Sunday, January 31, 2016

Two Training Sessions

We admit we aren’t perfect at this but we really want to call every pool and weight room session “training” rather than “practice”. To us “training” means specific preparation while “practice” is, well, just practice…not the real deal. We have 36 in our Senior 1 training group and probably 25 +/- are really training for their advancement to the next level of competition. They fire us up daily…ours is actually the best profession in the world. The 30th below is from Ken and the 31st from Don (we train on Saturday and Sunday, taking Friday off)…the swimmers (again not all but most) responded superbly. Got a great one? Share with us and we will share with the world…
As Dave Krotiak says, “Have an awesome day!”

1/30 youth
Wmp 4 x 50/.50
600 mix and match – any gear but kick boards
4 x 150 kick...last 50 no board on 2:45
4 x 100 pull 1st scull on 1:40
200 IM

9 x 50 on the: 50
1st 3 start bursts
Next 3 turn bursts
Last 3 finish bursts

4 rounds...200 pacing
50 on the: 40 this will be timed
100 on the 1:20 this will be timed
50 on the 1:00 this will be hypoxic...2 breaths per lap (breaststrokers 2 pull throughs)

The goal will be to be within 4 seconds on your 100 of your doubled 1st 50 time

If you go a 25 on first 50... You break 54 on the 100
26 on first 50... You break 56 on the 100
27 on first 50... You break 58 on the 100
28 on first 50... You break 60 on the 100 Etc
How fast can you go on the first 50 and still do this correctly?

After we do one
4 x 50 on the 1:00 easy then take a minutes before next round

600 pull every 4th lap hypoxic...2 breaths
300 pull every 3rd lap Breast Pull

4 x 25/.30 alternate Buildup & burst

12 x 50 ... Actual number TBD
Odds on the: 40.... These are fast
Evens on the 1:20... These are easy

1st fast doing your 200 breathing pattern
2nd fast doing your 100 breathing pattern
3rd fast 50 breathing pattern

1-31-16 - Goals: keep 500 gang’s focus narrow on the 500 working both aerobic and anaerobic capacities. Main group same idea – focus on 200 and 100 needs while building the same aerobic and anaerobic capacities…Ken will have sprint group do specialized work after the wmp and 20x25 set
Wmp – 45 minutes of skills and drills…then 20x25/.40 doing the sequencing as follows:
1 under then 1 surface, then 2 under then 1 surface, then 3 under etc all the way to 5 under and 1 surface…all under laps are 15 mtrs fast, all surface laps are flawless, evenly balanced swimming zero breath…..60 minutes
500 Gang: 1x500NS/6 then 5x100/1:30 fast as possible
                        500NS/5:45…5x100/1:40 fast As Above
                        500NS/5:30…5x100/1:50 AA
                        500NS/5:15…5x100/2 AA                                      4000/70 mins
Main Group: you can do stroke anywhere it suits you and seems appropriate, but make sure you do the same stroke for all 3x100  or 4x50  or 4x25…you may change strokes but not on the distance…only exception would be the IM’ers
3 rounds as follows:
Round 1                                Round 2                    Round 3
300/NS 4                               300/NS 3:45             300/NS 3:30
3x100/1:30 Fast                   3x100/1:45 FAST     3x100/2 FAST
200/NS/2:40                         200/NS 2:30             200/NS 2:20
4x50/.45 Fast                        4x50/.50 Fast            4x50/1:10 Fast
1x100/NS 1:20                     1x100/NS1:15                      1x100/NS 1:10
4x25/.30 Fast                        4x25/.40 Fast            4x25/1 Fast
1-3 foot touch                       same                         same
4 = touchpad                                    same                         same
1x200 smooth                      200 smooth              200 smooth=            4200 (1800 effort) 75 mins

