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2017 Coach's Corner

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WEEK 7

A WIN at our last home meet! So very proud of the Seals! I loved seeing so many kids swim on relays together.

Our focus this week is LAST ONE, FAST ONE! We have put in 7 weeks of hard work and now it’s time to fine-tune the details for Champs! Small bursts of speed, great dives, turns, and fast finishes.

We are swimming at a beautiful indoor pool on Saturday. It is the exact same size as our home pool although it will be set up differently. There will be a large bulkhead (think of it as a divider) that creates two 25-yard pools; the boys are on one side and the girls are on the other. There is also a diving well. For warm-ups we will be split up in the pool and diving well. Please note that the diving well can be very cool to swim in but also intimidating because it is so deep. If any Seal does not want to warm up in the diving well, please have them tell us, we will make sure they stay in the main pool.

I know nerves can come along with this being the last big meet and it is set in an unfamiliar pool. We will talk this week about why it will be just like swimming at all the other pools this season.

Is the water wet? YES

Is it 25 yards? YES

Are there black lines on the bottom of the pool and wall? YES

Will we focus on ourselves in races and swim fast for best times? YES

Will the coaches & parents be there cheering for you? YES

Will you sit with all your friends? YES

At Champs we want everyone to show their SEALS PRIDE! Wear team tees/caps and lots of ORANGE!!!

We only have three days of practice this week. There is no practice on Friday June 23rd, it is a rest/travel day.

The end of season party is June 25th at the pool from 3-6pm. The awards take place over by the volleyball court. Pizza will be served! The first few lanes closest to the volleyball court will be open for the Seals to swim. Please bring your own chairs, picnic blankets and pop-up tents (for shade).

Ok, I am starting to get emotional… The coaches and I always feel like the season goes by so fast! We LOVE working with all your children! We have soooo many fond memories and great moments throughout the season. As we move into our last week (sniff, sniff) the coaches wanted to share some of our favorites from the first 7 weeks…

-Miles S. mastering the bellyflop

-Harper H. at the stingrays meet crushed the butterfly for the first time. She and her dad were so excited

-Coach Austin knocking over the flags at the SAAB meet

-Libby telling us she once swallowed $1.75

-Magnus going under 3 lane lines during practice

-Fred celebrating his time drop and heat ribbon with his mom was awesome

-Caleb E. and the epic hat head tap competition

-Watching Evan dance at the SAAB meet

-Coach Cole flipping Coach Leah Elena off her float

-S.E.A.L.S - The new epic parent/coach relays (think the kids liked the poop emoji float the best)

-Watching Gage run to his parents with his heat ribbon and his Dad lifting him up in the air

-Having so many twins on relays together throughout the season

-Amir's amazing butterfly at the last home meet

-Addison L. touching with both hands at the last meet to get a legal time

-The epic water polo games in Session 4/5

-Brody J. asking for a piggy-back ride while being completely covered in sand

-Aiden K. running up to Samie after getting a heat ribbon

-Being swarmed by kids every single game of sharks and minnows

-Sai running up to Abby and asking her to watch her race

-Coach Alex was not in the water for his workout session yet he tripped, tried catching himself and fell into the pool

-Brooklyn learning her butterfly kick and watching her rhythm kinda click

-Coach Kainoa introducing “Navy Seals” workout into Session 5

-Jadon running to his grandparents, almost in tears, screaming "I didn't get last!" He has a huge heart!

-Mallory T. went from not being able to even get up on the blocks, to a perfect dive off the blocks in a matter for 5 minutes

-Mia M. did a 50 in the relay when another child was in tears (she only needed to do a 25)

-When the littles do a cannonball before their backstroke at a meet

-Looking at all the FB pictures from Dana after fun-days and meets

-Two particular little boys were nervous for their IM and asked LEM to give them advice

-Coach Austin making the oldest group do sprints or a hard set and would get so into it. It was awesome to see how passionate he would get

-The ice cold towels! The kids actually loved those too

Again these are just a few memories and we can’t wait for more in our last week and at Champs!

