation in 1999 and has been teaching swimming for over 30 years. He is the Head Coach of Cheltenham Swimming School where he has been training Junior and National level Squad for over 10 years. He has helped many children achieve their swimming goals, whether it be competitive or for fitness.
A solid interview exploring discipline, training, support and more. Most importantly what it takes to be a winner personally and in life.
ADAM: Alright. We are away. Dads of the world we are back for another episode of the number Podcast on the internet. Adam Baldock here with today’s inspiring dad, Anthony Edwards. He is a father of two girls, Taylor 18 years and Tori 15. Anthony is the owner/operator of Swimsafe Murrumbeena. He has managed the Murrumbeena Swim School since its formation in ’99 and has been teaching swimming for over 30 years. He is the head coach of Cheltenham Swimming School where he has been training junior and national level squad for over 10 years. He’s helped many children achieved their swimming goals whether it’d be competitive of for fitness. Welcome to the show, Anthony Edwards.
ANTHONY: Hey, how are you doing, mate?
ADAM: Good. Good. Thanks for spending some time with me and the dads of the world.
ANTHONY: Yeah, no worries. Happy to spend a bit of time and try and, you know, give a little bit back.
ADAM: That’s a story. I appreciate that. Sounds to me like you give quite a love back, mate, with all your swimming, teaching and pushing children through their swimming goals.
ANTHONY: If that’s what your occupation is or whether that’s what your – how you can do something ‘cause that’s what’s I’m good at, that’s why I can give back. Well, it’s a small thing, really.
ADAM: Brilliant. And for those who are listening you can probably hear a few activities in the background. Anthony is doing this in between teaching, so you might get a few swimming noises in the background there which is great but fits in nicely with the discussion I hope. You know, Anthony, I’ve given the dads some insight on to you, tell us a bit more about you and the family?
ANTHONY: Well, I’ve been married for 32 years, sorry, 27 years. I’ve been with my wife for 34 years.
ANTHONY: Childhood sweethearts. We got married. We waited for about nine years before we had our first daughter, Taylor. We were living in Cheltenham at the time. We developed things together. We’re really a close couple. We work really well together. We did had Tori or Victoria and then 16 years ago I was offered the partnership at Swimsafe Swim School to operate the Murrumbeena pool which I have been doing ever since. I just had a passion for coaching as well and I was finding – I can only spend so many hours a week in the pool. So add to my swimming and I love coaching, I decided to put for a job at Cheltenham Swimming Club as the head coach which I have been doing for about 12 years. It quite nearly folded eight years ago and then we’ve slowly rebuilt the club through our pool here at Murrumbeena and improved it down at Cheltenham. Whereas now got 170 swimmers, 70 of those are competitive and we’re now up to six national swimmers.
ANTHONY: Long days but I’ve been lucky to develop both staff and coaches along the way and made them friends and colleagues along at the same time, so that’s what I loved as well.
ADAM: Brilliant. So tell us a bit more about the group that you’ve got in nationals. Are we likely to see them progressed? Are we likely to see them at the Olympics as part of the Australian Swim Team?
ANTHONY: Well, when you’ve got 10% of the swimmers that swimming in Victoria makes that championship and out of that 40 kids that makes that championships in their aged group, you know, max, probably the top 10% of that make nationals. So it’s about four kids per age group make nationals and out of that, probably 1% of that makes in Olympic Team.
ADAM: Okay. So there you go. Dads of the world, if you want your youngsters to be up there, that’s what you’re fighting against.
ANTHONY: Fighting against, you know, at the end of the day you want your child to be the best they can be and not be thinking of anything grandeur. I think we all need to take a step back sometime and just go, “You know, I need my child to be the best they can be in whatever they do.”
ADAM: Yeah. Do you get a lot of parents coming in there expecting their kids to be–
ANTHONY: We’ve got parents that wanting their children to be world champions at six and seven years of age.
ADAM: Right. I love it. I love it.
ANTHONY: You know, 11, 12 year olds, I think they’re top two or three in the state. I think that’s where they going to stay. To do that and to achieve long term, you’ve got work really hard and that’s the one thing that people don’t like doing. My understanding is that there’s a lot of work and a lot of commitment that goes into achieving at those higher levels.
ADAM: Yeah, and I think that’s the same with just about everything. You know, if you want to do well in business, you want to do well in school, well in sport etc, it’s all hard work. It’s not something. There’s very few of us that get the natural talent that can got us through but even if you’ve got natural talent, you still need to work hard to keep it.
