June 3, 2011
The pool will be set up in the 25-meter configuration and the summer practice schedule will begin on Monday!
What is Long Course, What is Short Course?
“Our pool is 25 yards wide by 25 meters long. Why do we compete during the summer in 50 meter pools?”
For years the "American Standard Short Course" pool has been a 25 yard pool. Almost all high school pools and most college pools are 25 yards and all high school and college meets are run as short course meets. Club teams generally swim short course meets from September through March.
The international standard is meters. The Olympics, Pan-American Games, and World Championships are held in 50 meter pools. In this country, most 50 meter pools are outdoors due to the cost of building an indoor 50 meter pool. For that reason our long course season is generally from April through August. As more and more indoor 50 meter pools are being built and as the United States focuses more on international swimming the distinction between the "short course season" and the "long course season" becomes less distinct and more an more meets are going to the long course standard throughout the year -- with the exception of high school and college swimming which will remain short course yards.
We will swim meets that are long course this spring and summer. This will cause some confusion about times. The times will be slower because a 50 meter swim is approximately 5 yards longer than a 50 yard swim. Another factor are turns. There are less turns in long course swimming. Generally, turns are faster than swimming -- we can push off the wall faster than we can swim. (Although for some of our swimmers who have not yet mastered a turn, the turning process is slower than swimming!)
Some people attempt to "convert" a short course time to a long course time or visa versa. The conversions factors are not precise due to differences in turns, strokes, and individual's ability to swim the extra distance at speed. Conversions can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointments, or to a false sense of achievement. For those reasons we do not convert times. We simply say that each swimmer has two sets of best times, one for long course and one for short course.
Since we will be training short course yards until the end of school and then training short course meters during the summer, our Silver and Gold groups will need to train a little differently to prepare for long course competition. We will focus on not resting on turns, doing longer repeats (i.e. 125’s instead of 100’s), extra kicking training, and simply working harder than ever before. It is going to be a great summer!