No more excuses

I was very impressed watching the @CityofDerbysc level 1 meet today. @HackneyAquatics has a small bunch of swimmers non older than 16 I believe and they did very well in this national atmosphere. Hackney came 16. at the end of day one – out of 44 clubs attending – with only a few swimmers with some very big and famous clubs attending.

At this level 15 year old swimmers had to compete in opens with no age-group to hide behind. Very tough and sobering.

Great thanks to Rick for providing the flair needed to make Hackney a club of the highest calibre with a lot of promise.

No more excuses that either the training or the facilities aren’t good enough to perform. The possibilities are endless with Hackney Aquatics and once Madison comes over her woes to do with changes in her life and we get stuck into this new routine, there is no reason to stop now.

In two weeks we have as a big milestone the MCASA Youth county swims at the LAC and to give some extra strength, will go to the gym tomorrow to fill the weekend with some muscle-workout.

We are team Unify

It finally happened, yesterday, Hackney Aquatics invited swimmers and parents to register with the Team Unify platform.

On with better ways to manage the swimming.

I downloaded the OnDeck app and there it is, all the details in one place, easy to overlook. Quite astonishing to get the overall attendance in such clear percentages. Missing only 4 sessions, reduces attendance to 84%.

But then there was Christmas in the last 4 weeks and kids usually attend the school Christmas concert and once we actually overslept the morning practise.

Getting the attendance statistics is a great way to reflect on attending. Also parents can easily see if their kids attended when they went swimming alone.

We have yet given up another side hobby to have more time for the swimming. I suppose the older one gets and the more one focuses on swimming the more time one wants to spend on it.

Apparently 14 seems to be the crunch point for many. Madison is very keen on swimming and luckily many friends have been in the sport since years and are also very keen, so that swimmers can strengthen each others desires to get better and motivate each other.

It’s very nice now to have the Best times on the program and the usefulness will grow on us.

 

Happy, happy, happy, happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018
Happy New Year 2018

The 4 Happies are the 4 most important parts of a swimmer’s life.

  1. Happy. Happy 2018. For the millennials, 2018 is almost like a ‘coming of age’ year.
  2. Happy. Happy club. As long as you feel you can progress and develop your swimming skills you are in a good club. If a club is part of the ‘Advanced Coaching Scheme’ even better.
  3. Happy. Happy home. Make sure you always got someone available to bring you swimming (if you are not old enough to go by yourself) and your home sharers support your swimming.
  4. Happy. Happy school. Your school is part of the Sport England support network and supports your swimming as a main sport.

On the winning Arena team

Last week’s debacle at Barnet all but forgotten, with a swift recovery, Madison swam for her club @HackneyAquaticsclub at the National Arena League finals at Borehamwood yesterday and Hackney emerged as winner of the League 2 teams and got promoted to League 1.

It was a fast and furious meet with swimmers from 8 clubs hunting the promotion. Everybody gave their best and swam the fastest they could. Really proud to be part of the team.

 

A busy weekend

As a parent I am now fully involved in Madison’s swimming career and as there is little chance of Madison giving up swimming in the near future, I decided to go for qualifying further along the officials path.

On Saturday 19.11.17 I officiated at the ESSA Secondary School championships, a very worthwhile chore, as several records had been broken and thanks to Nick Gillingham Academy, here is one of them. I can be seen on lane 7.

I didn’t have a swimmer at this event as Madison’s school does not have any swimmers. But I very much want to support those who bring swimming to their school communities.

On Sunday, I officiated at the Hackney Aquatics championships, with an unbelievably good atmosphere and great community spirit, an occasion where mainly younger swimmers take their first steps into competition. Madison took part and won several medals and entered the finals.

Everything to swim for

Suddenly, life’s become extremly exciting. Hackney Acquatics is a dream come true for us. There is a

  • great social life with Christmas parties and team meals
  • superb competitions
  • an even better varied training program
  • a swim camp in sunny Spain.

Madison is working hard to manifest her qualifying times for a level 1 meet in Derby in January, that is pre-County and will be held in the national pool in Sheffield.

