Monday, December 28, 2009

G. John Mullen analyzing races better than anybody - Rebeca Soni versus Jessica Hardy!



Coach G. John Mullen over at Swim Science is the future of swim analysis and coaching. He is a doctoral candidate at USC in physical therapy, he coaches weekly and his race analysis and postulates have have lots of math that is both demonstrable and inspiring.

Here is a snippet analysis of Rebeca Soni versus Jessica Hardy:

"... Second 25 meters: Once again, Hardy has a great turn and starts off strong getting to the 15-meter mark .4 seconds faster than Soni, but into the wall she already starts to fade. The last 10-meters into the wall, Hardy's distance per stroke is even with Soni's (1.67 meters/stroke), but her strokes/second (Stroke Rate) begins to fall to .21 strokes/second slower than her first 25 to .89. During this time Soni is steady
sailing continuing her stroke rate around .93 and her distance per stroke at 1.67 meters/stroke.

My overall impression at the first 50 is even though Hardy is ahead by .45 seconds, her slowing speed into the wall is not a good sign for the upcoming 50. ..."

[Link]
I cornered John at Starbucks yesterday we talked about swimming and blogging. Afterward he pin-pointed muscle groups for me that I need to stretch to improve my streamline. Most or all the coaches I asked about it told m to focus on my shoulders when in reality it is my upper back and pectorals that are causing me the most dificulty in executing a more reasonable streamline.

Yahoo Sports '2009 Year in Review' has some scathing words for the "Sports Star Industrial Complex"

Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods are held up as case histories outlining an athletes' seduction into signing a "contract with the devil."

From Yahoo Sports:

"... This was mostly because Phelps had been sold to America as this superhero, super son, boy next door. It wasn’t enough for his agents to have him known as a guy who could swim really fast. The sports star system has to make these men and women into more than they could possibly ever be. It’s a machine. [>.<]

Phelps had never actually displayed any characteristics that he was particularly smart (or dumb), nice (or mean), funny (or boring), interesting (or dull). He was just a great swimmer with a normal guy’s personality. That wasn’t enough, though. With sports marketers, one of us is never enough. The athlete has to be one of a kind, perfect not just in competition, but in life. ..."

[Link]

What Phelps allegedly did does not even compare to the "incineration" of the Woods' family. Getting hammered at a party at age 23 is; I hate to say, standard operating procedure.

As for Woods: Whether it be an illicit affair in Black Oak, Arkansas and the wife is chasing her husband down the driveway with a tire iron or an illicit affair in the "swanky" town of Windermere, Florida and a really pissed-off, super-model, wife is chasing Tiger Woods down the driveway with with a nine-iron: the collateral damage despite your income bracket is catastrophic to families, reputations and worst of all, the back of your skull.

How can one compare that to Michael Phelps and why did it have the same economic consequences?

Age-groupers who read the blog and expect to be famous, take notes and learn, the second mouse gets the cheese!

I found the image on the College Swimming forum: Attribution: M%40rcopako, Creative Commons license.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Frederick Bousquet come from behind victory in the 4x50 SCM Free at European Championships!



Amazing finish - You would almost think they never had a chance!

Maly, our French friend took the time to upload this to her channel at You Tube. [Link]

The 'Daily Mail' interviews Michael Phelps!



You Tube video regarding Michal Phelps' thoughts on the Duel in the Pool Competition.

I love Michael Phelps but I hate his handlers! ...And I hate jammers too.

The "polar bears" couldn't wait - The 'Serpentine Swimming Club' has conducted a 100-meter sprint in sub-forty-degree water!

The prerequisite to participate in the swim: You have to be a paid member of the Serpentine Swimming Club and more importantly, you have to be summarily insane!

From The Telegraph: [Link]

More details and photos at The Guardian: [Link]

Video of the event from ABC Eyewitness News: [Link]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa warming up at LMU before his gig tonight!


These illustrations were built in Bryce 6.1 using simple shapes such as cones, spheres, donuts and cylinders.

If you want to use them in a blog, card or whatever, you can do so but credit me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Diane de Poitiers: The mistress of France's 16th century King Henry II was a swimmer!

More evidence to validate the Mike Freshley Maxim: "Show me a runner who is 70 and he looks 90. Show me a swimmer who is 70 and he looks like 50!"

Diane de Poitiers at 66-years-old looked as youthful as those in their 30's circa 1600. Keep in mind the average life expectancy in the 1600s was 35-years-old and 67% worked outside all day long on a farm.

From the Telegraph UK:

Experts say she was up to 20 years older than the king but her appearance made them look the same age. One courtier said she was "as fresh and lovable" in her final years as when aged 30 and had skin "of great whiteness".

She was unusually athletic for the time, keeping in shape by horse riding, hunting and going on daily swims in the river next to the chateau d'Anet, in northern France where she lived.

[Link]

Internal gold poisoning killed her; a self inflicted death over time. Amazing what a woman or man can be talked into drinking or taking if it means a youthful appearance or otherwise.

Attention Professional Swimmers: TMZ may have you on their radar!

I kid you not. John Q. sent me an article from the New York Times stating that TMZ may be getting into sports gossip market. Go to the article and see what the hard evidence is.

"... TMZ’s zealous coverage of the salacious Woods story established its desire to pour resources into pursuing the infidelities of a superstar athlete. Woods became part of TMZ’s universe along with Michael Jackson, Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and a “real” housewife of Orange County. .."

[Link]

The sports section use to be the most important page in the newspaper for it chronicled the achievements of men and woman rather than their failures and crimes.

Today, the sports page has become all of this: The "police blotter"section or what player has been recently arrested. The "business page" declaring salaries and business deals of sports megastars. Finally it is a gossip rag cataloging all the "movie star hookups" and shamefully who is afraid to come "out of the closet."

There you have it, four tabloids in one: Sports, crime, gossip, business and TMZ may be there to a professional swimmer if opportunity warrants. This, more often than not, will BREAK career potential!

Consider this warning from the Dallas Morning News; what they said about Michael Phelps is anemic compared to what they say about Tiger Woods:

"We tracked Michael Phelps before the Olympics, during the Olympics, after the Olympics and then after bong-gate," Chown says. "We've never seen a celebrity have such a dramatic rise and then a flameout back to reality."

Phelps ranked No. 1 in endorsement value right after his incredible performance in Beijing. Now he languishes at 530th.

[Link]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mini review of the new "Swim Network" site!

Great content; I will get to that later, but I am astonished how ugly and how hard the site is to look at. Swim Network would have been better off buying a template for $60 at Template Monster rather than going with the design team they used.

Three major issues I have with the homepage:
  1. The background image distracts from the content in the foreground. They should have gone with something more muted or opaque so that the user's eye would not vibrate back and forth while trying to read.
  2. The italicized headlines in white on top of the splash-images are hard to read and disrupt the composition. They should have used captions
  3. The content is boxed asymmetrically with no consistency in the sizes or space or width for that matter. They should have used a strict grid system.

The content rocks. For instance: They mentioned Joel of The 17th Man blog and his blueseventy goggle post which was really cool! Don't expect to see me mentioned ;-) but the article by Mike Gustafson is coherent and informative.

