Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Milton Dash for Cash Weekend

What a fantastic weekend in Milton! It has been a long 6 week preparation period for meet season and we focused on doing a couple of things better than anyone else coming into our competitions:

1.) Be better under water than the other teams.
2.) Cheer louder than the other teams.
3.) Have more fun than the other teams doing 1.) and 2.)

I've got great examples of each point, but I won't belabour the topic.

1.) EVERYONE was fantastic working on kicking and streamlining underwater this past weekend. This is certainly what we wanted to achieve with all the work we put in for about 6 weeks (drills, sets, video analysis, better feedback, etc) and in many cases it lead to significant best times. Avery Jans is a great example here in her 800FR. Avery took off almost 2 min and was able to make it to about 6 or 7 metres off of every wall (about 3m further than the girl from Milton that she was racing). As a result, Avery ended up taking about 70 less strokes than her competitor in the race. Her competitor was swimming a little quicker, but Avery was moving faster and easier under water fro each wall. In the end, Avery had more energy left, won her heat and dropped a ton of time. Sticking to the plan pays off!

2.) During Sunday's medal presentations, not only was HHBF the only team involved and cheering, but we were making a statement to the other teams; we are proud of and support those who wear the fin. I felt overwhelming pride to be part of the team this weekend and I'm sure athletes and parents felt the same way (and there were likely some envious people on other teams too).

3.) Lots of smiles and happiness all around from parents and athletes. Very successful weekend in this regard.

Across the weekend, we saw 4 club records (Kyle Haas - 50BR; Emma Fender - 50BR and 100BR, Matt Fox - 400IM & 50BK), a few new regional times (Paige Olmstead, Shannon Jickling, Aleks Plackoski) and too many people within arms grasp to mention. HHBF won the meet, followed closely by Milton. Regardless of the results, Chris, Shannan and myself were unbelievably proud of this team and feel that we got off to the great start we were hoping for.

I was surprised, however, by how many parents were taken in by the new facility. Yes, new facilities are nice, but we're still producing some very good athletes with what we have. Does it contain water? Yes. Is it regulation length? You bet! Add Jaclyn in charge of town aquatics, a renewed desire to win and some team cohesion, we're going to continue to do great regardless what facility we're training out of. I encourage all of you to listen to the upcoming episode 8 of coachmikepodcast where I speak to Nancy Sweetnham about becoming one of the worlds best out of a small program and 6lane/25m pool; she has many relevant things to say.

A few more notes:

- Next weekend is Swim International in Brantford for the Elite and Platinum groups where we hope to keep the momentum going with great swims and equally good team support.
- As a result of SI in Brantford, Friday night's Elite and Platinum workout is cancelled. Swimmers not swimming in Brantford can join the Friday morning groups.
- Keep tuning in to my podcast. I have some OUTSTANDING guests coming up. A lot of downloads outside of Georgetown too; its great, but don't let other teams benefit from this more than we do!