I put on a swim clinic at the Lakeland Hills YMCA in New Jersey last weekend. We also put on a diabetes expo with the BD diabetes team. Just wanted to say thanks to the hundreds of people that came. I had a great time. Thanks! If you didn’t catch me there I talk swimming and/or diabetes year round at our camps in the much warmer Florida Keys. Come visit us and we’ll make you a faster swimmer. Bring the whole family because there is plenty to do for everyone. I’ll see you soon.
Is Thorpe A Cheater? Oh, and the World Championships…
Because it’s the right thing to do I am going to start this Aqua Notes by covering the newsworthy swims of the World Swimming Championships. Who cares about Ian Thorpe when Michael Phelps goes a 1:43.86 in the 200 free? Michael had an incredible meet, no doubt. The 50 freestyle went to Ben Wildman Tobriner in an impressive time of 21.88. Congratulations to Ben, for dashing everyone’s Fantaswim picks! And to the beautiful Therese Alshammar for winning the 50 fly, Huzzah! The whole meet was spectacular! I could go on and on about the great swims but I’ll leave some for the water cooler. Now for the dirt. Read more
Sylvester Stallone. Who in their right mind wants to look like this?
He’s a mutant. He looks like he is about to pop, or start to bleed from his eyes, or start to bleed from his eyes, then pop. He looks constantly constipated, and asphyxiated. Holy cats! He’s gonna blow! If only he could manage to do this on camera it would create the only “must see” stuff of his career since Rambo (1, not 2). Read more
Black History Month:
February was black history month. There are 300,000 registered swimmers with USS. Fewer than 2% are black. The Race Club is about racing in the pool but recently the other type of race is being addressed, with the release of the movie PRIDE, the news surrounding Cullen Jones and United States Swimming recently bringing in diversity specialists and creating outreach programs. Here is a link to an inspiring article about Brielle White, an African American swimmer that is training for the 2008 Games: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blackhistory2007/news/story?id=2759304 Brielle and I will be going to the Pan American Games this summer, and I look forward to getting to know her. Read more
Take a letter. Address it to Craig Lord.
Above is the article from the Herald Sun, the interview that I had with Rebecca Williams. And below is the link to Craig Lord’s article for SwimNews.com
I get the feeling Craig Lord doesn’t like me very much. Fine, I can live with that AND sleep well. But look here, I didn’t slam Australian Swimming as some pinhead on another website suggests. I am DISAPPOINTED that the Australian team has faltered since Sydney, I’m not reveling in it. I have taken the time to cut and paste the context that I feel validates any comment I made to Rebecca in an article where we were discussing the Australian MEN’S swim team. Read more
There are two type of people in this world, those that believe there are two types of people in this world and those that don’t.
People either like the sports movie and have seen every one of them, or there are those who don’t like the sports movie and roll their eyes at the memory of that speech that is supposed to raise your hair that the coach always gives in the locker room to a dejected team that emerges to give 110%, winning at the last second. Whether you think that the sports movie is cheese or not, they do serve a purpose. Read more
I started training in June over in Croatia. The Hall Family headed over to Croatia to train and attend a couple of competitions. What sticks out in my mind is the meet organizer guy that dropped me off at the airport. He said as we pulled up to the gate, “I hope that you come back again next year …………. And TRY!!!” He didn’t even slow down that much as I was thrown from the car. I rolled a few times and dusted myself off.
But that’s where it all began, a 23.9 after just one swim practice after taking nearly two years off. I continued training though and by the Janet Evans Invitational a little over a month later I had my time down to a 22.7. Nationals saw another drop for me, a pleasant surprise of 22.49 which tied me for fourth place. I don’t understand how the selection process works but I was placed on the Pan Pacific team. Read more
MARKETING NEW FORMATS, SAME SPORT:
Hold on. If I may, I would like to say that the idea of condensing the format of the swim meet is not a bad idea, certainly worthy of discussion. Meets are too long for both the swim parent and also the spectator. We aren’t trying to turn it into football or any other sport by trying to accommodate viewers. That’s marketing, and there is nothing wrong with marketing swimming. How do we shorten the program without cutting “the fat” (i.e. breaststroke, the skipping race of swimming) and offending people (i.e. breastrokers)? By the way, I am not against breast stroke.
One, cut out semi-finals. Why do we have them? The only time a meet wants more swimming is at the Olympics because swimming gets high television ratings and high ratings mean more $$$. So, the Olympics are the one exception, in more than a few ways. No other meet comes close to marketing itself to the general public the way the Olympics do. Other meets should not be following the lead of the exception. Read more
One morning Gary, Elizabeth, and I decided to go for a dive. We’re off the FL Keys and shark tales are just that… tales. We headed about three miles offshore and reached our destination. Gary and I jumped in the water, spears in hand, as Elizabeth grabbed a spinner and began fishing from the boat. A huge snapper here, and an enormous grouper there, we were quickly 200 meters away from our boat. Elizabeth held the reigns on our vessel as Gary and I scoured the sea for dinner.
Before long, Gary had shot a snapper, and I, a grouper…both too big for our weak little spears (Yeah, that’s right. I’m blaming the spears, not our skills). Gary descended again, this time for the kill. The end of his spear held the biggest snapper I had ever seen. Knowing we had two bleeding fish under the rocks below us, I went down to grab a grouper with my own spear before heading back to the boat. When I headed down, I saw I shark. This was no ordinary shark. This was a type of shark that I had never seen before, and that’s all I needed to know. Read more
For years, I have enjoyed watching the Race Club coaches, Mike Bottom and Jon Olsen, create workouts for their swimmers that are out of the box….I mean way out of the box. Coming from an era of hard yet predictable workouts, it is refreshing to watch swimmers train where they don’t have a clue what might be coming next. And to be truthful, I don’t think the coaches always know either. Depending on how the group looks, feels, acts, there is always room for a lot of improvisation. Often it seems like crazy stuff…pulling with weights wrapped around ankles, kicking with a cinder block pressed against the abdomen, out of the water for a boxing session, a sprint session with a stretch cord wrapped around the waist, back out of the water for a few dunks on the basketball court, then back in for more sprints. The only thing predictable about these workouts is the result: fast swimming. And the swimmers never get bored. Read more
I got word that you are having some difficult times with the training that swimming requires. I know what you’re thinking because I have thought it myself. Every swimmer goes through that. We ask ourselves questions like, “Why am I doing this?” when things aren’t fun.
It’s a good question. Do you know the answer? There aren’t any magic words that I can say that will make you leap from your bed every morning for the rest of your life exclaiming, “Today, I will swim!” because there are going to be days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed. There are going to be days when you would rather be hanging out doing normal stuff with friends than swimming practice. I will tell you that by identifying what you like about swimming, why you are swimming, and focusing on that during those tough days will make getting through it a LOT easier. Read more