Tuesday, May 31, 2011

HHBF Tag day a HUGE success!

On the Victoria Day Long Weekend, 29 athletes from HHBF volunteered their time to collect funds for the first ever HHBF tag day. It was a roaring success, collecting more than $3000.00 from helpful people in our community. This was a little bit of a rushed effort, but a great one at that, and could not have happened without the help of Laurie Fox, who spearheaded the operation. Special thanks to Shannon Griffiths who helped with the fundraising and all other executive members who supervised, counted, rolled change and helped with this project.

Great big thanks to the parent volunteers that were on duty for each 2 hour shift.
We made sure that the kids were always supervised. We were also complimented at how kind and professional our athletes were during the shifts.

Georgetown was amazing and we had more locations than kids this year. So many store owners volunteered to allow us to tag at their locations, we simply could not do them all. It is very exciting to know that we have so much support in the community.

Stores to thank: Beer Store, 2 Metros, Dollaramma, Pita Pit, Superstore, Home Hardware.

Number of Kids who participated = 29
Average Box / 2 hour shift brought in ~ $97.77
Best Box $232 (Michael Jans)
Best 4 hour shift $337.14 (Chris Fox)

Great work and a great big THANK YOU to everyone that helped.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guelph LC Meet

Livy Olson sets new HHBF record in girls 9-10 200FLY.

What a great weekend in Guelph! HHBF sees regular success but it has been a long time since we have seen this many spectacular swims in 1 weekend. Friday's distance session yielded a lot of PBs in 400FR, 800FR, 1500FR and 400IM. Saturday's session resulted in a whopping 94% personal best rate and today (Sunday) resulted in some spectacular races (I have yet to calculate the rate).

Livy Olson and Lauren Monhemius joined the meet from Ian's group and both fell within less than a second of Central Region qualifications. Lauren, 10 years old, clocked a smoking fast 3:47 for her 200BR today which was very close to the HHBF club record and not far off of some of the times posted by the older athletes in the morning. Livy Olson (also 10) swam a long course 200fly and broke Erica Knox's club record by over 2 seconds. I am very excited to see swims like this coming out of Coach Ian's group. Its a great indicator that this club is very deep and that we have a lot of great swimmers in the pipeline in Intro Comp, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

I entered all groups in all sorts of events in the hopes that we can see some significant time drops and man, did we ever! Michael Jans ripped about 10 seconds off of his 200BK and about 5 seconds off of his 100BK. Katherine Peel dropped over 10 seconds in all 4 of her events. AJ Tarczy was meeting and beating his short course times in everything. Loren O'Brien-Egesborg had very solid 100 and 200BK events over the 2 days. Sam Ceci had a great drop in 100FLY. MItchell Brearly had a spectacular 100fly and 100BK. Isaac West had several very good races, taking off lots of time. Clancy Harris and Kelly Smith both had spectacular FR and BK races on Saturday and Sunday. Bronte McMaster showed some great backstroke ability as well as still posting good times in BR and FR while Brooklyn Shellie made some great progress in her 200BR today. Aysia Leckie, Ali Taran, Nicole Waddick, Sam Burwell, Shannon Jickling, Emilie Knighton, Veronica Fong, Quinn Jaggard, Heather Bradshaw, Meagan Cassie, Tatyana Austrie, Justin Lochert, Colleen Jarv, Carter DeForest, Jason Reid, Brett Russell, Filipe Escobar, Jordan Horruzey, Emily Collis, Victoria Gibson, Paige Olmstead, Viktoria Plakoska, Alex Plakoski, Frasier Stitt, Erik Ortega, Avery Jans, Olivia Fong, Quinn West, Arielle Sabourin, Jason Reid, Eric Siegfridt all saw time come off of more than one event and looked to have a great time... And that is just the surface of what we saw.