ANTHONY: That’s right. And most of the kids that I have coached over the years, I’ve seen them achieved in different areas, whether it’d be in their schooling or whether it’d be in the sporting field and not necessarily in swimming and you look at those kids and you go, I had a part in their achievement overtime. You know that’s all good. That’s a good thing.
ADAM: Absolutely. Absolutely. So have you actually had anyone that’s gone through school with you achieved at high level?
ANTHONY: Madeline Sherry who has taught with me at Murrumbeena and still teaches our school program and she’s one of my assistant coaches at Cheltenham. She was an Olympian from Malta back at Beijing and I’m just watching the footie finals at the moment because the young boy that I coached and he went to Pan Pacific Games. He’s a 14-year-old. He’s Little Calvin’s head tagging player at the moment, Vinny Jacobs.
ANTHONY: So he look at that and go, you know, Ben was one of those kids that was a great in everything he did but football was his major thing but we can bring him back in the swim pool during offseason that’s just to keep his fitness is up.
ADAM: Yeah, right.
ANTHONY: And that’s all we really did for him is to keep him fit during the offseason. He love that and he’s running a little bit at school and things but I look at back now and go, “Hey” still in contact with him and I’ve had a little bit of input into his development over the years.
ADAM: Brilliant. Wow, there you go. So that swimming keep you fit, folks as we already knew but obviously it’s working for a lot of the high level sporting greats as well that we’re seeing come through the ranks now and great to see that Anthony has had some involvement in that. But we didn’t come here to talk swimming all the time although it’s a very good topic particularly with the dads of the world etc and bringing their children through swimming but we want to talk more about you, Anthony and your journey. So you’ve been doing this for 18 years now. So let’s get stuck in and find out how it’s been for you. So tell us about your biggest struggle as a dad and what did you really wrestle with through fatherhood?
ANTHONY: Well, I’ve got two girls that’s a struggle first.
ANTHONY: Trying to be the dad that is pretty easy going and I’m pretty easy going. So a dad that won’t – if you don’t know me from the pool, I’m a fairly strict type person. So I don’t like bad behavior at all.
ADAM: Well, you’ve taught all of my kids, Anthony so I know how strict you are and my boy, he doesn’t like it but I think that’s part of the drive, so fantastic.
ANTHONY: Yeah. So with two girls, trying to work through that with society, the way societies changed with our ability to, you know, I feel sorry for parents today. I think parents are lost in their ability to know what they’re able to do in the disciplining of their children, I think we get to a stage where we try and let things go a little bit more nowadays. Yep, our children are allowed to have a say. They’re allowed to have an opinion but and us parents, we don’t know when or how to pull it up and say, “You know what this is going too far.” And I think we get a little bit lost as parents and I know I did as a parent, especially the one who works 80 hours a week but I wasn’t around all the time but when I was around, I wanted to be the fun sort of person but at the same time, trying to learn how to discipline and guide them to achieve and do the right thing in life if that makes sense.
ADAM: Yeah. It does. It does. And I think you’ve had a really good point in that, in what you’ve described as parents being lost in discipline. I know for one that, you know, there’s a plenty of times where I’m in that space and I don’t quite know how to handle my kids ‘cause I’ve let it go a little too far.
ADAM: Like you, you know, I’ve come from a corporate background, so been working for too much and never around, so you want to be the fun person but at the same time I am a bit of a serious type person and I’m quite harsh on my kids, expect some pretty high levels and forget that they’re seven and five and eight months from time to time. So yeah, you can get lost as a parent and it’s a matter of finding out how to draw the line.
ANTHONY: Our children do their best all the time and it doesn’t matter what I’d say are. I think if they’re doing their best, we’re happy as parents. When we know that they’re capable of so much better, that we get a little bit annoyed for another word, these children have so much – they have so much given to them today but they don’t understand or appreciate what they have got. The thing is it’s hard because we look back when were kids and that’s really I think wrong firstly it’s a fact when we were kids and say, “Well, we never had that or we never got to do this ‘cause the world has changed but we also had a little bit of appreciation of what we did have.
