Sunday, March 31, 2013

World Championship Trials

I am leaving today for Victoria BC for World Championship Trials. Good luck to everyone going.

Live Results can be found here.

UPDATE: For the record, my prediction is 4-5 NCAA athletes making the World Championship Team for Canada. Time will tell...

Friday, March 29, 2013

HHBF Best Performances to date...

This is an update to a previous post with current ranking information.

I thought it would be fun to examine the top times in HHBF history, as of today, to start the 2013 LC season. As club records become harder and harder to break (not a bad thing at all!), I think it is a good time to measure depth; more specifically, are our current swimmers the fastest that this club has ever had? Check out the following events. Note the following:
i.) This info is pulled from the SNC database. All meets from last season should be uploaded - this is about as good of a snapshot as you're going to get. It'll get harder once we start competing and results start posting.
ii.) A name can only appear once. For example, Kyle Haas has gone 58.8 for 100BK 5 times, but only his best time of 57.81 appears, not all of the other times done. This is depth of athletes and their best times only.
iii.) Where do you stand? I challenge you to make the top 10 in 3 events before your career is over. Already have 3? See how many you can rack up and how high you can be. Competition is what makes this sport great, and what makes our club better!

Something that I notice right away is that HHBF swimmers never used to swim the "hard" events. 200FLY, 1500FR, 400IM are all very short lists. Our current coaching staff is one that will stay around for the long events and prepare swimmers for the "harder" events. No reason why that cannot be filled up this season.

This list is a good measuring stick of performance and depth. Since the database is automatically updated by SNC, bookmark this entry and check back every so often to see how our depth improves... more importantly, how YOU help our depth improve.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mens NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships 2013

This meet officially started this morning in Indianapolis, IN. With The Georgia Bulldogs winning the womens title, all eyes are on a tight field on the mens side. Comprehensive coverage can be found over at SwimSwam and live results can be found here.

Live video can be found HERE (Please watch, the meet is indescribably intense.)

Canadians such as NEW's Matthew Swanston, ESWIM's Hassaan Abdel-Khalik, ISLAND's Jeremy Bagshaw, CASCADE's Chad Bobrovsky & Edmonton's Richard Funk (seeded 3rd in 100BR) are all competing. Good luck to everyone; especially the Canadians!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Would Ryan Lochte Do..? *facepalm!!

E! Channel released a 4min trailer of Ryan Lochte's new reality show yesterday and since they will not allow me to embed the video here, on my blog, YOU MUST GO TO THEIR WEBSITE AND SEE IT! ... and not in a good way, sadly.

This show will premier on Sunday April 21st, 2013. Although it mystifies me why most people have reality shows, this one mystifies me the most. I originally thought that it would be good for the sport, but I don't think this is going to make anyone in swimming look good - especially since it has a scene of him telling his "coach" Mike (??? What happened to Greg Troy..?? Did Ryan hire a member of his entourage to be his coach..??) that he was going out drinking before a "big meet". I can see Ryan quickly becoming a very bad influence on many athletes based on this scene alone.

Here are my thoughts on the trailer:
  • In reference to the scene I mentioned above; can anyone name a "big meet" held on USA soil that Lochte went to since the Olympics? World SC Championships were in Turkey... I would imagine that he wouldn't be drinking the night before World SC Championships... especially in Florida, since he would have to be in Turkey the next morning. This may be more scripted than young impressionable athletes realize and that may actually harm the sport.
  • WHAT HAPPENED TO GREG TROY AND WHO THE HELL IS MIKE??? For those of you who don't know, Greg Troy is Ryan Lochte's long time coach. This is a picture of Greg Troy. My guess is that E! felt that Greg wasn't young enough or good looking enough - or perhaps that Greg isn't backing the whole idea and was replaced with "Mike". Good gig for "Mike"... look for him to become the head coach of a program near you soon.
  • Ryan Lochte's mom name is Ike???
  • I love hearing Ryan explain things; like how to pronounce "JEAH" but not really explaining why he says such a daft thing all the time.
I'm not sure that this is what we were going for guys.

Ever had a disappointing swim..?

Kierra Smith is is a freshman at the University of Minnesota, and from Kelowna, BC.  She was seeded 9th going into NCAAs in the 200 breaststroke, and 26th in the 100 breaststroke.