Congratulations to everyone that swam because it looks like everyone had at least 1 PB and most had several. I am feeling very excited coming off of this weekend with some big meets ahead (AGI, Central Regions, Halton Cup, Provincials, Open Water Provincials, Canadian Age Group Championships). Lets not forget that our mission is to have the best possible performance at the most meaningful meets so we still need to tighten the screws and adjust some things... that is to say: Practice time is still very important!

Congratulations for a job well done; What a great weekend! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Massage Therapist In Town

Hi everyone. I try not to do this all that much, but Kieu-Oanh Nguyen is a new massage therapist in town. She just started practice at the Move clinic (with our good friend Dr. Cameron). I must say that she is fantastic at her job! I am very particular about praise on the site so I clearly do think very highly of her.

She is trying to build a client base here in Georgetown. I strongly recommend her to anyone seeking therapeutic massage. I have been using her for a couple of weeks now and she has done me a world of good. Please book her up so she spends more time in Georgetown and I can visit her more.

If you are interested, please contact the Move Clinic:

116 Guelph St unit A
Georgetown, On
L7G 4A3
Phone: 905-702-1072

The Move Clinic is a proud sponsor of HHBF, let's give them some support.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ontario Open Water Championships

Info for the Ontario Open Water Championships is now available on the Swim Ontario website, but I'm so nice that I'll hyperlink the info right here. HHBF will be announcing our policy and procedure for training for this meet shortly so stay tuned. Please check out the details.

Open Water is fairly new in gaining attention with the swimming community and participation is pretty low compared to pool championships. This championship is a great way to get experience at the provincial and championship level. I highly recommend this competition: but only if you are willing to train for it. It is not an easy race; even when you are in shape!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The HHBF AGM was last night and went very quickly and smoothly. I was very happy about a couple of things.

First, the amount of intelligent questions coming from the members about our financials. I am particularly happy that members are concerned about this and are asking important questions. This means that people are interested and possibly have ideas to improve things; and I couldn't be happier about that. Our current executive committee is great, but knowing that we have interested and very intelligent people in the club means that we can be better in the future and continue to be run well by smart and savvy volunteers.

Secondly, I was surprised by the lack of questions regarding this season's grouping changes and success plan... surprised but pretty happy. Not because I don't like answering questions; but because it means (perhaps) that I have been doing a good job communicating. This blog, emails, our website and other communication measures were put in place to make sure that information was available for everyone. We are always looking for ways to improve our communication but this is an indication that we are on the right path.

I think I plugged this blog about 10 or 20 times in my 5min talk last night, so hopefully someone is following up and checking what is written. For those of you who missed my post a couple of weeks ago showing statistically how we are doing: I have posted it for you here. A version of this post is also available in our newsletter. I hope that everyone continues to visit my blog and link other people to visit. I do this for swim fans and for HHBF and a lot of work goes into it (Its not easy to write 1000-2000 word original compositions a few times/week).

For those who are interested, you can all read my report to the Ontario Swim Coaches Committee regarding my trip to Indianapolis (which was funded by Swim Ontario and OSCC, not HHBF). A link to that report can be found here. Now that they've all seen it and given their feedback, you can all learn more about the opportunity and my thoughts on the trip. Enjoy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

No More Excuses!

Free live streaming by Ustream

The response I get from a lot of athletes and parents when asked "did you watch the ______ event online" the typical response I get was "I couldn't find it". Well, search no further. Coachmikehhbf offers live streaming from this very blog. All meet details can be found here and live results can be found here. My hope is that many many people watch and get fired up for the upcoming championship season. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Some good reading...

Through twitter, I found out about Dave Ling's blog, Get In And Swim which has some good video and analysis. Currently, Dave has some great stuff on about tonight's matchup between Cullen Jones and Josh Schneider in 50FR at the Charlotte Grand Prix. Videos and writing are great, check him out. I've known Dave for years; we used to swim "against each other" (he was a distance freestyler and I was a sprint backstroker, but we swam on competing teams so the phrase works) in the mid-late 90s. Dave currently coaches for TSC and does a lot of voice commentary work for OUA and Swim Ontario. His blog is quite good. Check it out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Charlotte Grand Prix Starts This Week!!!!

