From the Head Coach, May 3, 2012
From Doug: It was great to see so many of you attend the Team Banquet last Sunday, and to honor the accomplishments of our swimmers over the past year. The twenty individual awards the coaches presented hardly began to highlight the numerous accomplishments we had team wide. There were many, including Olympic Trials qualifiers, team records broken, TAGS champions, thousands of personal best times. But, as I said in my opening talk, many of the most important successes we have in this sport don’t have anything to do with how fast we swim, but from what we gain and how we grow from the experience of being a competitive swimmer. And I know that experience is not the same at every swim club. I believe it is special at Longhorn Aquatics.
What I believe makes a program special is that the focus is on doing the RIGHT things, even if they are not always the easy or most fun things. Not that we don’t have our fun, but the most enjoyment in this sport comes from the satisfaction you get when you set the bar high, work relentlessly to achieve a goal, and then go out and do it. This does not happen overnight. For a swimmer, it may take 10 years. It is a PROCESS. And teaching the importance of the process is fundamental to getting the best possible future results. So many in our society today are obsessed with finding short-cuts, ever convinced there is an easier way to achieve success in whatever they do. They rarely are satisfied with their end results. Others find deep satisfaction in the process, and in the pursuit of excellence. Those who follow this path are usually satisfied with their end results, and truly know that they have achieved success, whatever that may look like for them. This is the philosophy I am striving to promote here at Longhorn Aquatics.
Attention all Longhorn swimmers – mark this on your calendar! On Wednesday, May 16th, we will have an ALL-TEAM SWIM CLINIC from 5 to 7 PM. It will be held at the TSC. All of our coaches and all of our training groups will participate. This is going to be an awesome opportunity for our oldest and most experiences swimmers to interact and work with our younger and newer swimmers, and all of the coaches. And you will definitely learn things that will make each and every one of you a better swimmer. Longhorn’s top swimmers, along with the coaching staff will help teach you skills that have made them as good as they are today. Make sure you plan to attend!
May is typically a tough month of training (similar to December). I think the training that happens in April and May is the platform for the success we have in the Championship meets in July and August. June is the transition month from hard training to fast racing. The racing (meet performances) we see in April and May are not usually indicative of how well we are training. We can be training great but then swim slow in these early season meets. Not always, but often. Why? Because we are still building a “training base” for fast swimming later in the summer and we are not fine-tuned yet. If we were already fine-tuned, then we would not be building our base as big as we want.
However, we still had plenty of good swimming from the National and Senior groups at the Long Course Kickoff meet, April 20-22, with 36 best times from 17 swimmers. Most notably, Grant Gibson and Madison Martell each had 6 best times! The swims that were not best times were still solid swims for this point in the season. One thing we did focus on at this meet was to swim each race with a particular goal other than the final time. For example, in the 400 Free, we asked the swimmers to split their 100’s in the following way: the 1st 100 “strong, smooth, relaxed, no particular time”. Then the 2nd 100 “needs to be within 3 seconds of the 1st 100”. Then ‘”the next two 100’s need to descend, with the 4th 100 as close as possible to the 1st”.
The point is to swim the race the way we want to see it swum (i.e. at a Championship meet) regardless of the final time. Most of our swimmers were able to execute this well. Another example was for the 200 Back: The goal was to swim the last 50 of the race with our end-of season goal split and stroke rate (40 cycles/min), which the coaches time. We knew it wasn’t realistic for most to swim the whole race at end-of season pace and stroke rate, so we just wanted to make sure we could do it for at least the last 50, which is usually where swimmers run into trouble.
And we did something along these lines, but with an individual focus, for every race. This is an example of how just looking at a swimmer’s time is not always a good measure of how good their race was. This is especially true for older and more experienced swimmers who tend not to swim near their best times early in the season. One exception to this however, was Christian Schurr, 26, who swam a blistering 1:01.98 in the 100 Breast. This was his best time, and he had a very close race with former World Record holder Brendan Hanson (who was not taking it easy!).
Next, we have several swimmers off to compete at the UltraSwim Grand Prix meet inCharlotte,NC, May 10-13, which will showcase just about every 2012 Olympic Team hopeful.
See you at the pool!
Senior Longhorn and Longhorn Training Group News Blast
Good Morning Longhorns!
The long course season is officially underway, and as those of you lucky enough to attend our Long Course Kickoff already know, we ain’t messin around this year!
First, I’d like to give a shout out to Marina Helgren, Celine Padovani, and Grace Hicks-Green for competing in their first meet as a member of Longhorn Aquatics, welcome to the team girls! Next, congratulations are in order for Dillon Blackwell as his 100 free time of 59.93 made him officially the first member of either group to break the 1:00 barrier this season. Finally, swimmer of the meet honors go to Haley Shultz and Grant Reed. Both Haley and Grant swam several long course races for the first time at the LC Kickoff, and they both exceeded even my lofty expectations. Dropping several seconds off their ‘best times’ (times I made up), Haley and Grant finished most of their races at least a couple body lengths ahead of the rest of the heat. Here’s hoping they continue that trend at the next meet when they are seeded against much faster competition! Finally, one last bonus shout out to myself for estimating Cat’s 800 free time correctly to the second, now that’s knowing your swimmers!
