September 15, 2014
We just completed our first official meet of the season! Our new families learned lots of new things and had a glimpse of what the rest of the season may bring.
We would like to explain how/why we recognize our Whopper Droppers and 100 % Best times after each meet.
We will always publish meet results on our website as soon as we receive them from the host meet. This is where you can always find “place” finishes and accurate times. In swimming, it’s fun to place 1st or place in the top 10, but we know with a sport that has so many participants, this is typically not a realistic goal for most swimmers.
When your swimmer is typically competing against 10 – 100 swimmers in any given event a 1stplace finish is not the best “measure” of progress. As coaches, we encourage the swimmers to swim “their personal best” and to track their times in each event. It helps them to see their progress through the year and from season to season.
As coaches, we are also looking for specific stroke techniques in a race, and not always focused on a best time. If we noticed your swimmer took 4 dolphin kicks off a wall and 3 strokes before they took a breath in freestyle, we may consider this an outstanding swim, even if they didn’t reach their best time this race. We know the times will eventually drop if they are mastering the racing skills we are teaching them. Best times do not ALWAYS equal best swims especially in a new swimmer.
One thing we always “preach” to your swimmer – “You/we CANNOT control time but we can control the way we swim, the way we train and the attitude we have before and after each race.” If you pay attention to the things you can control – the clock and time will start to “move” in the right direction.
To keep “drops” in time in perspective, we must understand this:
1. It is EXTREMELY difficult to swim 100% best times at any one meet. This is an impressive achievement when your swimmer earns this, especially if they have entered the maximum number of events per day.
2. It is considered extraordinary to drop more than 10% of your season start time to the end of the season. A more typical drop in any given event is hopefully in the 5% range. This is for the season, not from meet to meet!
3. It is typical for newer swimmers to see larger drops in time. The first season or two of year round swimming a swimmer will generally see bigger drops in time. This is why we recognize “Whopper Droppers”. We understand that the kids that have been swimming for a few years are getting recognized for top 10 finishes, meet records, team records and other accomplishments, but our newer swimmers can sometimes feel lost if they don’t feel they measure up to someone else their age. It is never appropriate to compare your swimmer to someone who has been swimming longer.
We can’t recognize every personal best time, so we start with the “whopper dropper” of each meet in each age group and distance. We understand this is a subjective measure, but it is a fun way for kids to see their name recognized once in a while. We hope you help your swimmer keep it in perspective also. One meet a one second drop might make them a whopper dropper, but another meet a 6 second drop may not. If someone else at that particular meet dropped more, then they will be awarded the recognition at that meet.
We hope these accolades help encourage the kids and help you learn the names of some of the other swimmers on the team. Thanks to all those who attended the meet in Douglasville and don’t forget to sign up for our first SCAT hosted meet on Sep 27 – 28!