The video section is "clunky" but the videos are accessible. The gallery therein features photos from Getty Images which must cost a fortune and they all are very good

As for the media experience and presentation, Universal Sports does it so such better; Swim Network is laughable in comparison. The user experience was so bad for me that I would prefer they go back to the old site design or even reload TimedFinals.

I did not know that Rebecca Soni had heart Surgery in 2006!

At last weekends Duel in the Pool meet, Rebecca Soni broke Leisel Jones' WR in the 200 SCM breaststroke in a time of 2:14.57. The following day she swam a 1:02.70 in the 100SCM breaststroke to bust Leisel Jones' world record swimming a 1:03.00

Compound that with the fact that in 2006 she had heart surgery; well, in my estimation that makes her "double filled" with "Awesomeness and win"

[Link]


Above is a photo of Rebecca Soni that Mark Savage took at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions.

Though Aaron Peirsol is glad that techsuits are leaving us, he did say this!

A very honest and insightful profile on Aaron Peirsol. He discusses tech suits, what sort of year 2009 was for him and his take on Tiger Woods. From AP:

"The suits are beautiful things and, whether you like it or not, they do make you swim faster. We were talking about maybe wearing them in practice, just to wear them just to go fast again. They are fun and they added another dynamic to the sport that was never there before. Not everyone hated them."

[Link]

:-D

Universal Sports : Phelps vs. Cavic in Rome voted most dramatic moment for 2009!

I agree with UNI Sports; Phelps dug deep and it was like seeing "Lazarus rise from the dead" in that race as he came from behind to win.

The Universal Sports article explains why this was voted best dramatic moment of 2009 with lots of flourish and details:

"...You can always tell how the race went and how happy I am just after a race just because of my reaction after it," Phelps told Universal Sports recently. "I went absolutely crazy after that race. I've never celebrated like that before. I took six months off, and being able to be the first person to break 50 [seconds], there was a lot of emotion in that race."

[Link]


I love this reaction from Phelps too.

TYR Releases new swimsuit line - Photos to come soon!

Huntington Beach, CA – December 21, 2009 – Entering into a new year of national and international swim competition, TYR Sport, Inc. introduces the newest designs in the Tracer High-Performance line of technical swimsuits-the Tracer B-Series™ and C-Series™. Approved by the international governing body of aquatic sports, FINA, the two additions will be available for retail early in 2010.

“We were happy work very closely with FINA to ensure that the Tracer High-Performance line was compliant within their guidelines while still allowing us to introduce some truly innovative technology,” said Team and Promotions Director Matt Zimmer.

The Tracer High-Performance line, including the Tracer Light™ already on the market, is the company’s premier line of competitive suits for race day. Featuring lightweight, hydrophobic, and quick-drying fabric, the new B-Series™ and C-Series™ present industry-leading designs specific to contours of the body.

“The different suits offered give athletes customized technologies based on their needs,” Zimmer shared. “These technologies are the direct result of tests showing that the right suit is dependent upon the athlete. It is not the suit that makes the swimmer-the swimmer has the option to pick what is right for them.”

The B-Series™ suit provides a fluid, drag reducing fit with flat-bonded seams that require no sewing or threads. Following the natural contours of the human body, the B Series™ design leads the industry with an exclusive muscle-mapping pattern. Minimized seams, ultra-light bonding, and no stitching allows for an incredibly light yet functionally fitting technology.

The C-Series™ suit featured technology includes power-mesh panels that lock the core in with up to a 75% increase in zoned compression vs. a typical Lycra suit. Panels decrease body circumference by up to 10%- increasing the body’s ability to manage position, orientation, and efficient movement of the muscles. Increased efficiency means improved performance. Among the suit’s many features, Range of Motion (ROM) straps make their debut in the Tracer series, allowing fluidity and explosiveness in the stroke cycle without splitting.

Both additions to the Tracer line are offered in a Racer and Jammer for men, and in an Aeroback and Aeroback Shortjohn for females. For more information on the entire TYR line of swimwear and accessories.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The man who beat Phelps in the 200-fly: Michael Rock Profile!

From News of the World:

Rock added: "It was a strange feeling when I looked back and saw him behind me. I didn't expect that.

"The crowd were amazing and the deafening roar got me through those last two lengths.

"This is a a massive boost as I work towards the Commonwealth Games next year and then the Olympics in 2012."

This quote by Phelps really unnerved me:

"It will be more about the sport and not what suit somebody is wearing.

"I'm disappointed but I will take defeats in these meetings. I'd rather lose here than in the World Championships or London 2012, when it matters.

"But I was beaten because he was better prepared than me. I was a little bit off my best time and he was more determined."

[Link]


When it matters? Well, It should always matter. Look at Rebecca Soni; she was prepared, Matt Greevers too.

It's official: 'Duel in the Pool' is a 'USA Swimming' farce for no American records will be accepted despite FINA approved tech suits!

I kid you not; USA Swimming co-organizes a meet yet they won't accept any American records set in tech suits despite that their boss, FINA, has granted them approval.

Snippet from Swimming World. I cannot print the "heart of the article" since the story is only a few paragraphs and I don't want to violate fair use rules but this snippet sums it up:

"... The sport could potentially see some lawsuits from this ruling as swimmers who were competing legally in an event at the time could be denied bonus money with USA Swimming not ratifying a national record. ..."

[Link]

Well, if USA Swimming can do what they want, then so should the USMS. Let's have tech-suits for Short Course Yards Season since FINA does not recognize yards!

'Pool Mate' - A watch that counts laps, strokes, meters, efficiency, speed, calories, and times automatically!



The PoolMate: If this timepiece delivers what it promises, I think this qualifies as "2010 Product of the Year" for both triathletes and swimmers. The fact that it lap counts automatically when you flip-turn, measures your stroke count and can gauge your efficiency, this would be a great tool to measure technique changes and measure your progression or lack thereof.

There are more demos at the PoolMate site.

From the PoolMate Site:

"... Containing accurate motion sensors and our unique software algorithms, the Pool-Mate automatically recognises swim strokes and laps so you don't have to count anymore.

From recreational lap swimmer to professional Olympian, the Pool-Mate can help your training. Leaving the lap counting to the Pool-Mate lets you concentrate on your swimming.

As well as lap counting the Pool-Mate will do much more. It will display and store Session Time, Average Strokes per lap, Speed, Distance, Calories and Efficiency.

In addition to the statistics for the overall session it will record the same data for each individual set so you can see how all these metrics change through a swim session. You can even time your rest periods between sets. All data is stored in a large memory for review during or after a swim session. The Pool-Mate is available in two colour options - grey/blue (as pictured) or black/blue, for just £69.99 plus postage and packing. .."

[Link]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hail Cesar Cielo - the greatest freestyle sprinter of all time!



In a legal, fully approved, FINA swimsuit, Cesar Cielo, will probably hold the world record title for the 50-meter free for at least another 1/2-century!

Who will dare call him a cheater for wearing a "shiny suit"?

Born in Brazil, trained in Americas; [Plural], Cielo confirmed at the Brazilian Long Course Meters Championship that he is the planet's best 50-meter free swimmer and will be for a very long time.

I am so sorry that the aforementioned statement will hurt Eamon Sullivan, Libby Trickett, Mark Schubert, and Bob Bowman's feelings but that is the way both Arena and Cesar Cielo roll.