Let’s go have some FUN and race FAST!

GO SEALS!

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WEEK 6

SEALS! We saw lots of fast swimming, new legal times and huge gains this past Saturday. It was clear to the coaches that the kids were ready to race! Last week during practice we talked about diving in and getting going fast right away during races - in a 25 or 50 yard race there is not time to build up your speed slowly. We told them this is why the speed work we do during practice is very important and will translate into fast times at meets - and it did!

We have the BEST parents in the world on the Seals. This week is PARENT APPRECATION! Without our supportive parents the Seals could not happen. By getting your child on swim team you have given them a huge gift – not only do they get to be a part of all of our fun but they will be safe swimmers for the rest of their life. Thank you to every parent that volunteers their time in support of the Seals!

This Saturday is the last opportunity to get an official time for Champs. You can only sign up for events at Champs that you have an official time (no NT allowed). This is also the last meet that we will give everyone a chance to be on a relay that wants to be. For Champs the computer will generate the fastest possible A, B, C relays based on in-season official times. At Champs the swimmers will have the option to start off the blocks for their races, which can be a big advantage in races. We will continue to practice off the blocks, as well as off the side, over the next two weeks.

We have four practices this week and three the following. There is no practice on Friday June 23rd - it’s a rest and travel day prior to Champs in College Station.

Theme for the last home meet is COWGIRLS & COWBOYS! Let’s rope and hog-tie the competition!

GO SEALS!

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WEEK 5

Congrats to the Seals on another great meet and a WIN! We loved all the spirit of Crazy Hats, Parent/Coach’s relay = S.E.A.L. (Seriously Entertaining And Laughable) and lots of cheering! It is so easy to get caught up focusing on winning or excelling in sports, so it’s good to take time out to have fun and be silly, and usually what happens is the kids start swimming fast without thinking about it. The other team’s coaches complimented the Seals on their sportsmanship and spirited environment – this makes me very, very proud of our team! There were lots of time drops and kids getting their first legal time in fly and breast. All the coaches loved watching these accomplishments – the hard work is paying off!

After meets the coaches and I talk about what improvements we saw and what we need to work on. As the season has gone on the amount of DQ’s from the meets has dropped a ton! If your Seal still needs extra help to get a legal stroke, please have them ask the coach in their lane to watch them closely. With only three weeks left we want to help them fine-tune their strokes, starts, turns and finishes. Practices become very important! We will make sure everyone stays focused on themselves in workouts.

Our coaching crew is the best around! I constantly stand back in awe and look at how skilled, educated, kind, and fun our coaches are and want to take time to thank them! This week is COACH APPRECIATION WEEK! Give them an extra hug, homemade card or a big thank you! Most of them are working more than one job in the summer to pay for college and cars/gas. Let them know they have to come back every year to help your swimmers continue to learn to love the sport like they do! They put their whole heart into our season. Big congratulations to Coach Austin who just graduated from Bowie High School last week and will be attending Texas Tech in the fall – we are proud of you!

We have two home meets and then Champs. Moving forward we will not be using the Timing Meet times to enter meets. Only official times from the regular meets. There is plenty of time to get legal times prior to Champs! Swimmers are only allowed to sign up for Champs with an in-season legal time and no NT’s (No Times) allowed.

Arghhhhhh! The theme for this Saturday is PIRATES! Eye patches, bandanas, gold earrings, parrots, gold coins! Shiver Me Timbers - I can’t wait to see everyone swim fast as we make the other team Walk The Plank!

Remember practices are now Tuesday-Friday, same times.

GO SEALS!