The Senior Longhorn and Longhorn Training Group kids are back to working hard in practice, and members of the team should be expecting good things for our upcoming End of School Splash. Currently, both groups are focusing on their kicking; most recently completing a 1000/800 kick for time. For the SRLH group, Dakota Luther is leading the way by averaging a blistering 1:30.8 seconds per 100, while Rachel Adams-Heard paces the LHTG with a 1:50.1 per 100. Stay tuned for updates on our kicking challenge, the group-wide goal of 1:45 seconds per 100 is within reach!
That’s all I have for this week, see you guys at the pool!
Longhorn News Blast
The Longhorn group has been off to a great start this Long Course season. We spent the first two and a half weeks working on body position, kicking, stroke drills and technique.
Since then we have been building on a set of 100’s. We started out 4 weeks ago with 5×100’s and have building by 5’s every week since. We are currently up to 20. The kids are having a “great” time with learning how to push themselves through tough sets like that. We will continue to build on this set. I believe it was Aiden who figured out how many we can do in 90 minutes.…All the while still getting in our 1,000 yards of kicking a day.
We had a great Long Course Kick Off meet. I won’t bore you with all the numbers, and results that can be found on our website, but I will say that I am very proud of my swimmers for stepping up and swimming events that they might not like doing. (I am also very proud of them for not asking to be taken out of them, because they already know that answer.) We had a lot of first timers in the 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 Fly. It’s important to try everything, at least once. That’s what my Mom told me about vegetables too.
At the banquet two members of the Longhorn group were acknowledged for all of their time and hard work. Outstanding Improvement went to Raven Robles for making his first ever TAGS cuts. Outstanding Leadership went to Kenzie Burk for knowing the sets, the intervals, and always stepping out of her way to help her teammates figure out what is going on or what they need to be doing. Congrats to them both.
We have the End of School Splash coming up later this May and the fun team travel COM meet later in June. Then it’s off to A-Champs, and TAGS for all of the qualifiers in July. A busy, fun summer a head!
I look forward to where this season takes us. I know there will be some great races, and some even better time drops. Keep up the great work, kiddos!
JR Longhorn News Blast
Hello Longhorn Family!
The Junior Longhorn group has been making tremendous progress as we make our way into the summer season! For many, the Long Course Kick-Off was their first time competing in a long course meters (LCM) pool, which can be very daunting! Whether they were competing LCM for the first time ever, or for the first time since last year, everyone got up and excited to race. I was particularly proud of several swimmers who raced the 50 fly event for the first time, without hesitation!
In practice we will continue to focus on what needs to be done to see improvement as we near our next meet. More importantly, we will continue to complete every workout as a cohesive unit and have fun building friendships. I can’t wait to see what the End of School Splash and the rest of the summer season has in store!
Hill Country News Blast
Longhorn Aquatics Hill Country News May 1, 2012
We had a great Longhorn Aquatics Awards Banquet Sunday April 29th at theTexasSwimCenter. It was a beautiful night as the team celebrated the past year’s accomplishments. Congratulations to all swimmers on a great first season in Burnet. Hopefully everyone will maintain the excitement going into this Olympic summer!
Taking home hardware from the Awards Banquet was:
Hunter Henry- Outstanding Improvement
Caitlin Hughes-Outstanding Commitment
Jacob Hughes-Outstanding Commitment
Shelby Farleigh-Outstanding Commitment
Joshua Wheatley-Outstanding Leadership
Long Course Kickoff April 20-22, 2012
Longhorn Hill Country swimmers competed in their first meet of the season, and for some, their first ever in the long course competition pool. It was truly an inspiring event for most, and a strong starting point for accomplishing the summer goals. Here are highlighted performances from the Long Course Kickoff:
Breanna Couture: 6 Personal Record Swims
Hadali Craig: 5 PRS
Cameron Cardenas: 3 “B” times- 50FR, 50BR, 100BR
Sydney Cardenas: 4 “BB”-50 FR, 100FR, 200FR, 100BR; and 1 “B”-100BK
Shelby Farleigh; 2 “B”-50FR, 100FR
Jake Gary: 1 “B”- 50BR
Tyler Gary: 1”B”-100BK
Hunter Henry: 2 “A”-50FR, 50BK; and 4 “BB”-100FR, 50BR, 50FL, 100BK
Caitlin Hughes: 3 “B”-50FR, 50BK, 50FL
Jacob Hughes: 1”B”-50FR
Jon Montoya: 6 PRS
Summer Montoya: 1 “B” 50FR
Keirsten Pratt: 1 “B” 50FR
Josh Wheatley: 5 “B”- 100FR, 200FR, 100FL, 100BR, 200IM
Gideon Wheatley: 6 PRS
Lately in Burnet
The team has been learning how to train for long course meters competition in a 25 yards pool! Did you know that the 225 yard swim is a good conversion distance to train for the 200m. long course event?
Distance wise it is about 5 yards longer, but with the added walls and turn maneuvers, it closely produces the same times!
Here’s another way to look at it: take a fast 75 yards practice time, and multiply it by 3. How does it compare to your best 200 meter time? Yes, it can be very useful to work the mathematics behind training. We as coaches try to find as many of these conversions as possible to help make training interesting and productive. See if you can come up with any on your own.
Longhorn Hill Country is looking forward to a big summer in Burnet! Keep an eye out for local clinics with Coach Mike and Coach Martha inMarbleFallsand your surrounding areas. Come out to the pool and bring a friend to get some personal instruction for your strokes from our Longhorn Aquatics coaching staff. Learn what it takes to make swimming a lifestyle and competitive sport that can enrich a lifetime.