Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

One of my former swimmers is a freshman at Drury.  He sent me this link and said it was okay to post.  It looks like they are having a great time.  Merry Christmas!  I hope your training over the break is productive and fun.  Enjoy the video and the Viking Santa pics.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good News, Bad News and Good News for College Swimming...

Good news!  The rumors have been confirmed! William Jewell is bringing college swimming back to the KC area in their move from the NAIA to Division II.  Yay! And even better, they hired Mark Gole, who already has experience leading Truman State University one of the top teams in Division II!  Hooray!

Waitaminnit... Bad News!  Mark Gole starts there January 1st!  Ummm... Isn't Truman supposed to be packing up for their Christmas training trip right about now?  Does anybody know what in the heck is going on around here?  It sounds like the administration is pretty hacked about Gole's departure and they might still be searching for someone to get their athletes through the season.  The best place to get caught up in all the speculation and accusations is, of course, the message board.     

Now back to some better news:  college swimming is finally returning to Oklahoma.  That's right, the state that raised Samantha Woodward and David Plummer hasn't had a college swim team in a long time, and Oklahoma Baptist University, just a short drive East from OKC in Shawnee is bringing it back.  The OBU Bison are an NAIA program, and in their press release on they are saying all the right things.  They want to bring students into their institution with activities that serve a positive relationship with academics and character building, while having a positive impact on student life.  They are adding football, women's lacrosse and men's & women's swimming because they hope to make their university a better place.  They are starting swimming in the fall of 2011.  Yay!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Why bother with doing it right? Just do it FAST!

This weekend, when one of our club swimmers made his junior cut in the 100 fly at the pro-am, I got a text from one of our former coaches who was there to see it.  She said it was a great swim "for him, in that tasmanian devil sort of way."  My reply was "yeah, did he even bother to touch all four walls this time?"

This kid has the hand speed of Mercury.  He is a super talent, a sprinter to the core, and fun to have in practice, but he is so athletic that he doesn't feel he needs to mess with learning things like proper turns and streamlines.  Why bother making them look pretty, right?  To see what I mean about this kid, watch him bring home the freestyle for the Jasper County relay in lane 4 on the 200 MR at the Pro-Am last year (I think he dislocated his elbow at the finish): 

Haven't you ever had a swim where you were flying so fast that you just didn't want to bother with the turns?  Or maybe where you got frustrated at the first turn and swam angry through the rest of the race?  We've all been there, right?  That is what I thought of when I saw this video. I hope this kid's coach can do some Sith training with him and channel his anger into some dark-side-of-the-force kind of power.  Know what I'm sayin'?  Ha!


What a Great Weekend to be a Swim Nerd!

This weekend was kind of a thrill.  I played fantasy swimming for the first time through Podium Pursuit and I absolutely loved it.  I got fourth overall, so I was one spot out of the prizes, but I did win one event, and I scored pretty high overall considering I didn't suit up my team until after two days of the meet.  That means that even events like the 50 free on day 3 didn't have the advantage of being suited up because I didn't pitch in my $10 until after the prelim had already been swum.  In a couple of events I am pretty sure I would have won if we were suited.  I guessed Gold and Bronze for the mens' 100  breast and still lost to guys who only had one place right.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

If all of that confuses you, learn more about it here.

I also didn't get to go to either of the meets that my swimmers were in this weekend.  My high school girls were at a SCM meet while I was at my wife's graduation, so I got text messages all night about their swims (and their behavior, of course.)  My club swimmers, including a few of my high school girls, also swam at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma City.  I not only got text messages about that one, but I got to pull up splits on the Live Results app and I also got to watch a little through the Knocking Live Video app.  It actually works from Android to iPhone!  The club had one boy make his first NCSA Junior National cuts in the 50 free and 100 fly, I had one of my high school girls hit 53 for the first time in the 100 free, and we had a 14 year old boy turn in a 59 in the 100 breast on a relay!  I no longer coach the club, but I still serve as the Chief Operating Officer and I still have an emotional investment into how the club I started is developing.  Our new club coach Eduardo Pajares is doing a great job.  I really think that we do a very good job of cooperating between high school and club swimming, without sacrificing quality training and long term goals.  We are helping our swimmers to get the best of both worlds, and I have to thank the MSHSAA for allowing the exception for swimming that allows us to pursue excellence in both leagues simultaneously. 

And speaking of doing a great job, I think the one guy who probably nerded it up better than I did this weekend was David "King of the Swim Geeks" Rieder who not only took second in the Podium Pursuit picking for Short Course Worlds, but also helped Garrett McCaffrey with the coverage of the TYR Capital Classic for Swimming World TV.  I am jealous. 

How did you nerd it up this weekend?

Friday, December 17, 2010

While the world is watching Dubai...

John Leonard, on behalf of the American Swimming Coaches Association, has laid out a proposal that calls for the end the current structure of FINA to make it a more "athlete centered" organization.  It is old news by now for many of those involved in high level swimming.  In it, Leonard makes some pretty inflammatory accusations about greed, favoritism and the fear of repurcussions for anyone who doesn't just "go along to get along."  I don't blame him for pleading his case so fervently.  We are all furious about the tragedy of Fran Crippen's passing, we all feel there has been severe mismanagement in various instances, and no matter which side of the suit argument you fell on, you can't help but feel that the problem was a lot bigger than just fabric and length due to the flip-flops, rule changes and deadline wacky-ness.  In many ways Coach Leonard is right.  The structure of the organization needs to change.  He has declared war.  Go get 'em John.  I hope enough of the right people are not afraid to jump on board. 

Casey Barrett at has taken a step back and is looking at it from another angle, stating that perhaps we all can tend to contribute to the problem when we get caught up in the spectacle of the kind expensive international competition that comes from the money flowing in the current system; the kind of money that is allowing our world team to be treated like royalty in a state-of-the-art facility.  From his article :
"Which makes things just a bit uneasy... For all of FINA's apparent faults, you can't deny that everyone - every swimmer, every coach, every official - would prefer to attend top competitions that are staged with no expense spared. That's not just FINA being greedy (even if that's the case), it's all of us being greedy. After all, don't the best deserve the best? Would you rather compete for world titles in a shallow pool with chemical air under a low ceiling lined with asbestos? Overstating the point, I know, but hearing the descriptions and seeing the pictures of that Dubai pool makes me jealous more than anything. I wish I'd had a chance to compete in a place like that."

Give both articles a read.  Sound off below.  Do you think that John Leonard is going to be able to rally enough international support?  Do you think that Leonard's accusations are valid?  Do you think that there is value in the current system?  If structure change is forced, would the money really stop flowing?   


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All Aboard the Viking Ship!

I started a group called The Viking Ship at Podium Pursuit.  When you go there to make your prediction picks, please log in and join.  I sent out an email invitation to a few people.  I couldn't resist sending one to Craig Lord.  
Also, if you need help with your predictions, check out Chris DeSantis' latest post at Swimming World.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion


Yeah, that really is Misty Hyman in her big acting debut!  Ha!  I have to thank her for playing along and pretending she reads my blog.  Also, thanks to Eduardo Pajares, my go-to camera guy. This was fun.  Every swim blog should make one.  If y'all do, you've got ad space here for free.

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My SC World Champs picks

Man, what a tough meet to pick.  Maybe I feel out of touch with short course meters simply because I am American.  I don't have much rationale for any of my picks...  I am just trying to go on gut feeling.  I hope more people get involved with David Rieder's prediction contest.  I am also gonna try to figure out how to enter these into Podium Pursuit

Men’s 200 Free
1. Lochte, USA
2. Biedermann, Germany
3. Agnel, France

Women’s 50 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni, USA
2. Matsushima, JPN
3. Trepp, EST

Men’s 100 Back
1. Camille Lacourt, France
2. Plummer, USA
3. Donets, RUS

Women’s 200 Fly
1. Liu Zige, China
2. Hosszu, Hungary
3. Galvez, China

Men’s 100 Breast
1. Van der Burgh, RSA
2. Alexandrov, USA
3. Silva, Brazil

Women’s 100 Back
1. Natalie Coughlin, USA
2. Chang, China
3.  Moskvina, RUS

Men’s 100 Fly
1. Korotyshkin, Russia
2. Huegill, AUS
3. McGill, USA

Women’s 400 IM
1. Miley, Great Britain
2. Kukors, USA
3. Shiwen, China

Men’s 400 Free Relay
1. United States
2. France
3. Brazil

Women’s 800 Free Relay
1. United States
2. NED
3. SWE

Women’s 100 Free
1. Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
2. Heemskerk, Netherlands
3. Vollmer, USA

Men’s 400 IM
1. Lochte, USA
2. Clary, USA
3. Cseh, Hungary

Women’s 50 Fly
1. Inge Dekker, Netherlands
2.  Galvez, AUS
3. Therese Alshammar, Sweden

Men’s 50 Free
1. Bousquet, France
2. Cielo, Brazil
3. Schneider, USA

Women’s 100 IM
1. Schreuder, Netherlands
2. Jing, China
3. Sjoestrom, SWE

Men’s 800 Free Relay
1. United States
2. Russia
3. Sweden

Women’s 800 Free
1. Lotte Friis, Denmark
2. Ziegler, USA
3. Sutton, USA

Men’s 50 Back
1. Thoman, USA
2. Donets, Russia
3. Lacourt, France

Women’s 200 Back
1. Franklin, USA
2. Moskvina, Russia
3. Castel, France

Men’s 50 Fly
1. Munoz, Spain
2. Huegill, Australia
3. Schoemann, RSA

Women’s 100 Breast
1. Soni, USA
2. Jones, Australia
3. Pierse, CAN

Men’s 400 Free
1. Mellouli, Tunisia
2. Vanderkaay, USA
3. Rouault, FRA

Men’s 200 IM
1. Lochte, USA
2. Tyler Clary, USA
3. Jukic, AUT

Women’s 400 Free
1. Pellegrini, Italy
2. Coralie Balmy, France
3. Katie Hoff, USA

Men’s 200 Breast
1. Shanteau, USA
2. Gyurta, Hungary
3. Falko, RUS

Women’s 400 Medley Relay
1. United States
2. Sweden
3. Australia

Women’s 50 Back
1. Chang, China
2. Jing, China
3. Schreuder, NED

Men’s 100 Free
1. Adrian, USA
2. Cielo, Brazil
3. Izotov, Russia

Women’s 100 Fly
1. Magnuson, USA
2. Alshammar, Sweden
3.  Vollmer, USA

Men’s 100 IM
1. Lochte, USA
2. Fesikov, RUS
3. Mankoc, Slovenia

Women’s 50 Free
1. Hardy, USA
2. Schreuder, NED
3. Kromowidjojo, NED

Women’s 200 IM
1. Kukors, USA
2. Hosszu, Hungary
3. Segat, ITA

Men’s 50 Breast
1. Roland Schoeman, RSA
2. Cameron Van der Burgh, RSA
3. Gangloff, USA

Women’s 400 Free Relay
1. Netherlands
2. United States
3. Sweden

Men’s 200 Back
1. Lochte, USA
2. Clary, USA
3. Vyatchanin, Russia

Women’s 200 Breast
1. Soni, USA
2. Jones, Australia
3. Pierse, Canada

Men’s 200 Fly
1. Bollier, USA
2. Cseh, Hungary
3. Le Clos, South Africa

Women’s 200 Free
1. Pellegrini, Italy
2. Vollmer, USA
3. Heemskerk, Netherlands

Men’s 400 Medley Relay
1. USA
2. RUS
3. FRA

Men’s 1,500 Free
1. Mellouli, Tunisia
2. Vanderkaay, USA
3. Joensen, Faroe Islands

Friday, December 10, 2010

Go Lance!

I was always kinda impressed with him winning all those Tour De France titles, and the whole overcoming cancer thing, but this... this impresses me way more.

(forward to 2:34 on the vid)

Could you imagine lining up behind the blocks for the mile in the 35-39 age group at Masters Nats and realizing that the Lance Armstrong you saw in the heat sheet was actually THIS Lance Armstrong?

Yeah, I would probably pee in my speedo too, which would make getting lapped that much more embarrassing.

This might be the guiltiest I have ever felt for not finding time to work out. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I am totally applying for the National Team Director position!

Dear Mr. Wielgus, I am writing this letter to apply for the position of USA Swimming National Team Director. While I may seem like an unlikely candidate, I ask you to consider the following:
  • I have coached at all levels, from beginner swim lessons up to some really fast guys who are out of high school.
  • I am a stern but fair disciplinarian. You will discover that wearing a Viking helmet really helps with that, especially when I carry around tools to sharpen them as I make subtle threats. Problems rarely escalate.
  • I am currently coaching a team of 40 high school girls. If I can manage that and keep everyone happy, I can pretty much handle any group. I should be the frickin‘ president. Seriously.
  • My wingspan is 6’9” and my shoes are size 14EEE. Just sayin’. My hands are freaky big too. Good genetics should count for something.
  • I get in the water to demonstrate skills sometimes. I’m pretty sure Mark Schubert never did that.
  • I am very organized. I have handled t-shirt and swimsuit orders for my high school team for years. Trust me, that is a big deal.
  • I host meets all the time. Some of them have up to thirty or forty spectators.
  • I am resourceful too. Once at a home meet I stopped a urinal from overflowing with the coffee bean grinder out of the lifeguard office. I’m not kidding. I didn’t even miss any of my swimmers races. Call me MacGyver.
  • TYR totally wants to sponsor me, but they haven’t come to terms with it yet. I could get them on board as a sponsor.
  • Even though I have no international coaching experience, I have hired a guy from Sweden and another guy from Spain to work for me in the past. I also swam in college with some guys from Canada, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Mexico… and one of my old roommates from Texas was actually born in Indonesia. That guy was all messed up, let me tell ya.
  • I have a lot of national pride. I have Captain America’s shield tattooed on my back. It’s kick ass.
  • I like money. A lot. I am willing to bend over and be a “yes man” if that’s what it takes to make $300K. I am way more than just a team player. I would go above and beyond for that kind of cash.
>Resume’ and references attached.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon and I can make myself available anytime outside of school hours for an interview.