This article was published on Kierra Smith's blog yesterday (which I didn't even know existed until she posted it on Twitter... apparently I even missed a shout out to yours truly) after placing 42nd at NCAAs. Spoiler Alert: She was not happy about placing 42nd.

Kierra is a great athlete and a super girl. We had a lot of fun recording her #coachmikepodcast episode and I think very highly of her. I recommend that anyone who has had a disappointing race or meet read her entry. Kierra gets very candid and gives some insight to how she feels, what she thinks went wrong and how to move forward after "letting everyone down". Please take the time to read her post - we spend a lot of time talking about successes; but more time needs to be spent learning how to deal with disappointment. I feel that Kierra is handling it the right way.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My New Experiment

I'm sort of excited to announce my newest project through Google+: The Canadian Swim Coaching Community.  (I say "sort of" because it is a limited venture - it will rely on more people using Google+ than currently do). My idea here is to provide a social network dedicated to allowing Canadian Coaches to network and share opinions, information and ideas. Although this is an effort to get Canadian Swim Coaches connected, coaches from anywhere and any sport are welcome. Right now I have to approve your joining, but I will add everyone who requests (regardless if I know you or not) for the next 48 hours. All you need is a Google+ account.

In time, I'd like to offer webinars and live hangouts to discuss various topics. Google+ offers a lot of cool tools; sign up and help us get this community off the ground.

5 "Musts" for returning to training after March Break

So March Break is over... Some of you are training for Senior Nationals in April, while others are using this valuable chunk of time to get ready for LC season. 

Word of advice to those of you who may be returning from vacation and have taken the past week off - It's time to get back to work. Chances are that your competition did not take a week off and has been training. You have work to catch up on; the sport didn't take a vacation because you were away - others were at home training and improving. If you are returning from vacation, get back to routine as quickly as possible and get out of holiday mode! The challenges that lie ahead are great; LC season will require a solid aerobic background and good fitness. 

5 "MUST"s for returning to training after March Break:
  1. Get back onto your sleep schedule: You cannot afford to miss more training time because "I couldn't fall asleep" or "I slept past my alarm". You'll need to dust the cobwebs off of those highly disciplined time management skills and internal clock that all swimmers boast about ASAP.
  2. Wash your hands: Stay as healthy as possible and no better way than to wash your hands like crazy. Remember, you're working from behind so you'll be working harder (making your immune system a little weaker) AND you cannot afford to miss any more swimming.
  3. Review your goals: Its always important to stay hungry and its easy to be complacent when you forget about why you're doing something. Reviewing your goals (alone or with your coach) is always a smart idea to help with your motivation.
  4. EAT!: You'll need to replenish everything you use. Again; I don't mean eat junk, eat smart and replenish what you're using. You're likely using around 1000cal every workout, don't forget. That needs to be replaced.
  5. Compete - All out - All the time: I love competition in practice - its healthy. Nothing motivates someone harder than the guy that never beats them beating them. We're nearing the end of the season and success in practice is becoming more critical. Pay attention to practice PBs, who you're keeping up to and who is beating you... then improve on all of it.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Things Of Interest..?

1.) A virtual tour of the new Pan-Am Centre in Toronto (currently under construction).

2.) Women's Division 1 NCAA Championships begin in Indianapolis tomorrow. Canadians such as Brittany MacLean, Chantal VanLandenham (spelling..?) Sinead Russell, Brooklyn Snodgrass, Cynthia Pammett, Paige Miller, Kiera Smith, Lauren Erp, Marnie Oldershaw, Annie Harrison and others will represent and some will get medals. My friends over at swimswam (right side of the page linked as "results") will cover this fully and, while it is a yards meet, it is still lightning fast. has a time conversion utility on the right side of their page. You can check out how fast these swims are yourself.

While I'm on this topic, I would like to publicly shake my head in confusion and shame at SNC for continually holding Major Games Trials (last year Olympic Trials; in this case World Championship Trials) 2 weeks after women's NCAAs and 1 week after men's NCAAs while other countries are holding theirs much later in the season. Some of our brightest talent are competing at these meets (Olympians MacLean & Russell are currently in the USA) and will have to manage a very tight taper, not to mention going from SCY to LCM in a matter of days. Needless to say; this is the hand we've been dealt and we're got to deal with it. I still don't understand why we're punishing our athletes (and ourselves) with this ridiculous timing.

