The B-tech sport

Whilst with the swimming things go just steadily from training to training session and whilst the shoulder is kind of debilitating, and whilst the legs still work and Madison has to do two sports through the B-tech exam, it stands to reason that Madison uses those body parts that still work.

The legs are ideal for football and Madison has been selected for the school’s girls football team. What a great surprise.

Over the years Madison cut back on all other activities to concentrate on swimming but now another activity has opened up.

Obviously coaches want swimmers to just swim and spend every free minute either at the pool or in land-training or to go gym session to do with the swimming development but the education system has other ideas.

I suppose, when I read that younger people should do as many varied things as possible, the reality is, that all sports want their athletes to concentrate on a particular sport as soon as because an athlete’s peak comes usually about 20 or even younger. The international athletes field is hugely competitive and the most developed nations do their utmost to produce the fastest, strongest, best in whatever discipline possible.

It takes a lot of resilience to stay in any sport and I am questioning that it is possible for any average person to make it in any sport without specialist medical support, which usually costs a lot of money and is not available on the state, at least not in the western world.

Madison currently does get support with her shoulder and sticks to the training but also now has to do some football for a while, whilst the sport b-tech program is being dealt with.

I think that any sport is exercise and does good. And if you look how few athletes actually make it to the very top out of all that are in the clubs and on the competition scene, it just makes you wonder whether you are the one that will be it.

In the end, every sporting person counts towards supporting the ones that make it big because the more competitions we take part in, the more training sessions we do, the more we help each other and somebody somewhere is going to be the top.

 

Not much going on right now

At present not much is being posted because there is a break in competing. So for the many followers of this blog, it will pick up again at a later date. At the moment is mainly leg-training, spinning on bicycles and land work.

Missing out on all the best competitions at the moment and can’t wait to get stuck in again. Can help with competitions though, never losing interest in the sport.

Swim England nat. county champs

It’s next week on 7. October 2018 in Sheffield, Ponds Forge. And Hackney Aquatics has an entrant. Jude Costley is going to swim in the National County Champs team for Middlesex in the relay.

Madison won’t be going and I won’t be officiating there either. I’m going to do something much closer to home, I am going to help in the London Regional Disability Championships held at the London Aquatics Centre next Saturday, 6th. October 2018.

Nice and close to home and with little travel involved getting there and it is for a very good cause.

Had a lot of opportunity to speak to others about shoulder problems in swimmers and been given a lot of very hopeful feedback from other parents and swimmers.

So whilst Madison can’t compete at the moment, we help others where we can, whether its disability swimmers or at Arena League or our Club Championships soon to come.

Training still goes on  with a vengeance and kicking is what keeps the fitness alive at the moment.

 

 

The Cambridge Common

Whilst Madison had to miss out on the Cambridge Grand Prix, I made a parental contribution to the racing action going on in Cambridge over the weekend by acting as official.

Swimming competitions, which are licensed at a certain level, need a set number of qualified officials to meet the criteria.

The level of a nationalmeet is level 1 and Cambridge Grand Prix was licensed as level 2.

cambridge cows
Cows in Cambridge living in a public park

I stayed the night in a local bed and breakfast and whilst I walked from my hotel to the pool in the morning, walked through a park and could not believe my eyes seeing a herd of cows grazing on the Common.

It is almost unthinkable for a Londoner that cows should live so freely in a public park, that is used by joggers, cyclist and walkers as a through route in the city. Apparently the animals are docile and keep the grass short, no clue who picks up their cow pads, as I didn’t see any, apart from the residue on the cow I pictured.

An ingenious system of fencing, which doesn’t look particularly high or dense, keeps the cows within the common.

cambridge pool
Parkside Pools, Gonville Place, Cambridge, CB1 1LY

When I arrived at the pool on the second day of my stay, I looked forward to helping swimmers reach their dream of making qualifying times for the National Short Course championships.

The pool is nice and airy, fully surrounded by windows, it is light and appears spacey. The air quality in the pool area is also pretty good, so that working around the pool for a couple of days doesn’t make one feel too tired.

British qualifying window shorter in 2020

We are now  in 2018 and British Swimming just announced that the Qualifying window for 2020 will be shorter to help lessen the cross-over with school examination periods. Great to know that as many parents plan their children’s lives well ahead of their GCSE periods.

2020 qualifying window is going to be:

Friday 13th March – Sunday 10th May 2020 inclusive.

In Madison’s case we need to think further ahead as the fitness situation is probably not going to get her fit by the 2019 Summer champs where the qualifying window will be

Friday 22nd March – Sunday 27th May 2019 inclusive.

The difference amounts to 59 days in 2020 – 67 days in 2019 = 8 days less to qualify. Of course the qualifying period also starts earlier in 2020.

 

The national team for 2019

It’s a whole new fresh approach. Some of the very trusted names like Aimee Wilmott and Hannah Miley are not among the chosen ones.

But the list published on British Swimming still shows some well-known, huge names like Adam Peaty, Tom Derbyshire, Luke Greenbank, both Lichfield brothers, James Guy, oops I am just quoting males here. Lets look at some females who are in: Freya Anderson and Imogen Clarke are well known from watching nationals and of course Freye Anderson made excellent performance in recent team medley events on an international level.