ADAM: Yeah, agree. Agree completely. Yeah, I know but I think we also had a little bit more leeway in risk, general safety. You know, I’m 42 now, I got a seven-year-old and I talked to my wife about potentially letting her walk to school on her own and now that’s two blocks and she’d only crosses one road which is – and that road has got a crossing guard on it. So I don’t see it as that much danger and I think back to when I was seven years old, I was walking to and from school when taking a bus to school. So, yeah, I sort of like to that but there’s seems to be an overarching area that there’s a safety issue now and, you know, you see things on television like recent kidnappings of various children and ones that go missing and yet to be found which frightens you as a parent. It’s certainly not an experience you want to have and I have talked previously about a 10-minute loss of my youngster which was more than enough for my emotionality, but yeah, I think that potentially coming back to what you were talking about has had a major impact on the way we parent, so we mollycoddle a little bit more than let the lead out and let them make their own mistakes, would you agree?
ANTHONY: Yeah, I agree and I think that comes back to social media or print media and news media but it’s so in our faces now to what it used to be. Now, I don’t think those instance of children going missing in that, I don’t think they’re grown really over the years. I think it’s just now we make such of the thing of them. It’s not a bad thing, it makes us all think but is it taking us to a wrong point in our lives that we’re too worried about what’s going on in the world and not really concentrating on what’s important.
ADAM: Maybe. Maybe. And I think you’re right. I think, you know, back in our day was there a similar level of children gone missing or different things happening and we just didn’t hear about it ‘cause there’s no such thing as Twitter and Facebook and all of that when I was a kid.
ANTHONY: How often do we still hear on the news about the Beaumont Children missing?
ADAM: Yeah. Yeah.
ANTHONY: You know, something that happened 40 years ago now is still why the media is nowadays bringing up things of the past. So how many of these things are actually happening now and how many things have happened in the past that were regurgitating but makes it even seemed like the numbers are higher than they actually are.
ADAM: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And it’s all about sensationalism in the media anyway, you know, the more the sensational they can get it the more it’s going to sell papers and get ratings. So, yeah, it’s an interesting topic. It’s certainly one we could talk about forever. So dads of the world, to recap on that, Anthony’s major struggle was working a lot of hours, trying to be fun, trying find the discipline level and trying to make sure that he could pull the best from his kids and that’s a great way to focus up on, pulling the best from your kids. So let’s take it to the next step, Anthony, and tell us about your toughest dad moment and all of that. You got 18 years to draw from on this, so tell us the story about the toughest dad moment and how you handled it?
ANTHONY: The toughest dad moment was when I walked into my daughter’s dance school which my wife actually owns and she was about 16 at the time and she was pushing every button of myself and my wife for a week, a week and half. I had my wife crying to me on the phone about how she being treated by our oldest daughter and I walked in to pick her up to take in her ballet from her jazz and tap and she was disrespectful about her ballet teacher and I just pushed her up against the wall and said, “This is not acceptable. Well, you imagine what a 16-year-old girl has got to do when you do that to us.” A shining lightning bolt shit, I’ve done really something dumb right now. The thing that really went out was when the police arrived at 8 o’clock that night to make sure that I hadn’t been abusing my daughter.
ADAM: Right. And who called the police?
ANTHONY: Someone from the dance school. We don’t know.
ADAM: Okay. Right.
ANTHONY: As I said, discipline is one of the hardest things. You really lost, you know, what to do sometimes. And this is a girl that she knows how to push the buttons but at the same time she’s now one of, you know, she’s an employee of mine. My wife is away at the moment and we’ve had some really great conversations in the last week or so while my wife has been away and we do have great conversations now. So, you know, that was the lightning bolt at the moment. How am I – I’m not coping with being a parent of a teenager.
ADAM: They don’t have to be teenagers, Anthony. You had to push your buttons to that level. They’re getting quite good at a younger ages now.
ANTHONY: Yes, I know.
ADAM: So tell me, what did that teach you about yourself?
ANTHONY: It taught me that I have to probably back off a little bit in a lot of respects. I actually went and saw somebody and said, “Why is this happening?” Maybe just a stresses of work and things. Maybe learning to take a little bit more time off. Maybe letting few other people take a little bit more – maybe getting a little bit more of what I do at work to other people. Yeah, I think it just made me realised that the pressures in the world were getting on top of me.
