Friday, December 30, 2011

MIssy Franklin on The Morning Swim Show

For some reason, the embed code isn't working here... so see the LINK to Missy Franklin on The Morning Swim Show. She touches on the topic of swimming for Canada for anyone interested.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stuff from the internet...

Blue Fins in the News: article HERE

New Episode of coachmikepodcast:

Pics of the Fundementals Camp held at Canada Cup (Featuring some Blue Fins): HERE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Links of the day...

See a Legend in Person: Mark Tewksbury will speak in Toronto for the Toronto Board of Trade. If you've ever heard Mark speak, you'd know that he is fully worth the cost to see him. I encourage anyone who is serious about swimming to go. Details Here.

HHBF Getting attention from Olympians: I congratulated our record breakers from Saturday morning on Facebook and was met with some encouragement from 2008 Olympians Lindsay Seemann, and Joe Bartoch. Always nice to see important people paying attention to HHBF. Details Here.

Watch some video: I'm a little disappointed that this video has only garnered 125 views in the past 10 days (and most of them are from outside of Canada). This is FREE GOLD for all swimmers and coaches and it has fewer hits than conversation pieces with athletes and coaches. I'm telling you, check this out and thank me when you or your athletes get faster! Its FREE and all you have to do is watch it... what more do we have to do to get this message across??

Listen to some audio: This is a clip of audio from my interview with Randy Bennett I did some time ago and I think its particularly relevant for my groups going into Christmas training. Randy talks about the will to win vs. everyone else's. I think its a great message and something for my athletes to remember when they think they've done enough...

Blue Fins in the news: Story in Tuesday's Independent Free Press

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Records Are Made To Be Broken

Exciting morning at the 2nd Annual HHBF Record Breaker. I started this last year as an attempt to "clean up the record board"; meaning that we never swim 25s and 100IM so the record board was heavy with old default records (sorry Chris). The plan was to take down as many of those as possibe. Last season, it was relitivaly easy because they were old records. This season, it was a bit tougher; but the Blue Fins still found a way to break 10 more club records.

Congratulations to the following record breakers:

Britney Dortona Girls 11-12 25FLY
Mitchell Brearley Boys 13-14 25FLY
Matthew Fox boys 13-14 25BK (Chris Henderson's old record)
Kyle Haas Boys 15&0 25BK
Emma Fender Girls 11-12 25BR
Aaron Brautigam Boys 15&O 25BR
Matthew Fox Boys 13-14 25FR (Chris Henderson's old record)
Emma Fender Girls 11-12 100IM
Matthew Fox Boys 13-14 100IM (Chris Henderson's old record)
Kyle Haas Boys 15&O 100IM

**Sorry to pick on you so much, Chris!

I was really happy to see so many people taking the opportunity to RACE and swim fast! I think that many Blue Fins had fun and I think its a great opportunity to stand up and race hard in the shortest races possible.

I have put quite an emphasis on club records in the past 2 seasons, but what I am working on right now will expand that focus and help celebrate depth and acheievment. Currently, I am trying to compile the top 10 fastest perfromances in HHBF history for all age groups and all events (boys and girls) which will give us an idea of how deep we are complared to previous years. Clearly our records are better, but are we deep enough to have the top 10 performers in 200FR for boys and girls in HHBF history on our current roster? Check out the prelim work linked in the previous sentence and see where we are...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Episode of "Off the Deck"

I LOVE Jenna Lambert, so please check out the most recent episode of OFF THE DECK where she talks about her national team experience. Some of you may remember her from an earlier episode of coachmikepodcast.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Weekend for the Blue Fins

This past weekend, the Blue Fins competed in the 23rd Annual Roy Jacobson Invitational in Vaughn and at the 2011 Paul Bergen Invitational in Portland, OR. There were 8 club records set this weekend, overall:

Emma Fender: girls 11-12 50BR (38.99) and 50FLY (33.42)
Kyle Haas: boys 15 & O 50FR (23.98), 100FR (52.34), 50BK (25.84), 100BK (55.43), 200BK (2:03.04), 200IM (2:09.35)

The meet started with some very solid 400FR and 400IM swims on Saturday afternoon. A few provincial prerequisites were obtained and a lot of personal bests were obtained. Saturday and Sunday were no different; Blue Fins taking off time everywhere. Of note, I think special recognition is deserved from these swims:

- Bronte McMaster 200BK: took off almost 17 seconds for 2:40... and did it by sticking to the plan (which wasn't an easy one).
- Brooklyn Shelley 200BR: Brooklyn obtained the Central Region standard in this event, again, by sticking to the plan. 5 second PB.
- Jason Reid 200BR: first ever Central Region standard (17 second PB too). Jason was on fire this weekend and VERY focused on what he wanted to do. Good example for everyone! Congrats!
- Shannon Jickling 50FR: got her 13 year old regional time in this event. Well done!
- Heather Bradshaw 200BK: WOW!! Again, sticking to the race plan pays off... I'm sensing a real theme here.
- Loren O'Brien Egesborg 200FR, 400FR, 200BK, 400FR: Loren had a great weekend, mostly by sticking to race plans, but also her training this season has been exceptional.
- Keri-Lyn Copland 100FR: first PB in this event since last January. She was able to really get herself going.
- Aaron Brautigam 100BR: HUGE PB in this event. Way ahead of where we were last season in terms of speed.
- Mitchell Krafczek 100BR: No idea where this came from, but its a significant time and quite a pleasant surprise.
- Jenna Galea, EVERYTHING: What a great start to the season for this youngster! Fantastic racing this weekend!
- Darian Zuraw, Kate Erdely, Simone Fong, Daniel Stott, Michael Jickling: Great showing from all of our 10&U kids, especially in 50FR! Huge drops!
- Quinn Jagard, 400IM: Quinn got the prereq in this event after working so hard for it. Very proud of him!
- Carter DeForest 200FR, 100FR: Great weekend for Carter! Lots of PBs and a few extra regional qualifications.
- Paige Olmstead: broke 1:10 for 100FR and a 13 year old regional time!
- Alexander Plaskoski everything: great weekend for this youngster! Look for great things from him in the new year.
- Quinn West 100FLY: First time under 2:00.
- EVERYONE 100FR: this used to be a good measuring stick for where we were as a club and we used to get really excited when we had people under 1:20 (2-3 years ago). Now there are so many under 1:15, I can't even count...

I was very pleased to see lots of best times from Blue Fins: Sam Ceci, Trevor Burwell, AJ Tarczy, Simon Olsen, Everett White, Avery Jans, Justin Lochert, Krista Lochert, Jordan Horruzey, Mitchell Brearley, Victoria Plaskoska, Nicole Waddick, Emillie Knighton, Philipe Escobar, Zach Henderson, Shannon Kent, Quinn Koehler, Katherine Peel, Megan Brosseau, Loren Monhemius, Jordon Stott, Mackenzie Murphay, Dana Payne, Angie Wallace, Erika Charbonneau, Livy Olson, Britney Dortona, Tatyana Austrie, Isaac West, Eric Siegfriedt, Bjoern-Ole Schrader, Aysia Leckie, Chris Zanewycz, Anthony Hartsink, Emily Maldrum, Rachel Ironside, Ted Mosoi, Matt Fox, Ashton Sicard and many others. My apologies if I did not mention your name; there are just too many Blue Fins competing at this level for me to remember while I'm typing (which is a wonderful thing!).

One of the things that I noticed and realize that we need to work over the next 5-6 weeks (speaking of everyone, but my groups specifically) is toughness. A lot of swimmers were just allowing themselves to lose speed by allowing their arms to slow down, then not understanding why they lost speed... then looking at me like I was crazy when I suggested that they needed to keep their arm speed up ("..what are you, nuts..? Thats hard...!). An interesting reminder for some that these abilities are trained at practice... not in a race for the first time. This same aspect showed up during BR, FLY and BK races throughout the weekend. Walls were mistimed in all 3 of these strokes, especially backstroke (where there really is no excuse, given that the flags are there to help you). The reason for this is likely that people are not swimming fast in practice. They're not used to the number of strokes they take then they're travelling fast because they do not practice it enough. We can't continually try to figure these things out in races.

I move that (for the next 5-6 weeks, at least) we stop calling our practices "workouts". We are clearly getting the "work" done; what we're not doing is practicing the small skills well enough. These are the small skills that make the difference between doing pretty good and doing great. For the next 5-6 weeks, we'll be going to "practice" to practice these things, not "workout" to workout.

