Great results

Most useful to know the actual improvements of a swim in the results pages. Hackney Aquatics gives this superb overview on results in age group competitions and that is more useful than to know one has won a medal.

It is actually better to get a 15 second PB and second place in the 800 free rather than a gold medal with a time that is not a personal best.

Once a performance swimmer as a teenager, there is an aim to get better times most meets.

We did do a lot of meets though and the more meets one participates in the lower becomes the improvement ratio.

If you only compete 3 times per year than the improvement ratio becomes higher and more impressive.

 

Pulled muscle

The Summer at Dagenham meet worked well as far as the 800 freestyle went on Friday evening. From then on things just went down-hill. #lastopenmeetoftheseason #swimfast

A muscle pull during the 400 IM put a firm stop to Madison’s racing weekend. the life guard said Madison should have ice packs every 20 minutes but only supplied one ice pack and refused to give more.

I was working as official and could not get away easily. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all that I put Madison into races, she didn’t really enjoy doing. Perhaps swimmers need to be happy with their races to perform well.  Others say swimmers sometimes need to be taken out of their comfort zone.

Perhaps I should discuss this with the coaches about race selection. That is always a subject that can cause friction. Do you do the races that the swimmer likes, the races that the coach wants or the races that the parents want. They are not necessarily the same.

 

A real dilemma

Today’s appearance at the Dagenham Summer meet was cut short by a shoulder injury, requiring ice bags of which Madison received only one at the pool.

Went home as quickly as possible to make some more ice at home.

Madison was really brave to complete her 400 IM race with an injured shoulder.

doing the fly

Feeling very patriotic today. We reside underneath the flight path of aircraft onto the  Buckingham Palace and today the RAF jets flew over us in formation.

butterflyDoesn’t it just remind you of the Butterfly stroke when you see the swimmer and underneath the flight formation.

Fighter aircraft in formation are just as smart as our swimmer.

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Aircraft part of the RAF 100 flypast on 10. July 2018

Butterfly was first introduced in 1933 as competition swimming stroke, whilst the RAF celebrated the 100. Birthday today.

Just writing this little article as Butterfly was Madison’s first favourite stroke when she was smaller and she won her first gold medal with this stroke.

Dad’s officials army

As an immigrant to Great Britain and a converted German, from German to English, I always admired the sheer grit and determination the British as a whole showed during the wars of the last century.

The best and most popular reminder for us is the series Dad’s army. Amazing what the volunteers went through to help their country. The title implies there was more sexism in the days of the series and during the war, but we need to understand that. Nowadays women and men equally can help.

Whilst I can’t totally compare World Wars with swimming wars, the fact remains that Swimmers also rely on volunteers and that this nation’s swimmers need to train up to international competitions to equal or better performers from other nations.

In that sense a lot of national pride is involved.

Yet, the amount of parents wanting to become swimming officials seems to be dwindling.

There is no alternative to use paid officials as the sport would become too expensive. There is also no way to permanently replace highly trained volunteers with quickly drafted in volunteers who have no specific training.

official
An official’s clip board

 

Because if your swimmers do not get disqualified for doing the strokes wrongly, they do not learn and will not find a reason to learn the correct stroke technique, hence they are wasting a lot of their time.

I hear a lot of reasons why parents can’t do the job of time-keeper, swimming judge or referee e.g.

  1. It is too hot
    1. looking at the fact that many people book summer holidays in hotter climates than Britain it seems odd that people complain the pool area is too hot. My son went on a holiday 2 years back and the temperatures rose to 42 degrees. The temperatures around pools are usually around 30 degrees.
  2. We are on a trip that weekend
    1. Obviously it is important to set priorities and they should rather support the sport their kids are involved in.
  3. Got to work
    1. Work is probably the most used excuse but then if we all just spend time earning money instead of helping out, we won’t have any helpers and have to stop the sport altogether.
  4. Have smaller children
    1. Very reasonable excuse but there are always relatives and friends who could help out as well.

People just need to make that extra effort. People need to find the grit and determination to help their swimmers, to help the sport and to help their national swimming development.

There was a time when clubs had more money and more sponsors and clubs could actually give officials chocolates or bottles of wine as a thank you but since clubs are not that well off at the moment, we just all have to pick ourselves up and do the job anyhow because it is important that our children can continue to develop their skills.

We do not need to have wars to see what our priorities should be. Our children are always the most important assets in our life and we need to support them in what they do.

In my view the best performing clubs are the ones with the most officials in the long run.

 

 

After the busy weekend

All pics taken in the London Aquatics Centre appear with blue tint. That’s due to the windows being covered in blue foil. Just dropped my official’s board on the floor to take a pic of Hackney’s trophy won at the Gators meet on Sunday 8th. July 2018.

