Well on schedule

Pleased to discover that Madison already has achieved 6 automatic qualifying times for next year’s County Championships.

Even though she does not participate in any national competition this year, the qualifying window for counties gets better each year, indicating an over-all improvement of performance. Meaning Madison qualifies for more difficult target times earlier than before.

In previous years Madison had to struggle to get the County qualifying times in time for registration but this year we are well ahead. The 2018 season has not yet finished and we already qualify for 2019.

 

 

Backstroke turn in the medley

I want each coach to query any disqualification for the backstroke turn in the medley and ask the following:

  1. who reported the infraction
  2. did the referee accept an infraction report from a stroke judge/official on the side of the pool?
  3. was there a turn judge on each lane?

It is very important that the quality of judging gets raised because there are strokes where the judging is so difficult to do that it is really very important that the person judging the action stands directly above the lane to see what’s actually going on.

It is literally up to the referee from whom they accept infraction reports and if they accept an infraction report from an official who is not directly on the lane then the angle of vision and ability to see detail is diminished.

To improve the chances of swimmers to develop stroke techniques to the utmost efficiency, they must be judged on the technique applied as it can be seen from the nearest possible angle rather than from further away.

For example, if a swimmer comes to the end of the backstroke and changes onto the breaststroke, the swimmer must finish the backstroke as if it was the end of a backstroke race. The swimmer must touch the wall whilst on his back with part of his body above the water.

The rules also state clearly that the body can be turned by up to 89 degrees to the side for the swimmer to be on the back. Also the position of the head is not important.

Only the stroke judge on the lane can see if the swimmer touched the wall whilst still on the back especially if that touch happens below the water line.

From further away a side judge cannot see the angle clearly, cannot see where the swimmer touched the wall in relation to the position of the shoulders, if the touch happened below the water line.

Clearly it is unacceptable that swimmers do a tumble turn from the backstroke to the breaststroke because with a tumble turn they do not touch the wall whilst still on their backs but swimmers can develop incredible effective turning techniques.

That is good because the aim of the sport is to swim #swimskilful #swimfast. It is the duty of officials to assist this aim. If there is a doubt it always must be for the swimmer. Judges must be alert and judge what they actually see and not expect the swimmers to do dramatic touches just because they are easier to see. Swimmers must to fast turns to help the sport develop faster swimming.

So if now a swimmer has been disqualified by a side official who is not directly above the lane the disqualification happened in, then I think that coaches should put in a complaint on the grounds that the official could not clearly see what was going on.

I think that all referees should ask the lane turning judge for an opinion before disqualifying a swimmer – especially on the backstroke turn – to get the best picture.

Unfortunately not all officials do have radios, if they had, then it would be easy to cross reference with all officials. I think that is something I would strongly support.

Also if a turn judge has more than 1 lane to watch, then they have to concentrate on one swimmer, which gives reason to query a disqualification on a lane.

So to improve the quality of swimming and to help swimmers to swim more fast and skilful I think it would be appropriate to query disqualifications on the grounds stated above.

Please do so only strictly within the rules, do not approach individual judges, only approach the referee and ask to see the disqualification report and put in a protest only in the most polite and disciplined manner.

The disqualification report shows at the bottom who submitted the report there are boxes, which must be ticked, it can either be the

  • turn
  • stroke
  • starter
  • referee

So if in the Medley, any other than a turn stroke has submitted an infraction report on the turn from backstroke to breaststroke then I think coaches should query that infraction and subsequent disqualification.

However if the disqualification happened because the swimmer was totally submerged, then of course stroke judges are in a better position to judge that as they can see the whole body. Turn judges and time-keepers cannot keep an eye on the whole body when they have to time when the hand/arm touches the wall, they need to look at that rather than whether the whole body is submerged or not.

 

 

 

 

 

London Regional Summer Champs 2018

Madison cubed the Backstroke. Meaning, Madison came tenth place 3 x in 50, 100, 200 backstroke.

Not bad indeed for a first appearance at these open championships.

Of course all swimmers want to go and swim and win but gains have to be earned through training and better skills.

Madison also finally achieved a 30 second swim for the 50 freestyle, which earned a 21st place.

In the backstroke it’s good to have gotten a 3 second PB in the 200 backstroke. The Best times as published by Swimmingresults now show more and more level 1 meets from 50 m pools.

Qualifying with a fast 25m time that was converted is not easily matched in a 50m pool. We’re trying to set manageable goals, like matching a converted 25m time with an equally fast 50m time.

At present Madison is faster at the 50m freestyle in the 50m pool than in the 25m pool. The latest times will be published within the next couple of days.

It was amazing to see swimmers we normally only see on the streaming of the British Champs. Swimming amongst those great swimmers was an absolute privilege and even being put into ones place, was a great lesson. We witnessed 50 breast swum in 29 seconds and 1500 free in 16 minutes respectively.

Full program for London Open 2018

Like looking at the program and listings of swimmers prior to the events, that gives me time to adjust and prepare mentally and physically.

If I know I’m in a later heat, I can calculate the time it gives me to get ready for the race. Knowing the time between warm-up and marching in is a valuable tool. Knowledge is always good.

This weekend is going to be very interesting with international swimmers and the good old friends from local meets.

