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.

raf100
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.

touches at the end and turns

I am noticing lots of swimmers do over-dramatic touches at turns and at the finish to ensure they can show they touch with both hands. That is especially important for breaststroke and butterfly.

The touch should always be the natural conclusion of the stroke and not slow it down in any way.

A fast touch is very important.

In the breststroke a double-touch can happen above or below the water or on the water-line, as long as the hands are on the same horizontal plane and do not stack completely on top of each other and touch at the same time.

I see many swimmers touching and dramatising the simultaneous touch with both hands at the same level. I am under the impression they do that to avoid disqualification. But this slows down the swim.

Hesitation to touch or to emphasize the dramatic double touch slows down the swim and it is not in the best interest of the sport for this to happen.

I think swimmers should concentrate to perfect the stroke and touch as fast as possible and not worry too much about the swimming judge seeing the touch correctly.

If it happens that a disqualification occurs but the swimmer is certain that the double touch happened correctly, I think that the disqualification should be protested rather than slowing down the swim to get an over-emphasized clear touch.

If there are many protests the sport will have to move to instal cameras above each lane so that in case of query a judging team can monitor the camera footage to get an objective look at the swim. #swimfast #swimskilful

Other sports already introduced camera monitoring I think that swimming should invest in this technology.

Please note the picture is just to show breaststroke.

 

50/50

The New Year’s Gators meet was a half/half event for Madison. Half the events were Personal Best times and the other half was just not the best.

The hundred fly was the event, which was swum the most under the Personal Best already achieved since leaving London Aquatics Performance Program. PB: 1:22:33L swam in 1:27:42L.You can see how the performance graph sharply swings upwards.

The best result was the PB in the 50 Free, now 31:07 both long and short course. The long course gives 445 and short course 418 FINA points for the same time.

Long course 50 free record currently 23:67 = 1000 FINA points
Short course 50 free record currently 22:93 = 1000 FINA points

It is good to be part of the winning best performing club and the club having taken home the Gators trophy on the day.  See tweets from @HackneyAquatics at the side of the blog.

But having now swum a couple of meets with 5sc under the PB results in some events and being sent home from the Harrow Christmas Cracker for illness is something we are not accustomed to.

I suppose that both changing club and school does take its toll. Routines have been disrupted and the whole body and mind configuration has to be reset, I suppose that would affect anybody.

Also what affects Madison’s dip in some strokes is the fact that she now receives very good breaststroke training @HackneyAquatics. Amazingly Madison achieved the 100 breast County consideration time and though been accepted as one of the slowest entrants, it is a huge step for her.

I think that if a swimmer is reasonably good in 3 strokes but not at all good in one stroke, that will affect the overall performance. Madison has been short of regional times for most of her career. I tried a lot of things but now Madison’s breaststroke times start to improve and her changing her mindset to include breaststroke will affect the other strokes in the long run for the better.

It is very important that young swimmers get good in all the strokes and it is very worth sacrificing time results for that transition period, after all at 13 any swimmer has still years of successes to come.

Of course there is a swimmer who excels and specialises in one stroke and we all know who it is, a swimmer called Adam Peaty but he is exceptionally good at breast stroke; I suppose you need to be extremely good at one stroke to make a huge impact to make it worth concentrating on that one stroke alone. It is interesting to look at the stroke profile of a swimmer to see strength and weaknesses.

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.

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.

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