Here at North Bay Aquatics we are very fortunate to have David Winters leading the charge with our Pre-senior and Senior 2 groups. He is assisted by Simon and Greg. This is an exceptionally gifted group of coaches. They are mature adults who have a wide range of experience. They love working with developing youngsters and it shows both in the results and the smiles on the faces of the swimmers. Personally we think the latter is more important…but that is our bias.
Meets are a huge factor in the development of young swimmers. It gives them feedback on how they are progressing and what specific items they can focus on for the next round of training. The following four points went out in an email from David just after a recent meet. We share this with you in hopes it helps you with your team or young swimmer. We especially liked #3.
Have a great week in and out of the pool!
- Know the pace of a meet. Look at a program and see how many swimmers are competing in events prior to your event. Divide the number by “8” (if eight lanes are being used per heat) and that’s how many heats. Then multiple by 3 minutes for a 200 and one and a half to two minutes for a 100. For 500’s figure five and a half minutes to six minutes per heat. All this takes time and experience but it can ease your mind. Another way to know when to swim is to study the “time line” which I usually email to parents prior to a meet if available or find a time line posted at the meet. The coaches can also give some ideas of the pacing of the meet.
- Prior to racing let’s warm-up. We warm-up at each practice so we need to warm-up prior to racing. My groups rehearse warm-ups prior to meets in practice. Many have specific warm-ups they need to accomplish at certain meets. The warm-up is to prepare your body and mind to race. It requires an elevated heart rate so there needs to be some fast swimming in warm-ups prior to the start of the meet. I also need to see everyone in our pace lanes and start lanes to practice off blocks and to rehearse our pacing for your events. Do not forget to swim down after pace and starts. Prior to your race please warm-up!!!. Some on our team have to swim a little faster than easy in this portion of warm-up because of pre-race anxiety. Some like to go from warm-up pool right to the blocks. Others like to warm-up and dry 5-10 minutes prior to their race. This takes several meets to figure out the best strategy for the swimmer and their racing.
- Warming down after races: This is really important!!!!! After the swimmer races they can visit the coaches and then warm-down or warm-down and then visit the coaches. Ideally I want 15-20 minutes of warm-down or 8 x 100. While this seems like a lot to many consider this one: If I told your swimmer that the practice was going to be a fast 100 from the blocks, then 8 x 100 cooling down then a fast 200 from the blocks followed by 8 x 100 cool down, plus a fast 100 followed by 8 x100’s, the swimmer would think it was the easiest practice ever. One missed warmed down can affect all the other swims down the line that day.
- Never breathe at the end of races. We work on holding our breath in fly and free the last 7.5 meters from the finish at practice. Holding your breath will allow for a faster time at the end.