Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In local news....


Submitted photo

Submitted photo
Kyle Haas of the Halton Hills Blue Fins receives one of his gold medals at last week's Eastern Canadian Championships in Montreal.


Haas golden in Montreal

Seventeen-year-old Kyle Haas led the way for the Halton Hills Blue Fins at the Eastern Canadian Championships this past weekend in Montreal, winning the 50m and 100m open backstroke events in sizzling times.

Haas began the weekend by breaking the meet record (as well as the HHBF record) in the 50m back by posting the 20th fastest time in Canadian history (25.07 seconds) and followed that by winning the 100m back, posting the seventh-fastest men’s time in Canada this season, 54.61 seconds.
Haas also placed fourth in 200m individual medley, breaking the HHBF club record, while also surpassing previous bests in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle.

“This was really important for my confidence,” said Haas, whose 2011-2012 season was muted due to a late season injury. “I’m really excited to be swimming fast again heading into World Championship Trials. It was also very exciting to have a larger team with and all the support from home. I couldn’t have done this without my team.”

Blue Fin Matthew Fox finished eighth in the 200m back, with both Aysia Leckie and Keri-Lyn Copeland faring well at their first Eastern Canadian Championships.

Earlier in the month, the Blue Fins repeated their best-ever finish at the Central Region Short Course Championships in Toronto, placing 10th out of over 35 teams.
The highlight from that meet was two Blue Fins winning the individual high point awards-12-year-old Lauren Monhemius and Britney Dortona, 13. Monhemius won the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle races, while placing second in the 100m free. Dortona finished first in the 50m free, 200m free, 400m free, 800m free and was second in the 100m free.

Many Blue Fins have won the High Point Trophy in the past, but this was the first time that two of them have won it in the same meet. Fifteen-year-old Bronte McMaster placed second in her age group in what would have been the HHBF’s third High Point Trophy that weekend.

The Blue Fins ended up with a total of 29 medals and countless top eight finishes. Medalists included:

Bronte McMaster— 1st 200m back; 2nd 400m free; 3rd 800m free
Mitchell Krafczek— 1st 100m breaststroke; 2nd 200m breast
Bjoern-Ole Schrader— 1st 100m back; 2nd 200m back & 200m fly
Kathleen Reedman— 1st 50m free; 2nd 100m free
Chris Fox— 1st 100m butterfly
Livy Olson— 2nd 400m IM
Emma Fender— 1st 200m breast; 2nd 200m IM; bronze 400m IM
Emily Collis— 3rd 1,500m free

Seventeen Blue Fins have qualified to represent Halton Hills at the two provincial championships later this month.

Links of the day with Jocelyn Jay

'Helicopter Parenting' can Undermine a Students' Self Image - Most parents would do anything to help their children be happy and successful. But too much involvement can be detrimental as a new study shows that - http://ow.ly/i3Z6o

Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…and How to Correct Them - While the author applauds the engagement of this generation of parents and teachers, it’s important to recognize these three mistakes we make leading kids. http://ow.ly/i3ZYs

The other side of the argument - 'If you're not a sports parents, you ... just ... can't ... know..' - http://ow.ly/i3ZIB

Bullying video - Bullies Called Him Pork Chop. He Took That Pain With Him And Then Cooked It Into This.

Mike's Bonus Links -

...and while we're at it, how about Canadian Backstrokers representing in the NCAA!?!?!

Something Fun: Everyone should lear how to write code because it teaches you how to think.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

So, You Think You're A Swim Fan..?

Lots of FAST swimming going on in the world... I would expect that all SWIMMING FANS will be paying attention. Check out Swimswam.com for results from SEC Championships (Brittany MacLean, Mac Darragh, Chantel VanLandenham are amongst the Canadians participating) and other College Divisional Championships (They have a live Twitter feed on results @swimswamnews).

Also, the CIS (Canadian Inter-University Sport) Swimming Championships are this weekend in Calgary as well. Details as well as heat sheets and live streaming video can be found HERE. Some of Canada's best incuding Coleman Allen, Heather MacLean, Zack Chetrat & Tera VanBeilen will be competing. Any swimming fans interested in going to a Canadian University should be paying attention. 

Links of the day with Jocelyn Jay

Ontario youth soccer to stop keeping score, and standings. Is this good or bad for player development? But is that what it is really about? What about the bigger picture - character development? http://ow.ly/hV5ab 

How to improve overall health by getting a good nights sleep - Dr. Greg Wells

"The Only Disability in Life is a Bad Attitude," Matthew Jeffers, Letter to Baltimore Ravens (2013)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Links of the day with Jocelyn Jay

Learning to train is a giant step - http://ow.ly/hFdo0 

A great website... www.nutritionforswimmers.com

Sports psychology and mental training - "The ability to concentrate in the present and keep focused on the task is very important to achieve peak performance in any sport". http://ow.ly/hFe42 

Why teenage females drop out of sports - http://ow.ly/hFeiJ 

Coach Mark Speckman encourages everyone to use their God-given ability to "Figure it out"!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happiness is an attitude

I came across this little story while surfing the web tonight. I hope that you all read it, enjoy it and reflect on it. 

Happiness is an attitude.

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. "I love it," she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. "Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen the room .... just wait." "That doesn't have anything to do with it," she replied. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it ... It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away ... just for this time in my life."

Friday, February 8, 2013

While you're snowed in...

Everyone who cannot swim at Central Regions tonight can still get involved and watch some fast swimming...

OUA Championships:
Live Results - Some pretty quick swimming yesterday and it wasn't cancelled this morning. Check out how fast you'll need to be to score points in the OUA championships. HHBF's Cam Elgie representing U of G for those of you that are interested.
Live Video - Finals only, but certainly worth a watch!