What impresses me most about the selection page is the part about the world-class sports science and medicine services attached to being selected.

No NHS queues for selected athletes then.

Most of the selected swimmers are already attached to a national training program like National Centre Bath or National Centre Loughborough. Very few local clubs have directly associated swimmers in the national program. That is a bit of a shame because it looses the local connection to big performance.

It’s either university/school run swim clubs or city run clubs apart from national centre swimmers, showing that independent clubs do not have a pool to perform in, rather than saying not a leg to stand on.

Local councils have to wake up to the fact that performance sport, swimming included, needs council or city funding. Here in London we have quite a few clubs but none of those have any swimmers in this national program. Why is it that London does not have a performance program? It may be due to the size of the city. London is a huge area, nothing compared to smaller cities, which have superb performance swimming clubs.

2018-common
Picture at the London Aquatics Centre of Jarvis Parkinson and Aimee Wilmott with Gold Cost Mascot for Team England

Yet all attempts to establish a performance program have been hampered perhaps by cost. The London Aquatics Performance Program was shelved after a couple of years. Both Aimee Wilmott and Jarvis Parkinson were part of it. Jarvis was a young newcomer at the beginning of it and now made it to Loughborough. Both former coaches of the LACPP now work for Chelsea and Westminster swimming club as coaches.

For example clubs like Barnet Copthall produced Olympic Swimmers but even they are not represented in the National team for 2019. The new club Natare, run by former Olympian Michal Jamieson, which produced many national swimmers, not in the game for 2019 either.

The London Beacon program has gone under.

Don’t get demoralised

madison-800-trio
Aoife, Kaia and Madison prior to an 800 Freestyle race at Barking and Dagenham, photo taken by Alexander McDonald (now coach at Chelsea & Westminster)

Any prolonged injury can easily lead to feeling demoralised.

  • Can’t take part in all the training
  • practise hurts
  • Can’t take part in competitions
  • people talk to you like you are no longer important

Being demoralised can have important consequences, which produce a creeping withdrawal from the sport.

That can have results like:

  • Making excuses why you can’t take part in gym sessions
  • Making excuses when late for school
  • Looking to break up sessions early

What every injured athlete needs are people who keep on giving encouragement. Saying things like

  • Keep on trying
  • Go to the session
  • Stay the whole session

Not being able to take part in competitions and bring home the medals is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a swimmer.

Madison always relished her medals and being shown on social media and in the club pages of Facebook or Twitter. Having photos taken with friends during competitions, photos that express the team spirit and excitement before or after a swim.

It also all depends how determined you are and it helps to research a problem and listen to a sympathetic coach(es) who give exercises that bridge the gap between the injury appearing and treatment being offered.

Having looked at various publications about the issue, I think that Madison probably needs an operation to resolve the problems.

Swimmng the channel with a dislocated shoulder

Samantha Poulson
Picture, Guy’s and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust of Physiotherapist Samantha Poulsen, swimming the Channel with an injured shoulder, in freezing water and 1000s of jelly fish.

That is an inspiration to us all, a physiotherapist that shows us how its done, how to deal with injured shoulders, swimming the channel.

Just read this great article in the East London Advertiser, I hope they don’t mind me taking one of their pics to make the case, that everything is possible with an injured shoulder.

There are obviously two ways to deal with problems, 1 is to succumb to them, 2 is to make the best of a situation.

2 steps forward 1 MRI scan

I am just livid, another mess with booked competitions and not being able to go. Counting the cost of all the lost competitions, it staggers up into hundreds of pounds.

The latest victim is going to be Cambridge Grand Prix, booked the races, booked the hotel and now the shoulder plays up.

Waiting for an MRI scan. Apparently the doctor could not even see into my shoulder with the normal scan last time because of all the inflammation.

But just as I had a bad shoulder the NHS immunisation service decided to put an injection into the arm near my bad shoulder and I am doubly in pain.

Just starting to think if Performance swimming is the right thing but on the other hand, other squads just have such a steep drop in training, that it seems like two different worlds between performance swimming and other swimming.

There is always kicking and spinning as an alternative to normal training.

It’s been quite beneficial to train with either only arms or only legs. When I had the broken leg I used only arms, making my shoulders stronger and now with the inflamed shoulder, doing mostly kicking will improve the legs.

Maybe I am meant to train in parts and in the end it will all come together as one fit swimmer.

living with this injury

Obviously the shoulder injury will get better, one day, when that will be is uncertain and equally certain, as a determined young sports person one doesn’t want to drop out of the performance pathway.

Starting with the Performance Youth Squad this month with this injured shoulder. Not the best of starts, but nobody is perfect at all times.

Not certain whether people show more sympathy for cars breaking down rather than injured young athletes.

The Cambridge Grand Prix is not far away and it is cheering me up that it is in an iconic location. Who hasn’t heard of Cambridge, the world-famous university?

Will have to drop out of the 400 free. Cannot do long distance free style at the moment. Backstroke is easier. Must have injured some part of my shoulder muscle that is used by freestyle mainly.