From Swimming World:

SAO PAULO, Brazil, December 18. DURING morning finals today at the Brazil Long Course Championships, Cesar Cielo beat the world record in the men's 50 free.

After clocking a 21.02 during prelims last night to put Fred Bousquet's global standard of 20.94 from April on notice, Cielo clipped the record with a blazing fast time of 20.91. Cielo's best time heading into this meet had been a South American record of 21.08 clocked at the World Championships this summer.

Cielo returned in the men's 400 free relay with a leadoff time of 47.29 as Cielo, Andre Daudt, Fernando Da Silva and Gabriel Mangabeira won the race with a meet-record time of 3:16.30.

[Link]

Richard Gasquet - "I kissed a girl who had 'crack' on her lips and that's why I tested positive!"

Jessica Hardy got a 2-year suspension for what was determined to be an inadvertent exposure to a performance enhancing drug used for those who have asthma-related issues. She was given a 2-year suspension reduced to one-year with more ongoing politics to be determined.

Perhaps Hardy should have said her inadvertent drug exposure came from kissing a boy with asthma? Tennis player, Richard Gasquet, said something along those lines.

Tennis player, Gasquet, served a 2-month suspension using the old "I didn't take cocaine, I just kissed that girl who had 'crack' on her lips" defense.

The appeals tribunal agreed and let him take two months off instead of two-years.

ABC News has the details:

[Link]


Ultimately, I guess it all comes down to your definition of cheating or more likely the economic consequences of denying an athlete that makes a governing body "mad" money. When Paul Biedermann spanked Michael Phelps at 2009 FINA World Championships in a fully approved FINA swimsuit, Bob Bowman was disgusted and verbally degraded Biedermann's accomplishment and then threatened FINA like Hollywood movie star agent threatening a major studio. He got his way too.


Amy Shipley quoted Bowman on the Reach for the Wall swim site:

“They can probably expect Michael not to swim until [the rule changes are] implemented,” Bowman said. “I’m done with this. This has to be implemented immediately. The sport is in shambles right now, and they’re going to lose the guy that fills these seats.

“They’ve lost the history of the sport,” Bowman said. “Does a 10-year-old boy in Baltimore want to break Paul Biedermann’s record?”

[Link]


Do you see how special interests and money are involved here? If the athlete can be exploited for major "phat" bank, punishments are mild and passive. Read that as Richard Gasquet, Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and many other high profile athletes. However, if they are a "Jessica hardy"type then it becomes a show trial.

I think the thought process goes like this: "Who is Jessica Hardy, will she effect the ratings if we erased her? How about that Michael Phelps, if he keeps losing or refuses to race, will the FINA World Championships have fewer syndication sales?"

Since there is no "prince" or "princess" to ascend the throne once Phelps retires, I predict that is when tech-suits will return and they will return. Cesar Cielo just made that a reality with a 20.91 50-meter free WR. If they don't return, that record is standing for another 1/2 century.

Teammate, John Q !. sent me this story.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

'blueseventy RZR' Goggle review

I got two pairs of blueseventy RZR as a gift and since I have a policy not to receive gifts, I gave the goggles to two swimmers in my life named Jamie and Trevor to both review and keep.

Trevor essentially took the goggles and ran saying, "these are so cool looking," I am only going to wear them when I race. I'll let you know later. Jamie on the other hand raced with them in the SPMA SCM Championships in Long Beach and sent me this review.

"... I found the Rzr's to be extremely efficient. They fit very snug and had an overall good performance. I had no troubles with them rolling off my face, and the visibility was unmatched. They felt almost like a part of you. They were really light ..."

'Arena' is back in America - Setting up a distributor in San Diego, California!


I just got this press release from the Arena PR Ninjas and I have to post it.

Arena is coming to So Cal! This sends a clear message to Speedo that they summarily believe that they have overwhelmingly captured the brand pedestal post the 2009 FINA World Championships and that they have both the confidence and the ability to leverage their brand in the USA.

Arena Swim USA is named exclusive Distributor of the Arena Brand in the USA

Tolentino (Italy), 18 December 2009 – Arena, one of the leading companies at world - wide level in the sports waterwear category, is proud to announce to have named Arena Swim USA, a company controlled by Gathering Storm Athletic Group, based in Carlsbad, CA USA to provide exclusive distribution, sales, marketing and product merchandising for Arena branded products in the U.S. market.

The long term distribution agreement just signed represents an historical milestone for Arena’s re-entry into the U.S. market. Arena had started preparing the ground for such a big come back in the biggest sportswear market in the world, by stipulating a selected number of prestigious sponsorship agreements with top level American Swimmers (Aaron Peirsol, Rebecca Soni and Eric Shanteau), as well as with two of the most competitive NCAA Swimming Teams (The Men/Women’s Swimming Programs at the University of Auburn and the Men’s Swimming Program at the University of CAL Berkeley).

The U.S. based management team in charge of bringing the Arena brand back to be a protagonist in the American waterwear market will include President Tim McCool, who possesses 28 years of experience and a proven track record of success with brands such as adidas, Nike and Babolat. At Babolat North America, a leading manufacturer of tennis products, McCool served as President and oversaw U.S. sales and marketing. Under his direction, the brand catapulted to No. 2 in market share within the specialty trade channel in less than a year.

Vice President, Arena Brand & US Distribution Manager Jeff Turpin has more than 25 years of experience in the action sports industry with a career long focus on Swimwear with brands and companies that include; VF/Jantzen, Authentic Fitness/Warnaco, Apparel Ventures & Nautica, and Coastal Apparel & Tommy Bahama. Turpin’s responsibilities at these companies covered Sales, Design & Development, Manufacturing and Distribution.

Vice President of Marketing Bryan Smeltzer brings 22 years of experience with premium brands such as Oakley and K-Swiss.

“We are extremely happy and excited about the huge market opportunity represented by the U.S. market said Cristiano Portas, Arena Group CEO. Arena has been living some of the most important pages of its own history in the U.S.A. already back in the 80’s, so we truly believe it is now time to be back on the marketplace, allowing millions of American swimmers and swim-fans to access the products of a brand they have been knowing and appreciating for quite a while. We are absolutely sure that Arena Swim USA and Gathering Storm’s executive team have the right experience to make this come back a success, having worked with some of the world’s greatest sports brands. We look forward to working with these industry veterans, as we have discovered, during our conversations, that we share much in terms of moral values, business principles and best practices.”

“Arena embodies an Italian tradition of technologically advanced products with rich design heritage,” Said McCool. “Swimmers have always taken a more global view of their sport and we believe this brand is poised to make significant in-roads in the U.S. Market as we move towards the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”

Since 1973, Arena creates and markets waterwear products for competitive swimmers and swim-fans and it is recognised as one of the premium brands for high quality swimwear and equipment. Over the last 36 years, the Company has developed a strong expertise in developing best in class products with particular focus on the Pool segment, while also gradually expanding into the Leisure/Beach segment.

Nowadays, Arena operates with commercial subsidiaries in Italy, France and Germany and through a network of worldwide distributors and licensees. The Arena brand is present in 80 countries worldwide, out of which 70 are directly managed by the Arena Group (6 through commercial subsidiaries and 64 through distributors and licensees), while in the Far East (10 countries) the brand is owned and managed by the Descente Group.

