Third Week Report – How are we doing?

We’re into our third week of the new season, and everything looks great. The numbers are fantastic. We’re already at the numbers we finished with last year, and we’ve only just started the season.  We also have quite a few new swimmers and some new early level coaches. Lots of smiling faces on the pool deck.

We’ve also had some hiccups. GoDaddy had some problems with their hosting service, and so our mightytritons.org web site has been down for almost a week now. This has definitely not helped us during the registration season. Thank you to everyone for being so patient.

Early season is a time for technique
I know that everybody wants to get in the water and swim FAST. I know that. But NOW is the time to work on your technique. We need to develop and groove good strokes at the start of the season, so that our muscles remember good technique all the way through the year. This should be your primary goal at this point in the season.

You may be wondering why some early level swimmers can swim fast with poor technique. Those young swimmers are really just taking advantage of some natural physical skills, and they would be even faster with better technique. But as swimmers get older and the competition gets faster, good technique becomes more and more important.  At the highest levels, everybody has very good technique. So you might as well develop it now and get an advantage on everybody else.

Time for conditioning
Wait! I just said this is the time for technique. How can it be the time for conditioning also?

This is easy. As anybody in my group knows, an 800 IM Drills repeat with an intense focus on technique is incredibly tiring.  Both mentally and physically. The same is true for every level. Doing technique may be a little boring now, but it has the dual benefit of improving technique and providing conditioning.

When does speed happen?
We’ll work on speed once we get a little further into the season. Technique first.  But speed has its own technical aspects, and we’ll be starting to work on those soon as well. One of my favourite ways to combine technique and speed early in the season is to do Accelerating repeats. This is when we start slow and with a perfect stroke, and then gradually get faster while maintaining good technique. If the stroke falls apart as speed increases, then the swimmer has to slow it down and build it up again. Since I can’t watch every swimmer during every repeat, you’ll need to really pay attention to your stroke. Learn whats good technique, and whats not.

True speed sets won’t happen for another month or so. But that won’t stop us from blasting out a few short swims here and there in the meantime, just for fun.

Swim For Eli
On Tuesday we hosted the Swim for Eli fundraiser at MLC. 70 Tritons, Marlins and Masters swimmers, as well as more from some other teams showed up for the swim. It was an incredible time, and an amazing show of support for Eli. Over the course of the day we raised over $10,000 to help her with her cancer treatment.  It was a fantastic show of support by many, many people.

For those of you who don’t know of them, Eli and her husband Emil Dimitrov were instrumental in bringing swimming to Milton over 20 years ago. They raised the Milton Marlins from a squad of swimmers who could only do widths of the EC Drury pool up to Division 1 status, marking them one of the top teams in the province at the time. Along they way they touched the lives of countless swimmers, coaches and parents all throughout the area.

They were also both instrumental in the founding of the Mighty Tritons, and our team philosophy is largely based on their incredible example of how to run a community-based swim team.  Although they left Milton many years ago (for Calgary and then Kelowna, BC where they reside now), its clear that they had a huge impact on us all.

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