Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Race Analysis

When we were in Winnipeg, I had a professional video analysis done of Kyle Haas' 100BK in prelims in order to get a high resolution video for feedback, but also to get a meter by meter analysis of speed, stroke rate and distance per stroke to find out what the difference was from morning racing to night time racing. Kyle is usually much faster at night and I wanted to know why. I also want to make him instinctively faster in the morning and in order to do that, I need to know where the areas of weakness are in order to fix them. This will also improve his performances at finals.

The video is above. The picture is a copy of the actual meter analysis.

In the analysis:
V = Velocity (speed meters/second)
DPS = Distance per stroke
SR = Stroke Rate
SCT = stroke cycle time (amount of time for one complete stroke to happen)
SI = Swim efficiency index (looking for a high number here)

One of the major things the jumps out at me while watching the video is that Kyle slows down quite a bit when approaching the wall at the 50m mark and lays out of his front for a long time. Analysis confirms this, as the 5m approaching the wall, he speed slows from 1.53m/s to 1.40m/s. Obviously he looses speed the further he goes, but the abrupt drop in velocity on those 5m is because he's not actually doing anything, just riding his momentum.

This is very confusing for most people and it wont likely mean much to most people but I find it interesting. Learned quite a few things from this. Check it out.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Monday, August 30, 2010

Random Thought...

Once again I was overlooked for Dancing With the Stars... "Sigh"

Friday, August 20, 2010

2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

As I am not in Irvine, CA and just reading the results from the live results site (http://www.star-meets.org/results/PanPacs/2010/), nor do I have anyone on the team, I can only provide my thoughts on the events with this disclaimer: THESE ARE MY OPINIONS ONLY AND MAY DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF ANY OTHER COACHES OR COACHING BODIES, SWIM CANADA, SWIM ONTARIO OR THE HALTON HILLS BLUE FINS.

If the Pan Pacific Games are to be a measuring tool as to where Swim Canada stands in the world, I am very concerned. Not only are there many events where we did not make a single "A" final (Men only had 2 A finals on the first day out of 5 swims and a full athletic roster), but there are very few events where we had a top 5 finish. More troubling is that the rules of this meet lead to misleading results for those top 8 finishes. According to the meet handbook... (http://www.panpacificswimming.com/docs/2010_Pan_Pacs_handbook.pdf)

"Each country may enter an unlimited number of swimmers in the heats in each event. In events when A and B Finals are conducted, only two (2) swimmers per nation shall be allowed to qualify for the A Finals. When one nation has qualified more than two (2) swimmers for an A final event, only the fastest two (2) swimmers (after scratches) shall advance. If a country has two (2) athletes in the A Final, that country may only qualify one (1) additional athlete to the B Final. If the country has only one (1) athlete in the A Final, that country may have up to two (2) athletes in the B Final. Example;

In the 100 Backstroke, Country XYZ has athletes qualify 1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th in the morn-ing heats. For the finals, the athletes who qualified 1st and 2nd will swim in the A Final. The athlete who qualified 4th will swim in the B Final, and the athlete who qualified 7th will not swim in either the A or B Finals."

...So in 8 specific cases (upon quick examination), a Canadian Athlete only made the "A" final because a faster athlete from another country was bumped down to the "B" final. In the case of Charles Francis of C.N. Piscine du Parc Olympique, the only reason he made the "A" final is because world record holder Aaron Piersol was the 3rd fastest American in the morning and was bumped to the "B" final.

I understand that the rules of the meet are there for a reason and that Aaron Piersol should have been faster in the morning, but that is not my point. My point is that in 2012 in London, USA is strongly contending to finish Gold, Silver and Bronze in 200BK and Canada may finish 8th if these results are the indication that Swim Canada say they are. BUT, Swim Canada will push the fact that we're finishing 8th in a World Class meet.

I understand that the purpose of that rule is to allow for smaller countries (Chile) to compete with much larger countries (USA). The point of this rule is not lost on me.

I also understand that the goal is not to have our athletes to peak NOW. But if they're not even close to their best times now, AND their best times aren't even top 8 at this meet with only 11 teams, AND the top 8 at this meet are skewed because of the "bump down rule", what realistic chance do we stand in 2012?

What I DON'T understand is why Brent Hayden is the most celebrated Canadian swimmer when (in my humble opinion) Ryan Cochrane is by far the better bet to medal in 2012. He is way more consistent, much better ranked and improving at a much better rate than Hayden is. He is also 5 years younger. Hayden is probably a great guy and I have nothing against him (except for his foolish decision to pull out from the 200FR semi-final to focus on the 4x100FR relay which was poised to finish 5th at best... he was 3rd going into in the semi-final of the 200FR... I don't get it). When will Swim Canada give this guy top billing?? What does he have to do; scratch an event at the Olympics that he is poised to medal in??