The genuine liaison of Arena to the world of sport and in particular to swimming competitions is enhanced by sponsoring activities at different levels, including governing bodies, national federations, athletes and clubs.

[Link]

More males have accused deceased Swimming 'Australia Coach' Terry Buck of molestation than women claiming to have slept with Tiger Woods!

[UPDATE: Tony gets spanked and/or corrected. I include the correction as a preface to what I wrote below.]

Tony, you are incorrect in saying that 31 victims have accused Terry Buck of molestation. One person, Greg Rogers, made an accusation of molestation. He provided police with a list of 29 people he believed Buck had also molested. My understanding is that none of the 29 people on the list were willing to co-operate with the investigation. In the last week, two other people have come forward, one who talked to police at the time of the investigation. So that brings the number to three.

-- Steve


In a "LifeTime-Network-like" quote from the widowed wife of the late Terry Buck, a Swimming Australia coach who has been accused of child molestation by 31 victims, mentions to Nicole Jeffery how glad she is that Terry Buck wasn't alive to endured all these chils molestation accusations.

[My pithy quote deleted]

31-victims have come forward so far and none of them have mentioned civil suits nor demands for financial relief. That's a preponderance of accusations and neither profit nor fame appears to be a motive here. Just calls for Justice.

I feel bad for his wife and daughter and most of all for those humiliated by coming forward with their complaints. (Note how the Australian Press is making them into the villains) Obviously Swimming Australia failed all of the above for having no policy in place to protect both the coaches and the swimmers. ESPECIALLY the swimmers!

Now, what's up with Alan Thompson? Notice how quiet the Australian press has become latelyin regards to his investigation? - most notably, Nicole Jeffery?

Kevin Neil who is the Chief Officer of Swimming Australia was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald of saying this: "... the timing was dreadful, and public perception of the matter could have easily been tainted by the Buck situation. ..."

Easily tainted by the Buck investigation? (Pssst, someone can't measure their words. This smells like "President Bill Clinton" to me but why step down?)

Apparently the allegation against Thompson was originally made online in a comments section of some Commonwealth paper. I am trying to find it so I can post it here. Maybe if I do, Swimming Australia will come up with a policy that prevents swimmers and coaches from all this drama.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Joel, 'The 17th Man,' has photos of the new blueseventy goggles!

Joel, at The 17th man, blog has some photos and the complete press release regarding the new blueseventy carbon goggles. Here is a snippet form the press release he posted at his blog:

Seattle, WA – December 15, 2009 – blueseventy, continues to innovate in the goggle category with the introduction of the first-ever carbon goggle for Spring 2010. The sleek carbonRZR offers swimmers all the structural benefits of carbon fiber delivering the lightest, strongest and fastest goggles on the market.

“The carbonRZR represents what blueseventy is all about,” says blueseventy CEO Steve Nicholls. “We believe in crafting the best possible products that combine cutting-edge technology and unmatched comfort so you can get on with what is really important – in the case of goggles, swimming faster and seeing clearly.”

The carbonRZR is made from the latest, technologically advanced Carbon Fiber Polymer (CFP), produced exclusively for blueseventy and hailed as the next step in lightweight engineered polymers. CFP is a high tensile, light weight carbon that is laced with a nylon polyamide compound reinforced with carbon fibers as a reinforcing agent. Carbon fibers are dispersed into the nylon matrix during the manufacturing process. During this process, an extreme burst of heat is applied to the material in a reinforced gravity fed hopper that allows the molten material to be injected under high pressure into frame cavity.

CFP is up to 6 times stronger than polycarbonate, the current standard in aquatic eyewear. In addition, with CFP, the key elements of the goggle are 2.5 times as light as a standard goggle. This represents huge weight reductions and increased comfort without sacrificing strength.

The chart below illustrates how much stronger CFP is to PC. The key comparison is in Flexural Strength. This determines the required strength of the frame.


[Link]

Associated Press: Tiger Woods is athlete of the decade! - Do swimmers or cyclists agree?

Originally in Greece the definition of the word athlete meant prize fighter or prize contender. That changed around the 15th century giving it an extraordinarily fluid definition meaning that if you competed in a contest and you were physically agile; (read that as a bowler, golfer, archer, or even a NASCAR driver), Then you are an athlete. If you are involved in a sport that involved stamina and strength as well as agility and speed; (swimming, cycling, tennis, soccer), then you are an athlete as well.

Tiger Woods was named Associated Press: Athlete of the Decade!

The argument that Tiger Woods has won more PGA golf tournaments this decade then the top-four pro golfers combined carries no weight with me and if you look at the "athletes" that compete at the professional level in golf, they all look like Costco and WallMart shoppers!

As far as I am concerned, only two athletes were truly qualified to be considered and both were overlooked: Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong!

Lance Armstrong won six Tour de France races in just this decade alone; (7-tours all together), and even placed third this year while injured after coming out of retirement.

Michale Phelps on the other hand has been to the Olympic Games three-times this decade taking home 14-gold medals and "change." His 21-gold medal haul at the FINA World Championships are also quite extraordinary. His most notable performance in 2007 produced seven World records and one Olympic record.

Ultimately it was economic interests alone both in victory and scandal that determined this Tiger Woods selection.

Manufactured adulation followed by a Crucifixion followed by redemption: That is what it takes if you want to be a media star. Accomplishments need not apply.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dara Torres management is so anemic that she had to go defend herself in a rush email to the 'New York Times!'


I feel she is being managed very poorly and I wish I could have written her denial for her.

The denial Dara Torres gave should have been more forceful and challenging to those accusing her via sordid headlines. She should have reiterated that WADA has a virtual blood bank of the blood samples she has given them leading up to the Olympics and that she has no problem having WADA compare her blood samples to the PEDs this MD has prescribed or had on his person when he was apprehended at the border.

That challenge in itself, and the exuded confidence of her denial is how she should have played it. She should have also thrown in that she is NOT sleeping with Tiger Woods simply to illustrate what poor journalism in taking place at her expense.

Also of note, despite that the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) asked WADA to ban the drug she is silently accused of taking and WADA refused is rarely mentioned outside the New York Times. (See the article link below.)

Here is a snippet from the New York Times article:

The Olympic swimmer Dara Torres said she sought out Dr. Galea to help diagnose the cause of continuing pain in her knee earlier this year. “He found a tear in my quad tendon that was undiagnosed,” Torres said in an e-mail message. “Excluding draining my knee, he has never treated me, but I did see his chiropractor who did soft-tissue work on my leg. That was the extent of my visit with him.”

Mr. Bailey, a retired Canadian sprinter, said Dr. Galea helped him in 1999, when he received treatment from him for a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, but did not receive any kind of injections.

[Link]

Monday, December 14, 2009

The SPMA Regional SCM Championships were faster than the New England LMSC Championships!

More world records set at the SPMA meet too probably because SCAQ was there :-P

In my age-group at the SPMA SCM Championships put on by the Long Beach Grunions, I got SPANKED in all my solo events. I was the guy people thanked for showing up so that they would have had someone they could beat. I kid you not!

