HEAD COACHES REPORT

DECEMBER 2017

Over the next 16 days swimmers with complete the hard yards of preparation for Country and State Championships. This next fortnight is extremely important for swimmers to continue to work hard and concentrate of feedback being given in relation to strokes and especially race skills.

Success on the outside looks like a nicely wrapped present, bow, nice paper but most of us know that is not the case. Goal setting can be the same, look good on paper but …… are they hard and out of reach – not realistic or hard work but achievable, or are they cushy soft and an easy get and made so easy there is no disappointment.

As we head to championship meets, swimmers should revisit where they sit with the goals set yearly. Have you met your performance outcome already? What is it I need to do if I am just about right on my goals?  Times should be the prime focus that help with setting goals and your aims will help you get there.  Ask yourself should training skills relate to my race planning?  Great streamline skills, fast approach through the flag zones to complete turn with speed and maintain the power and strength of the turn right through to your breakout are things we practice daily and yes they form foundations to successful racing. The next 2 weeks the skills practiced at training must have attention to detail. All swimmers should be visualising turns, dives, rhythm and tempo, dreaming and feeling each experience to support a healthy race plan for all strokes.  Relay change overs must be worked on to know your dive can make the difference and strong finish on to the wall without backing off!!

Just make the most of each session to help sharpen your skills and mentally prepare for excellent outcomes.  Swimmers need to be aware, not all swims are how they end up on the wall at the finish, when your racing and you muck up a turn or dive, do your best and do not be too hard on yourself.  Each swim is a new swim and each day is a new day, move on and make the best effort on your next swim.

In a perfect world, all swimmers are winners, but the true winners are swimmers who do not give up and aim to do their best each swim. Personal best times should be the focus and well, if your time is good enough then the reward can be a medal.  Swimmers with personal best times are all winners because they have beaten their own previously set time and that is great.  Little steps can also bring big rewards and self-belief for the next race.

 

Fast swimming

To swim fast requires a deadly mindset, physically and measurable.

I want to take two less strokes per lap…….

I want to drop 4 seconds of my 100 free time……

I want to have a faster underwater dolphin kick….. and the list can go on and on……………….

Swimmers direct their effort at training better every day, however the mind can play tricks on us even with all the right work covered in training.  For example, swimmers can get caught up in what others think, and it can end up effecting how they perform.  Even frustration, when things go wrong and a swimmer may give up or not try as hard, the race is not over till you’re at the wall, so swim on and focus on skills, turn, streamlines and before you know it your time could be back on track.  Give it your best and make the most because you will learn a lot about yourself and it can be used in your next race.

Stepping up to the block is where your head should be thinking about a great start and how you will build through your race.  Think like our country slogan “Swimming like the cheetah within…. Be a chlorinated cheetah out classing your prey!! Well you need that mindset from start to go on race day and even in training.

Strong mindset encourages positive performances.  If you have negative thoughts that leads to a churning belly, you most likely will not swim well and the body language for your negative thoughts is usually very readable by your competitors. Try visualising the pool and your race and skills.  Over thinking and analysing with a negative outlook is not good for you or any other swimmer.

Learn to dominate your thoughts with positive key words – strong and long, rate higher, head down and go.  Use the reinforcement that people can support you with prior to racing, also use your teammates, coaches, music is good and learn to relax your breathing and your thoughts and give it your best. Each and every swimmer in our Onkaparinga team is valued, needed and we are here to help support and encourage you.

I wish all swimmers success and congratulate the efforts you have put in over this year, and best of luck for racing. Believe you can do it is the first thing you must tell yourself, no negatives just positives.  If you need to talk about anything over the coming days, please do so, and I will try to support you.

Please, if parents require support over this Championship period with training or information, please ask and I will do the best to make things work out for you.

Training Calendar is in Documents on the Team App and displayed at the pool. Please make sure you look at the changes of training times. Knowing when a session starts will support attendance and swimmers being punctual.

Officials roster for Countries has been drafted and parents/helpers have been asked to log on and do registration on your given sessions and duties

For swimmers travelling- Wednesday or Thursday, we hope to have a training session in Broken Hill on the Thursday night at 6:00 – 7:00 pm or 6:30 – 7:30pm, it all depends on the pool booking – time suitability.  The club will place in news on the team app, once finalised.

 

I wish all swimming families and swimmers in the Hills and our southern venue at the Mount a Merry Christmas and safe time over the Christmas period and New Year.  Stay well and see you at the pool.

 

Pat Wheeler