ADAM: And they could happen in today’s world, I mean, it’s very fast-paced. We seemed to have a lot less time, although another that I recently interviewed talked about the fact that I think we’re dealing with too much fluff as well and we aren’t taking the main issues and dealing with those only and pushing the fluff aside but at the same time, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes and you have to take it as it comes. So, look it’s a great story and a great story for all the dads I think. We’ve all been mad. We’ve all had our buttons pushed to certain extent and we’ve all reacted in different ways and learnt different things from that and I think you’ve raised some good points there in, you know, doing yourself check from time to time.
ANTHONY: Yeah. Going back and really having a look at where I am and where I am sitting and what’s going on and even right now, you know, just thinking about it and talking with my staff here to my staff and was about where it was situated and how we can do things better and how we can make things look better for all of us because we seemed to be, as you said, been in a fluff, we seemed to be talking about so many things that we need to really be doing that we get overwhelmed with the whole lot of it and we need to keep betraying ourselves, how we meant to be. What people are expecting from us sometimes. How are we coping with that? How can we make that better? How can we make our swim school better? How can we make our club a better swim club?
ADAM: How can we make our family a better family?
ANTHONY: How can we make our family a better family?
ANTHONY: That we just don’t, you know, it just things that go around in our heads and trying to learn ways of process it all and making sure that, you know, I don’t like writing things down on paper that I’m being told write everything down on a piece of paper at the moment. Write it down. Now I’m being told, “Write it down.” Whether it comes of your head the way you want it to come out, it doesn’t matter just write it down. You try and take away a bit of that confusion that’s going on around in the head at the moment. So where am I heading at the moment.
ADAM: And a good tip for the dads of the world but it also sounds like you’ve got a great support system there.
ANTHONY: I’m building it and it’s been slow and it’s been slow to be able to hand a little bit of my control over other people.
ADAM: Yeah, you’re a control freak like me, Anthony, I think. You love to be in charge like that.
ANTHONY: I’d like to be in control and a great example is that is when I came – I’ve just been over in Europe with my wife for a month and the first week I came back jetlag would had probably a lot to do with it but I came back and everything was being done, you know, all my jobs are being done. The way the swimming club by my assistant coaches was being done, the way it needed to be done and it was like I’m irrelevant and that persuade that, I had to really quite with myself to say, “You know what, don’t worry about it. You still need them. You’re still the mentor to these people. You just have to step back a little bit and let them do what you’ve trained them to do and everything will be okay.”
ADAM: Absolutely. Now, those that are listening to the program know that I am a big advocate for Tim Ferriss who’s the author of “The 4 Hour Work Week” and done a number of other books in relations to that thereafter, but yeah, he talks about the fact that you should be trying to do yourself out of a job and the productivity side of it. So good points and fantastic segue there ‘cause you mentioned your wife and the fact that you’d just been over in Europe. So let’s pivot a little into that. So tell us how you met your wife. You said earlier that you and her work well together. So tell us about what that looks like and what you think the key is to maintaining your 32-year relationship while having kids?
ANTHONY: We met at a swimming club deb ball and she just came along with some of her girlfriends to be part of the deb. One of her friends was part of the swimming club and I said to her friend’s mum which of the girls is a nice girl and the friend’s mum said, “Oh, Lisa is a nice girl.” So I had the opportunity. There wasn’t enough guys around to pick the young lady in the line that I thought I’d like to make my partner for the deb and I turned to Lisa after to the mum. And that was the start of our relationship 34 years ago.
ANTHONY: The thing that’s kept our relationship going and it hasn’t always been fantastic, the thing that’s kept it going is we’ve always looked at working towards something together. We both have our own things in our own lives but we’d always have something that we are working on together and whether that’d be buying our first unit, buying our first house, upgrading our house or renovating it or selling it and buying a new house and redeveloping the house that we’re now living in, buying rental properties, going on holidays. We’ve always had something that we’ve worked together, on together. And while we work on something together, our relationship functions a lot better. As soon as we haven’t got something to work on, we’d try and just go play the go through life and try and enjoy it without having anything in the future. It all gets a little bit stale and a little bit tougher, so then we have to go, “Alright, we need to have something, the whereabouts.” Not the kids or the businesses or whether she’s a travel agent or the swimming club or anything like – it’s got to be something that the two of us are working on and developing together and we can chat about and that helps to keep our communication open and going forward.
ADAM: Brilliant. And just to expound that, anyone reading the Jack Welch’s Autobiography is you’re undertaking epitome of his model for good relationships. Obviously, Jack Welch was pretty committed to his job and you know, do as well as he did at GE with that and his first marriage went under, but he talks in his biography about the second marriage and how the key to maintaining that and they’re still married and they still got a great relationship was to have a common interest that you were both working on and I think you’ve just epitomise that right there.
