Swimmers’ development

Just through my previous post on changes to stroke achievements, I started to look at other swimmers’ profiles and realised that each swimmer is very much an individual and each swimmer developes in different stages.

Some swimmers are extremely good in all the strokes and Katinka Hosszu is a gleaming example of that, she was/is the lady with the most world records to her name, in both long and short-course pools.

Then again there is Adam Peaty, who shines through his tremendous breaststroke achievements mainly in the 50 and 100 meter long-course pools.

Adam, being good at one stroke peaked at an early age, around 21-23 and is still going strong onto the next Olympics, Commonwealth and other international competitions and Katinka Hosszu is now aged 28 and still going very strong and improving.

It is definitely worth to look at the careers of various swimmers to see just how different they all developed.

There is no strict uniformed pattern on how to grow up in the swimming world. There is a lot of personal freedom to develop in different strokes and that freedom is vital to have to get the time to enjoy the sport.

It would be terrible to have those professional pressures on a swimmer who can develop on a very individual basis through the sport and take as much time as needed to excel in any particular discipline of the sport as long as it stays on an Amateur basis.

For most younger swimmers like Madison it is advised to learn all strokes to a very good standard.

The main point is to stick to the sport and continue doing it because one just can’t lose when swimming, the overall benefits are just to great; to give up just because a season’s regional competition wasn’t so great is not a good decision.

Keep calm and carry on swimming.

 

London Region Summer champs 2018

Qualification times were published now and they are fast. We have till 11. April 2018 to get a time.

Well, I think that if Madison continues to train at the pace and volume she does now she will be meeting the Regional and national qualifying times in the years to come.

parent helpers

As a licensed swimming official I decided to officiate at the London Region Swimming Champs at the LAC, even though my swimmer didn’t qualify to compete.

Normally, whenever my swimmer doesn’t qualify we just sit at home and let time go by, but by my involvement in the meet, Madison gotten an interest in this and wants to be involved as swimmer in the future.

Parents helping at meets always helps swimmers and the sport of swimming. All our swimmers need the sport to evolve and continue to be organised and meets to happen and parents helping will enable swimmers to take part in competitions.

Not all parents can help, many have to work but if at all possible I think parents should consider helping even if their children do not swim at an occasion. Swimming is a great hobby and even ‘just’ officiating a superb fitness exercise.

We are still fighting to save the National Senior section of LACPP

I cannot help commenting on this awful situation that has developed around the LACPP’s senior program, that saw many swimmers move to London to take part.

It includes national, international and 1 Olympic athlete. This athlete, Aimee Wilmott, incidentially also is the Commowealth Games Ambassador for England for the next term. Considering that there was a hot article in the Swimming Times about this new hot club LACPP that also is the only club in London that has been awarded Swim 21 ASA competitive swimming environment status, it is hard to belief that those e-mails and messages from UEL to swimmers shall be final.

It beggars belief that a swimmer who needs to take part in the 2020 Olympics, the World Championships in Budapest and the Commonwealth Games in Australia, gets told suddently that their training program will be taken away. SwimSwam has published an article about the situation which is quite bizarre. Apparently senior swimmers did a job to attract younger swimmers to the club and are now no longer needed as the younger swimmers have now joined?

Cost-cutting measures never improve a service, what needs to be done is to make the service more attractive to make it pay.  I do not think that the tactic saying that perhaps in a few years time the senior program will start up again will make swimmers trust into the program again. They would naturally be afraid that it will be taken away again after a short while.

I am sure most club members will not accept this as final. There will be many complaints because also the parents of the lower squad members want the Senior swimmers to stay at the club to give the younger swimmers an aim. A good club has a mixture of younger and older swimmers, they compliment each other and make the club wholsome.

I am hopeful that there will be a reversal of that decision by the UEL and Swim England.

Just to calculate the cost of this proposed UEL scheme in that Senior Squad swimmers should find another club and only come part-time to training sessions at the LACPP. Currently a full-time swimmer at senior section pays £120 per months for 24 1/2 hours training per week. If swimmers need to join another club because LACPP wants to reduce senior swimming sessions to 16 hours per week then the swimmers would have to pay the full club fee for their new club at probably £95 per months and the LACPP fees at probably £100 per month. That would double their costs.

This is more than unreasonable from just this point of view alone.

Qualify for London region?

We are getting ready for this year’s level 1, Basildon Spring long-course meet, this weekend. Dates coincide with London region age group champs.

Madison favourite stroke is the 50 back at the moment.

The official consideration time London Age Group champs for boys is 36:7 and for girls 36, both aged 13.

A male friend of Madison got accepted for regionals with an entry time of 36:20 that equals 241 Fina points. (Converted short-course time).