For instance in the 50-free I finished something like 1oth-out-of-16. (My time was a 28.39), whereas if I swam at the New England LMSC Championship I would have placed 5th place out-of-20! In the 100-free I would have placed 6th-out-of-20

NELMSC Results: [Link]

Swimming World Coverage: [Link]

Michael Phelps groomed and treated like a race horse at NBAC meet!

How many cell-phone cameras photographing Phelps can you count. Those kids look elated.

Universal Sports has a piece on Michael Phelps at NBAC and how he did. They also discuss what he goes through before he enters the water for warm-up and a snippet of what sort of warm-up he does. From Universal Sports:

"... Lying on his back, Phelps was massaged and stretched by the North Baltimore Aquatic Club's training staff on the third and final day of the NBAC Christmas Meet. [...]

...they returned about four hours later to prepare for the finals session. Phelps laid down on the training table and got stretched out. He occupied himself with his BlackBerry as he body was pushed and prodded. [...]

He eventually jumped in the warm-up pool at about 5:35 p.m., a few minutes after the first final of the night -- [...]

He lazily swam laps in lane 1, going from an easy freestyle stroke to employing a kickboard as he geared up for the 200y butterfly later in the evening. [...] ..."

[Link]

Be sure to go visit, there is an awesome photo gallery of the event and the best photos by far are his interactions with the kids there. Click on the picture of Phelps which is below: "Related To This Article Photos"

Friday, December 11, 2009

If I could, what would I give my favorite swimmers for Chanukah or Christmas!


When you are Italian and beautiful, charismatic and you wear Armani, what can you give somebody like Federica Pellegrini and Filippo Magnini who seemingly have it all?

Well, I say go American, as in American continent. To protect both of them from the paparazzi I have decided to give them each an Argentine Doggo for Christmas. The breed is primarily a Pitbull/Great Dane mix. They are loyal, gentle and they are very scary if you get on the business end of their mouth.

When our two swimmers walk down the sidewalk in their Armani suits in a bad neighborhood of Roma, they will both look great and be untouchable.



Laure Manaudou gets an $88,000 Mercedes to tote both her newborn and Federick Bousquet around in L.A. when they come visit me. Tickets to Disneyland in the glove compartment.

At first I was thinking of giving her a Benelli 10-gauge shotgun so as to... you know, grease the wheels a little bit into "convincing" Frederick Bousquet into getting married, but it was just too "hillbilly" of me. So the Mercedes it is.



For starters, Jason Lezak should have gotten a quarter-share of Michael Phelps one-million-dollar bonus for literally doing the impossible by securing Phelps an 8th gold medal in the 4x100 relay. It was the fastest relay sprint in history and he beat the fastest man in the world.

I choose a moon rock for Jason due to its potential investment grade value. The rock is obviously more precious than gold and it represents how exhilarating he accomplishment was.


This is probably been FINAs first year ever where the majority of swimmers on both sides of the suit argument would wish that they would go away.

FINA gets a lump of coal.

Just knocking off 10-seconds on a 2:00 per-hundred-yard swim can mean 30-places higher in the triathlon race!


Above is an athlete crawling up the stairs after a very tough open water swim. I got it from The Water is Open site

Coach Chad once told me that even the slowest Masters Swimmer could probably swim faster than 75% of America.

I think the slowest-lane in Masters can swim faster than 50% of the triathletes. That is not to say triathletes are slow, many of them are fast and they have been leaders in my lane but ultimately they were swimmers first.

Just knocking off 10-seconds on a 2:00 per-hundred-yard swim can mean 20-to-30-places higher in the triathlon sprint. Why triathletes think they can solve their swim problems with drills and laps boggles my mind. You need coaching, you need practice, you need video!

If swim is your weakest event of the three, spend twice as long practicing it in a Masters program.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

STACK: Are Push-ups good for swimming?



Description
: Strength and conditioning coach, Trey Zepeda gives us an inside look into the Longhorn's dry-land training.

I am going to be posting more of these since we are entering the throes of winter.

'Swimming Australia' under fire again: More sexual abuse allegations towards another 'Swimming Australia' coach

What completely astonishes is that Swimming Australia seems to have a policy of "circling the wagons" and telling everyone connected to the organization to shut up any time a sexual misconduct charge is levied. When an organization gets this defensive it's the moral equivalent of saying "we may be dirty and we are not going to possibly incriminate ourselves."

Why not say: "This nonsense ends now! Full investigation and transparency as well as a policy and a process to prevent it from happening again to be created concurrent to the investigation!" Also: "We don't care whose feelings get hurt."

Australians should call for transparency and demand that any coach or Swimming Australia staff member involved in any sexually unethical or even sexually immoral activities that brings disgrace to the reputation of the Swimming Australia organization be FIRED!

Look what elite triathlete, Paul Shearer had to go through. From GoldCoast.com:

Paul Shearer, 38, competed as a swimmer at state championship level as a teenager and claims he was sexually molested at least 20 times on the Gold Coast.

"He befriended our family and down the track he went on to molest me or have sexual contact with me, you could say," said Shearer last night.

The alleged incidents happened over 18 months, he says, at the hands of a leading Australian coach at his rented Gold Coast home and in his car.

"I'd be thinking to myself 'no, this isn't happening' so I'd call in to say hello and then next thing it was happening again and it was almost like I was living in denial," he said.

The coach was once in charge of some of the biggest names in Australian swimming, the ABC reported last night.

He cannot be named for legal reasons and Swimming Australia declined to comment.

Mr Shearer, now an elite triathlete chosen to represent Australia at the world age championships this year, said he kept quiet for 20 years before telling his parents.

He has had a broken marriage and twice attempted suicide.

[Link]

The blueseventy "nerotx" has FINA's approval!


I am lovin' this photo! Here is the press release from blueseventy announcing the nerotx:

NeroTX is Race Ready for 2010

Swimming’s world governing body, FINA, has given the thumbs up to blueseventy’s neroTX swimskin. The new suit features the very latest in modern textile fabric technology, making as much up to the minute technology as possible available to the swimmer.

2009 has been an exciting yet turbulent year in the pool, with uncertainty about the direction of swimwear ruling. However, with suits now approved, swimmers can look forward to 2010. The body suit has been banished, but a new generation of suits is now ready to take the place.

CEO Steve Nicholls commented: “We’ve taken time to get the neroTX right and it’s been extensively tested by scientists and swimmers. Whilst staying within FINAs latest guidelines, we’ve produced a super light weight, compressive, hydrophobic material that repels water effectively and drastically decreases drag.

“Swimwear has commanded a lot of attention over the last eighteen months. We entered the swimming market because we were fascinated by the bodysuit and its exciting impact on the sport. We’ve developed a loyal following and helped swimmers break numerous records.

“We’ve applied the same passion for design and innovation to the neroTX that turned the record breaking blueseventy nero into the top selling race suit in the world.”

The neroTX is made from a unique highly compressive, ultra low drag, water smart fabric. blueseventy's exclusive fabric is produced using a warp multifilament treated nylon, with an extremely thin yarn count. The entire neroTX range is ultrasonically welded, further eliminating the drag that’s created from traditionally sewn suits.

Nicolls added: “We are committed to bringing innovation into swimming and have also developed a carbon fibre goggle that is lighter and faster than any other goggle we have tested. We’re constantly looking at technology from other sports that we can apply to the water to help swimmers go faster. Carbon fibre has revolutionised performances in cycling and triathlon, and we think it will have a big impact on swimming as well.”

The brand new Nero range will be available from January 2010 and a limited number of Carbon RZR goggles are already in circulation.

Lance Armstrong's latest "UFO" technology!

Technology marches on for Lance Armstrong. Can't wait to see him swim next year in the swim leg og the Ironman: [Link]

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sublime venues for open water races


Welcome to the Fijian island of Vatu Vara! - Wiki: "The island is 3km in diameter at the base of its 305 m high summit and is also referred to as "Hat Island" due to the summit's shape. The limestone cliffs, some 60 meters in height, of the guyot [guyout?] and the rest of the island are covered in dense tropical jungle. ..." I suspect Tom Hanks spent some time there in the movie Castaway.


Geothermal plumbing keeps this Icelandic lake warm in the middle of winter even while it was snowing? Welcome to Iceland's Blue Lagoon home to "ice and fire."



Welcome to Plitice Croatia. The azure green water changes color depending on the mineral content among other factors as water pours in from the surrounding mountains.

Australian blog post on what is wrong with Commonwealth journalism in the wake of the Australian pedophile scandal.

Behind the Blocks speaks up as to how both Commonwealth journalism and the Swimming Australia PR machine work shoulder-to-shoulder to protect their own from scandal despite the potential plight of the victims and their families.

Here is some background on the scandal involving Swimming Australia Coach Terry Buck: [Link]

Here are some snippets:

Nicole Jeffry knew her article needed to be a positive spin for Swimming Australia (which is understandable, because if you don't sugarcoat things for SA, you will get cut off, and I understand she needs that - it's her career) but man, it's interesting that the first article out from her managed to turn everything on the victims by stating what had happened over the course of the day, then posting all the 'defences' in favour of Terry from the early '00s.

[...]

And who the hell is that random woman who decided to tell everyone that her daughter wasn't molested by Terry, so clearly, no other child would have been. I'm not one for name-calling; (or perhaps I am), but really, [offensive word IMHO deleted]?

Just a thought - I don't think 29 people in the past decided to just band together out of nowhere and decide to accuse someone of molestation. ..."

[Link]

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What Speedo is to 'USA Swimming' - TYR is now the same to 'USA Triathlon'


This is a well executed strategic move on TYR's part!

From the TYR Press release:

TYR Announces Multi-Year Partnership with USA Triathlon

Huntington Beach, Calif. – December 8, 2009 – With a mission to further promote the sport of triathlon, it is with excitement that TYR announces a multi-year partnership with USA Triathlon. The company, a USA Triathlon Gold Sponsor, will be the official swimwear, Team USA competition and training apparel outfitter, and swim accessories and goggles supplier for the organization.

Backed by 25 years of swimsuit development, TYR outfits triathletes of all levels with swim skins, training suits and accessories, apparel, and now a new line of wetsuits, the Hurricane series. In addition to product development, TYR is dedicated to the advancement of multisport and top American triathletes, including company sponsored Andy Potts, Becky Lavelle, and T.J. Tollakson. In collaborating with USA Triathlon, which has a vision to engage every American in the multisport lifestyle, TYR plans to work towards that end result.

“We are thrilled to begin a partnership with USA Triathlon in order to invest and support the sport of triathlon,” said TYR National Manager of Sales and Multisport, Ryan Dolan. “Aside from reaching out and getting involved with triathletes at all ages and levels, TYR also looks to develop the best products for all athletes through feedback from the elite USA team.”

USA Triathlon is currently 130,000 members strong- comprised of athletes, coaches, officials, parents and fans striving to strengthen multisport. Amongst its many roles in the sport, the organization is responsible for the selection and training of teams to represent the United Sates in international competitions, as well as fostering grassroots expansion of triathlon. Creating interest and participating in a variety of programs- including camps, clinics, races, and educational opportunities- the organization teams with TYR to continue their ongoing efforts.

“USA Triathlon is elated to have TYR working side by side with America's top elite and amateur multisport teams as well as over 1.1 million who dabble in multisport every day,” Tim Yount, Senior VP of Marketing and Communication for USA Triathlon stated. “The TYR signature of quality will also be a significant asset to the many constituents that work with USA Triathlon every day. They will help redefine quality in the soft goods side of the USAT business.”

USA Today: No records in banned suits: Eamon Sullivan


Well the toothpaste is out of tube but Eamon Sullivan wants to put back in; or rather, pretend the toothpaste never came out.

From USA Today:

"I definitely think now that the polyurethane suits have gone, to keep the records would be incredibly stupid," Sullivan said. "That's the reason for going back to these old suits, the massive drop in times in one year."

Sullivan said swimmers may need a period of adjustment after becoming used to the faster suits.

"I think by London 2012 we should be back to the normal way of swimming and knowing where you stand ,and how you can swim and how fast you can swim on any given day," Sullivan said.

[Link]

Perhaps that is normal for you, Eamon! Normal for me was watching Ian Thorpe and Inge de Bruijin "stormin' it" in full body suits! That is when I got into swimming! That is what I am nostalgic for and I am so sorry you did not do well in the tech-suit era and I honestly mean that! Seriously, I do. I would probably still be able to wear a tech-suit next month if the brand you would chosen to swim in would have suited you better.

Monday, December 07, 2009

100-scm-free: I am in lane-7 and check out my start dive



I have always had the reaction time of a snake since my brain is about the size of a baby aspirin.

I am on the far right of the screen obviously next to lane-8. Best part of the race is that I am first in the water but then it goes downhill. Two bad I couldn't maintain the lead for I finished last or so in my heat but still, I logged a personal best time.

Australia Swimming's head coach has been accused of "inappropriate behavior" in the wake of a pedophile scandal!


That is Alan Thompson pictured above. He is Swimming Australia's head coach or the Australian counter part to USA Swimming Head Coach, Mark Schubert.

Thompson, has been anonymously accused of unspecified inappropriate behavior and he is stepping down while an investigation takes place.

Ironic attire, huh? he looks like a refugee from Alcatraz!

Ouch! Even I think that was a low blow and I will just have to admit my bias against him for being one of the leading voices to ban tech suits once his swimmers started losing in the LZR.

This all in the wake of the following Swimming Australia scandal. From Adelaide Now:

"... Former Olympic swimming coach and manager Buck, who died in a tractor accident in 2005, was this week accused of abusing a number of Australian swimmers.

The allegations were made by a former Australian swim team captain and Olympic medallist.

He claimed Buck assaulted him repeatedly from the age of 11 until he turned 17.

Police began investigating abuse allegations in 1998, and were handed a list of 29 other alleged victims, including four Olympic swimmers...."

[Link]


Here is what ABC Sport had to say:

"... He says SA will appoint an independent investigator to examine the allegation.

"It's of a concern enough to all of us that we're going to have a look at it," he said.

"So we're going to appoint someone independent to investigate that allegation. ..."

[Link]


From the TimesOnline:

After the claim was brought to the attention of Swimming Australia, the board and Thompson agreed mutually that he take personal leave while the matter is investigated.

