Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Boy® Swims Well

A month ago at a swim meet, I ended up benching the Boy®. It was a hard parenteral decision, but one I decided to make. Here's what happened.

I'd been having long conversations with the Boy® about being focused and prepared and such as he'd been dinking around in practice and not fully listening to the coaches. So what did he do at the very first race at the swim meet last month? He missed his heat for the 100 free, the first race. He'd been standing right there at the block and just zoned out. His coach took blame saying he told the Boy® the wrong heat, but like I told the Boy® afterwards, that is his responsibility to know his heats. We even write it on his arm. There was no excuse. Its too bad because I think he was ready to approach a B time.

So, we held him home on day 2 of the meet and did not allow him to swim at the Sunday portion. It was hard for me to do, but I had to set an example somewhere. I had to draw the line. I needed to get his attention.

We had a meet this past weekend (12/4-5) and what a difference. He was focused. I watched him from the upper balcony as he went through the motion of each race, from start to finish, in his mind. Pretending as he started from block, to entry, to stroke, to turn....he was doing it on deck. Those old enough to recall the high jumper Dwight Stones, will recall watching him visualize each high jump before he took his first step. I was happy to see the Boy® doing this as I did not lay this down as a requirement. He was doing it on his own. It told me he was focused.

A focused Piranha
So let's recap Saturday (12/4) and I will post another entry to recap Sunday. First, let me explain the Minnesota time standards. A swimmer, by virtue of his or her age group, must meet or excel a set time standard to achieve a certain time standard. A swimmer progresses from C to B to A to CH to Zone. For the layman, I sort of equate C with novice, B with wannabe, A with local stud/studette, CH with regional class stud/studette and Zone with national class stud/studette. I'm not sure if that is accurate or not....but works for me!

C Standard - 01:53.69
Previous Best - N/A
Result - 01:57.91

He had it going early with the fly, turned well and had a nice backstroke, turned and.....the hated, dreaded breaststroke was up. He finished up well with the free. He was on target to go well under 1:53 but really slowed in the breast segment. He has been working hard on the stroke, so that light bulb should eventually go off. Until then, we keep plugging along. The Boy® can be seen in lane two (from the left) in the video below:

C Standard - :53.79
B Standard - :46.29
Previous Best - :54.40
Result - :52.96

I knew he had a decent shot to finally achieve his C standard in the 50-yard backstroke. He'd been so near on previous occasions. At the turn, I thought he was going to fall just short but he mustered the strength to finish strong and went under by almost a full second. The Boy® can be seen in the third lane from the right in the video below:

C Standard - :59.19
Previous Best - N/A
Result - 01:12.74

As mentioned earlier, this stroke is the Boy®'s kryptonite. He's got runner's blood, so his feet turn in. For a proper breaststroke kick, the feet need to turn out. But he is trying. And as his coach told him afterwards, he turned in a performance that was light years ahead of where he was at this point last year. The Boy® can be seen in lane two (from the left) in the video below (taken with my cell phone, so lower quality):

C Standard - 01:39.19
B Standard - 01:25.49
Previous Best - 01:32.49
Result - 01:27.57

Hell, yeah! The Boy® smoked this one. He came into his heat seeded fourth. He turned the first 25-yds at about 18-seconds. Hit 50-yds at about 40-41-seconds. At first, I thought he had gone out too fast. But he dug deep, and nearly knocked off a B standard in winning his heat. The Boy® can be seen in the third lane from the right in the video below:

Sunday he will be competing in the 50-free, 50-fly, and 200-free. His first ever B standard could come in the 50-free if he is on his game. B standard is :38.19 and he has done a :42.48. Katie bar the door and hold onto your could be exciting!

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