HAC TROPHY
Head coach Rick Hall with coach Naomi and some of the swimmers who won medals at the Gators meet on 8th. July 2018. Madison missed this photo opportunity.

We had a long weekend. First swimming for Tower Hamlets at the London Youth Games on Saturday 7th. July and then competing at the Gators meet in the LAC on Sunday 8th. July.

It’s all important to earn the stripes necessary to progress further in a swimming career.

Madison won 4 medals at the Gators meet.

gator-medals-July18
3 x silver and 1 x bronze at the Gators meet in July 2018

I am awaiting the results and will add-on as soon as published.

But in the 50 Freestyle Madison went all out and finished well ahead in her penultimate heat, making second place, with a great Personal Best in the long-course, which is the best result a swimmer can have, great PBs.

 

3km in 53:10

Just found the Open Water London Championship results OW18 RESULTS and very pleased to see that Madison’s first attempt on Open Water swimming was a success.

Despite getting disoriented in places and forgot to turn corners quickly enough managed a respectable 6th place in the London Region. Yet qualified for s silver medal for Middlesex participants.

Unfortunately Madison missed the medal ceremony and her medal because we rushed off to support the Hackney Aquatics Swim the Thames day where Madison swam another 2km to raise funds for charity.

I contacted the organisers to ask whether she can still get her medal posthum.

Didn’t have any preparation and never even been swimming in Open Water at all.

Madison will try again in Chichester in July.

When I often hear swimmers lament how hard the 800 are, after swimming 3000 meters, I suppose the 800 seem quite easy.

It is easy to get results for pool based and licensed meets on the Personal Best swimming results website, but the Open Water results are not included. Perhaps they will add that in the future.

Walking down

The 3km Open Water is equivalent to swimming the 1500 freestyle twice in one go. We forgot to look at the result but I assume Madison achieved around 50 minutes for the 3km.

I was proud she finished the course on her first attempt. There is no warm-up, there is no swim down. But I think it is important to keep going.

So Madison went for a 2km swim-down to the Hackney Lido.

Today she wanted to stay in bed but I still think it is important to keep moving so that the aching muscles don’t get stiff.

richmond2
walking through Richmond Park

We went for a walk to Richmond Park.

hamforest

For the first part we walked through some wooded area the Ham Nature reserve was very similar to Epping Forest, just without the traffic noise in the background.

Just when we arrived at the Richmond Park gate, the sun shone doubly hot directly upon us.

richmond

The sun was burning down on us on 30 degrees and it was absolutely parching hot. However the whole peaceful atmosphere with loud grasshopper choirs filling the air achieves an amazing peace of mind.

It is well worth to have a change of scenery and recover out of the pool in good air for a day.

Make or break

There is now a lot of suspense in the air because Hackney Aquatics will shortly announce squad movements. It’s a very big deal for swimmers whether they get selected for the top Performance squad or the competition squad.

Makes a huge difference, some competitions can only be entered by performance squads. Madison has been in performance since several years now and doesn’t want anything else.

At the moment we are trying to get tougher. We are entering competitions mainly to increase stamina. Going to swim in

Some events we do not enter to win but just to condition.

We know where Madison can get good results but there are those events where the chances are not so good and those are the ones we will enter as well, e.g. 400 free, 400 IM. Winning medals is not always possible but taking part is.

Overall the consistently best swimmers in the long run are always the ones who have the best variety of strokes and distances.

As a special treat for after the summer break. during which Madison will keep busy by attending

  • The Melanie Marshall SwimInspiration summer camp
  • climbing and canoeing workshops
  • perhaps a Hackney Aquatics summer camp

then in September onto the level 2 Cambridge Grand Prix 

and also Redbridge which is always a nice weekend to get some more County and Regional Times for next season.

Overall there is an excellent variety of competitions that Hackney Aquatics attends, which really enriches the life of any swimmer.

Breaststroke ahoi

Madison is not ashamed to laboriously pick up her breaststroke skills to build up the full set of strokes to be proud of.

Of course there are a quite a few swimmers in the club who already found their special fast strokes and qualified for this year’s English and British nationals but Madison will continue to build skills across the range.

Today, at the very nice Hackney Development meet, Madison swam the breaststroke and took the 50m breast by storm with a new Personal Best of 42:79 improved from 45:79.

But then, came the amazingly generous lunch that Hackney Aquatics provided for Young volunteers and that 3/4 pizza made Madison look like she swallowed a stone when she participated in the 100 breast straight after lunch with a new Personal Best of 1:36:84. yet it is an improvement from 1:37:19.

There is a very good feeling for not resting on the laurels and continuing to graft on all skills.

Being Young Volunteers is an incredibly rewarding experience for Hackney Swimmers, the club is very friendly and has skill building for the swimmers at its heart.