September 3, 2019
I hope everyone had a great Labor Day! We resume normal practice schedule this afternoon. Please be sure to read this week’s email for important Reno Aquatic Club information.
Parent Meetings Tonight (Tuesday, September 3)
Every group, except the Mini RENO group, will have a quick parent/coach meeting this evening. Please meet in the fenced patio area outside the back of the pool for your meeting. Here’s the schedule:
Blue: 5:45 - 6:00 PM
Orange/White: 5:30 - 5:45 PM
Junior: 5:00 - 5:15 PM
Pre-Senior: 5:45 - 6:00 PM
Senior / National: 6:30 - 7:00 PM
Upcoming Practice Changes
Here are some upcoming changes to the RENO practice schedule:
Friday, September 13 – No practice for any groups due to Minden meet
Saturday, September 14 – No practice for any groups due to Minden meet
Minden Meet – September 13 – 15
The deadline to register for the Autumn Freeze meet in Minden (September 13 – 15) is tomorrow at midnight. Click here to sign-up.
King of the Hill Meet – October 18 – 20
RENO's King of the Hill meet is open for registration. Please register soon. We expect the meet to fill-up quickly. Click here to sign-up.
The annual Nevada State Championships will take place in Henderson, NV over Veteran’s Day Weekend. The details aren’t posted, but from my understanding the meet will take place Friday, November 8 – Monday, November 11. Friday will be the distance events.
The State qualifying times should not change from last year. Click here for a link to the 2018 qualifying times.
Last year, we had many families scratch out of finals on the last day due to travel arrangements that required them to leave early. Please be sure you book your travel, so swimmers do not have to miss finals on Monday. 10-under swimmers will finish mid-day on Monday.
I will have more information in the coming weeks.
This week’s Parent Education topic is written by Lauren Evans. In addition to being my wonderful wife, she is in charge of the dryland training for the team. Lauren is a former Division I tennis player and cross country runner. She has been coaching endurance athletes for over a decade. Enjoy this week’s article:
The importance of quality sleep is a topic that is, thankfully, making a resurgence. I believe most of us grew up in a time when sleep was thought of as something that was an unfortunate necessity. Sleep got in the way of other important things. If there was a way to conquer it, we would be better off without sleep.
I grew up with this view and have been pursuing a way to function without sleep for most of my life. I am happy that I’ve come to the realization that sleep is something that is absolutely necessary and needs to be savored. I am disappointed, however, that it look me so long to come to this realization.
For example, there was a brief period of my life when I worked as an analyst for a middle-market investment bank in Charlotte, NC. This was the zenith of lack of sleep for me. All of the analysts were expected to work one-hundred or more hours a week in the office. This was done more as a point of pride than as practical necessity. I soon found out that in order to do this, you sacrificed sleep. With the severe lack of sleep, I felt like I was going to go crazy with this sort of routine, and I eventually quit. This is the extreme, but it shows how I was guilty of wearing lack of sleep as a badge of honor. I’m sure many of you have similar sleep sacrificing stories.
Everyone needs quality sleep! But let’s take a moment to focus on athletes. Take Roger Federer, one of all-time great tennis players, for example. He says he doesn’t feel normal without 14 hours of sleep each night. Elite marathon runners are notorious for sleeping 12 hours at night then taking a 2-hour nap in the afternoon. Tom Brady goes to bed by 8 PM every night. These are just a few anecdotal examples of our top athletes prioritizing sleep.
Now, to our kids. The one thing we can all agree on is that we want what is best for our kids. What is unquestionably best for our kids is that they get enough sleep. When we are looking at teenagers, we would like them to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, ideally 9 or more.
However, I am a realist. Ryan and I talked a lot about late night and early morning practices our older swimmers face and balancing this with adequate sleep. With the new schedule, he has done the best he can with the pool space RENO has. This is just what we are given, and we have to make the best of it. The good news, with a proper plan, we can be sure our athletes are getting quality sleep.
Here are few strategies to help our swimmers at night, especially our Senior and National swimmers who don’t finish swimming until 9 PM:
I spoke with a RENO mom the other day and I really like what she does. She has a nutritious snack and drink ready for her son right after practice. For her son, it is an RX bar and a chocolate milk. This is a great choice! You can also get a protein shake from Costco or make your own. Add in one to two fruits and a healthy carb like a small PB and J sandwich on good bread (like the European Bread) or a half a bagel. Have water ready for your son or daughter. Explain the importance of them actually eating and drinking it while in the car on the way home. When they are home, they need to go through their bedtime routine, put their PJ’s on, and go to bed.
There are many assumptions that I’m making with this. First, that your kids do have a bedtime routine. Second, that they have done their homework already. With a late-night practice, they do have time to do their homework before practice starts. I know there are off occasions when this may not be the case, but this should be extremely rare, like once or twice a year.
Teach your kids to start studying and doing their work several days in advance. Athletes know how to manage their time. When they go off to college, they will be required to do this because professors do not make their schedule around competitions. Rather, I remember several occasions when we’d return to the dorms after a competition after midnight and have a mid-term exam the next morning at 9 AM. There is no cramming in a successful athlete’s life.
If your child (or you) is having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, he/she can practice a form of mindful meditation. Do this when you are having trouble sleeping, but also, do it during the day for at least 10 minutes every day. This is a topic for another Parent Education, but there are many resources out there to learn about mindful meditation.
One of the biggest obstacles to quality sleep are phones. Phones and technology are pervasive in today’s world. As much as I’m a cavewoman with technology and sometimes wish we could go back to the dark ages, I realize this is the world we live in. I cannot express how important it is to take steps to minimize the impact technology has on our sleep. The solution is to make it work for us.
Go into your settings on your phone and set a timer to dim the light on your phone from 7 PM to 7 AM. Have your child do the same. You can do this in the timer settings. Most phones that are the iPhone 6 or greater have these features.
Finally, dim your light on your phone when you use it. The iPhone light is meant to mimic the sun, which is exactly what we don’t need to see when it’s night time and we’re ready to sleep. Looking at a phone before bedtime does not allow the body to naturally wind down and prepare to sleep for an extended time.
The best scenario is to have a cell phone check-in time. Mom or Dad checks in everyone’s cell phones at night, and the phone gets locked in a special place not to be used again, by anyone, until the morning. This is the ideal situation and creates a healthy relationship with technology by showing the kids (and the adults) they can be away from their phone. No alarm? Old-fashioned alarm clocks (not digital with the blue light; just regular clocks) are cheap and we all know how to use them.
Finally, set a consistent bedtime and a wake-up time. This may seem hard to do, but it is possible, even with a changing daily schedule. It is worth it!
Model good sleep for your children. If there is a good response to this email and if people are interested, I will share with you the sleep survey I will have the Senior and National swimmers fill out this week at dryland. You can take it yourself and see if you need help getting better quality sleep.
Each week, I update the Parent Education section on our website with the newest article. Please click here to access it.
I am working on finalizing our meet schedule for the 2019/2020 season, but here are the next meets RENO will be attending:
- September 13 – 15 – Molly Lahlum Memorial Autumn Freeze / Minden, NV
- October 18 – 20 – RENO’s King of the Hill Meet / Carson City, NV
- November 8 – 11 – Nevada State Championship / Henderson, NV
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thank you for your support.