ANTHONY: Another example is that I used to love sailing and I used to have a catamaran, a small catamaran, go out and sail on a Sunday and it wasn’t something that Lisa enjoy. Even though she loves laying on the beach, that wasn’t something she enjoy just laying around the club on a Sunday afternoon. We went away one weekend with friends and water skiing. I’ve learnt to water ski and she got up and water skied and we both walked away and said, “Geez, that’s something we could together.” and that’s something we’ve done for 30 years or 25 years or something is water skiing. That’s something we do with our children now. Every long weekend during the summer or a week during January, the four of us get together and that’s what we do for a week is water ski.
ADAM: I love it.
ANTHONY: The stuff that we do together. If there’s something else that I ever do with my two daughters as I grow up, if they can come away with me in long weekend and they want to come away with me on long weekend is to go on water skiing, well, that’s a bonus.
ADAM: Yeah, and a good sport too, I love it. Anyone who hasn’t water ski, I suggest you go out there and do that. It is a great one to bind the family together as well. I’ve done that on a few family occasions so, I can understand and yeah. So, a couple of great stories there, water skiing and how you met the wife. And we’re on the road to balance, so let’s keep that going and move into the career circle. So, what do you think has been the key to balancing your career and family, Anthony? You talked earlier about working some ungodly hours of 80 plus etcetera but obviously you have maintained a 34 – year marriage/relationship. So, you don’t do that doing 80 – hours constantly. So tell me about how you balance out your career and family during this time?
ANTHONY: Again as I said, it’s about making sure and its – you’ve been around my swim school come to a long weekend I disappear. I try and make sure that the terms along the work is on. But, if I can make sure that I can stand four days with my family in a lump – sum type thing and that four day is just the four of us together. Whether we be with family and friends or whatever, but if the four of us are together that’s what I always try to maintain right through my working years. So, long weekend, no I am not working a long weekend, that’s my family time.
ADAM: Love it. Now, you have recently embarked on a new angle of career and business and moved into the whole Isogenics front. Tell us a bit about that. How did you get into this Isogenics business and how’s the family reacted?
ANTHONY: How’s the family reacted? Well my wife is an advocate of it, she loves it.
ADAM: Is that because you lost so much weight, Anthony?
ANTHONY: I lost initially – I got down nearly 14 kilos at one stage.
ADAM: Wow, that’s a lot.
ANTHONY: I went from 82 to 68.
ANTHONY: I was wider than I was when I was playing football as an 18 – year old.
ADAM: Wow. Yeah, it’s no wonder the wife is an advocate for it mate then you would have been an Adonis, mate.
ANTHONY: Well, looking at her from what – her whole body shape has changed from it. Like she’s only lost about 4 kilos but she has totally changed her body shape which she is very enjoying. We got into it, we were offered 18 months ago nearly by friends up in Sydney and we went – you know what, it’s one of those network marketing things. Do we really want to be a part party to it?
ANTHONY: And you’ve been offered the Amway’s and all that over your life and I just don’t want to really be a part of this. But I was going through some tough times at that stage and I was probably drinking – probably drinking too much and a few other little things. And I said, “I need to change my life.” And this gave me the – gave me the system or the ability to go, “You know what, I’m going to do this and for 30 days I am not going to drink alcohol and I am going to try and get myself healthier.” Well, I have now done it for 178 months. I do it for different reasons today than I did it 18 months ago. I now do it for muscle – for keeping my muscles growth and recovery from training. I‘m probably – yeah, I am training in the gym and running and that’s more than I have done in a long long time. And I am being able to add – you know I still do the hours of work that I do. So, it’s keeping me – I don’t find I am as tired when I get home and I worn out like I used to be. It’s all about eating clean, it’s all about making sure you’re getting the right nutrition into your body. I had a lot of flak for doing it.
ADAM: I bet.