Madison’s time is 36:34 (long-course). That’s 412 Fina points.

I just don’t know why London region accepts 241 Fina points but doesn’t allow 412 Fina points to apply.

We are very glad to get the opportunity of participating on the level 1 Basildon and Phoenix meet that runs concurrently on the same dates as London Region Age Group champs and all the hard work at least led to 8 qualifying times for the Basildon meet.

London Age-group champs 2017

It is this time of year again, where our young and promising swimmers compete in the London Region Age-group championships. The times are fast and furious.

london-age-2017

Madison meets the times for her actual age, at the date of the competition but the rules require to state the age for the competition at 1 year older than she actually is and so Madison is always slightly slow each year. At the time of the competition Madison is 12 but needs to swim the 13-year-old times. I suppose she’ll have to wait until she is 17 before she can get the regional time and then progress from there.

I’ll have to check how different swimmers develop to see if there is a chance that some swimmers get fast later and some earlier than others.

Lets see if the swimming lasts that long. Madison is very determined right now. In British Swimming open aging starts for females born 1999 or earlier. So that Madison needs to be 17/18 to get a level-playing field.

Obviously swimmers need to compete at the age that they are on 31 December 2017. If a swimmer is born in January 2017, they have a huge age advantage. Madison is born in June and has 6 month to make up.

It remains to be seen if Madison can close that gap eventually. Madison surely loves swimming and will try her hardest.

 

Essex County and new parking charges at the LAC

ECASA has a superbly organized day of 50 m competitions @LAC today. Despite hundreds of fiercely competing swimmers from 29 clubs, the atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable.
Today I even saw Mark Foster at poolside during the Essex County Championships.

As part of the Olympic Legacy LACPP is a competitive club that established at the LAC as a new national performance Centre. Training sessions start at 6AM and parents need to bring younger swimmers from miles away, like Kent, Greenwich. It is not feasible to travel by public transport as it would take more than 60 minutes, whilst a car reduces travel-time to 15 minutes.
The BBC sent a reporter to interview Harley Hicks and some parents about this. The BBC news at 17:45 will report about this. Harley was awarded the swimming teacher year of the year award by the Amateur Swimming Association.

Whilst I personally reside very local and can take a bus, Madison will miss friends who have to leave the club over the parking charges that can cost as much as £2,000 per to parents.
Is it really necessary to make swimmers’ parents bear the cost of running the Olympic Park? How is it possible to run a swimming club for youngsters, most of which have to be brought by their parents, if parking is unaffordable?

An action group has distributed a leaflet and people are invited to lobby the London Legacy Development Corporation about the issue.

lacparking

The Parking charges at the LAC put the LACPP under an unfair disadvantage because other clubs do not charge parents for parking when they bring, collect or accompany their children to swimming practise.

Rankings

The ASA website has this wonderful tool, that allows swimmers to compare themselves to others within a chosen region. Also one can ascertain the ranking within the last 12 months or all time for various nationalities.

It’s a little bit hard sometimes to see one doesn’t come within the top 10 on a search; Today Madison ranks joint 16th on the 50 meter freestyle in Essex County. Tomorrow comes the big test, swimmers from 29 clubs will try to get into the top-ten, to make the finals. They swim in age-groups and anybody is aged as they would be on 31st. December 2017, even if they are born in January.

Last year Madison was ranked 20th in the same category, she has improved 4 places since joining LACPP.

I am taking some solace from stories I heard that Adam Peaty ranked 38? when he was younger and that Michael Phelps always was in the B-squad as a youngsters and tried his best to catch up.

I suppose in swimming success comes with endurance and longevity; swimmers train for years each day of the week, sometimes twice per day with gym training in between to be at the peak performance in a competition.

Swimming skills build over time, hang in there and train hard. A personal best is always good.

Swim 21 Performance Environment

LACPP is currently the only London club with this prestigious award. Proud to be part of it. Just read the news on the LACPP Facebook page.

It is true, the training atmosphere in the LAC is very pleasant, the cleanest I have experienced from any pool I have been too, and one just feels good.

Madison was very sceptical before joining, but now, she would not want to leave.

This latest accreditation makes LACPP officially the BEST club in London.

Good Times for the LACPP

I just had to subscribe to the Swimming Times magazine as published by the ASA. Usually I collect newspaper cuttings about Madison and key articles about the club. This one article ranks the LACPP as one of the most important national newcomers of the UK swimming scene.  Titled “Beacon shining bright” it is geared towards enticing swimmers to want to join this new venture in the London metropolis.

We are very proud to be one of the first members there and hope to make an incredible contribution to the club’s successes.