UPDATE: as of right now, we have 24 qualifiers for Central Regions (2 over qualified) and it's only December. Nice job, folks!


Meanwhile, in Portland, OR, HHBF's Kyle Haas had 2 4th place finishes (50BK and 100BK) where he broke the HHBF record in both and was the youngest person in the A final in both events. He was also 8th in 200BK (HHBF CR) and made the B final in 100FR, 50FR and 200IM. He also assisted Team Ontario to bronze medals in both the 4x100FR Relay and the 4x100 Medley Relay (he split a scorching fast 50.88 on the FR relay, going 3rd... you could argue that was the difference maker). This was a great experience for Kyle and he represented Ontario and HHBF very well. He will return to the pool tomorrow, please join me in congratulating him for a job well done!

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Paul Bergen Jr International - 12/9/2011 to 12/11/2011

As I mentioned briefly last week, HHBF's Kyle Haas was added to this roster and is currently swimming pretty well. As of now, Kyle is going into the A final for 100BK in 4th place with a prelims time of 56.31 (only 0.01 seconds off of his best from Canada Cup).

Live Results can be found HERE
Some interviews from swimmers at the meet can be found HERE
The Team Ontario roster and team info can be found HERE

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#coachmikepodcast episode 11

If you listen to only 1 episode, listen to this one!!! Great interview with legendary swim coach, Paul Bergen where we talk about age group swimming in North America, the future and the history behind the sport. Also, Sean Baker of the Oakville Aquatic Club checks in to talk about another legendary coach, Brian Bond and his current health concerns. This is a great episode!
Don't forget to follow me on twitter (@coachmikeswim)

UPDATE: Podbean seems to be working again which means that iTunes will pick it up again tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience. I am removing it from the temporary dropbox link.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Off the Deck - with Dean Boles and Allan Wrigley

I'm pretty proud of this episode because I feel that we've been able to capture and deliver so much important information to EVERYONE; swimmers who were not eligible for the camp; coaches who could not make it to the camp; anyone with a general interest in swimming mechanics. Please watch (especially HHBF swimmers) you'll be better and smarter for it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I want to take this opportunity to say Happy Birthday to my Father-in-law, Dave Vince. He's a great guy and deserves all the happiness he has! Sorry I can't be there with you today.

On a non-family member birthday note: I guess that I can announce now that Kyle Haas has been added to the Ontario Tour Team headed to the Bergen Invitational in Portland, Oregon. Kyle will leave on Wednesday December 7th for competition with Ontario's best against swimmers from Mexico, France, Germany and the USA. Lets all extend our congratulations to Kyle on his selection and wish him luck. He will return on Monday December 12th with all the details.

Also, Congrats and good luck to Richard Hortness, who made the final in the mens 100FR at US Nationals earlier today with a PB of 50.00 seconds. Good luck tonight, Rich!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Anti-Doping: Educate yourself

Doping is a serious issue in amateur and professional sports. It is very important to educate yourself on the processes and consequences. I feel it important to provide links to the necessary information.

WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) website
2011 Prohibited Substance List
Therapeutic Use Exemptions: Athletes, like all others, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications.
Doping Quiz: Test your knowledge and understanding. This is actually kind of fun!
Education and Awareness page
FINA's Anti-Doping statistics

I think that these videos explain things better than I can, so I'll let them do that talking. I spent some time on the topic with the Elite group (the only group that this will likely affect at this point) but feel that its good to provide this information to everyone, so that you can go through it at your own pace, on your own time. It is everyone's responsibility to take this seriously.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Links to check out...

1.) US Nationals in Atlanta, GA start today and there are a whole host of Canadians going down including Tobias Oriwol, Brittany MacLean, Joe Bartoch, Annamay Pierce, Martha McCabe and others. Watch the webcast LIVE HERE. There is going to be some great racing!

2.) IMPORTANT: Gord Bassett Invitational session change. Please check the HHBF Website to make sure that you have all the current information.

3.) New episode of coachmikepodcast up on the podbean server and will be on iTunes at 9pm tonight. Pretty good interview with Kevin Anderson (new head coach of Mississauga Aquatic Club).

4.) If you haven't already, check out the newest episode of "Off the Deck" on the Swim Ontario page. New episode coming very soon.