Friday, October 15, 2010

Upcoming events at HHBF / More reflections on our banquet

We have some VERY exciting things happening at HHBF over the next few weeks and I thought I would share them all with everyone in case you were not aware.

1.) Underwater Speed/Fly Clinic with Jen Button. On Saturday October 16th, Former Canadian Record Holder, 2 time Olympian, former team mate of mine and current employee for the IOC (International Olympic Committee), Jen Button will be coming in to work with the Elite, Platinum and Regional Development groups from 5pm to 7pm at GHDS. The goal and focus of this clinic is to improve and instruct dolphin kick both off walls but also to drive Butterfly in a better direction. If all goes well, we would love to have her back to work with other groups.

2.) LC workout at Wilfrid Laurier University: Sunday October 17th from 2:30pm - 4:30 pm, the Gold Group, Regional Development, Platinum and Elite all will do a long course (50m) workout at WLU. Although we are in short course season, there is NEVER any harm to get more pool time when it is available, especially very coveted long course pools. Special thanks to Nandi (Head Coach of ROW) for making this possible.

3.) Jen Noddle Breaststroke Clinic: On Tuesday October 19th, former National Team member and UCLA Alumnus Jen Noddle will be visiting the Gold group to run a Breaststroke Clinic. Specific focus on skills, dives and turns for those in Gold. If all goes well, we would love to have her back to work with other groups.

4.) Beginning on Wednesday October 20th, Anne Ottenbrite-Muylaert will be visiting the Elite, Platinum and Regional Development groups for an 8 week course on mental skills and race prep. Some parents may recognize her name from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, CA, where she won a Gold and Silver Medal. Anne is the last Canadian Swimmer to win an Olympic Gold. She was also one of my first coaches. By all accounts, this is a fantastic program and worth doing by everyone in those groups.

5.) GTA West #1 has been canceled due to construction at the Mayfield pool that is going longer than anticipated. The meet will be rescheduled for January. This only affects Gold, Silver, Bronze and Intro Comp. More details will be announced when they are available.

Coming soon...

An opportunity for Team Building amongst the Elite, Platinum and Regional Development groups, More Swim Ontario and Central Region camps, more long course training, more guests, more Olympians, more everything. I am a little worried of exhausting my resources too early in the season, but I am working hard all the time to network and get these opportunities to drive HHBF further.

Please remember, attending these opportunities is not like eating a steak... bare with me, this one is going somewhere... You can't just swallow the information, feedback and experience and then never think about it again; the information provided to you by these guests and clinics is there to bring into your normal training. The importance is not just attendance, but diligence.


I want to refresh something that Dean Boles said at our banquet the other night, because I have been asked similar questions this season. Dean recounted the story of the first person he had ever put on the Olympic team, Laura Nicholls. Laura's parents were concerned about swimmers at Etobicoke training so many more hours and being better right now (at the time, Laura was 14). Dean's response was that he was confident that his training methods were right and that he could build Laura over time while others were burning out. Dean proved to be correct and by 17, none of Laura's competitors could touch her. She made the Olympic team that summer.

I think this is relevant because there are competitors of ours that do swim more. In some cases it is ridiculous. There are certain 12-13 year olds that train 22 hours/week. There are 15 year olds that train an extra 4 hours... but my philosophy is pretty strong. Where do you go from training 22 hours at age 13? 28 hours at 18? 32 hours at 21?? Will you make it to 21? Aside from which, will you be interested when you're 21? Why do most Canadian Swimmers quit before or during university when the fastest swimmers in the world are in their mid to late 20s?

Our programs are not limited. We train intelligently I plan to get the most bang every day. We do not waste a single pool block. We will see athletes that will contribute to Canadian Swimming long from today. I would like to use the words of Dean Boles "Trust me".

We have come a long way with limitations on our program, but I feel that we are better equipped to make significant gains this season than ever before. I am very excited to get to racing... are you?

Dean Boles awards Kyle Haas the Silver Medal for Mens 50BK at the 2010 Ontario Senior Provincial Championships in London, ON.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach