Monday, November 28, 2011

Canada Cup days 2 & 3

What an exhausting weekend! Sorry I was unable to post here regularly, but those of you who follow me on twitter (@coachmikeswim) were able to get live updates as the weekend went on. I can do that from my phone and don't have to be in front of a keyboard so its a lot more convenient.

Saturday was a busy blur as Kyle made the B final in 100BK with a best time and club record of 56.30 sc, which officially beats my best sc time :(. He entered the B final at 13th and came out 11th with a lc time slightly slower than his best from the summer, but still a fantastic race for this early in the season (aside from slipping on the start and playing catch up for the first 30m). A special thanks to everyone who came down to support us on Saturday night, including: Michael Jans, Avery Jans, Bronte McMaster, Brooklyn Shelley, Asyia Leckie, Quinn Jaggard, Britney Dortona, Loren O'Brien-Egesborg, Keri-Lyn Copeland and more (Saturday was such a blur, sorry if I forgot to mention your name). Kyle also swam 200IM that morning and beat the club record, but backed off in order to have a decent 50FR. 50FR ended up being less than ideal but a solid morning swim.

Sunday held on 50bk for HHBF and Kyle swam very well in the morning. Well enough, in fact, to place 6th and make the A final in 6th place. 26.16 in the morning (sc) is very solid swim. One of the things that I really wanted for him this weekend was finals experience and experience in the A final. I'm very glad that it worked out. Mentally, it is very nerve racking to spend time in the ready room and march out to the lanes with so many big names. Kyle's race was only slightly slower than his time in the summer but he was still able to move up to 5th place, even after a very deep start. I am very proud of what he was able to accomplish this weekend. He represented HHBF very well and so did the people that came down to watch and lend their support. Carter DeForest and Katherine Peel came down on Sunday night to watch (and so did my wife and kids) so I was able to send some athletes up to the stands to give some autographs. Hopefully they enjoyed that.

Tobias Oriwol's 200FR win is below.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Some Fast Swimmin' @ Canada Cup

Some great racing tonight. My favourite to watch was the show down in 200BK between Matthew Swanston and Tobias Oriwol (below). Check it out! ...And come down to watch in person!

Canada Cup Day 1

100FR and 200BK today. Since Kyle is not really rested for this meet, we're working on putting up solid performances in the morning in the hopes of making a couple of finals this weekend. This morning was a good start. He hadn't been under 53 seconds in 100FR since last February, so 52.78 is quite good for a morning swim. That netted him 53rd place. 200BK was also very solid (especially the under water kick and splitting). Kyle ended up in 23rd place (which is quite good for a not #1 race) and was only .08 seconds off of his best time a couple of weeks ago @ Swim International in Brantford (final time today of 2:03.36). An excellent morning swim and the top 16 and under finish in the event. It is very easy to go into a meet where you're the top dog and focus on swimming well in the final. Its totally different to come to a meet like this and swim fast in the morning. This is the aspect we're working on this weekend, as he will need to to make it into the final. Today was excellent in that regard.

I'm going to head back to watch finals and warm-up Kyle in the LC pool. Should be some excellent racing this weekend based on what we've seen so far. Live results can be found HERE.
Warm-up for finals on the weekend is 4pm for a 6pm start. I encourage everyone to come down to watch some world class racing. Hope to see you there.

UPDATE: Live webcast available HERE if you are not able to make it down to Etobicoke.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

coachmikepodcast episode 9

I'm back this week with 1996 Canadian Olympian, Casey Barrett, talking about his blog site Also spend some time with 2012 Canadian Olympic Team Hopeful and class act, Hassan Abdel Khalik. Check it!
Follow me on Twitter @coachmikeswim and check out my blog whenever you get a chance! Check it out on iTunes or listen live below.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breaststroke - Separation Drill

Platinum and Elite Swimmers will want to look at this drill in advance of Thursday morning's Breaststroke Extravaganza workout. Watch it a couple of times so that you're familiar with it before we give it a shot Thursday morning.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Fast and the Furious

I remember seeing this video countless times when I was a young swimmer in the late 80s/early 90s and I have looked for it everywhere... but few people I knew had copies. I recently came across a copy on Youtube. If you have 50min, check this out. Its SUCH a good video!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Webisode of "Off The Deck" w/ Tobias Oriwol

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things to see on the internet...

For those of you unaware of the Pro Swim League, its an exciting new initiative by USA Swimming (I have no idea why they chose to do this for the first time in an Olympic year.?) which debuts tonight in Michigan. Since Wednesday night TV sucks*, be sure to tune in at 8pm to see some exciting racing from some of the worlds best. The WEST team includes friends of HHBF (and Canadian Olympians), Joe Bartoch and Richard Hortness of LAC. Webcast begins at 8pm, check out the website.

Meanwhile HHBF's own, Kyle Haas is listed amongst some of Canada's best athletes for 25 fly kick underwater. Check out Dean Boles of Swim Ontario and his new challenge.

*Yes, I watch Survivor, Modern Family and Happy Endings religiously... but its not as good as fast racing!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Swim International 2011

This weekend also marked Brantford's annual Swim International meet. Brantford has struggled with air quality for a few years. Although this was better than previous years, I'm still feeling it today (Tuesday).... and I'd do it again. I LOVE that pool! So fast! Sacrificing a couple days of health is worth it.

A few exciting things about the weekend.

Top Stories:

1.) PARENT SAVES DROWNING BOY: During 13-14 200fly, a boy came off the wall, choked on water, panicked and was in legitamite trouble. None of the lifeguards saw this happen and none were available to help so a random parent dived into the water to save the boy. Perhaps more amazing than the event itself is that, with so many races being video taped no one got the actual event on video and uploaded it to youtube or contacted the media. What an incredible turn of events! Hats off to you, brave and selfless spectator!

