Backstroke turn in the medley

I want each coach to query any disqualification for the backstroke turn in the medley and ask the following:

  1. who reported the infraction
  2. did the referee accept an infraction report from a stroke judge/official on the side of the pool?
  3. was there a turn judge on each lane?

It is very important that the quality of judging gets raised because there are strokes where the judging is so difficult to do that it is really very important that the person judging the action stands directly above the lane to see what’s actually going on.

It is literally up to the referee from whom they accept infraction reports and if they accept an infraction report from an official who is not directly on the lane then the angle of vision and ability to see detail is diminished.

To improve the chances of swimmers to develop stroke techniques to the utmost efficiency, they must be judged on the technique applied as it can be seen from the nearest possible angle rather than from further away.

For example, if a swimmer comes to the end of the backstroke and changes onto the breaststroke, the swimmer must finish the backstroke as if it was the end of a backstroke race. The swimmer must touch the wall whilst on his back with part of his body above the water.

The rules also state clearly that the body can be turned by up to 89 degrees to the side for the swimmer to be on the back. Also the position of the head is not important.

Only the stroke judge on the lane can see if the swimmer touched the wall whilst still on the back especially if that touch happens below the water line.

From further away a side judge cannot see the angle clearly, cannot see where the swimmer touched the wall in relation to the position of the shoulders, if the touch happened below the water line.

Clearly it is unacceptable that swimmers do a tumble turn from the backstroke to the breaststroke because with a tumble turn they do not touch the wall whilst still on their backs but swimmers can develop incredible effective turning techniques.

That is good because the aim of the sport is to swim #swimskilful #swimfast. It is the duty of officials to assist this aim. If there is a doubt it always must be for the swimmer. Judges must be alert and judge what they actually see and not expect the swimmers to do dramatic touches just because they are easier to see. Swimmers must to fast turns to help the sport develop faster swimming.

So if now a swimmer has been disqualified by a side official who is not directly above the lane the disqualification happened in, then I think that coaches should put in a complaint on the grounds that the official could not clearly see what was going on.

I think that all referees should ask the lane turning judge for an opinion before disqualifying a swimmer – especially on the backstroke turn – to get the best picture.

Unfortunately not all officials do have radios, if they had, then it would be easy to cross reference with all officials. I think that is something I would strongly support.

Also if a turn judge has more than 1 lane to watch, then they have to concentrate on one swimmer, which gives reason to query a disqualification on a lane.

So to improve the quality of swimming and to help swimmers to swim more fast and skilful I think it would be appropriate to query disqualifications on the grounds stated above.

Please do so only strictly within the rules, do not approach individual judges, only approach the referee and ask to see the disqualification report and put in a protest only in the most polite and disciplined manner.

The disqualification report shows at the bottom who submitted the report there are boxes, which must be ticked, it can either be the

  • turn
  • stroke
  • starter
  • referee

So if in the Medley, any other than a turn stroke has submitted an infraction report on the turn from backstroke to breaststroke then I think coaches should query that infraction and subsequent disqualification.

However if the disqualification happened because the swimmer was totally submerged, then of course stroke judges are in a better position to judge that as they can see the whole body. Turn judges and time-keepers cannot keep an eye on the whole body when they have to time when the hand/arm touches the wall, they need to look at that rather than whether the whole body is submerged or not.

 

 

 

 

 

Walking on Hampstead Heath

hampstead heath entranceIt was a grey day with just clouds hanging over us, which gave the foliage this dark green deeply lustrous glint.

All trees were shrouded, as we walked on with a fine rainy mist that spread all over and stopped all view over the crowns of the trees, which surrounded the horizon.

Where we could see through the foliage, the view was barely there.

Hampstead Heath view

When we arrived at the Henry Moore sculpture within the Kenwood estate, Henry Moore’s ‘Two place reclining figure’ nestled shyly under the trees, barely noticeable in the darkness under the sky.

Hampstead Heath Henry Moore
Henry Moore, two place reclining figure at Kenwood estate in Hampstead Heath

That’s when the rain started to fall harder and we couldn’t find a rain-free bench to eat our sandwiches.

Feeling some heavy rain coming on, we went for the nearest bus stop and when we were near Finsbury Park the thunder and lightning and the rain became so bad, sitting in the bus seemed the safest option.

This thunderous rain contrasted sharply with the deeply peaceful atmosphere amongst the trees of the park.

We love the forest and hope the weather allows us further explorations of the London Park this half-term.

Powerwalking Epping Forest

I don’t think it is good to just laze about suddenly, when the body is used to regular exercise, so I suggested a leisurely walk through Epping Forest.

into Epping Forest
enter Epping Forest at Snaresbrook

We started at Snaresbrook and walked along a fairly wet path, which turned out to be muddier further in and some rain drops still fell from the leaves of the trees, when we were greeted by a pair of friendly Mallards who wanted to show us the way.

Mallards Epping Forest
pair of Mallards showing the way

We came past a wonderful meadow with lovely yellow flowers, which was rather big.

Meadow Epping Forest
A wonderful meadow opened up and showed this wonderful clearing

then leave trees paraded on both sides of the path.

Trees Epping Forest
leaves on trees, very relaxing

There was a very interesting contrast between some old and dead trees and new growth, a little ghastly.

sunshine Epping Forest
A ghostly old tree

It gotten even spookier when we arrived near the old and dark swamp.

swamp Epping Forest
The murky Swamp

The creepy, dark swamp was actually filled with black water, which I think makes you sink if you fall into it.

On the way we crossed 2 motorways and went under 1 tunnel on another one.

motorway Epping Forest
Footbridge over motorway

When walking through Epping Forest you are never far away from traffic noise, which is sometimes the only evidence of civilisation around us.

We managed to walk for 2 hours till almost near Walthamstow and then found we are walking around in circles and whilst we left Snaresbrook at 8, we arrived at South Woodford at 10:30, which is only 1 station away from Snaresbrook.

Madison walked very fast, equivalent to a 2 hour kick-session in the pool I should imagine, at least my legs felt like it when we gotten home.

London Regional Summer Champs 2018

Madison cubed the Backstroke. Meaning, Madison came tenth place 3 x in 50, 100, 200 backstroke.

Not bad indeed for a first appearance at these open championships.

Of course all swimmers want to go and swim and win but gains have to be earned through training and better skills.

Madison also finally achieved a 30 second swim for the 50 freestyle, which earned a 21st place.

In the backstroke it’s good to have gotten a 3 second PB in the 200 backstroke. The Best times as published by Swimmingresults now show more and more level 1 meets from 50 m pools.

Qualifying with a fast 25m time that was converted is not easily matched in a 50m pool. We’re trying to set manageable goals, like matching a converted 25m time with an equally fast 50m time.

At present Madison is faster at the 50m freestyle in the 50m pool than in the 25m pool. The latest times will be published within the next couple of days.

It was amazing to see swimmers we normally only see on the streaming of the British Champs. Swimming amongst those great swimmers was an absolute privilege and even being put into ones place, was a great lesson. We witnessed 50 breast swum in 29 seconds and 1500 free in 16 minutes respectively.

Blogging about the sport

Yesterday on Twitter, I read some posts about people blogging in a derogatory way about swimmers and or coaches.

That is the way of the www. There are always mindless people who want to make everything look either bad, ridiculous or simply take the mickey.

There are laws like inciting racial hatred, unlawful discrimination, criminal and terrorist incitement, which are incidences where police will intervene and blogs will have to be shut down.

But when it comes to name-calling, ridicule, bullying, things are harder to control.

It is one of the benefits of the free society that we can freely express our feelings, thoughts and it enriches our lives tremendously.

I would be very concerned if I read nothing but good things about anybody. In fact it seems that only in very repressive and fascist countries nobody is allowed to say anything negative about certain religions, political leaders or countries.

What drives swimmers is the love of the sport and the vast majority of swimmers I know have the greatest respect for their coaches, their fellow swimmers and for the sport.

People who want to progress in the sport and achieve great results will always go to training and swim at every opportunity.