[Link]
Now, "in the wake of" scandal I was talking about in the headline is this:

From the daily Telegraph:

"...Mr Neil stressed the action by the board was completely unrelated to revelations by The Daily Telegraph of a cover-up involving the sexual abuse of Olympic swimmers when they were children.

Lawyers with the police force decided not to prosecute allegations from three swimmers that the late Olympic coach Terry Buck, who died in 2005, was responsible for the sexual assault of 29 people. The list included four Olympians, two surfing champions and three people who had committed suicide before police investigations began.

[Link]

And I smell a rat!

If the allegation is not potentially criminal and Australia Swimming is a national governing body [partially] paid for by Australian tax dollars and a coach is having to step down by way of a "mutual agreement" while being investigated, where is the transparency in that organization? Why is it confidential? If it is nothing illegal, why step down?

Answer: The accusation will really piss a lot people off!

A few days ago I published the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy for both age-groupers and parents so as to to protect children from seriously disturbed adults and to protect both coaches and parents from blatantly false allegations. In other words, a process to prevent trouble. I feel USA Swimming needs a policy like this as well.

Here is a link to the post: [Link]

Team photos of the 'SPMA SCM Regional Championship' races!










Celebrity photographer, Mark Savage, took these photos and if you would like him to film you some time, here is a link to one of his sites: [Link]

  1. Erik Hockstein creating a vacuum behind his shoulders during a freestyle event
  2. Dan L. doing breaststroke probably in a world record relay
  3. Doug K. nailing his backstroke start leaving the guy next to him hanging
  4. Jenny C. doing fly (probably in a world record relay)
  5. Tony A. start sequence photo 1
  6. Tony A. start sequence photo 2
  7. Tony A. start sequence photo 3
  8. Rob of RobAquatics in the 200-fly. (He went out in a 1:11)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

2009 SPMA SCM Regionals: A thousand world records will descend on you!

The feeling at the Belmont Plaza was that this was the last dance for tech suits and swimmers swam races like it was their "last day" on earth.

I walked into the Belmont Plaza this morning to an overwhelming roar! You not could talk over, nor hear anything but the roar for Alex Kostich's WR in the 800-SCM free. His time was eight-minutes, five-seconds and change. Think Beijing when the Chinese team took to the field.

"How many world records set this morning," I asked. "Just three so far," came the reply, "all 800-free swims."

I have not talk much about it but even SCAQers set several WRs.

The feeling at the Belmont Plaza was extraordinarily exuberant and severely focused. Even I took a simply relay at the end of the day like it was going to be last time I would ever be allowed to have fun in a tech suit.

It was the 200-free relay and I was third position for lift-off. I had just warmed down form the 100 IM, and when I got to the blocks in lane-four, I was both sad and determined to swim as hard as I could and try to enjoy and memorized each second as it happened for this could be my last meet.

My dive went well and the water seemed bluer than usual, Even the highlights on the bubbles seemed brighter. Intrinsically, it's like I could feel all four corners of the pool without looking.

As I chased the competitor down in lane-5, I refused to breathe. I was going to swim one-and-a-half laps with a strict breath-control quota of only one breath for the whole race. My next goal was to kick as hard I could to make them cramp by the time I got to the wall. When I saw the wall approaching I wanted to time my stroke so I landed right on the pad but I had to glide with my head down since I was half a stroke short.

Our relay swam a sub-two-minute race and we place second to our own team relay. I think they set a record. Who wasn't? I think our time was a 1:56.3 or a 1:45 in yards.

They tell me the New England Masters Championships are next week and that will crack the sky in regards to WRs. I bet the competitors swim their races the same way.

A message was sent today to the USMS that suits drove not just the enthusiasm for the meet but the both the participation and the economics of it as well. I kid you not. Jeff Moxie was on the scene observing and I suspect he got an ear-full of pro suit rhetoric, so much so, I am convinced that something is brewing,

Last year this Regional meet had 500 swimmers attend and believe me, Champagne glasses were clinking. This year they had 600-plus. Ultimately, the meet probably grossed roughly $27,000 thereby subsidizing the Long Beach Grunions swim club which was the club that put on the meet in a very healthy way.

I was later told that if the meet got any bigger, say 700-plus, the meet would have to become a four-day meet. That was "very noticed" by Jeff Moxie who was in the audience and he too could hear the roaring of the crowd. To keep this sort of momentum going I think something wonderful is going to happen in regards to SCY races and how thy relate to the FINA governing body's opinion of the tech suit. It has to happen. Masters swimming has never been this big and I am sure the USMS is never going to let it shrink and if suits are the reason for the success, I think tweaking of the suit rules is going to take place. :-P

This post is for age-group parents and age-group coaches!

When I am in hunter/gatherer mode looking for news stories for the blog, there are two type of stories I see way to often and they quite disturbing: I hate the drowning stories for just about every single one was so preventable and that unto itself makes them so severely tragic. The second one is what swim journalists and swimmers hate to talk about and those are the pedophile stories.

Swimming does not need a "Catholic Priest" problem. No organization wants that problem.

Unfortunately, I cannot find a USA Swimming prevention policy that protects both coaches from false accusations or children from predators, but I did find a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) prevention policy that ostensibly could protect both kids and scout leader reputations. (I am not saying that USA Swimming does not have one, I just can't find it!)

I am copy/pasting the BSA policies here with my reccomendations as to how to make it applicable to a swim coach/age-group swimmer relationship in bold:

Two-deep leadership. Two registered adult leaders or one registered leader and a parent of a participant, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required on all trips and outings. The chartered organization is responsible for ensuring that sufficient leadership is provided for all activities. [A parent or two should sit through a workout and a swim meet.]

No one-on-one contact. One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. In situations that require personal conferences, such as a Scoutmaster's conference, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths. [Parents must be involved for one-on-ones if an adult can be there]

Respect of privacy. Adult leaders must respect the privacy of youth members in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers at camp, and intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations. [That's clear enough]

Separate accommodations. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers. [That's clear enough]

Proper preparation for high-adventure activities: Activities with elements of risk should never be undertaken without proper preparation, equipment, clothing, supervision, and safety measures. [Medical checkups, and back-up swimsuits and Goggles.]

No secret organizations: The Boy Scouts of America does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders. [A parent or two should sit through a workout.]

Appropriate attire: Proper clothing for activities is required. For example, skinny-dipping is not appropriate as part of Scouting. [That's clear enough]

Constructive discipline: Discipline used in Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting's values. Corporal punishment is never permitted. [Values here should be about health, welfare, growth and most important - having fun!]

Hazing prohibited: Physical hazing and initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any Scouting activity. [That's clear enough]

Junior leader training and supervision: Adult leaders must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior leaders and ensure that BSA policies are followed. [Encourage policies such as these be adopted by swim clubs.]

For more detailed information, here is link to the BSA page on the subject.

[Link]

Saturday, December 05, 2009

SPMA Short Course Meters Regionals is hemorrhaging World Records!

I think I am the only person that hasn't gotten one. so far the WR count for this SPMA Regional meet is over 25 43 WRs and we still have another day! Frankly, it could be more, I stopped listening at 25 and just watched the races.