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Man on the Moon

In 1962 President JFK (John Kennedy) declared in a speech at Rice University that the United States would put a man on the moon. People were utterly flabbergasted. The brashness of the statement made no sense. JFK had not one single shred of evidence that it could happen. The science wasn’t there nor was the equipment necessary to pull it off even developed.
But the goal was laid out for all to see and hear. Six years later the US had put a man on the moon. It is one of mankind’s most impressive achievements; especially in contrast to where we stood before the statement was uttered.
What JFK and the team of scientists who pulled this off knew was that even though they had no idea how they would be able to achieve this, they trusted that the way would be revealed so long as they continued unfailingly to march in that particular direction. Indeed, it is not so very important to know “how” but rather to know “yes” it will happen…just cannot say exactly how at this point.
When a swimmer or a coach or a team thinks about what it wants to accomplish we wonder if there is a lesson to be learned.
Once you can identify your BHAG – big, hairy, audacious goal – you can then set out to figure out how to pull it off.
This summer in Omaha, there will be at least one (and if history is any predictor, there will be more than one) swimmer who makes the US Olympic team that is not on anybody’s list today as a contender.
This is possible because there is always someone who is dreaming incredibly big…and backing up those dreams with action. In all cases of success those two ingredients are always present: the dream + the action; the goal + the work.
Again, pretty simple while perhaps “impossible” to those looking in from the outside.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”  Mohammed Ali

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rust Never Sleeps

Rust Never Sleeps is an album released July 2, 1979 by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young and American band Crazy Horse. Young used the title "rust never sleeps" as a concept for his tour with Crazy Horse to avoid artistic complacency and try more progressive, theatrical approaches to performing live.
On our team we use this phrase at this time of year when we go to our first meet to acknowledge our own rustiness at the game of racing. It has been 6 or 7 weeks since we have been on the blocks in early December.
Most of our swims on Saturday reflected that reality. We were somewhat better on Sunday since recollection was working. Our swimmers often wondered “how my swim was” and wondered about their time. We of course didn’t really know their times since we weren’t looking at the scoreboard all that much. We took no splits and recorded no tempos or stroke counts.
What we did do is ask them to “be competitive, no matter what” and we gave them feedback based upon those criteria. Some were able to gather themselves and get a decent grip on the race, especially as the weekend went along. There were several who made bonehead moves on breakouts and some of the technical issues we have been working on…and of course those are the issues they have daily in training sessions….
So we will go back to work reinforcing what we saw over the weekend and correcting where possible all the while underscoring the truth about our sport…it is on each swimmer to decide to improve. If they don’t decide to improve, they won’t.
When they do decide to improve then they must, because that is how the universe works…since the beginning of time.
Rust isn’t a bad thing; it is merely something we all deal with from time to time. As Bart Simpson would say, “Don’t have a cow, man!”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Just in Case You Wondered if Mindset is Important

The quote below came from a story Rusty Simmons wrote on 12/26/15 from the SanFrancisco Chronicle. We here in Northern California are currently spoiled when it comes to NBA hoops. We have an ultra-dynamic team with a super organizational structure promoting excellence at every turn…and we have Stephen Curry on the floor nearly every night doing magic tricks. If you ever wondered how important mindset is in high level performance then take a moment and read this from Rusty Simmons…thanks Rusty!

He recently told Time magazine that he believes he is the best player in the NBA.

“Yes, in my mind, I do, because that’s the confidence I need to have when I step on the floor every single night,” Curry told the local media Thursday. “I need that level of expectation to try to get better, to be as consistent as I can and to have that killer instinct that I can do pretty much anything I want on the court. I need to have that mentality. When I’m out there taking shots and making plays, in my mind, I have the utmost confidence in myself. I think anybody should have that.
“I don’t ever rank anybody. There are so many great players in this league, and if you ask any of them, if their answer is any different, I would be surprised. If you don’t have that mentality, you’re going to get exposed.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hello Swimming Enthusiasts

Special mid-week edition…

Hello Swimming Enthusiasts,

We thought we’d give you an update on how the world of swimming is changing and how you can make your voice heard going forward.