2.) BROKEN RECORDS: 2 more club records this weekend by Kyle Haas - 100BK (56.57) and 200BK (2:03.28, which is also a Swim International meet record). Matt Fox and Kyle Haas both won all backstroke events for 14 year old boys (Matt Fox's 1:01.38 100BK and 2:14.46 200BK are very competitive Nationally) and 15-16 boys. A lot of best times and top 8 places in other events. Well swum by everyone!

3.) NEW BABY: Congratulations to Chris Henderson and his wife, Mallory, on the birth of their first child, Sophie. We're all very happy for the arrival of this beautiful 7lb alarm clock. In all seriousness, congratulations guys! I couldn't be happier for you!

As far as the weekend went, HHBF represented itself well with lots of individual races, PBs, top 8 finishes and relay top 8, finishes. It was pretty evident to me that, at a meet of this calibre, were up against athletes that aren't afraid to get up and race, something that our club is still learning to master (many admitted that the atmosphere was freaking them out a little). 2 more things that I also noticed were the amount of time that it took for many of our athletes to change direction in their turns was much longer than other teams (ie: flip time) and the drop off in splits from first half to second half also seemed much higher on our team compared to others. These are things that I intend to focus on intensely before our next tests in December.

Our athletes swam well (Sam Burwell and Clancy Harris first time under 1:10 for 100FR was a great example of this) and we continued our spirit and team support through the meet. I've gotta say; so far, I'm very impressed with HHBF swimming. The key now is to continue to get faster through attention to detail; Lets make sure this happens.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Off The Deck - new webisode

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Milton Dash for Cash Weekend

What a fantastic weekend in Milton! It has been a long 6 week preparation period for meet season and we focused on doing a couple of things better than anyone else coming into our competitions:

1.) Be better under water than the other teams.
2.) Cheer louder than the other teams.
3.) Have more fun than the other teams doing 1.) and 2.)

I've got great examples of each point, but I won't belabour the topic.

1.) EVERYONE was fantastic working on kicking and streamlining underwater this past weekend. This is certainly what we wanted to achieve with all the work we put in for about 6 weeks (drills, sets, video analysis, better feedback, etc) and in many cases it lead to significant best times. Avery Jans is a great example here in her 800FR. Avery took off almost 2 min and was able to make it to about 6 or 7 metres off of every wall (about 3m further than the girl from Milton that she was racing). As a result, Avery ended up taking about 70 less strokes than her competitor in the race. Her competitor was swimming a little quicker, but Avery was moving faster and easier under water fro each wall. In the end, Avery had more energy left, won her heat and dropped a ton of time. Sticking to the plan pays off!

2.) During Sunday's medal presentations, not only was HHBF the only team involved and cheering, but we were making a statement to the other teams; we are proud of and support those who wear the fin. I felt overwhelming pride to be part of the team this weekend and I'm sure athletes and parents felt the same way (and there were likely some envious people on other teams too).

3.) Lots of smiles and happiness all around from parents and athletes. Very successful weekend in this regard.

Across the weekend, we saw 4 club records (Kyle Haas - 50BR; Emma Fender - 50BR and 100BR, Matt Fox - 400IM & 50BK), a few new regional times (Paige Olmstead, Shannon Jickling, Aleks Plackoski) and too many people within arms grasp to mention. HHBF won the meet, followed closely by Milton. Regardless of the results, Chris, Shannan and myself were unbelievably proud of this team and feel that we got off to the great start we were hoping for.

I was surprised, however, by how many parents were taken in by the new facility. Yes, new facilities are nice, but we're still producing some very good athletes with what we have. Does it contain water? Yes. Is it regulation length? You bet! Add Jaclyn in charge of town aquatics, a renewed desire to win and some team cohesion, we're going to continue to do great regardless what facility we're training out of. I encourage all of you to listen to the upcoming episode 8 of coachmikepodcast where I speak to Nancy Sweetnham about becoming one of the worlds best out of a small program and 6lane/25m pool; she has many relevant things to say.

A few more notes:

- Next weekend is Swim International in Brantford for the Elite and Platinum groups where we hope to keep the momentum going with great swims and equally good team support.
- As a result of SI in Brantford, Friday night's Elite and Platinum workout is cancelled. Swimmers not swimming in Brantford can join the Friday morning groups.
- Keep tuning in to my podcast. I have some OUTSTANDING guests coming up. A lot of downloads outside of Georgetown too; its great, but don't let other teams benefit from this more than we do!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Message to HHBF Elite and Platinum Parents

Attention all Elite and Platinum Group Swimmers and Parents,

Due to repairs at the GHIP, we will be truncating our usual workout on Friday night. Start time for November 4th, 2011 will be at 5pm and practice will be finished at 6:30pm. No other group practices will be interrupted on this day.

The pool should be fully functional next week (although we may still be waiting for starting blocks). The town has apologized multiple times for the inconvenience and appreciates HHBF's patience and understanding in this matter. I, personally, would rather this type of thing get done now and limit us for a week rather than sidelining us for longer later in the season. I thank the town for handling this quickly and efficiently. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.


Mike Thompson
Head Coach

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

coachmikepodcast episode 7

Anyone who missed Tobias Oriwol's speech to the Blue Fins last Wednesday night (or wants to hear it again) can hear it on my podcast as well as some stuff from Dean Boles on the training camp going on out west. Check it out! Also available on iTunes and on podbean.