 

Lots to look forward to

Soon Madison will enter her first Hackney Aquatics Club Championships, which are held with a fun and furiously fast concept but don’t forget that long-distance is the bread and butter of all good swimmers.

This is so exciting that there is an opportunity to swim in Ponds Forge pool for a level 1 meet in January and they only accept the fastest entrants, probably lots of scratches to slower applicants. Well, there are some competitions to get faster times to come before the closing date of the Derby meet. There is the

We’ll definitely have time to improve FINA points and best times prior to the closing date for the Middlesex County Championships, which is in November already. Next year, Madison will have to swim in Juniors for the first time as she’ll be 14 next year.

The Gators meet at the Aquatics Centre in January already gives a good opportunity to polish up on those regional times for next year too.

 

 

MCASA Development silver

The medals are getting prettier, this MCASA silver medal is one of the nicest in appearance, tucked into a smart case with wonderful decorations.

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MCASA silver medal

Won at the Middlesex Winter Development meet on 15. October 2017.

It is Madison’s first medal won whilst swimming for Hackney Aquatics.

@gllsf, @HackneyAquatics

Madison was very brave to attend this competition because she sprained her wrist 3 days before and had lots of ice packs. Of course she was slower than her PB and could not improve her speed but still maintained the competitive spirit.

Adam Peaty MBE

Adam’s receiving his MBE is probably one of the most shared and liked images on Twitter and across all swimming publication platforms.

peaty-mbe-medal

Because Adam is one of the cleanest athletes and that is what makes him so likeable.

The guy never moanes. He is seen working out, trying new moves, emphasizing training methods are the most important tool of a swimmer; so Adam is probably the most important influence on Madison today.

Madison met Adam briefly during her stay at Mel Marshall’s Easter swim camp; Adam held a lecture to camp attendants this year 2017. There will be another camp next Easter.

Even as a parent I can learn a lot from this swimmer because he proves that only hard training and concentrating on the pool can make a swimmer; I just used to moan at the coach that Madison didn’t get promoted quick enough when she was younger.

Moaning at coaches doesn’t make any swimmer faster, it just makes working together that little bit harder. I am now not getting involved any longer apart from bringing her to training and competitions. Trying to help out will make swimming competitions easier for everyone and is actually constructive as it provides a great platform for all who are keen to compete. Parents try getting onto officials courses that keeps you busy rather than wait around a pool for 2 days.

I have learned that parents really are most important as helpers and supporters rather than wanting to be critical friends.

And swimming is so rewarding. Because swimmers get fully occupied in the club activities parents can easily calculate their costs of the training and club membership because costs are easily predictable and spending is relatively steady.

Kids spend most of their spare time with the club and that makes swimming as a sport also a life-style and life-long good habit. Once a swimmer always a swimmer.

Even though I hear it that people complain that the cost of the swimming club is too high, in my experience the cost is easier to handle than having other impulse spending that usually happens when there is no proper plan in place to do things with the children after school and in holidays. Swimming club costs are fixed costs that can be calculated ahead for the season and there are few surprises that could break the bank. Even away swimming competitions can double up as family break away.

For Adam Peaty investing all his time in swimming worked out superbly and I suppose the sport is self-regulating because if the swimmer feels the success and that stimulates the swimmer to keep on swimming then that is a career path worth taking. Once swimmers get really good they get offered sponsorship and podium funding and I suppose commercial opportunities follow.

For others they fade out of the performance competition side of the sport and rather concentrate on education or work but the habit of going swimming will normally stay with all who once engaged with the sport.

If your child wants to swim and you think you want to support it, try and find a club for them.

 

National county team champs

Are to be held in Ponds Forge and the teams come from all over England.

Whilst looking through the swimmers representing Middlesex, our new County, I noticed that a new swimming club has been established.

Whilst Lisa Bates started at Chelsea & Westminster as Head of Swimming, one of the star swimmers, Clara von Opel, has joined the new club Natare, West London Swimming Club, headed by Michael Jamieson.

Michael Jamieson of course is a well-known ex Olympic swimmer for Great Britain and quite recent at that, Also Craig Gibbons is joint head-coach of the new club that trains at one of the C&W training pools, Latymer Upper school.