September 10, 2013
Weekly Update Sep 10
Highlights from the ISCA (International Swim Coaches Association) - Coach Jamey, Cathy, David and Denise attended the Annual ISCA Converence in Clearwater August 29 - 30.
Attending a conference like this not only reinforces many of the good things we are already doing as a club, it also inspired us to incorporate some new things we can be doing for our swimmers.
As a staff, we meet each Monday to discuss sets we are working with our practice groups. It gives us an opportunity to make sure we continue to “train” as a team, but also discuss the challenges we have with different age and competitive levels. It helps us stay on track to create a comprehensive, long-term training approach for your swimmer from Bronze to Senior level.
As a team, we have 3 specific goals this year –
1 – Give the swimmers an opportunity to “Win” each day. We believe focus can get lost if we set our goals to “win” at only meets. Considering most swimmers average only one month per meet a year, yet train 48 weeks each year, it is important that we help the swimmers see the work they do each day and see the progress that effort brings.
We will continue to incorporate “challenge” team sets and keep track of performance. The swimmers in the Senior and Gold group have already been working sets of 50’s holding a maximum pace and recording how many they can complete within a given interval. Silver and Bronze will also work similar sets. As coaches, we are recording the improvement from week to week to compare the percentages of completion. “Deliberate” practice will be our goal for them, and we hope to make it fun by creating sets they can “win” and see progress from week to week.
We have also incorporated Coach Randy Reese’s fast 25’s – 10 seconds all out, 20 seconds rest. I don’t know if our Seniors think 25’s are as fun as they used to, but we are seeing “work” from them that we have not always previously seen.
2 - Focus on team retention. We have had a substantial increase in our roster and it is important we accommodate all swimmers and make sure they don’t feel “lost” in the numbers. We take attendance to help us track and make sure we are not missing something that may be going on with your swimmer. Although we take attendance each day, please know we understand several of our swimmers in Bronze, Silver and Gold still participate in other activities that may take them away from practice one to two times a week. We are not trying to have “perfect” attendance at these levels, we just want to know if/why swimmers may be missing a practice.
3 – Keep it fun. Keeping it fun won’t mean games each day, as we believe hard work and fast swimming are as fun as any game; but we recognize our swimmers will perform best if they are having fun. Part of this is keeping it “social” and helping your swimmers create friendships among the team. To that extent, we will offer team events throughout the year. We started with our Senior “Team Trivia” at Mellow Mushroom last week. The Senior team is invited to meet the first Wednesday of each month to test their trivia knowledge and enjoy some pizza. We will also be hosting Moe’s Spirit Nights in October and November for all practice groups. These will also serve as fundraisers for our team. We hope you make an effort to attend. The dates on calendar so far are, Tues, Oct 1st and Tues, Nov 19. Just tell your server you are there to “Support SCAT” and they will track and give the team 20% of all sales from the evening.
Other highlights from the conference included:
· Systematic progression of “swimmer” specific dry-land training offered by JR Rosania of Healthplex.
· Psychology techniques including race-visualization offered by Dr. Heil
· Scientific approaches to race pace training offered by Dr. Rushall and Dr. Sergei Beliaev.
· Coaches Eric Reese (University of Texas), Tim Bauer (The Woodlands, TX Age Group Coach) and Coach Randy Reese spoke specifically on training techniques they prefer for their swimmers and provided several Q&A opportunities for all attendees.
Don’t forget our Parents Forum this evening to discuss Meet Selection/Entries and goal-setting for your swimmer. We will meet from either 4:00 - 4:30 pm or 5:45 - 6:15 pm. Coaches will be on hand to answer questions and help you navigate meet choices for your swimmer for the season.