Many of you are aware of FIFA – the world’s soccer organization – and the fiduciary scandals that have ground that organization to nearly a halt. The impact on the world soccer game is enormous.

Many of you are aware that FINA is our sport’s world governing body. FINA has many similar issues to FIFA. The primary ones are lack of transparency in decision making processes and an unwillingness to share financial records.

FINA has an approximate income of $45,000,000 – yup – 45M – annually. This money comes from sale of TV rights plus sponsorship money. FINA distributes approximately $2,000,000 to the athletes. The obvious question is, where does the rest go? FINA is unwilling to share that information.

So, a group of well-respected swimming sport leaders and coaches have agreed to begin a worldwide organization to represent the athletes and coaches who actually earn the 45M. The WSA – World Swimming Association – has already begun organizational efforts and recruitment of key personnel. Under the proposed charter the United States will have 3 seats. Those 3 seats will be occupied by George Block, current head of the World Swimming Coaches Assn, John Leonard, the several decades Executive Director of the American Swimming Coaches Assn, and Bob Bowman, the 2016 Men’s Olympic Coach (lifetime coach of Michael Phelps).

It is the aim of the WSA to be athlete centric and fully transparent with respect to decision making and all matters financial. It is time to give the sport back to those who make it so compelling: THE ATHLETES. There are discussions of a World Tour, similar to tennis and golf. The overwhelming majority of the funds earned go  to the athletes. Think Serena Williams. If it works for her to play in the Olympics and take a crack at a medal then sure, she’ll give it a go. But what is really important to her is Wimbledon; the French, Australian and US Opens and all the other tour stops that pay big money.

Golf and tennis are big time entertainment businesses, that happen to use a sport as the delivery vehicle. The golfers have their tour – the PGA. Swimmers will soon have their tour as well.

It is a long overdue change and it is happening now. Why? Follow the money…pretty simple.

Please see the attached article and you can get a sense of how our sport has changed. It changes regularly by the efforts of the coaches and athletes who make it so compelling, so watchable. Need proof? Check the Olympic viewing data. The general population wants to know what great feat Michael Phelps will accomplish next. All girls swimming want to watch Katie Ledecky. She will capture a lot of attention this summer…and so it goes.

Check out the article below to get a great appreciation for all things swimming!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Full Definition of ANTHROPOLOGY

1:  the science of human beings; especially:  the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture

Competitive swimming human beings, aka competitive swimmers, have evolved over the centuries into four sub groups:
1 – Those who love to race and train and therefore race and train well
2 – Those who love to race but do not love to train and therefore do not race well
3 – Those who love to train but do not love to race and therefore do not race well
4 – Those who love being called competitive swimmers but who neither train nor race well
Competitive swimming coaches, aka swimming coaches, have similarly evolved over the centuries into two sub groups:
1 – Those who foster and therefore acquire competitive swimmers from sub group 1
2 – All the others
Interestingly, studies of human behavior reveal that humans want two things simultaneously. They want to be part of a larger group while being recognized for their individual presence.
Competitive swimmers want to be part of the team while being recognized for their individual accomplishments.
Being part of the team is not as easy as it sounds. It requires that you select the team based upon which of the four subgroups it identifies itself with making certain it matches your identity.
If the team is a group 1 but you are a different group then one of two things happens:
A – You are miserable since you cannot find a “space” in which you fit; meaning you don’t love to train and/or race so you cannot be part of the larger group AND your lack of desire makes you feel uncomfortable because your individual accomplishments are unrecognizable.
B – You find yourself transformed by the energy of the group AND eventually figure out how to distinguish yourself individually.
Those coaches who have a clearly defined and readily declared statement of their team’s culture make it easier for swimmers to find them. When their team is out in public – i.e. at competitive meets – the swimmers and coaches become beacons of light, clearly illuminating their existing culture. The results of the individuals and the team pretty much take care of themselves…
Or so it seems to us…Happy New Year to all!