As luck would have it

Grace hasn’t done well at zones. She swam yesterday and today, adding time in both races. Sarah did well yesterday – she dropped a tiny bit in her 50 breast. Sophie, added time in her 100 fly but her stroke looked good. And she is ten.

OUr LSC makes zones really fun for the kids. It’s like camp. With a side of swimming. The kids travel by bus, stay in a hotel, eat their meals together, cheer each other on when they aren’t swimming and they wear a team uniform everywhere they go. Those that make finals go back. And the lucky ones, those that don’t make finals, they go to various activities. It’s camp pure and simple. It is also Sophie’s first time away from home. She was definitely nervous. But also quite ready for the experience. It truly is the experience of a lifetime for these kids. They wear their zones jacket with pride for a month afterwards. Despite the fact that it is the dead of summer.

Chris and I drove separate cars to the meet. I’m taking the girls to Florida for our one and only summer vacation. Chris will head back to work. It was the first time all summer I have been alone. I drove in silence. Deep in thought. As we move into a new season, a lot of thoughts are rolling through my head. Decisions, have been made, indecision and regret soon follow. I have experienced guilt and gratitude over this decision. But when all is said and done, thoughts done being rolled around, I am still at piece with the decisions we have made. And then I change my mind again. I’m looking forward to our vacation but I’m also anxious for September. We can put the thoughts behind us and begin the real work.

Grace is going to make a move backwards. She is going to spend the better part of next year mastering the basics of swimming. We are absolutely convinced it going to be a game changer for her. Sarah and Sophie will benefit from this as well. We have learned from past mistakes and we are going to stop making those mistakes again.

As a swim family, we are going to take a year off from “times”. We are going to stop focusing on best times, adding time, dropping time, qualifying time and everything else related to a number. It’s easy to get caught up in that number but it really isn’t the best predictor of success. It’s been a tough lesson to learn but lots if people can swim fast. Very few can swim well. And those that do will find the success in the long term.

Our eye is on a new prize. We want our children to swim well this year. And with that, they shouldn’t need any luck at all.

Here’s to new beginnings.

2 thoughts on “As luck would have it

  1. We also have had some great swims and some ok swims. For the most part for us this meet is our only true competition during the summer so during the meet it is normal meet protocol for the kids. However we take a couple of days after to let them have fun (water park, shopping at stores we don’t have at home…) before we fly home. Saturday is the great gear swap for most of the kids, don’t know if that happens at your meet but I assume it does. The kids are looking forward to swapping shirts and caps for sure!

    I wish you all luck as you go back to the basics in some areas. I very much agree that almost anyone can have speed but having the technique to go with it makes a world of difference in the long run.

  2. I remember trying to frame it for my C when she wanted to break 30.00 in the 50fr SCY. Most know that is a big barrier for young kids swimming. It was also a cut for her. I tried to do this. I said there is a certain reaction time, dive, streamline/kick off the dive, tempo/technique swimming, turn, push off/streamline off wall, number of breaths, and finish that will get you that time.

    For every aspect you are deficient in one of those to make up that deficit you need to be stronger/faster in another aspect. It is better to be good in all aspects.

    If you struggle with your turn to a certain degree you will never get there. You just can’t makeup the time somewhere else.

    That brings me to the idea of practicing with a purpose. The thing I worry most about with 2 hour swim practices is that the kids lose sight of the purpose of the practice. They just pound out the yards for 2 hours and are done. Then there is no improvement. If you have X time in an event and you want Y time, but some aspect won’t allow that then you need to work and work on that aspect. I sometimes just don’t think the kids get the instruction. Problem is sometimes with swim aspects of an event just start to click. All of a sudden someone starts to turn much faster and bang they drop plenty of time. Or it could be something else.

    The tough part is trudging through all the meets and all the added time knowing the prize is later.

    Good luck. The strong will prevail in the end.

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