This has certainly been a challenging year for us, and it’s resulted in some surprising decisions and even more surprising results.
One of our main pools became unavailable at the end of January when a roof leak resulted in ceiling insulation falling into the pool. The pool was immediately closed, and as of mid-June we still don’t know if it’ll be available for next season. The biggest impact was the loss of 7 hours a week at that facility, and we were only able to gain back 2 late evening hours hours at another pool, and one hour in a gym. Not an ideal situation.
Then, just to make things more interesting, our other main pool was closed for the second half of June for maintenance – right at the lead up to regional and provincial championship meets. Regular readers may remember my serious problems with big meets -see We Need a Saner Approach to Swim Meets, and A Really Big Problem With a Really Big Meet).
The result was a perfect storm: significantly reduced training from February onwards, virtually no training from mid-June onwards, and a growing displeasure with the big meets in late June/early July.
So we re-designed our season in a somewhat heretical fashion. No championship meets. Go farther afield to try new (smaller) meets and new pools. Taper the whole team for a wonderful ‘no-qualifying-time’ meet in late May that focuses on small teams. And then finish off the year with a relaxed meet in mid-June.
The results so far have been amazing. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed going to new pools. We’ve generally been happier avoiding the massive meets with too many swimmers and too long sessions. And our taper meet was our best meet ever, with 28 team records, and more finals swims than we’ve ever had before. The best part was that this was a meet the whole team attended, and not just our top swimmers.
Our relaxed meet to finish the season doesn’t happen until next weekend, but the rest of our heretical season has been fantastic. I have a strong feeling we’ll continue our heretical path next year, even if we don’t have a perfect storm of problems.