Anyway, congrats to everyone who made the Canadian PanPac team and the Jnr PanPac team. I think that it is likely going down as a great experience and a stepping stone for those athletes who will be competing in London in 2012. My comments are not meant to be mean or to create panic; but my call is to all of the Canadian Swimmers reading this blog (Especially Blue Fins swimmers):

STEP UP YOUR GAME! Do something every day to be better so we can be a faster nation of swimmers. Streamline off of every wall as well as you can. Be a leader and challenge the swimmers around you. Get better at kick. Learn how fast you'll need to go to be the Nation's best in your age group. Challenge the best in your club. CHALLENGE the best in the country. Ya, we're breaking Canadian records, but those records are still a good 6 seconds off of the world record mark. EVERYONE needs to be better and it starts at the grass roots. YOU are responsible for the next generation of Canada's National Team. Take it seriously!

Watch the PanPac finals live on TV:

August 21st-NBC broadcast 4:00-6:00pm ET

August 22nd-NBC broadcast 5:00-6:00pm ET

Visit Swimnetwork.com for videos of races and live webcast. http://www.swimnetwork.com/Events/Meets/2010/August/Pan-Pac-Championships.aspx

We start in a few weeks and have a lot of work to do. Don't forget your responsibility.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Summer of George

I love all you guys, but MAN is it nice to have a few days to relax. I spent the last few days with my family and had a couple of meetings today to prepare for the new season. Lots of great things coming this next season! Enjoy the next couple of weeks because we're going to be busy come September!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ontario Summer Games Day 3

Day 3 started out pretty rough. No one can really understand the difficulty of traveling to a new town, living in an un-air-conditioned dorm room and eating terrible food (more on food later) and trying to cram about 10-16 events into 3 days... especially when you have to walk everywhere and its about 35-40 degrees outside.... until you try it. Personally, I have never been so tired in my life.

Central Region was stuck in 3rd spot since the end of day one, and starting Friday, our task was to fend off hard charging NEOR (North East Region) and avoid finishing 4th.

The night started off with Alexander Jin and Meaghan Mccann finishing 3rd in 100FR. From there, Central Region showed fatigue from the week. Medalists from the night included the following...

Alexander Jin 2nd in 100FR and 2nd in 400FR

Meghan Mccaan 3rd in 100FR and 1st in 100BK

Brandon Bronson caused me a near heart attack by winning 100BK by .01 seconds.

Ali Rizk came 2nd in 100FR.

Maggie Burns 2nd in 200BR.

Gamal Assaad finished 1st in 400FR.

Karl Massey finished 3rd in 100BK.

Other Blue Fins finishes included Matt Fox (12 years old) finishing 5th in 100BK with a new 12 year old club record of 1:09.25. Please bear in mind that this is a 14 and under category. Very proud of Matt. Mitchell Krafczek also placed 8th in 100FR and 7th in 200BR. Mitchell had a fantastic weekend overall. I am very proud of all our Blue Fins.

Central Region successfully fended off NEOR to finish 3rd over all. Congratulations to Western Region swimmers and coaches for winning the meet. There was some very good swimming and a lot of fun had this week.

Quick Note: Neor and Luarentian Swimmer, Kelly Hotta, was publicly congratulated for winning 5 gold medals, but I find it worth mentioning that both Meghan Mccaan from DS and Gamal Assaad from OAK won 5 Gold medals each for Central Region. I guess it was because Kelly was in front of the home crowd, but I would like to publicly congratulate (on my blog) Meaghan Mccaan and Gamal Assaad for not only being 2 of the toughest and most confident swimmers I have had the pleasure of working with, but also for winning 5 gold medals each. Thanks, guys!

** I mentioned food before. Not only was the quality of the food poor, but they were actually running out of it before our athletes could warm down and get to eat. Try competing this hard with limited food to eat! Try it with limited food AND no warm down. I think i lost weight in the 5 days I was there.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 2 Ontario Summer Games

I was pretty excited about day 2 in the morning because we had a lot of good events on the horizon. Although the heat, the food and dorm life started to take its toll on our athletes early in prelims.

Central Region had about 18 medal possibilities and ended up with the following...

Alexander Jin bronze in 100fly

Mitchell Krafczek silver in 200bk

Karl Massey silver in 200bk

Brandon Bronson gold in 200bk

Youn Ho Choi bronze in 200bk and gold 400im

Meaghan Mccaan gold 200bk and 400im

Maggie Burns silver 400im

Gamal Assaad gold 200fr and 100fly

HHBF was well represented with Karl and Mitchell's medals. Matt Fox also made his first final as 8th in 200bk in the 14 and under category and moved up to seventh with a best time. Mitchell was also 6th in 200fr with a best time of 2:11.98.