Great it is at the LAC, loving it. I’m lucky, having 1 race per session. I’ll be able to manifest my long-course times. Very happy that I’ve been accepted for the 50 free.

On the fast trail

cptreeThe only thing Madison has in common with Michael Phelps is the fact that she is playing catch up. I seem to remember Michael saying that in his early career, he always played catch-up to the fast swimmers.

These days we are wearing his goggles.

One perk of going to swimming competitions is the fantastic landscape, that we can enjoy regularly. Crystal Palace is set in wonderful mature trees. However the performance is steadily going down-hill this time.

Madison managed to set a new long-course PB in the 50 back but both the 100 back and 200 back were slower than previously achieved times.

We’ll see whether an improvement can be achieved next weekend at the London Swimming Open Summer Champs at the London Aquatics Centre, when Madison will be swimming in four events.

When going to Regionals is a new experience for a swimmer, I suppose the routine and the priming of getting the fitness and results at the right time is something that has to be programmed into the psyche of a swimmer, to peak at the correct moments. Where there is a will there is a swim.

 

London open

Managed to get into 4 races at the London Regional summer open meet. Brilliant, need to start to focus on the race strategy and prepare to do some great swims. Apparently the accepted and rejected list has been published. I got into 50, 100, 200 back, 50 free.

Let go, lets swim, lets win.

Will power

I don’t think it works to improve an athletes performance to  provide sun and sandy holidays in expensive swim camps to get results.

So far the Regional competition didn’t bring much success.

A 21st place in the 50 back and today and even worst 24th place in the 200 back. With not much will power to be seen.

I spend quite a lot of time poolside during competitions and find the positive attitude of most competing swimmers very refreshing. The whole pep talk is edging on, showing grit and getting to the wall first.

I don’t think that softly, softly and feeling sorry for oneself is any recipe for success in any capacity. Whatever the situation everybody needs to have a “Can do” attitude. There is little point in spending a minimum of 3 hours (including pre-pool) of training per day if there is no result in racing.

Those athletes that were selected for international competitions on the strength of their performance had to do the performance first and then were invited to join sunny beach-side training groups. I just refer to Aimee Willmott’s wonderful photo shots on her website and Facebook. Aimee is a very hard-working and focussed on achieving top performance. That always has to be in the back of every athlete’s mind, even the younger ones.

I won’t spend any more money on foreign training camps unless I see some performance first. There is little point in rewarding something that hasn’t been achieved yet. We have been left with a lot of appealing photos and that is a memory I can’t quite enjoy.

Madison showed much more determination after last year’s Mel Marshall Easter Camp. Yet last year she didn’t qualify for Regionals at all. I don’t know whether there is a different atmosphere in those higher up level 1 competitions rather than the level 3 racing.

hip, hip, hip regionals

This year is the second time I am participating in London Regional Championships. The first time ever was on 19. July 2015, when I raced in the 11/12-year-old 50 butterfly event at Crystal Palace with a time of 42:74. That was my first ever long-course time in that stroke. My current PB is 34:38 and that was not good enough for this year’s accepted entries.

This year, I have been accepted for all 3 Backstroke events. Just amazing how stroke performance changes. Fly used to be my favourite stroke and now I just love backstroke. Over all my aim is to get to regional level on all strokes.

There is always next year. But also the Regional Summer Open Championships give a last chance to get a National time this year.

Basildon Easter meet

What a wonderful relaxing walk on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village, through picturesque parkland and arriving at the Sporting Village at noon.

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Madison had the privilege to swim on the Saturday 31. March 2018 and the great organisation of the meet enabled her to get some very good result. Considering it was a level 1 meet, with national swimmers in attendance, it is superb that Madison achieved a bronze medal in the 50 Butterfly and achieved top 10 status within her age group in all events swam. All event result in the 13 year old girls.

There was a

  • 5th place  for 50 backstroke with a new PB of 35:29 LC
  • 7th place for 200 freestyle with a new PB of 2:29:43 LC
  • 3rd place for 50 butterfly with a new PB of 34:88 LC (bronze medal)
  • 6th place for 100 freestyle with a new PB of 1:07:54
  • 4th place for 200 backstroke missing the PB by 2 seconds.

But considering that the 200 backstroke came shortly after the 100 freestyle with no rest in between it is not surprising that a PB wasn’t achieved. 200 backstroke is hard.

This is the first level 1 meet that Madison has won a medal. Well done.

Basildon & Phoenix regional qualifier

Madison did 4 races and won Gold twice, obtained 3 regional qualifying times and achieved some very good Personal Best Times.

  • 400 freestyle – entry time 5:13:01 = result 5:05:97
  • 200 backstroke – entry time 2:46:16 = result 2:36:88
  • 50 backstroke – entry time 35:80 = result 32:55 Gold medal
  • 100 backstroke – entry time 1:15:87 = result 1:12:64* Gold medal

This time we came fully prepared. We started preparations the day before with good nourishment routines and this time didn’t get lost on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village.

There is a very easy walking route from the Basildon train station and with a little research, this time we made it without problems. We arrived early, had an early lunch at the Basildon Sporting Village cafe and then the event started.

And at last but not least, Madison finally now achieved regional qualifying times. The hard work and excellent training at Hackney Aquatics paid off. Madison has 2 guaranteed and 1 consideration time. Wow and well done.

*There was one faster swimmer on a time-trial.