Long Course Meeting Recap

Hello EMAC:

What a great turnout Tuesday night at the LC/Spring Info Meeting

The were four general goals of the meeting:

  1. Express how critical it is that EMAC Swimmers gain Long course competition experience.
  2. Inform our veteran long course swimmers of meet schedule and expectations
  3. Inform our potential new long course swimmers of options and expectations for their first Long course experience.
  4. Inform everyone that our Spring info will be out shortly

Below I’ve attempted to sum up the contents of the meeting. 

Before reading, please understand that we want as many swimmers to compete in LC meets as possible.   We are working toward establishing programming in the summer for the younger swimmers that enables them to do both long course and summer league. 

Based on the turnout last night, I expect that we will have a tremendous turnout for our Long course team this summer!!!

Long Course Swimming

The term “Long Course Swimming” refers to practices and competitions that occur in a 50-meter pool.   Unlike our 25-yard pool, most international competitions, including the Olympics, occur in a 50-meter pool.  Qualification for meets/teams such as Pan-Am Games, National Junior Team, Olympic Trials is dependent on long-course performances.  In other words, the top end of our sport is exclusively long course.

There are long course meets in the Spring and Summer, and we will begin practicing in a long course pool once school is out.

Most people will quickly jump in and explain that a long course pool is twice the distance of a normal pool.  In terms of measurement, that’s about right.  In terms of what the swimmer experiences, that’s not even close to correct. 

Swimmers who take 7 strokes a lap in a short-course yards pool will take 21-24 strokes in a long-course meter pool.  To the swimmer, that pool is three times as long.  It is an important distinction that has implications in how we train long-course, why we set our schedule the way we do, and why we insist that our coaches, swimmers, and parents consider short-course swimming and long-course swimming to be two different sports. 


Long course swimming is critical to the development of our swimmers.  We want all EMAC swimmers to gain long course competitive experiences early and often. 

USA Swimming did a study to see which factor had greater influence over who made finals at Olympic Trials:  a) how long the swimmer has practiced long course or b) how many long course races the swimmer completed. 

The results were that how many long course races the swimmers had were a greater predictor than how long they’ve been practicing long course. 

If the number of long course races is strong enough to separate the top swimmers at Olympic Trials from the rest, then that impact can surely also be seen in our younger, less-developed swimmers. 

For this reason, we urge all swimmers ages 9 and older to compete in long course meets.  We simply want them to gain the experience at a younger age so that if/when they make a commitment to swimming, they have a strong, diverse experience in swimming on which to build. 


We have lots of meets planned in May and June prior to the swimmers getting out of school.  Attending meets before we get out of school makes perfect sense.   If we wait until we are out of school to begin taking our preparation seriously, we will only have 5 weeks of practice until Silver/Senior Champs and 6 weeks of practice until JO’s.  That would be like starting a season in September and expecting our kids to be ready to go fastest times by our Pentathlon meet in October. 

We will be attending these meets and treating them like they are our first long course practices since last July.  The goal will be to shake off the rust that has accumulated since last July/August.  No, they are not likely to swim well relative to their fastest times.  They probably won’t even swim very well relative to other teams who have the means to train long course in the Spring.  However, they will be gaining valuable reps that will help them start their march toward fastest times. 

Simply put:  we want veteran long course swimmers to attend as many long course meets as possible because of the practice value at a time in the season where long course practices are not accessible to us. 


For veteran long course swimmers, we expect the following phases:

  • May Meets:  Struggle
  • June Meets: Struggle but improvement from earlier meets
  • July Meets:  More improvement from earlier swims, perhaps closing in on fastest times
  • Champs:  Fastest times

In Spring long course competitions, we expect our swimmers to struggle relative to their fastest times and other swimmers.   In addition to the practice value that these early-season meets have, they also serve as a wake-up call heading into a busy prom, formal, and graduation season that’s filled with great weather and other distractions.   Having that wake-up call will help to keep them focused and committed when they otherwise have a lot of reasons to skip practices.  Again, if these swimmers wait until school is out to get serious about their preparation, it will be too late. 

In June, we expect to gain tremendous experience at the Long Course Classic and the NPAC Meets.  We should see improvement here over our May performances, but we should not yet expect fastest times. 

In July we will have had time to get some Long course practices in.  We should expect better swimming than in June and some swimmers will be closing in on fastest times.

If your swimmers remain committed and embrace the process, we expect to see tremendous swimming at our Champs meets.

I’ve run this model for over 6 years, and we’ve had tremendous success at Champs relative to best times and relative to other swimmers.  We are looking forward to getting back to work on this on April 9th


For swimmers in this category, we expect the following:

  1. Enjoy your first long course season
  2. Finish the season with the desire to do it again


If you have a swimmer who is new to long course and is not ready to do a full Long course season, we have a track highlighted for you in our long course meet schedule.   The meets highlighted in green are great long course introduction meets.  We’d love to see the swimmers do two meets plus champs.


Click HERE for the updated spring/summer competition schedule

Click HERE for a more detailed report on the meets within our schedule

Please note that we have meets on our schedule in the Spring and Summer session.  To compete in Spring LC meets, you will need to be registered for our Spring Session.    To compete in our Summer LC meets, you will need to be registered for our Summer Session. 

There are also some meets that are on our schedule for the Spring that are SCY meets.   These meets are for our younger swimmers who may not feel ready to compete in LC. 

We will be adding the meet information to our meet schedule as we go.  Be sure to read the meet information and the notes that we place in the meet page to understand which meets are good for your swimmer. 


Trying to compare times from short course and long course is silly.  It's akin to comparing a track mile to a cross-country mile.  Please do not ever convert one time to another for comparison sake.  Allow the swimmers to have best LCM times and best SCY times, and allow their brain to experience each season separately from the other.  The only time we will use conversions is when we need to do it in order to qualify a swimmer for a meet.  For example:  the GPAC Long Course Derby does not allow NT.  So, swimmers who don't have LCM times would not be able to swim unless we converted their SCY times to LCM, which we have done for that meet. not compare their results to their entry times.  

Trust me on this.  You will save a lot of aggravation if you just put those "time converters" away. 

If you have questions about which meets are good for your swimmer, please email Coach Mike or Coach Tim.