Friday, September 3, 2010

Attention Young Canadian Swimmers: Your Competitors Are Not Unbeatable!

I do not have stats on this, but one of the most frequent comments I have heard from Blue Fins swimmers over the years is likely something along the lines of "I can't beat (insert name of well known fast swimmer here)"... well think again...

This past week in Hawaii, the 2010 Jr Pan Pacific Swimming Championships took place. This was an open meet (no age groups) and Canada sent a team of 40 people. The team included the following athletes...

"The Canadian Junior team consists of (Name, Age, Residence) Kourosh AHANI, 17, Richmond Hill, ON; Eric ANDERSON, 18, Calgary, AB; Jeremy BAGSHAW, 18, Saanichton, BC; Chad BOBROSKY, 17, Calgary, AB; Evan BRODERICK, 17, Vancouver, BC; Antoine BUJOLD, 15, Trois Rivieres, QC; Will BROTHERS, 15, Victoria, BC; Antoine DAVID, , Montreal, QC; Lyam DIAS, 17, L'Original, QC; David DIMITROV, 18, Calgary, AB; Shane DOWNEY, 18, Calgary, AB; Grant HARDING, 18, Guelph, ON; Richard FUNK, 17, Edmonton, AB; Matthew GRILLO, 17, Kirkland, QC; Nick KOSTIUK, 17, Edmonton, AB; Matt KWATYRA, 16, London, ON; Kyle MCINTEE, 17, Plano, TX; Alec PAGE, 16, Victoria, BC; Zac PARKES, 17, Victoria; Jeffrey SWANSTON, 16, Newmarket, ON; Kyle TROSKOT, 18, Lethbridge, AB; Keegan ZANATTA, 17, Victoria, BC on the boys team.

The girls team will be represented by: Alyson ACKMAN, 17, Pointe Claire, QC; Samantha COREA, 16, Vancouver, BC; Vanessa CHARRON, 18, Quebec, QC; Lindsay DELMAR, 17, Calgary, AB; Lauren EARP, 16, Toronto, ON; Annie HARRISON, 16, Oakville, ON; Caitlin HODGE, 15, Toronto, ON; Natasha FUNG, 17, St. Albert, AB; Karyn JEWEL, 16, Gatineau, QC; Jacqueline KEIRE, 15, Etobicoke, ON; Brittany MACLEAN, 16, Etobicoke, ON; Sandrine MAINVILLE, 18, Boucherville, QC; Rachel NICOL, 17, Lethbridge, AB; Marni OLDERSHAW, 15, Oakville, ON; Fionnuala PIERSE, 18, Edmonton, AB; Beatrice PINEAU, 17, Quebec, QC; Kierra SMITH, 16, Kelowna, BC; Brooklynn SNODGRASS, 16, Calgary, AB; Noemie THOMAS, 14, Vancouver, BC; Tera VAN BEILEN, 17, Oakville, ON; Chantal VAN LANDEGHEM, 16, Winnipeg, MB"

Many of those athletes are considered "UNBEATABLE" by many... But how do they stack up against the best in the Pacific Rim? Not that great as it turns out. I remember a couple of weeks ago I posted comments about the Senior Pan Pac team and how, at the time, I had hope for Canada's youth to make big gains in the next couple of years to help pick up the competitiveness of our team. Our Junior Pan Pac team ended up 4th in this meet and (someone will have to double check my medal count) won only 7 medals; Respectable, but not too much different from the senior team.

Young Swimmers, I have to ask you this favor:

Take EVERY opportunity you have to be great and take full advantage of it. How dare you not take full advantage of being named to a selection team or qualifying for a championship meet or even just making a final. We cannot leave it to someone else to shine when it matters. If not for you, get better to make other people better. We cannot be afraid to race people faster than us. We cannot shy away from any challenges... if we do; we will continue to be passed and beaten when it counts. Old habits are hard to break.

Remember: No one is unbeatable... except for Michael Phelps.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach