The first words Madison uttered when I came to collect her from MMSwiminspirations swim camp, under supervision from Mel Marshall were: “I swear they are trying to kill us with that land training!”
What does that tell you? What should it tell me?
Madison has had land-training regularly. Yoga, Pilates, and exercise. That has been going on since a year. All soft training and still an injury of the shoulder. Perhaps the soft training is too soft to strengthen the muscles enough.
1 week at Mel Marshall’s swim camp and Madison’s feels totally overstretched.
But, who is winning the medals at top competitions? Those who work with Mel or those who work with Madison’s regular club?
I am just glad that Madison is going to train with the top squad in Hackney Aquatics from September with 2 gym sessions per week. It seems that all the soft options like Yoga and Pilates do not do too much for high performance athletes.
Our local Hackney Aquatics club is the only one we can attend, from where we live and school.
Madison qualified for various events in the Welsh Nationals 2018 but we have decided not to enter.
Reason, we need to pay for fares to get there, need to book into a hotel and that for several days because the events are spaced apart over several days.
We need to consider whether spending so much time and money actually furthers the swimming skills. Especially as the qualifying times are not higher than the London Region, which is just on our doorstep, it is not so exciting to go all out.
I can spend the same amount of money for a week’s works of training at the Melanie Marshall swimming camp the following week and get a lot of skills training for the money.
However had Madison qualified for the English or British Nationals, we wouldn’t mind spending money on going there because the qualifying times are faster and the demand on skills is higher.
Instead we will concentrate on getting faster for next season. It is never too late to get faster.
It is very important not to get demoralised when reading those publications whereby some swimmers win county and regional champs and go to British champs aged 14 and then thinking well I’m 14, and if I haven’t made it yet I never will. That is simply not so, everybody is different and as long as times improve there is a lot of hope.
Just hate it when my club shuts down for the whole of the summer holidays, so I do not get 5 weeks worth of training.
Whilst I complete the consent form for the Melanie Marshall Swim Inspiration’s camp for the second time, I have one question which simply says: “Why do you swim?”
This year I am attending the summer camp, (early August), last year I attended the Easter camp. Apparently Repton was an invasion point for the Vikings around 865 AD, how amazing.
The swim camp is going to be at Repton school in the wonderful Derbyshire countryside. I know I am not going to make it for the English or the British Nationals this year and so opt for some concentrated training with Grant Turner instead. Last year I gotten a lot of swim inspirations there.
So why do I swim? I suppose now I am doing it for fitness and stress relief. I think I’ll also want to be a coach later on. I am going to study sport science, triple science, maths and continue to do the intensive training. My brain works best with lots of swimming.
Hopefully next year I’ll get better still and will make the nationals.
Incidentally the polite attentiveness of both Grant Turner and Melanie Marshall is characteristic of fast and happy swimmers.
Good old Derby, here we go again. I found that Madison’s swimming spirits were fully activated after last year’s Mel Marshall Swiminspirations swimming camp in Derby. Even though, I would have wanted to see more out-doors activities, since it is in the wonderful Derbyshire countryside, the after-effect was excellent.
Madison met some Olympians on her visit, including Adam Peaty and of course the wonderful Tim Shuttleworth and Luke Greenbank and came fully motivated.
When Madison attended the camp in 2017, Madison achieved 6 Regional times in 2018. I want to keep that momentum going and therefore we are going to go to Mel’s summer camp this year to refresh the motivation.
Swimmers must be strongly motivated to get national times and I think it’s the people around you that make you as you influence each other.