ANTHONY: I’ve had a lot of – I’ve also had a lot of people go on to it and they go to me they have been under – on it for now 12 months going we could never change from what we’re doing. Why haven’t we not done this before? I didn’t take it away on holidays with me. I ate in Europe amazing foods but it’s something that I have been able to come back to and just get straight back into it without you know I think, “Oh, what am I going to have to buy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to train and make myself healthy again?“ I’ve got a system now, it’s all there, it’s all ready for me. I still eat my food, I still love a glass of wine on a Saturday night but it’s changed my way of thinking. And the anxiety that I used to suffer I don’t – I don’t have the issues with it anymore. I still – I came back – as I said I came back after holidays going, “Oh, I stayed doing my jobs for” and my wife said, “Get back on to your anxiety tablets.” But a couple of days back on to the system and a couple of cleansers, cleanse day and I felt, “Hey, you know what, I don’t need these anxiety tablets anymore. I am back to where I needed to be.” And that’s mentally where I needed to be. And that took – that probably took a week and a half after coming back you know, and going straight back into work. And then a week and a half later, I am going, “You know what, I am coping with life again.” But it wasn’t the week I got back as I said.
ADAM: And so now cleared yourself of all medication Anthony, yeah?
ANTHONY: Yeah, yeah. I don’t even take Neurofen or anything anymore.
ANTHONY: I haven’t even taken Neurofen for 18 months.
ADAM: Amazing mate, amazing. Well look you know, it sounds fantastic and we’re not about selling here on Fired up Dads but we are about health and maintaining energy and sustainability. It certainly sounds like you got a product there that could be helpful. I’ll put links to that up on the show notes and dad can go and have a look and draw your own conclusions.
ANTHONY: Yeah, you have to make your own conclusions on that mate.
ADAM: Absolutely, absolutely. So brilliant, brilliant work so far Anthony. And we got a couple of more questions to go before we head into the Power Dad’s Round. So the next is one, again you have 18 years worth to draw on but what’s have been your biggest worry as a parent and what have you done to mitigate your concerns in that area? And do you think your biggest worries than they are is the kids are teenagers or have they been prior to that?
ANTHONY: My biggest worry for my children has always been, “Are they going to do their best?” And I got my 18 – year old daughter is now at university doing nursing, she wanted to do so she got to where she wanted to be. My 1 – year old is struggling through school and not liking her teachers but again, I try her to be the best that she can be. In their sporting abilities we were talking about earlier on about parents wanting their kids to be at champions at seven years of age. Neither of my daughters made the school swim team until they are year 9 at school. They both went on after that point to go to their regional’s as swimmers to regional championship so that’s past districts to regionals and Taylor actually won medals at school swimming on relay – school swimming on the relays. So, it was about – it didn’t have to be – when they were seven year olds and they were achieving their best. They just have to keep doing something at some stage that they would actually do something to the best of their ability. My youngest is now ranked top20 in her age group in the 100 and 200 butterfly at stake. So she’s in that top 40 kids – she’s in the top 20 kids.
ANTHONY: But that didn’t happen. But you know f you have a seven year old and 11 year old These kids are never going to be and she has been on swimsuits since 10 months. She knocked down – she wasn’t a swimmer. She’s not physically and mentally developed to a point where she could do her best and that’s the one thing I’ve always tried to make sure that my kids are doing everything they do. I don’t mind if they fail at something as long as they can look at what they’re doing and they’ve done their best. If you are going to a competition and say my older daughter is a ballerina, if I know she hasn’t done enough practise and she’ll go into that competition and she comes up and goes, “I’m not that dancer” my first thing to her is, “Did you do practise?” so you could do your best. That’s all is about. To do your best, you have to put yor best foot forward all the time not just some of the time.
ADAM: Absolutely and I think you’ve hit on a couple of really good points there. You know you’ve come full circle around what we discussed earlier in relation to if you want to be your best you need to or you want to be the best it takes time and you need to work hard. But the main point I really got out of that was giving it time. I mean we’ve also discussed earlier the fact that parents come in there and want their kids to be champions at seven you know? A lot of the champions that you see coming through now they might be young but they usually at least in their mid – teens, late teens and they have time to psychologically and emotionally develop to be able to cope with the pressures that surround being the best.
ANTHONY: That’s right.
ADAM: So give them time dads of the world and you’ll see some great results and give the encouragement and the support.
ANTHONY: Yeah, just keep encouraging and supporting and hoping that you know, wanting them to actually just do their best.
ADAM: Absolutely. And that’s a good one into the final question before we head into the Power Dad’s Round, which is Anthony, if you could change one thing in your life to help you be a better dad, what would that change be?
ANTHONY: Probably to have more time with them.
ADAM: All right, good one.
