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.

I am gobsmacked with HAC

Wow and wow again, I am almost speechless. I watched Hackney Aquatics training in the LAC on Tuesday mornings last year and the coach Richard Hall (Rick) always came across as a confidence booster. He radiates positivity and seems very in tune with his swimmers.

Many people invited us over the last year to join Hackney Aquatics and I always preferred the mainly 50 meter training at the LAC but the more I thought about the successes of other clubs who mainly train in 25 meter pools, the more I tended to follow those who wanted Madison to join Hackney Aquatics.

We did it, we are firmly now members of Hackney Aquatics and have been included in the coaching processes and without giving any details of it away, I must say that this is the best ever experience we’ve had.

Apparently Rick is a First Class BA Hons Sports Coaching, Level 3 Swimming Coach.

The atmosphere in this club is so wholesome.

People work together well, everybody is positive, competitions are planned well, training is superb and the whole package is just sublime. I am saying this after 10 years of swimming club experience.

From this perspective, Hackney Aquatics is run better than the LACPP was. What was missing in the LACPP and the LAC ACS is the club atmosphere. I think being in a club is very important for swimmers and parents alike.

Madison already seems happier than she ever was in the last 12 months.

Madison’s times have however steadily improved whilst at the LACPP and also in her most recent swim, she had some significant PBs. But, those swimmers with significant swimming successes whilst in LACPP last year were already superb swimmers with regional and national times when they had joined the LACPP.

Madison says she could be faster, she does still not have any Regional Times after 1 year of LAC only training and I am hoping that the superb coaching package of HAC and the excellent club will bring performance where it is needed.

Just a bronze?

If you come in 4th place you wish you had a bronze medal at least.

Medals are very hardly fought for and are one expression of success. Many clubs are very proud of their medal winners.

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200 m backstroke bronze won at the BWFSC county qualifier meet 1.10.17

For an athlete like Madison the amount of medals is currently rising.

But for each successful medal earned comes also a Personal Best and greater confidence as a swimmer.

This is the one time that Madison swam for Newham&UEL swimming club and she earned a medal. Madison had 2 events in that meet.

 

County qualifiers

Qualifying for County is the first serious step any competitive swimmer can take. The Counties are the first stage to competition.

We are practically having to work well ahead of age. The counties age-band works that you have to be swimming at the age that you would be at the end of the year that the competition is in. Plus you need to gain those qualifying times in the year prior to the competition.

If you are born in the first six month of any year, you are having to work way ahead of schedule. Madison is born in June and now 13 years old. But next years County competition she has to swim as if she was 14, the competition is held in January 2017 when Madison is still 13.

Madison by now in 2017 has gained 2 automatic and 7 consideration times for next year. There are still a few qualifiers coming up this autumn. The qualification times have to be set in the 12 months prior to the competition in January / February next year.

Madison go the consideration time for the 400 IM last year and now strives to up-date this.

Yesterday Madison swum 2 races and improved one county time in the 100 fly and is now within 1 second of the automatic time and gained the consideration time for the 200 back-stroke.

It’s great to be an all-round good swimmer and gain County times in as many strokes and distances as possible.

Getting ready for the meet

On Sunday, Madison will swim for her first and last meet with Newham & UEL club.

Preparations centre around

  • how to get the home work done over that weekend
  • how many hours are needed for the meet
  • which foods are needed and how to nourish
  • travel time and arrangements
  • packing the bag for the meet
  • mental preparation
  • which races are swam
  • promoter’s conditions
  • study the accepted entries list

Luckily the BWF early county qualifier level 3 meet is in the London Aquatic Centre, which is one of our local pools. We can just take a local bus there and arrive within 20 minutes, we do not need to worry about parking either.

We see that entry in the LAC is now security screened, visitors are not allowed to bring drink or food in but swimmers are.

Swimmers always have their favourite snacks to use as pick-me-ups and preps before or between races. Most of the time in swimming meets, there is also not enough time between sessions to have a proper lunch. There are delays and if a meet goes on from 8AM till 5pm, swimmers need to find time to get useful nourishment.

This Sunday we’ll only have half a day, usually we stay the whole day. But if Madison swims longer distances we do less races altogether.

This Sunday it’s going to be 100 fly and 200 back.