AUS Championships: 
Live results - Atlantic Canada University Championships live results from PEI. Meet started today. Look for HHBF's Elizabeth Skuriat representing Acadia. Follow @AcadiaSwimming for live news.
Live Video - Finals and prelims

Snow Storms Suck!

Since it is not going to stop snowing any time soon and there are some concerns the major highways are going to close shortly. For the safety of everyone the meet manager has cancelled the Central Region session tonight. Rather than have many people get to the Olympium for the session and then not be able to run it due to lack of lifeguards or not enough officials this is the prudent course of action.

Tentatively they will move tonight's events to Monday night (February 11th). 4:30 pm warm up (for 30 minutes) 5:00 pm start. We have the deep end until 7 pm and the shallow until 7:30 pm. With a few scratches expected we should be able to get all the swims in. Anyone that will be unable to make the replacement session on Monday and must scratch can do so without penalty; please forward your intent to scratch to Coach Mike by email ASAP. I will have more information after a coaches meeting tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Unfortunately, weather has dictated that the GIP be closed tonight as well. Obviously this is not ideal, but there isn't much we can do about it. Get some rest and prepare to swim fast tomorrow and Sunday.

Please note that there has also been a change in warm up time for the morning sessions. Warm-up will start at 7:30 am on Saturday and Sunday. Session times for the afternoon sessions are unchanged. Please drive in safely.

As always, meet details are available on the ESWIM website.


Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Links of the day with Jocelyn Jay

Leadership Tricks by Paul Yetter - http://ow.ly/heQJH 

8 ways to keep your athlete from getting cocky - http://ow.ly/heR53 

9 tips to help your child juggle school and youth sports - http://ow.ly/heRzV 
Eloquence is overrated!! Why you should teach like you tweet - http://ow.ly/hiWNN

Motivation's 3 C's - Control, Confidence & Connectedness - http://ow.ly/hp3fo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When the lights come back on...

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens from winning Superbowl 47. Baltimore Quarterback, Joe Flacco played a hell of a first half. But this post is not about the Baltimore Ravens, it's about what happened just after half time when the power in the Super Dome went out. 

Going into the half, the San Francisco 49'ers trailed 21-6 and right after halftime, Baltimore returned the kickoff for a touchdown, making the score 28-6 (which also kept the Baltimore offence off of the field for the start of the second half). Then, the power went out for 40min, halting the momentum that the Ravens had. It also kept the Baltimore offence off of the field for another 40min. Added together the time they had been off since the first half, halftime, second half and now a 40min power outage, the Baltimore offence had now been inactive for about 80min. San Francisco took stock of the situation and decided that the 22pt deficit they held did not mean that their game was over and they snapped into action. Most of you who watched the game know what happened from there, but the game ended with a Baltimore victory... but only narrowly. Final score 34-31. 

Congratulations to the 49'ers for not giving up and allowing the game to slip away from them. They took advantage of something that could have ruined them even further and played the game of their lives.

As a coach, I think I've seen it all; power outages, fire alarms, actual fires, weather, etc. All of these things could be used as excuses. I remember being in Nepean and having the fire alarm go off just before one of my swimmers 400IMs. The swimmer (and many others, to my recollection) gave up from that point, citing that the situation wasn't ideal for a great swim. I don't think I've often seen young swimmers take advantage of an extra break or a change to the "normal circumstances" - in fact, in Ontario swimming, I often see the opposite. I hope that as many swimmers as possible learned from watching that game and understand that sometimes odd or unfavourable circumstances are a gift; not a sign that you should pack it in. How will you react when the lights come back on?


With the meet season here, many athletes are feeling the stress of performance and axiety that comes with racing. Although the following files are to be used by my club swimmers, I will allow anyone who needs these exercises to go ahead and stream them from my Dropbox account.

Sit somewhere where you can be undisturbed for a while and sit with both feet on the floor. Click on the following links, listen and follow the relaxation exercises. Hopefully these will help.

Relaxation: This is a good one to listen to when you need to get your mind off of everything.
Mindful Breathing: Helping you calm down.
Acceptance of Anxiety: Dealing with your anxious feelings.

Remember: relaxation is a skill and needs to be practiced like other skills. Bookmark this post and visit regularly.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Exclusive New Pics from the Wayne Gretzky Centre Renovation

Things are looking pretty good over in Brantford,  ON.  These new pics are from the renovation to the pool. First pic is where the new Head guard office in the old pool. Second pic is new pool area. Third pic is different angle from old pool.

Friday, February 1, 2013

#coachmikepodcast episode 37

Today I had my very first "roundtable" on #coachmikepodcast featuring Tom Rushton (Montreal Training Centre), Sean Baker (Oakville Aquatic Club), Former Canadian Olympian and Blogger Casey BarrettJocelyn Jay (Brantford Aquatic Club) and Dave Ling (Toronto Swim Club). We cover yesterday's hot news about Pierre LaFontaine stepping down as CEO and National Team Director of SNC and moving to CIS. Also, British coach, John Atkinson taking over as SNC's Director of High Performance. Some very interesting perspectives from all sides and I am greatful to all of my guests for joining me and making this possible. I think this is one of the best episodes produced to date. Please check it out and share with your friends.

As always, you should check out my blog and follow me on Twitter (@coachmikeswim). Check out my archived past episodes as well. Please check out Casey Barrett's blog Cap & Goggles when you get a chance!

UPDATE: As of 2:04pm E.S.T the player is not recognizing the new episode. Click here or visit the link on the top left of the blog page to listen.