Last day about to begin. This has been a grueling week and today will be a test of everyone's focus and commitment to the task.

Central Region is mathematically out of 1st or 2nd so we're trying hard to hold onto third. It won't be easy with a hard charging NEOR (north east).

I'll update you soon.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 1 Ontario Summer Games

Typing from my blackberry. Day 1 went alright, although a few dropped events by a couple of individuals meant less points than we needed to start off well. Among some of the highlights:

Youn Ho Choi coming back hard to win 200fly after spending the entire race in 3rd place. He also won 200im.

Gamal Assaad winning 200fly and 200im as well as a silver medal in 50fr.

Rogan Kim 3rd in 100br.

Ali Rizk 2nd in 50fr

Maggie Burns swimming hurt, finishing 4th in 200im and 200fly and 2nd in 100br.

Meaghan Mccaan winning 200fly and 200im, 3rd in 50fr.

Connie Yang 2nd in 200fly as well as 6th in 200im

Brandon Bronson 3rd in 50fr as well as 6th in 200im.

Mitchell Krafczek 7th in 50fr and 6th in 1500fr.

Karl Massey 7th in 100br and 200im

Olivia Anderson 6th in 50fr.

Meaghan v. 4th in 200fly and 6th in 200im

Anastasia V. 6th in 100br

Alex Jin 2nd in 200fly

Boys 4x100fr relay
Youn Ho Choi
Alex Jin
Giovanni sacco
Hayden chow

Girls 4x100fr relay
Jade lacasmana
Joyce leunge
Meaghan V
Bayley Dalbec

An entry to my blog seems incomplete without a Matt Fox result. Matt swam 50fr and 200im today. Both PBS but neither were good enough to make the final. No matter, not great events for him today. The bulk of his work will come tomorrow and Friday.

Its unbelievably hot here. No AC in the dorms and they ran out of food before our team could all eat tonight. Its a tough go but I believe that everyone is having fun and are having a great time.

I realized this week that I could never survive university again. I was lucky enough to have an appartment my first year.

I'll check back in tomorrow. Thanks for checking in with me.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach
Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Into the Void

Hi everyone. It has been a long time since I have posted anything so I thought that I would check in to let you know what I have been doing.

Since late last week, 3 Blue Fins, Matt Fox, Mitchell Krafczek and Karl Massey (Known to most of the girls on the Central Region Team as "Small, Medium and Large") have been training with the Summer Games Team and me (YES, that IS a grammatically correct sentence) at the Smythe Pool outdoor pool in Etobicoke. The facilities, themselves, need some serious work (some of the lane ropes are too short for the pool)but it is an outdoor, 50m, LC pool which is only about 30min from us. With Senior Nationals and Age Group Championships taking place at an outdoor pool in Montreal next summer, I would like to look into getting some pool time here next summer to allow all participants to get some exposure to outdoor swimming (especially backstrokers). I am just blown away that I had never heard of this pool until a parent from York Swim Club mentioned it to me when we in Ottawa for Provincials.

Thank you to everyone for your feedback regarding scheduling changes and this upcoming season. I have been very busy trying to respond to most feedback personally. Please remember that I am ALWAYS available by phone or email and am open to all feedback. Thank you to everyone for your time.

A very special thank you to Russ Horton and D-Moos radio in Georgetown for following us and reporting HHBF news every 30min. Please tune into their radio station and listen for updates. Music is also pretty awesome! Support the local guys!!!

This upcoming season is going to be an important one for HHBF. LOTS of teams have burst onto the Swim Ontario and Swimming Canada scene over the years, but few of them have been able to follow up their successful season with something just as important. I intend HHBF to be one of the first... and certainly the first in the last 4 years (RHAC has really been the only one to do it recently).

I am really looking forward to the new season and the progress we are going to make. I hope this is shared by everyone.

I do not have internet access at Ontario Summer Games so I will not be able to do detailed updates, but I will be able to update from my phone. I apologize in advance for auto-text on my blackberry. I'm more than likely to type "age" instead of "she" and other type-os. Bare with me.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

* Indecently, I looked this up and moving from Div III to Div I in 2 seasons has only been achieved one other time in history. Milton Marlins did it in the late 1990s when Emil Demitrov was still coach and Jen Porenta was still swimming. Big deal, but we need to be prepared to follow it up in Sudbury next season at Division I by not finishing in the bottom 3. Not going to be easy.