Redemption swims. Times two.

Both Sarah and Sophie are looking for redemption next weekend.  We had to go to the coaches not once BUT twice asking for special favors.

Because Sarah turns 13 in a few weeks her coaches had told her no more 50’s (other than free) – she needs to focus on the longer races.  At the last meet she swam her final 50 breast.  She did awesome and got a fantastic time in it.  She missed the AAAA cut by a few tenths.  She actually did much better than she expected and instead of being content she decided she wanted to go for that cut.  She decided to negotiate with her coach, she told him she would swim 200 fly and 400 IM at the meet in November IF he would allow her to swim the 50 breast.  She presented a logical explanation, that she really wanted to try for the quad A and that she realized that it wouldn’t change anything if she got it but that she really wanted to take a shot at it.  Because she was willing to swim two races that would be very challenging for her in exchange for the opportunity, he allowed her to sign up for it.  She must have presented her case well, he also took her out of 200 fly because 50 breast was immediately following the fly and he wanted her to be physically and mentally ready to go!  In, other words, he set her up to succeed.

Sophie was not signed up for 100 fly, her signature event, at the next meet.  She swam it a few weeks ago at the NAG’s meet and was pretty pumped about the race.  Her goal was to drop 3 seconds in the race.  Instead she dropped her goggles on the dive, and swam her seed time.  She was embarrassed and upset.  She also was not signed up for this race at the November meet because she swims it so often.  I offered Starbucks to cheer her up but while at Starbucks she begged me to email her coach asking him if she could drop something and be added to 100 fly.  I told her no but she was relentless so I finally agreed to ask the coach.  He agreed to let her, said it was fine – she could improve her seed for the December champs meet.

I was “that mom” twice this month.  I’m really not apologetic either.  Swimming is and individual sport that is completely goal driven.  Sarah is going into this meet knowing this is her last shot and if she gets her goal it will get her nothing in life or swimming other than the accomplishment itself.  If she misses she walks away knowing she gave it her all.  Sophie was pissed at herself for losing her goggles and wants a chance to execute a perfect race.  I can’t help them accomplish either of these goals, at this point it is all on them.  Neither are nervous or worried about this weekends meet.  They are prepared to do their best and whatever happens – happens.

The meet is at a slow pool.  I really don’t like it when kids show up for non-championship meets in kneeskins.  My girls do where the speedo fastskins for meets but it has become the norm around here to where a kneeskin for regular non-qualifying meets.  I liken it to where a prom dress to school.  Every day.  It just isn’t necessary.  My kids approach every meet as it is important as the next but I also believe in dressing the part.  Sarah asked to wear her kneeskin for the 50 breast.  I told her it was fine so long as she changed after the race.  Go ahead judge me.  I can take it.  It won’t be the first time.  And I can promise you it won’t be the last.

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8 thoughts on “Redemption swims. Times two.

  1. Are you serious that kids routinely wear kneeskins at normal meets? Wow. That doesn’t fly on our team. You get to wear a kneeskin at your taper meet and maybe another meet if it is a prelim/final. A couple of years ago my daughter tried to put on a kneeskin to try to get a cut at a meet and the asst coach texted her head coach and they made her take it off.

    Our team wants the kids not to rely on the tech suits. I do see swimmers put on kneeskins in Oct & Nov at meets, but if our team tried that they would be told to change. And some kids have been.

    Parents have little input on events. We can ask here or there and sometimes we get what we want, but not that often. And actually I think that is great. I see way too many HS swimmers that totally suck in some strokes or can’t swim a 200 to save their life. I call them incomplete swimmers. Those are swimmer’s whose 50/100/200 times don’t line up like they should.

    But I get the whole idea of one last shot at a 50. What is it really going to hurt. Like you say it is an individual sport. Doing stuff like that here or there is fine. It is when a swimmer never swims breast because she is bad. Of course she is bad because she hasn’t swam the event in 3 years in a meet. That drives me crazy.

    • I am absolutely not kidding. They wear the two tone $400 number from Speedo. As young as nine. Most of them are fast swimmers but also some newbies wear them. I wish the coaches would put a stop to it. It’s just silly. Not only that but the “magic” wears off if that is all you ever wear. I told Sarah she could wear hers but it isn’t a new one either. We get the fastskins at a heavy discount for champs meets so I just let the kids wear them for all meets, they are about the same price as any other suit they would wear to race in.

      Sophie’s coach picks her events. I have never disagreed with anything he has put her in. I’ll tell him before if she wants to swim a certain event, for example she is swimming 200 fly next weekend and it is not in the 9-10 session so I told him she wanted to do it. Sarah’s coach has the kids chose and he may change an event or two. I have no idea how Grace’s are decided – I think the coach talks to them about it.

      My kids each have a 200 they haven’t swam. I decided they all have to do it this year. It won’t kill them. That weak stroke really shows in an IM especially if it is breaststroke!

  2. I remember the first age group invite that I went to on the East Coast just to watch and I was amazed at how many 10u and 12u’s had knee skins on. Even now that is not really the case in AK. I can count on 1 hand how many 10u’s in AK wore them at JO’s last. The fast skins however are worn regularly.

    Kids on my current team may only wear a kneeskin for champ meets. If for whatever reason they show up in one for a regular meet they are quickly told to change or no swim. I too think that they should not be used but for those special occasions, let it be the last chance to get a quad A or that championship meet. There was a kid at the western zone meet who finished 1, 2 or 3 in all of her 10u events. She was the only one in the top heat without a kneeskin and swam just fine.

    In regard to choosing events kids on my team get to declare events they would like to swim for invites. For my groups I do go through and make sure they are capable of everything they signed up for. If not I may change events. I also sometimes add an event if they routinely skip over certain events. For champ meets they also get to let us know what they want to swim but then we discuss them individually make sure that they are the right choices.

    Hope you all were able to get the goggle issues figured out. Good luck to them both this weekend!

    • I told my girls that if they want to be really awesome, go get that cut in your worn out practice suit. That will get you some bragging rights! (They didn’t take me up on it).

      Sophie’s coach put her in 200 fly when she had just turned 10. He said, all I care about is that you get through it, don’t care about the time. She got the 12 and JO cut. Can you imagine if it was my idea? My kids will swim anything their coaches ask. It’s better that way.

  3. I have come to the conclusion if you spend enough time around this sport you will see anything and everything. I have 7.5 years in and have seen tons of crazy stuff.

  4. Its a total pet peeve of mine to see little kids in kneeskins at training meets. Aside from the obvious logic behind not doing it, they just look silly. But I get it – its psychological for the swimmers and if your kid wants to do it for her last 50 -I say let her. My daughter is generally too embarrassed to wear a kneeskin at anything other then a championship meet with trial and finals. I have seen kids wear them for time trials to break a record or get a cut. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but I will tell you, I don’t think it is the suit either way! Good luck this weekend – it is great to have goals, big and small – I hope she gets her time!

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