Pre-Competitive Coach’s Corner – April 2012
As our swim meet season gets underway, we want to make sure that all swimmers and parents are knowledgable about how a meet is run, how to read a heat sheet, and the importance of seeing your coaches before every race. Our meets are designed to run fairly quickly (typical meets can run an entire half-day), with the intent of getting swimmers and families home before its too late on Fridays or early enough on Saturday mornings so there’s still enough time to do something else. With that in mind, swimmers will not have much down time between events (typically no more than 15-20 minutes). This is why understanding a heat sheet and keeping an eye on the event progression is crucial. We’ve had a few swimmers miss events or be late this season because they were not paying attention. Parents, we encourage you to let your swimmers be responsible for themselves. We always post a heat sheet on the big yellow truck at our home meets. Swimmers, it is YOUR job to know when YOU are swimming. Your parents are there to support you, cheer you on, and be your biggest fan. They are not responsible for capping you, having your goggles, or knowing when and where you’re swimming. If you cannot memorize 4 or 5 different heat & lane assignments, write them on your hand or arm with a sharpie. Your coach may or may not know when you are swimming; they have an entire team of swimmers to watch and talk to.
Speaking of talking to your coaches; it is REQUIRED that you see your coach before each event. Swimming races at meets is different than swimming practice. That’s why we don’t hand out ribbons for a good workout. Before each race, your coach will go over race strategy (breathing pattern, turn focus, kick outs, breakouts, etc.) to make sure you get the most out of your race and effort. The worst thing that can happen is to put in all the hard work during practices from week to week and not swim to your fullest ability because we are not prepared mentally. This is an important habit to form for all swimmers looking and preparing to swim at the next level.
Your coaches think very thoroughly about which events to enter you in. If they enter you in an event, it is because they know you are ready to swim it. Conversely, if they keep you out of an event, they want to make sure you are ready (endurance or technique) for that stroke or distance. If they enter you in a 100 time trial, you are expected to swim it. If you have to leave and cannot make it, you must inform your coach prior to leaving.
We have had a hugely successful run these past few seasons. Many of our swimmers have dropped a tremendous amount of time off their races and show remarkable improvement. If we are to continue this trend of progression and development, we want to make sure we do everything in our power to better ourselves. Coaches are here to help you be the best that you can be; together we can accomplish some amazing things.
– Coach Bob