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WEEK 4

A huge congrats to the Seals on the first WIN of the season! I know it was a long, warm meet and that the pool posed challenges to even the most seasoned swimmers (shallow, narrow lanes, low lane lines at the wall, higher walls, quiet starter) but, boy, did we also have some fast and fun swimming! All week we talked about the pool and encouraged the swimmers to have a positive attitude, especially in unfamiliar territory and unusual circumstances. The good news is the next three meets will be held at our pool so we know what to expect :) A HUGE thank you to all the volunteers and parents who hung tough in the heat!

Can you believe the Seals season is halfway over!?! I can't! The month of May is always a little tricky with rainouts but I hope for the next four weeks we can have some great practices and meets!

Our focus in practice this week will be PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Practices are only 35-55 mins for the different groups and we try to squeeze in as much as we can. There are times we stop to work on technique, dives, streamlines and turns. I need all the Seals to be working on these things at all times, even when the coaches are not stopping them to watch. Everyone should have amazing streamlines off every push off and dive - streamlining is the easiest way to go faster and is the fastest way to travel in the water. Everyone in session four and five should be doing a legal flip turn or touch turn at every wall, depending on the stroke, at all times during practice. This repetition only helps them get more comfortable for meets. I saw a lot of heads up on dives and many “feet first” dives at the meet. I know these Seals are doing better dives in practice so we will continue to work on them so their practice will translate into better dives at meet. A lot of things change at meets (nerves, loud cheering, etc) but practice makes perfect for meets over time!

It has been mentioned on the Facebook page but wanted to remind you that the ribbon box will be at practice throughout the week. I have spoken to the team that it's not about how many ribbons you get. Every Seal is at different levels of their summer swimming. The coaches love seeing the ORANGE ribbons. These mean the swimmer improved their time. Improvements in times mean they are working hard in practices, focusing on their technique to get faster and having fun racing! Swimming is mostly an individual sport in a team setting so we encourage individual improvements. We hope to see a lot of orange ribbons as we move forward into the second part of our season!

Please pay close attention when signing up for meets, particularly with relays. If there is a chance they will not be able to make the relay because of another planned activity or that they do not like relays, please mark them unavailable. We spend a lot of time organizing relays and we don’t want those Seals who can swim to lose out on a good relay experience. Thank you!

A few reminders about how to finish a race in a meet:

  • Back and Free only require a one-hand touch at the finish (it’s not illegal to touch with two hands, it’s just much slower).
  • Breast and Fly require a simultaneous two-hand touch at the finish.

All the coaches are happy to talk to and work with anyone who had a DQ in their race this week so next time they can improve and go for a legal time!

The theme for the home meet on Saturday is CRAZY HATS! I can't wait to see what everyone can find in their costume boxes!

There is no practice tomorrow Monday May 29th, so only 3 days of practice this week. Starting the week of Tuesday June 6th we switch to the summer schedule of practices Tuesday-Friday.

GO SEALS!

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WEEK 3

It may have been one of the Seals' shortest meets but it was great while it lasted. I know many kiddos were bummed that they never got to swim, but not to worry - we still have four in-season meets and Champs to race and get best times!

As you may recall this past week was sportsmanship week. I think the Seals out did themselves in this arena at our mini-meet. There was so much cheering, high-fiving and all-around positivity! I expect this to carry on through the rest of the season. And let’s talk about the grass shirts, leis, and sarongs – I loved seeing everyone sporting their Hawaiian spirit. It helped lift the early morning fog and was just plain fun!

This Saturday we will swim at Shady Hollow. It is a 25 meter pool so this will change stroke counts in backstroke and turns. We will make sure that we focus on turns and finishes during the warm-up Saturday.

The theme for the meet is Super Heroes! Dust off your super hero capes and let’s show Shady Hollow how the Super Seals swim fast!

Relays are one of the most fun parts about swim team! Our goal is to give every Seal a chance to swim a relay if they want to swim one. Since we did not get a chance to swim the medley relay the computer will still generate those this coming meet. Moving forward we will always put together our fastest possible relay for the A and then look who has not done a relay and form as many relays as we are allowed. Reminder that 6 and unders only swim the free relay - no medley.