The social aspect is also important beyond the just racing. Swimmers get to know each other over time and meet up at race meets. Swimmers who change clubs still see their friends at meets too. That is very enjoyable for the swimmers.

With the arrival of the LAC, local swimmers’ lives were quite affected. Before we had our local pool and suddenly that opportunity with the LAC arose.

New swimming arrangements were introduced and swimmers often commuted between their old club and the LAC Beacon schemes.

Luckily most local clubs are very sympathetic to swimmers and often allow seemless transitions between clubs, so that swimmers do not lose out on training times. Rules were changed that swimmers could be members in more than one club and have dual registrations, which is all very helpful.

From next week Madison will become a member at Hackney Aquatics. We already preparing for the week after this Sunday’s meet to train fully with the new club.

Swim England have this brilliant online system whereby swimmers best times get recorded on the data regardless of which club they swim for and that is very good. These days people move more often because of job or housing needs and also because the swimming club scene can change and have an impact on training needs too.

swimming with Hackney

We are very happy to announce, that Madison is now officially a member at Hackney Aquatics Club HAC. I am not stating that Hackney is the best club because all swimming clubs are good clubs but to give you an idea, the sheer happiness factor of the Hackney Swimming club can be seen on this picture from Going Swimmingly.

Currently Madison has dual membership with LAC ACS, Newham and Hackney. It is all possible and you can have as many clubs as you like as long as they’ll have you.

Madison is especially happy to join HAC because many of her “old”* swimming mates are there now and as they know each other, there is no need to get over this first hurdle of getting to know somebody as the ice is already melted. HAC seems to be a magnet for local swimmers who show longevity in swimming.

Madison tried many new things lately, the new LACPP, now the LAC ACS and Newham & UEL but the good old friends are always easiest to have around.

But in my mind also, I think that Hackney Aquatics have the BEST training schedule of any club I’ve seen.

* I don’t think any are older than 15.

BWFSC, first meet of the season

Since Madison was now signed up for the LAC ACS, she will be competing under the colours of Newham & UEL swimming club at competitions. Our first meet of the season will be the Gators meet at the LAC on 1st October 2017, second session.

Madison will try to improve on some weaker strokes because she already has gained qualifying times for counties in other disciplines.

We are looking forward to see you there.

BSC 2018 qual times out now

Madison has been training all summer,to avoid loosing the speed over the summer holidays with a focus on getting into the BSC qualifying times, as they have been released here.

The d.o.b. standard range for youth is

  • female 2001 – 2004
  • male 2000 – 2003.

Essex County qual times

Middlesex County qual times.

Freestyle and fly records are tumbling

This is a very competitive phase in the world of swimming. The old 50 free world record stood for almost a decade and now a lot of freestyle sprint world records have been broken by Sarah Sjostrom, the Swedish swimmer. As a bonus, she is also very good at fly.

50 freestyle LCM – 23.67
100 freestyle LCM – 51.71
50 fly LCM – 24.43
100 fly LCM – 55.48

100 freestyle SCM – 50.58
200 freestyle SCM – 1:50.78
100 butterfly SCM – 54.61*

You find that sometimes there are long phases without change and then, when there are a few swimmers who train very hard and want to change, they all encourage each other and that is how new world records are achieved.

Of course that means that for the young swimmers of today, new world records get harder to achieve. So there is no time for complacency and too much rest swimmers.

*Source: swim swam

400 IM Mireia Belmonte SC record

Mireia managed to overturn Katinka Hosszu’s 400 IM short-course record recently. As shown in the video

Mareia’ great breaststroke term manged to achieve this new world record. But looking at the preceding fly and backstroke legs, if a swimmer would be perfect in all 4 strokes the 400IM world record could still be faster.

Quite often in IM the breaststroke is the deciding leg.

Katinka Hosszu was considerably ahead in the fly and then especially the backstroke and could not even overturn Mareia’s breaststroke lead in the final front crawl leg.

Belmonte set a new 400 IM WR of 4:18.94 at the SC Worldcup in Eindhoven. That eclipses the previous record held by Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu of 4:19.46 set at the 2015 European Short Course Championships.

Usually I think swimmers are either good in the stretchy strokes or the breaststroke but Mareia’s freestyle was equally as good as her breaststroke and so her breaststroke advances could not be overturned by Katinka in the final leg.