April 13, 2020
A day ago tomorrow was the last practice that I ran at the pool. It was a Saturday, March 14th. It seems like moons ago.
I hope everyone is hanging in there and home and healthy. This is a very awkward time for us all, the not knowing, the daily updates on the news etc... The kids are also trying to find balance with new school work on the horizon and continuing education opportunities. Having a new normal can still be overwhelming, especially if your family has a loved one who is sick or is in the throws of working in our medical community.
I found a great article-by Olivier Leroy-(Canadian Olympian and author) that I shared with the Senior group on a zoom chat last weekend. (16 of 20 showed up!! and that is impressive!! and some were still late! lol)
Adversity and tough times are part of the process. It's the swimmer who can find the silver linings, motivation, and new routines in the face of adversity & who reap the benefits of this "new normal"
So what are 4 things we CAN do? (swimmers and parents) to get through tough times
- LEAN ON YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM-family, friends & coaches! Show the LOVE!
- BE THERE FOR OTHERS- we tell the kids-don’t give up! Focus on your technique! Kick harder! Find that inner coach in yourself and forge on! Support those around you! Be the ROCK!
- WRITE, DRAW, JOURNAL how you are feeling-like the author says “barf into your notebook” write draw anxieties, fears, and finish with something GREAT! And actually take a break from social media!!
- DEVELOP A ROUTINE- on my Saturday senior group chat, some of the kids are sleeping in way too long…I told them that I want them up and ready to seize the day by 9:00 am EVERY DAY. Believe it or not we take great comfort in knowing that we were at the pool at such and such a time… that Coach Chris, for example, would sit with her White II minions in the bleachers 15 minutes before they began dryland "chewing the fat". So HELP your swimmer, no matter what age…find that “THING to do” like going for walk, making their beds…let them help make dinner one night a week, set the table, fold some laundry to DISCO music.
Parents , (cuz let me tell you….coming up with a dinner each night can be in itself a true challenge, emptying the dishwasher again, or we need more milk? ...etc...) Set a routine or process for yourself and for them that you and they can build on each day!
You can’t always make the adversity go away. BUT you can choose to make yourself more capable to stand up to it.
So what does longcourse/summer swimming look like? This is also leads into some generalizations to where our long course season is headed and what it looks like after talking with some coaches that I know.
Still unknown. But for the most part (I sat in on the town hall the past weekend and a MI coaches last Wednesday), we are not sure that any competitions will be held this summer. I have another meeting next Wednesday to follow up with MI coaches.
Basically no swim meets, approved or sanctioned will be allowed to occur until, all Local Swim Committees, or LSC’s, have all their facilities up and running and kids are allowed to train, fairly across the board. This might even be not only from state to state but across the country as well. All the biggest National competitions, Olympic Trials, Sr and Jr Nationals and YMCA Nationals have already been cancelled.
USA swimming’s concerns are, things like, let’s say Arizona opens up their pool and MI is still closed up…that families would take their kids to AZ to practice…unheard of right?... Well…think again, youth sports (not just swim) have families do some to do crazy things and USA Swimming will absolutely not allow these situations to occur. The health/safety of the athlete outweighs all.
So again the unknown.
So what we do know? We will be training again in some capacity hopefully in a month or so? Our training groups might have to involve certain families coming in at the same time, really pairing kids with similar times…swimming more continuous, resting at opposite ends....alternating, pool, dryland, and perhaps an outdoor piece at each practice. Perhaps we will run mini camps with the youngers? alternate biweekly?
WE just will have to be creative and figure this out. Perhaps we will work on our Sprinting A LOT!!
So when I get more news, I will reach out. Most of this is just a summation of what has been said, NOTHING IN STONE , since before it was all so easy and spelled out very clearly.
I am hopeful and we all need to be if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
MY virtual door is wide open-