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Friday, August 7, 2009

Freestyle Friday #1 Consistency a Key to Success-Friday, August 7, 2009

Consistency: 1. Steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.: There is consistency in his pattern of behavior. 2. Reliability or uniformity of successive results or events: pitched with remarkable consistency throughout the season.

For this first Freestyle Friday articles I have chosen to address a key element in anything we do-Consistency. Consistency is something which everyone needs to foster if we are to be successful in our efforts to achieve our goals-whether daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Both short and long range goals can only be achieved IF we are consistent in our behavior to accomplish the things that we set out to do. Read both the definitions above. Consistency is a pattern of behavior that when repeated leads to reliability, or uniform results. I want to address consistency and how it applies in the class room and in the swimming pool.

For the student consistency means that you must go to class, study your subjects, do your homework and turn it in, IF you want to be successful in getting the level of grade you want, or in preparing for the SAT or ACT. Your efforts to do these things must be "steadfast", "reliable", and "uniform". You must study each night, do your homework and turn it in if you want to get the grades you must have to get into college, or get a college acceptable score on the ACT or SAT. Nobody can be consistent for you-the individual must be consistent in their own behavior in order to be successful.

In the pool consistency means that the swimmer must be on time, attend practices, do the dryland and stretching, get the proper rest and nutrition to sustain growth and activity. A swimmer who fosters consistency has disciplined him/herself to get up in the morning when they don't feel like it because they have their goals in front of them and they have a deep abiding commitment to achieve their goals. The swimmer who is consistent has disciplined him/herself to use proper mechanics and techniques at ALL times-whether in practice or in a meet. Remember that an athlete who wants to swim great in a big meet must first swim great in practice. You have all heard me say that if you swim lazy in practice, when it comes to a big event or meet you will swim lazy in that big meet. The swimmer must streamline off every wall in practice and meets. He/She must take care of the "hidden" aspects of training. This means that the individual must eat right, get the appropriate amounts of rest, drink the water necessary to sustain growth and activity. The successful swimmer must have a steadfast, reliable and uniform focus on their efforts and goals, and not let anyone or thing stand in their way as they work to achieve their goals. The consistant swimmer will constantly look at and evaluate their progress towards their goals, and then work to achieve their goals.

Having coached nearly 31 years now, I have seen many swimmers who are consistent and many who are not. Those swimmers who have not cultivated consistency usually do not achieve their goals at those 'big meets" at the end of the season. They may swim great periodically, but always fall just a little short in doing those things that would bring them greater rewards. When it is time to peak the less consistent swimmer may be competitive, but not as fast as other competitors. The Age Group, Senior or Masters swimmer who only attends once in awhile will never quite get in shape or lose the weight they may want. Inconsistency leads to frustration, and less achievement. It can also lead to just being "good enough" but never becoming great and achieving at a high level.

For the consistent swimmer it means being fully prepared to swim great at the big meets. Consistency through a season, or career leads to dropped times when it counts. It means more competitive ability in meets during heavy training. Consistency for the Age Group and Senior swimmer means that they will be better prepared and more competitive in the swimming meets throughout the season, but more importantly at the end of the season in the big meets like State Sectionals, Zones and Nationals. For the Masters swimmer consistency means they will be in better shape, and capable of completing all three legs of a triathlon or competing in a swimming meet at a higher level. Consistency leads to shorter time periods of muscle soreness and better mechanics because of all the aerobic and anaerobic and stroke work the well attended swimmer gets.

I am reminded of a response that Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame 3rd baseman Harmon Killebrew once gave. Harmon Killibrew had one of the batting and slugging averages among 3rd basemen. He also hit over 500 homeruns during his career. Mr Killibrew was asked if he had ever been fined for being late to a practice or pre-game batting practice. His response was no, and when asked why he responded the he was never fined because he is always the first one to arrive and be on teh field in the batting cage before the other Twins showed up to the game. I am also reminded of Evan Martinec who for every day of his career he worked on back and fly mechanics,, including his underwater kicking. By his Senior season in high school Evan went 49.00 in the 100 Fly and 48.39 in the 100 back. He also went 21.+ in the 50 back on the Medley Relay and 45.+ on the 400 Free Relay. Evan went on the finish a very fine education and competitive career at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisanna. Evan scored all four years at the NCAA Championships finishing 4th in his Senior year. During that Senior year in the 100 Back Evan was competing against Aaron Piersol, David Lim and Randal Bal. Consistecny paid off for Evan and Harmon Kilibrew.

Whether you are tyring to get a high grade in a class, a high score on the ACT or SAT; get in shape for life or a triathlon, or go State, Sectionals, Olympic Trials you MUST have consistency of commitment, effort, focus on your goals and desired results.

Epilogue

I received word that Dani Vaughn won the 100 Fly at Zones. Dani has dropped from a 1:12.84 on Thursday, July 30 at the State meet to a 1:08.95 in Prelims at Zones to a 1:06.78 in finals at Zones. She has also qualified for next years Sectional meets both Short and Long Course. looking at her attendance record and her recorded performances she has done this based on her CONSISTENCY. This is a great lesson for all of us to learn.

