Standing on the edge of Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth pool, his concentration was broken intermittently by the piercing cries of young children as they revelled in some aquatic antics, the Scot awaiting patiently the instruction to step in front of the cameras. He was participating at one of a plethora of media calls involving swimmers intent on representing Scotland at next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with such responsibilities having assumed a greater significance since both the athletics and squash teams were announced last week.
Smith has treated each of them with a sense of duty so far and expects to be drafted into a Team Scotland tracksuit alongside the likes of Eilidh Child, Guy Learmonth and Jade Nimmo next summer. Success in his sport will require that he removes it again before entering the pool, although the Edinburgh-born athlete's pride will not be so easily stripped away. A veteran of the Dehli Games, Smith won a silver medal three years ago - clambering out of the pool to collect his prize only to remain submerged in the importance of that accomplishment to his country.
The depth of feeling for a home finals is likely to be appreciated more fully by the swim team given their capacity for success - the pool is expected to include Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson, Commonwealth 200m freestyle champion Robbie Renwick and Olympian Craig Benson - and the aesthetic of the sport in the eyes of spectators. Smith's own view is narrowed towards Glasgow and even on dry land his head is swimming; recent weeks spent calculating the times and events he will need to secure a spot at the Games, while sharpening the finer points of his technique in training. The Scot's Commonwealth medal came in the 4x200 metre relay event but he will pursue success in solo contests too.
It demands a heavy schedule and Smith has been careful not to tread water in between meets. This summer brought an opportunity for a well-earned holiday - "It's something like 50 weeks on and two weeks off" - if not a definitive break from the sport. "I can't imagine I will ever do anything in my life I like more than this," said Smith. "When I have to get a job I'm not going to be enjoying it the way I enjoy the things I get to do as a swimmer. So I'm not really going to complain about it."
That has been easier too since Smith considers that he is now reaching the shallow end of his career, when trips to major competitions will begin to dry up. Such an affirmation jars a little since he is still just 25 years old, yet there is an abundance of youthful talent emerging in Scotland and Smith is willing to go with the flow. "It's pretty unbelievable the age we are in; we have youngsters coming through to join the experience we have in this team," he said. "This could be the most successful Games we've had. Everyone is capable of getting a medal and certainly fighting for one. Winning a medal would be the only option for me.
"I feel like I'm coming to the end of my career; I'm not saying that I'll stop after Glasgow but it is coming to an end. This is a big chance for me to do more than what I have done up to this point. Getting a medal is the only thing that is acceptable to me."
The reception the Scot would receive should that be managed would be anything but a quiet moment. "The Commonwealth Games is important for Scottish people," Smith added. "The passion and the pride you get from Scotland . . . it's great competing for Britain but you don't get that same passion that being Scottish brings. We are a passionate nation and competing for Scotland makes a difference. It raises our game."