I think that people wanting to learn about the sport and seek inspiration will look around and feel better about reading in-depth stories that may or may not contain some critical words but that comes across very positively and gives readers something to think about and encourages them to take part rather than put them off.

I mean you could sit on your couch all day and do nothing, but who wants to do that?

Full program for London Open 2018

Like looking at the program and listings of swimmers prior to the events, that gives me time to adjust and prepare mentally and physically.

If I know I’m in a later heat, I can calculate the time it gives me to get ready for the race. Knowing the time between warm-up and marching in is a valuable tool. Knowledge is always good.

This weekend is going to be very interesting with international swimmers and the good old friends from local meets.

Great it is at the LAC, loving it. I’m lucky, having 1 race per session. I’ll be able to manifest my long-course times. Very happy that I’ve been accepted for the 50 free.

Swim the Thames at London Fields

How is it possible? It is, the length of the River Thames is 346km, equalling 7000 lengths of the Hackney Lido pool. To be on 30th June 2018 from 3pm till late.

With a combined effort, people are expected to swim those 7000 lengths within 4 hours. That is such a doddle. Inexperienced swimmers can swim as little as one length of the pool. Performance swimmers do much more.

This is couched within a splendid Hackney Aquatics Community Day at the park and the Lido with

  • Swim the Thames! Sponsored Swim at London Fields Lido from 4pm.
  • barbecue, ice cream and food stalls
  • Pilates in the Park
  • Outdoor Yoga
  • Various games and activities such as football and extreme frisbee!

Of course all activities will be expertly run and are supervised.

I understand anybody can take part in the sponsored swim. There is a fundraising page on GoFundMe but I am not sure whether paying into this will also enter people for the sponsored swim. I am awaiting further details. However contributing to the founds would not do any harm to anybody. I think the aim is to help low-income families to allow their kids to swim at the club.

On the fast trail

cptreeThe only thing Madison has in common with Michael Phelps is the fact that she is playing catch up. I seem to remember Michael saying that in his early career, he always played catch-up to the fast swimmers.

These days we are wearing his goggles.

One perk of going to swimming competitions is the fantastic landscape, that we can enjoy regularly. Crystal Palace is set in wonderful mature trees. However the performance is steadily going down-hill this time.

Madison managed to set a new long-course PB in the 50 back but both the 100 back and 200 back were slower than previously achieved times.

We’ll see whether an improvement can be achieved next weekend at the London Swimming Open Summer Champs at the London Aquatics Centre, when Madison will be swimming in four events.

When going to Regionals is a new experience for a swimmer, I suppose the routine and the priming of getting the fitness and results at the right time is something that has to be programmed into the psyche of a swimmer, to peak at the correct moments. Where there is a will there is a swim.

 

sounds good

“Success of a swimmer can be represented as a pyramid;

  • the bigger the base,
  • the higher the peak.

If a swimmer can fill their base with great understanding of skills, coachability and application, they’re giving themselves the best chance of becoming all they dream of in the pool”.

JAMES KIRTON

It’s good to be busy

Since I qualified for regionals, I have not even gotten time to think. I am literally at the pool every spare minute of the day. I don’t even have time to get myself into any kind of trouble, I am too busy for that.

May is an exceptionally busy month. Well, lets say January is busy with County qualifiers, then from May onwards, it’s a mad rush. Literally each weekend in May is a competition weekend because London Regional competitions are stretched out over the whole month to accommodate all age groups and all swimming disciplines.

Since I am also a volunteer, I help sometimes at meets and also in the club. That is very enjoyable. In June come the club development and then other competitions, which I want to use to already qualify for next year’s Counties and Regionals.

It’s always good to plan ahead. I want to widen my repertoire, increase skills in my weakest stroke and get better in my strongest ones.

From September there will be the GCSE time-table and once I know that, I can plan my next season in detail as far as school is concerned but sports wise, we all wait for the County and Regional qualifying times for next year and because world records always get faster, we will need to get faster too at the bottom end of the sport to qualify for those stepping stone meets that allow us to qualify for the national competitions.

My definite goal will be to win some medals at next years County and Regionals because I won so many at the local swimming competitions but winning them at the higher level meets is tough indeed.