This week marks the start of the Charlotte Grand Prix. Swim Ontario has a contingent going. You can follow their progress here.
5 BIG stories to watch at this meet going into the 2012 Games in London can be found here.

My trip to Indianapolis was AWESOME. I wish I could be in Charlotte this week!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Even though I am a little late, I would like to thank all mothers who sit in humid pools, get up early, drive hours and hours and support their young athletes no matter what. I remember when I used to swim, my mother would drive me to meets and it would be our together time. I remember it very fondly, not thinking about how difficult it must have been for her at the time. Please know that your children appreciate all that you do, even if they don't know that they appreciate it yet.

My Mom, Arlene Thompson, is a wonderful woman and is responsible for who I grew up to be. Please forward all complaints to her.

Happy Mothers Day, mothers everywhere!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Time Well Spent

Last night I was able to fill in for Chris and work with the Regional Development group and the Gold group after my usual 4pm-6:30pm workout with Elite and Platinum. It was a long night, but I felt that it was time well spent.

Using my iPod and a device I bought recently, I was able to show some very good video from GoSwim.TV. Glen Mills (who I met while speaking at the Swim Ontario AGM in September), runs a very good website, full of great videos. They really are helpful when trying to describe drills because they are very descriptive and visual... also, I think my athletes get tired of me talking all the time.

We worked primarily with the following 2 videos:

I felt that this video was useful, especially when many of our athletes have a hard time using the clock to calculate their times and when they have to leave on a repeat. I think that the following quote got through to quite a few people: "Without paying attention to the clock, swimming becomes exercise rather than a sport" got through to quite a few athletes. We need to remember that we're swimming to get better at the competitve sport of swimming, not just exercising. I feel that watching this video really opened some of our swimmers eyes to what other clubs expect of their athletes.

We then used this video to work on fly. Platinum and Elite followed it with a very long IM set with lots of butterfly. The expectation was to swim well while fatigued.
Regional Development focused more on timing and stroke past the drills:

My observations before the work on these drills was that many of the swimmers would use 1 weak kick and then allowed their legs to sink. As they sunk, their body position changed and so did the position of their hands on the catch. Rather than facing down, they were parallel to the surface which created an pull up rather than a pull forward (picture a kitten in the water trying to keep its head above water). After work with rythym and focusing strongly on the second kick, I was observing monumental increase in velocity, stroke consistancy and stamina through the stroke.

I was really happy that we did this work with those groups. I particularly think that Chris has done a miraculous job with the Gold group. There are many swimmers in that group that look to be of much better quality than HHBF has had in that rank ever before. They should all be proud of themselves, as should all of the groups that I got to do this with yesterday. Good work produces great results.

Glen Mills' website can be found at www.goswim.tv and all of his videos can be found on Youtube (his Youtube Channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/goswim098). There is also a free iPod App available. Please check him out, lots of great information available for free. Thanks for making all of this available to us, Glen!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just a Regular workout at the Georgetown Indoor Pool


The picture above was taken with an app on my ipod. Pretty cool: from today's workout. Check it out.

NOTE: If you look at it on your ipod or iphone with the gyroscope active, its super awesome!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

State of Affairs

This post comes on the heals of our jam packed long course meet held at McMaster University this past weekend. My impression is that the meet went well. Lots of GREAT swims and some very competitive and exciting races. Thank you to all who volunteered to make the weekend successful. I saw lots of parents around whose kids could not make it to the meet. EXCELLENT and selfless support coming from those families, thank you! Overall, 4 club records downed (Kyle Haas and Emma Fender) and a lot of well swum races. I was very proud of HHBF.

UPDATE: Make that 5 club records downed, add Matt Fox to the list of record breakers.

Update: make that 6 club records and also add Bjoern-Ole Schrader to the list.