I saw Coach Matt swim a low :48 which is probably a second or two slower than Phelps! Erik Hockstein swam a :49 in the same heat. Mark Savage called the race best: "There goes the Jacuzzi in lane-4! - And look at Erik's kick, it's terrifying!"

Epic call, I couldn't describe it better!

Though the pool is indoors, they don't turn on the heaters and it was cold. In my last race today, I wanted to set a personal best and Mark Savage gave me a good warm-up to do. He said, "go swim a 200-free right before you swim, then do 7-to-8 10-yard sprints to program your brain for a fast turnover."

I did so and got to the blocks 1-minute before the race. My skin felt cold but my body felt warm. My heart was beating at about 120-bpm, the usual speed before a race due to nerves, but I felt no nervousness this time whatsoever. Since my "fight or flight" was suppressed or turned off from his warm-up, the only thoughts in my mind were to simply to tear into the water.

My start was excellent, I heard my splash first and then the "sploosh" of the others behind me. I grabbed at the water with all my might ensuring good rotation and a fast turnover, I took zero breaths on the way down and only one breath on the way back and I nailed a personal best. A time that is anemic to most of you but glorious for me. A 28.39 for a 50-free SCM.

When the video is up I will link you all to it.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I did something very stupid today at the SPMA SCM Championships!

Today was the start the SPMA Short Course Meters Championships at the Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, California.

The meet is currently off the hook both size-wise and record-wise! The Masters Club throwing the event, The Long Beach Grunions, are doing such a superb job. Today alone sixteen world records were set and the quality of the swimming was something I have never seen at a Masters Swimming event before. I suspect a total of 75 World Records will be set before the end of the weekend. Even Coach Ahelee set one in the 200-back! I believe her time was a 2:34.24. It was glorious!

This is the last dance for suits and when the swimmers lined up on the blocks, you saw a ratio of people wearing tech-suits as compared to retro-textile running at about 8-to-1.

Now for my dangerously stupid mistake:

The meet has over 600 competitors and it ran hopelessly late. The meet started at 9:00 AM and my relay did not go off till 9:10 PM. I was tired, everything seemed hazy and surreal and I was yawning. (I suppose these are my excuses to lessen my stupidity but even still I am seriously considering never swimming an 800-relay ever again so as to prevent something like this from happening again.)

The first SCAQ swimmer came in a 2:03 and second came in what I thought to be a 2:08. Erroneously, I thought it was my turn to dive and subsequently I dove. I am 6'2" and I weigh between 190-195-pounds and it would have been catastrophic if I landed on him. A teammate yelled at the last minute and I was able to avert a collision. A swimmer in the heat just before did the very same thing but he hit his teammate pretty hard and it wasn't pretty.

I was in the heat 8, the final heat of the 4x200 Free relay. I am swimming in lane 8 and all of the above can be viewed at LiveSwim.net

Why do I mention this: well, I am certainly not bragging. I mention this to illustrate that if I screw up at a meet or on this blog I will admit it, own it, and try to improve. In this example of a severe meet "FAIL" you can see me falter in a very clumsy and stupid way and I am pointing it out. If you see my words "FAIL" on this blog, please point it out and I will correct it.

Michael Phelps wearing the new Speedo LZR Racer Elite jammer!


This photo is so boss! It's "der hammer, baby!" But, then again, I am a sucker for underwater photography!

Pay the ladies, pay the gentlemen to swim!

I read in both Swimming World and The Guardian that 1st tier European swimmers such as Federica Pellegrini, Paul "Der Hammer" Biedermann, and Jo Jackson have not been swimming much this fall and they won't be swimming in the Duel in the Pool meet coming up. Perhaps these individuals need more incentive, such as some adding some zeroes to the numerals in their fees?

Swimming World article: [Link]

The Guardian article: [Link]

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Speedo Press Release: The Speedo LZR Elite is now available!

The new Speedo LZR Elite hits the pool swimming. Here is a press release. I put the prices in bold and note they also include all the athletes they sponsor. I didn't know that Speedo signed Park Tae Hwan:

LOS ANGELES (December 3, 2009) – SPEEDO®, the world’s leading swimwear brand, has launched the Speedo LZR Racer Elite – its new evolution of performance swimwear inspired by the record-breaking Speedo LZR Racer suit. A new generation of advanced textile swimsuit, the LZR Racer Elite offers a distinctive combination of cutting-edge fabric, design and construction for a smoother shape, reduced drag and optimal flexibility; all within FINA’s new rules for 2010 and compliant with rules governing collegiate, high school and club swimming in the United States. The LZR Racer Elite will make its U.S. debut at the 2009 USA Swimming Short Course Nationals in Federal Way, Wash. (Dec. 3-5).

“Speedo has supported me throughout my career and has always provided me with the best technology,” said Michael Phelps, Speedo-sponsored swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time. “I’m excited about the launch of Speedo’s new generation suits under the FINA 2010 rules and look forward to competing in the new Speedo LZR Racer Elite suit at the upcoming Duel in the Pool meet and beyond.”

Developed in the Speedo Aqualab and utilizing the technology developed for the Speedo LZR Racer suit, the Speedo LZR Racer Elite incorporates the same fully bonded construction with ultrasonically welded seams for the ultimate smooth, flexible and streamlined surface. Made from exclusive ultra-lightweight, low drag LZR Pulse® fabric, the suit is engineered to fit the swimmer’s body for a streamlined shape while reducing muscle oscillation, enabling them to cut through the water more efficiently. Also featuring Speedo’s unique 3D, three-piece dynamically engineered pattern for optimum fit and shape, the Speedo LZR Racer Elite is Speedo’s most advanced performance racing suit.

“For over 80 years, Speedo has consistently pioneered swimsuit innovations,” said Paula Schneider, President of Speedo USA. “The LZR Racer Elite is the newest generation of Speedo’s high performance swimwear and is designed, under the new FINA rules, to continue to help the athlete perform at his / her best. As we move forward in to 2010 and look ahead into 2012, Speedo’s commitment to the sport of swimming continues at every level, from grassroots to elite.”

The new Speedo LZR Racer Elite suit is available in the male Jammer silhouette and female Recordbreaker Kneeskin and Recordbreaker silhouettes. Beginning this December, the LZR Elite will retail at www.speedousa.com and through Speedo Team Dealers for $270 - $375, depending on the silhouette.

Within this new generation Speedo LZR Racer range, the brand is also set to debut the new Speedo LZR Racer Pro suit in Spring 2010. Featuring a high durability variant of the LZR Pulse fabric and the same 3D pattern as the LZR Racer Elite series, the LZR Racer Pro will round out Speedo’s most comprehensive, technically advanced range of textile race suits, all compliant to FINA 2010 regulations.

Team Speedo swimmers include Olympic Medalists Michael Phelps (USA), Natalie Coughlin (USA), Ryan Lochte (USA), Katie Hoff (USA), Libby Trickett (AUS), Eamon Sullivan (AUS), Park Tae Hwan (KOR) and Rebecca Adlington (GBR).

SPEEDO® is a registered trademark of and used under license from Speedo International Ltd. Warnaco Swimwear, Inc., a division of The Warnaco Group, Inc. (NYSE: WRC), is the authorized licensee of the SPEEDO® trademark in North American and the Caribbean.

My take: It's undeniable, the womens suit is a tech-suit without a zipper.