...and scene.

3.) Ontario Provincial Mentor Coach, Dean Boles's monthly report can be found here. Thanks for the shout out, Dean!

Links of the day with Jocelyn Jay

Is Mental Toughness Genetic or Trainable?
The 9 Mental skills for successful athletes -
7 rules of napping -
9 tips for being a sprint sports parent superstar - this can apply to anytime of year -

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mr. T Gives You One To Grow On...

Friday, March 8, 2013

World Class Info On Starts & Turns

FINA has posted its presentations from the coaches clinic held in October which can all be found on FINA's Youtube Channel. The most interesting (in my opinion) is from Frank Busch National Team Director of USA Swimming and a highly decorated coach in his own right.

This is very good information and I encourage all coaches (especially coaches charged with young athlete development) make good use of Frank Busch's talk on starts and turns.

Frank's pool videos (as seen in his presentation) can be found here: Starts | Back Starts | Pushoffs

You can find the rest of the videos from the conference here and the other PDF presentations here.

Coaching Credentials - Stuck In The Past?

I'd like to have a discussion about this article in the Independent Free Press in Halton Hills (posted on Thursday March 7th, 2012). In it, Guelph, ON, soccer coach, Ruben Flores has been fired by a Kitchener area Soccer Team for not being able to proof his credentials (Flores claims to have played for Mexico in the Olympics and World Cup matches - however, he claims that he played under an assumed name and cannot connect any of these achievements to his present identity). 

The line in this story that gets me is: 

Tack said Flores went through a time in his formative years in Mexico when he and other athletes played under assumed names and he shouldn’t be penalized for this.
If anything, Flores deserves praise for how well he performed in mentoring and coaching Guelph Soccer.
“We are the envy of the province. That all comes down to Ruben,” Tack said.

My question is this: how important is it to rest on your laurels of yesteryear? If Flores is such a remarkable coach, couldn't he just take the bits about his playing days out of his resume; wouldn't that effectively make this whole thing disappear? Why is this coach sticking so hard to this identity that he cannot prove?
I feel that coaches embellish their credentials all the time and so does everyone else in the working world. A basic search of many new and young coaches in Ontario will show that many of their biographies are written to embellish the achievements in their swimming career - thats kind of the point of a coaching bio - who doesn't want to swim for a high profile coach. However, given a bit of coaching experience, the focus should be put on what that coach has achieved as a coach anyway. Who cares if someone was part of the 1992 Olympics? Unless that coach has done something significant to enhance the landscape of their club and sport, they may as well be boasting that they created People Magazine or wrote Citizen Kane under the pseudonym Orson Wells*. 
In this case, Flores has contributed to the sport and his club... so why not just drop it? Why is this news?  I defy any parent reading this to say that they have never embellished a resume. I want to hear from you, but since I cannot seem to turn the comments section back on - you'll have to get my by Google+ or by Twitter. I want to know what you think about this story and how you feel about coaches. Would you rather swim for a former great athlete (even if you didn't know if they were a good coach) or a great coach who never swam competitively? Us the hashtag #greatcoaches.

*Update: Yes, I am fully aware that it was Herm Mankiewicz that wrote Citizen Kane, not Wells, but no one would have caught the Mank reference.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mixed Bag

Things that are interesting to me today:

  • Peeing in the pool is okay..???? - via RedOrbit 
  • Lets hear it for Canadian women in the NCAA. Official psych sheets are up and Canadians such as Sinead Russell, Brooklyn Snodgrass, Cynthia Pammett, Kiera Smith and Paige Miller are all top 10 seeds (Russell and Miller are top 3). 
  • Not sure if anyone read my article on Swimnews last week. You can read it again HERE.
  • Watch "ASK THE EXPERTS" on OFF THE DECK from the Swim Ontario website. Send your "ASK THE EXPERTS" questions to me. I'll do my best to answer them.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Links of the day with Jocelyn Jay

Tyler McGill has a great 3 part series on "So, you want to get faster...". 
Part 1 - Become a student of the Sport
Part 2 - Being Coachable...
Part 3 - Ownership: Give it Everything
Why can some kids handle pressure, while others fall apart?  Scientists think bouts of panic in stressful situations can be traced to genetics. But don’t freak out. Biology is not necessarily destiny.

20 Ways to Prepare young athletes for success in sports and life - more for parents -