ANTHONY: That would probably be the one thing I would like to be able to do, but saying that you know I do get a lot of time with them. I do think when the time I do have had with them has been quality. I try to make it quality time not you know just I’m there it’s got to be, if I am going to be there we’re going to be doing something together.
ANTHONY: I would like us to be doing something together. But that’s probably one thing I would have liked to be able to just maybe a little bit more time.
ADAM: And that’s a good one. I mean it hasn’t come up before, I’ve done over 30 interviews with different dads and that’s first time spending more time has come up, so great answer. And that leads us nicely into the Power Dad’s Round. Six quick questions with short answers, are you ready Anthony.
ANTHONY: Let’s go for it.
ADAM: Favourite dad toy and why?
ANTHONY: Oh, that’s my boat.
ADAM: Excellent. What sort of boat are we talking about?
ANTHONY: Uh, it may have been a Malibu Response.
ADAM: Oh, okay, that’s a ski boat, yeah?
ANTHONY: Ski boat. 18 – footer.
ANTHONY: Yeah, beautiful on the river.
ADAM: Excellent. Recommended book that you might give to the dads. It doesn’t necessarily have to be dad related.
ANTHONY: I struggle reading books but one book I really I get into quite easily is an author called Lee Charles. And I can read one of his books overnight. If I get into it, you’re not getting me off of it.
ADAM: Brilliant. Is he fiction or none?
ANTHONY: Uh, fiction. He has a character called Reacher but I just love the way he writes. It flows and its easy and I don’t get to like, “I’m going to use my brains to this. I’m going to use my brains to this” I can read it and it’s flowing so it’s not a struggle to read.
ADAM: Brilliant. I’ll put links to some of Lee Charles’ books on the show notes. So head on over to firedupdads.com if you want to find that more about that author. Anthony, what about giving yourself some time? How do you ensure you get some time to yourself?
ANTHONY: I go to gym, I go for a run or I’ll have a swim. I have to be active.
ADAM: So you have swim even though you spend most of your life in the pool?
ANTHONY: Yeah, just manage to be – even if I’m in the beach or away and my wife will spend hours laying on a banana hammock I will be in the pool half an hour and I’ll play and I mean literally play. I’ll play about – I’ll swim across and play with my swim stroke for hours just feeling the water.
ANTHONY: That’s what I enjoy to do.
ADAM: And it comes back to that practise that we’ve been talking about right through out which has been the theme. Good work, we’re halfway through the Power Dad’s Round. And the one I think most dads pull their earphones a bit closer or push the ear buds a bit further into their ears on, what’s an innovative trick when it comes to discipline that you can tell the dads?
ANTHONY: Oh my, the thing I’m probably worst at. Discipline, disciplining my own children.
ADAM: Well it has been a theme through this discussion s well. There’s been a couple of things there.
ANTHONY: I think that’s where I get lost, I get lost in how to discipline my children. If they look at me and they smile and they get away with it. And that mate, that’s probably why I get to a stage where I just get grumpy.
ADAM: Yeah, me too.
ANTHONY: I think – just trying t find out what is going to – what is going to upset them by talking something away from them that’s going to upset them the most. I think it’s the only thing that I can think of these days that is really going to discipline to start to realise that if they do something there’s going to be consequence. Because there’s nothing really else that I can do with them that’s going to upset them.
ADAM: Yeah, yeah.
ANTHONY: They’ve done something wrong.
ADAM: Yeah, that’s a tough one finding the currency that works best for them. Yeah, I mean just to give you a bit of a story of the recent one I’ve had. My five year old Oscar, went out and we’ve found out that he’d gone out the front of the house which was bad enough but he’d gone across the road on his own to have a look at a car that he liked across the road and then he’d come back on his own. And so we weren’t too happy with the fact that he had crossed the road without an adult at the age of five because he’s not exactly the most observant young fella. So, we had to find some currency there. So I actually made him choose a toy that he would have to give up for the week. And eventually, you know eventually I got him to choose one it wasn’t after we worked at it for quite a while. And it probably wasn’t the toy that he played with that often and the wife was a bit perturbed about the fact that he’d chosen this toy. But as I said to her, mat five you don’t really understand what’s going on anyways so the only thing is it doesn’t matter what he got taken off with me, he just knows he got something taken off. Him. And I kept them and he got that back today which was good but yeah, as they get a bit older obviously you’ll find the currency that works with them best and it might be the iPads or telly time or you know eventually it would be money. Yeah, so its finding that currency that I think is the key to the discipline. And some of the previous dads have come up with the classics on currency on that one, so head back and listen to some of the other episodes.