A summary of how we're doing:

We are miles deeper and better than we were last season (and last season we were miles ahead of where we were the season before). Using 100FR as a baseline event, last season at this time, we had a total of 33 athletes under 1:20 (either LC or SC). Currently, we have 51 (and 5 who have not yet swum 100FR this season, but will likely be under). Of those 33 athletes last season, 15 of them were under 1:10. This season, 24 athletes are under this 1:10 mark. We also almost quadrupled the amount of athletes we had under 1:05 (last season 4, this season 15). It should be noted that none of these improvements from last season were made from gaining athletes who were already at this level: We developed everything we have.

Using all events as a baseline, last season we had 16 athletes qualified for Central Region championships (B standards) and 2 people over qualified. This season we currently sit at 22 athletes qualified with 4 additional athletes over qualified. This season, HHBF has seen over 40 club records broken (not including the records that have been broken more than once: by my count, the total would be over 70 in that case). Aside from all this, we have SO many athletes hovering around the standards and records that it is impossible to keep count. For example, when the boys 400FR record was broken this weekend, we currently have 4 boys (1 of them in the age group below) hovering close to that record.

Last season at this time, HHBF had 8 provincial qualifiers and gained 1 more at Central Regions. Right now, we have a total of 10 and hope to gain 2 more at Central Regions (and to solidify up their prereqs). Fair well and good luck to perennial Provincial qualifier and top 8 finisher, Karl Massey as he follows passion into the Canadian Military. Sadly, he will not join us at Provincials or Age Group Championships this summer.

Last year, HHBF had 4 athletes qualified for Age Group Championships in Winnipeg. Currently, we have 7 athletes qualified (including Karl, who will not be able to participate) with the possibility of another 3 qualifying before the deadline. As we approach the meet we sit with 2 athletes (Kyle Haas and Matt Fox) in position to medal in more than 1 event. We will also likely be sending an athlete to Senior Nationals for the first time in 3 years (we have only ever sent 1 athlete before).

Update: Also at this time last year we had been demolished by Milton at the Halton Cup and later fell in June due to very low participation from HHBF. We emerged well ahead in February from the first match up. Going into June, we must make ourselves available to win the Halton Cup for the first time on June 25th. PLEASE MAKE THIS PART OF YOUR PLANS. It is a championship that we deserve but we cannot do it without club participation.

HHBF is so much better than we get credit for, and in a lot of cases, give ourselves credit for. Every time I post stuff like this, the response is great and people are motivated... for a while, then other things (life) happens and priorities get readjusted. Swimming has a long season... there really isn't much of an off season; thats the nature of the sport. The BIG championships are held in June/July. I know that everyone wants to enjoy the whether, but results of those championships reflect what kind of work was done through April and May. I believe that our team has a much better understanding of this fact. From the looks of the old LC records, I'm not confident that we used to.

Earlier this season, I got overwhelming responses in regards to participating in the Ontario Open Water Championships in Brampton in July when I stated that I wanted to see more athletes in it. I'm not sure what the participation intent is right now, but make no mistake, 3km or 5km or 10km of open water swimming is NOT EASY and doesn't happen without training. You cannot expect to do well (or complete) at these events if you're not training. The equivalent would be entering a marathon after doing light jogs every so often. Quite simply, you'd have to be crazy to approach it that way. I hope that everyone who intends on participating appreciates this.

Finally, 12 year old, Emma Fender has officially become the fastest breaststroker in HHBF history by shattering the 11-12 year old girls 50BR club record in a time of 39.86, which also beats the club records in all other age groups and all other splits done in other age groups (except for Kate Chapman's 15&over SC 100BR done in 2000). I expect that someone else will break that record soon... because thats what records are for.

I will leave you with a completely unrelated video that my cousin (Paul DeCarli, a pioneer in the field of digital music editing) turned me on to earlier today. Please watch and enjoy. In the state of current world affairs, I find it a great message! Take care.