This week we will focus on HARD WORK! There is no substitute for hard work. It is very important that the Seals work hard during practices if they want to improve. This also means they have to stay focused especially when we are working on becoming legal in breaststroke and butterfly. Hard work can sound scary but our job as coaches is to make practices have a positive feeling so Seals don’t realize that hard work can be fun!

I want to remind all Seals to not sweat the small stuff. If we can be examples to our children that it’s ok to make mistakes or not always have the right answer and that showing up is half of the challenge - we will be a stronger team. There are so many layers to swim team - getting your family ready, volunteering, helping kiddos become legal in their strokes - that it's easy to get wrapped up and miss what's going on around us. I want us all to pause and enjoy the beauty of summer league - five-year olds on the same team as 18 year olds, hours playing at the pool, eating too many sweets from the Circle C café, burying each other in the volleyball sand, going through 5 bottles of sunscreen in one week, adults on lounge chairs – chatting and making life long friends. This is what makes summer league swimming special and it’s why all the coaches love being a part of your families lives!

There is no practice next Monday for Memorial Day. We will be on weather watch again for the beginning of the week. Let’s go practice hard and have some fun!

GO SEALS!

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WEEK 2

We were able to avoid the bad weather for the first three days of practice this past week and get in some quality work. I know there were many sad Seals on Thursday when we had to cancel because of the storm. Not to worry - we have fun day every week!

This week we are working on SPORTSMANSHIP! Seals are known for being kind, supportive swimmers – not only to their own teammates but also to their opponents. One thing we encourage all swimmers to do is stay in the water after finishing their race until all swimmers have finished - it’s a sign of respect to stay in the water. Our first official meet is this Saturday at SAAB so we will talk to the swimmers all week about being good sports - saying good job, giving high fives, smiling at the end of races.

Please, please label all your gear and double check that your Seals have all their items before leaving the pool. The Seals lost and found box is getting full.

Our meet theme is Hawaiian! Leis, grass shirts, ugly Hawaiian shirts, whatever you have! I wonder what the coaches will be wearing…

Make sure you are signed up for Remind for last minute practice weather updates. Text @seals2017 to 81010.

Let’s have an awesome 3rd week of practices!

GO SEALS!

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WEEK 1

Week 1 of Seals 2017 is in the books. What a fun, fast, whirlwind of a week - four practices (one was fun day) and the timing meet! We tried to squeeze as much as we could into the first week of practice. We were aware that we were entering our timing meet with a short amount of practices so we are very proud of everyone. We saw lots of great racing, time improvements from returning Seals, and kids doing new and unfamiliar things. Many Seals swam in their first ever swim meet, some tried new events, and some moved from racing 25’s to 50’s. These are all huge accomplishments!

The timing meet ran smoothly and was ahead of schedule thanks to all the amazing volunteers. The Seals really know how to run a seamless meet! Way to go!

This week we had a great group of volunteer junior coaches on deck and in the water. We rely on these kiddos to assist with the younger Seals. Many are veterans on the team and have waited patiently to be old enough to help out. We can’t thank them enough!

Many of the coaches come directly from school and do not have a chance to eat or drink until midway though the practices. Thank you to all those who have donated to the coach’s account at the café! The café donations help get us through the hot afternoons and we all appreciate it!

Next weekend there is not a meet - we will take time to celebrate all the MOMS on Sunday! That means we have two weeks of quality practices to work on starts, turns, build stamina and learn more on how to become legal in all four strokes.

This week is GOAL SETTING week. We will talk to the kids about two types of goals: short-term and long-term. I want each Seal to set a short-term goal for season related to their swimming. We then will talk about what it will take to achieve their short-term goal. We still have five in-season meets and the championship meet to accomplish their goal!

See you Monday-Thursday!

GO SEALS!

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