ANTHONY: Yeah, I will.
ADAM: What about the family? Is there a family tradition that you and the team maintain?
ANTHONY: Uh, only that we go away on some long weekends.
ADAM: Yeah, and that’s a great one.
ANTHONY: That’s the one that we have always and we still do trying to currently we have that you know cut weekend or Labour Day Weekend or that we go away together. And it’s been hard in the last couple of years. You know Taylor with doing VC and schools don’t look at family sometimes and think it’s important because VCE exams fall over a couple of weekend holiday.
ANTHONY: And universities are the same. But I think for families you got to have – if you got a tradition that’s important to you and maybe a long weekend or something that you always do together is something that you try and hang to as long as you can.
ADAM: Yeah. And it can be as simple as dads, as simple as having a weekend away. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular as a tradition, very simple act.
ANTHONY: We just camp in our tent and have a barbecue for dinner and you know, sit around the fire or whatever and we’re all together.
ADAM: Love it. Being together is the main thing, which is good. So, that’s five down and the last question for the Power Dad’s Round, what one personal habit, Anthony, do you believe helps you be a better dad?
ANTHONY: I’ve only got bad habits.
ADAM: Not from what I’ve heard.
ANTHONY: I try and listen. If they’re willing to talk to me I will try and I will listen.
ADAM: Good one.
ANTHONY: It’s when they don’t want to talk to me and let me know what’s going on but it’s not difficult. If they just talk to me. And I find that even with the kids I coached, as long as they’re upfront and they’re communicating with me, I haven’t got an issue with them. It’s when they don’t communicate with me and they hold things in but it all becomes harder because I don’t know where which direction I need to take as a person or as a father.
ANTHONY: Because if they are mucking around and doing something wrong, there’s normally a reason for them to be playing up. So if they actually are open with me with their issues and problems than that, then it’s a lot easier. And I think before my 18 – year old is actually now starting to talk to me. And even she’s splitting – she’s having difficulties with her boyfriend at the moment, we actually sat and spoke about it on a Saturday night and had a conversation about it of how – what she needs to do and how she can cope with it and the things that is going to make it easier for her. And that was really nice the fact that we were able to have that open discussion about it.
ADAM: Yeah, that’s the important part I think if you get to that stage that you’re at and they’re talking to you and they’re opening up and seeking your help when they’re in trouble then you’ve done your job well. So it sounds like you’ve done a great job Anthony, fantastic.
ANTHONY: Thanks mate.
ADAM: So, dads of the world, we’ve had a great time talking to Anthony today., I’ve got one last question before we say goodbye. You can get in touch with Anthony at Swimsafe Murrumbeena or I will have some links on the Fired Up Dads show notes. But before we go Anthony, one last bonus question, what one thing would you tell your children to help them be successful in life?
ANTHONY: Coming back to everything I do in my life mate and everything I have say to every child that I come in contact with, and that is do you best. Do something that you love but to the best of your ability. That is all I can say to any kid or any person that I come across is I have fallen into being a swim teacher and I own my own business and something I really enjoy but you’ve got to be doing it to the best of your ability. There’s a lot of things in business that I am not good at and I know the things I am not good at. But it means that when I hope into that pool or if I am on deck coaching, I have to do it to the best of my ability every time.
ADAM: Brilliant and that is a great way to end the show for today. So, dads of the world, I have really enjoyed hanging out with you and Anthony Edwards today. We have heard some great things about working hard, being the best that you can be and how to grow champions. Anthony, sounds like you’ve done a fantastic job and thanks for spending time with me today.
ANTHONY: You’re welcome Adam.
ADAM: I will note our and will look forward to catching up with you. Because for those of you who don’t know, my wife actually works for Anthony and is a swim teacher so that’s how Anthony and I got on to doing the interview.
ANTHONY: I am trying to developed her into being – taking a lot more of my role.
ADAM: Yeah, fantastic. Yeah, I think she sees that too that’s why she’s staying away. No, no she’ll – I think she’ll come on-board Anthony, so it’s all good. So, dads of the world thanks for spending time with Anthony and I today. It’s been a pleasure talking dad and dad journeys. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time on Fired Up Dads.