Next week's topic: Freestyle technique
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

2009 Sectionals

I had promised to post these results from Sectionals nearly one week ago. I hope that you all will understand that it has been a long couple of weeks and I have been busy trying to get everyone prepared for the State meet. I will post those results as soon as they are up. Well here are the results from prelims and finals at Sectionals Friday, July 24 (Pioneer Day in Utah)

Prelims Finals
100 Back 100 Back

Kim Welch 33.36-36.35-1:09.71
Candice Smith 32.69-33.65-1:06.31 32.31-32.79-1:05.10
Matt Okelberry 32.18-33.65-1:05.83
McKay King 29.35-31.85-1:01.30 29.39-31.06-1:00.45

400 Free
Alina Fong Matt Okelberry
1:07.75 1:02.94
1:12.83 1:10.12
1:12.74 1:11.13
1:11.29 1:05.50
4:44.61 4:29.67

100 Breaststroke

Taryn Toolson 36.99-43.93-1:20.92
Jamie Nebeker 36.95-45.32-1:22.27

100 Fly Finals

Kim Welch 29.56-33.50-1:03.06 29.42-34.08-1:03.5
TJ Murphy 28.00-32.01-1:00.01
McKay King 27.12-30.81-57.93 26.93-31.03-57.96

800 Free Relay
Taryn Toolson 2:18.32
Alina Fong 2:18.32
Kim Welch 2:18.86
Candice Smith 2:14.38
Total Time: 9:10.50

Saturday, July 25, 2009 Results (all from Prelims)

200 IM

Kim Welch 30.68-39.58-47.10-34.47-2:31.83
Jamie Nebeker 32.60-38.24-46.91-33.16-2:30.99

50 Free

Candice Smith 27.92
Taryn Toolson 27.94
McKay King 25.92

400 Medley Relay

Back: Candice Smith 1:06.29
Brst: Taryn Toolson 1:21.08
Fly: Kim Welch 1:05.03
Free: Jamie Nebeker 1:01.29

1500 Free

Alina Fong
1:09.00
1:14.15
1:13.95
1:13.58
1:13.94 6:04.42
1:14.64
1:15.44
1:15.17
1:14.68
1:14.69 6:14.82
1:14.72
1:15.00
1:15.77
1:15.11
1:13.24 6:13.80

Total Time: 18:33.04

The girls finished in 20th and the boys (McKay our only finalest we finished in 35th). This was one of our more, and perhaps our most successful Sectionals. Congratulations to the HAST Sectional team. I should have the 15 and up results from the Utah State Long Course Meet later this week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2009 Utah Zones Team Compeitition site

To all of you who read this blog I thought that I would post here a picture that Coach Diane just sent me. This is the pool that our HAST team members are competing in this week in Hawaii. Alyssa Nielson, Dani Vaughn, Brittani Finlayson, Catherine Woolston are representing HAST and Utah as part of Utah's Zone Team. What a beautiful pool and I hope the competition will be great with our HAST swimmers doing their veyr best. Good luck to one and all in Hawaii.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

2009 Utah State Long Course Championships

Sunday, 2 August 2009

It has not been 24 hours since the end of the 2009 Utah State Long Course Championships and I am still very tired. Tomorrow I will be posting the results of the meet and wanted to let everyone know that the HAST swimmers, older and younger had a terrific meet. On the 14 and under side of things our Age groupers finished in second place, while the 15 and older kids took first place. As for the combined team title we were second. All the kids swam very well with many life time and seasonal bests by all the team members. There were many exciting races, especially on the last day. The 15 and up girl's 400 Free Relay team of Taryn Toolson, Kim Welch, Jamie Nebeker and Candice Smith started the night out for the older kids by "scorching" the field in a team record time of 4:04. All the young ladies averaged 1:01's. It was a great relay and we were significantly faster than we were one week ago at Sectionals. The entire 15 and up team rallied from behind Cottonwood Heights to win the meet by 4.5 points. Congratulations once again to all the swimmers for their heart and competitive spirit. Now its' on to the 2010 Short Course Season. The results tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Official Announcement

To all my blog readers (not that there are many of you, but perhaps for my own educational growth) I am going to be following my wife's example and post weekly training trips. I will do it every Friday beginning next week, Friday, August 7, 2009. Fridays tips will be known as Freestyle Fridays. Freestyle Fridays will cover a variety of topics, not just the freestyle stroke. I have chosen Freestyle as the name because it implies that any topic is fair game. Look for the first post to appear next Friday. Thanks for reading.

Utah State Long Course Championships-Wednesday, July 29 through Saturday, August 1 at the Kearns Fitness Center. We are prepared and should swim well. I would like to blog the results but I don't think I will have enough time nightly to get it done, so I will most likely summarize the results. I want to wish all my HAST swimmers good luck and fast swimming.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unscientific Poll

To all my former swimmers who have been following this blog I would like you to tell me your most favorite set and your least favorite set. The set can be the hardest one you ever did or it can be one that you found helpful, fun or otherwise. I have been coaching for 30 years now and I am very interested in your feedback. Besides maybe there is someone who would like to contribute to my swimmers today and/or something out there I've forgotten and can re-new its use. Thanks for your help.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009 Sectionals

Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yesterday Friday, July 24 the HAST swimmers celebrated the 24th in grand style. McKay made consol finals in the 100 back and a bonus final in the 100 fly. Candice made the consol finals in the 100 Back and Kim Welch made the big finals in the 100 fly. All swimmers swam really well. McKay has scored more points for the men's team then in recent past. Last check the boys (McKay) was tied for 33rd. The girls were holding steady in a three way tie for 17th.

On Saturday our events were the 200 IM, 50 Free, 1500 Free and 400 Medley Relay. All swimmers swam really well, just not well enough to get a second swim. The highlight of the day wasa Alina Fong's 1500 Free. Alina lowered the HAST team record by 49 seconds going 18:33.04. She also lowered her best time. In the end the girls finished in 20th position and the boys finished in 36th. The boys have finished in the twenty before, but the girls have never done this. Congratulations to all of our HAST swimmers for a great 2009 Sectionals. When I return home tomorrow I will put the results up from the last two days as well as some pictures from our trip to the Falls. Thanks to everyone for following this week's action. Look for the final HAST meet results tomorrow and Monday.