Saturday, December 4, 2010

Update on Squad Applications

Dear Swimmers

Thanks so much for all your prompt returns of the feedback form. I have been as busy as a bee sorting through all the information to try and ensure everyone gets the spot in the squad that they wish and so that the lanes are managed as best as they can be.

You can view the preliminary draft version of the Squad List for Summer 2010 / 2011 here now: you can see space is now very tight indeed!

I am still waiting to hear back in particular from the following swimmers:

  • most of the 9.30am squad (M / W / F) and also the Saturday 1.00pm open water skills squad
  • Hannah McKerrchar
  • Bonnie Tollafield
  • Jeremy Buttsworth
  • Christine Lowe
  • Michael S (?)
  • Marie-Therese Hunter
  • Helen McKinnon
  • Nick (?)
  • Lawrence Stubbs
  • Steve Wilson
  • Fiona (?)
  • Kim Smith

...if you could please complete the form as soon as possible at: that would be a real help, thanks!

Here's how it looks (some added pointers):

  1. Looking at the interest in the new squad sessions (Monday at 7am, Tuesday at 6.30pm and Wednesday at 5.30am) I am happy to confirm that certainly Monday at 7am will commence from Monday 3rd January and Wednesday at 5.30am will commence from this Wednesday 8th December. I will wait to see if we get more interest in the Tuesday evening session before committing to this one...of course, please let me know if you'd like to do that one!
  2. IMPORTANT: Rottnest SOLO and DUO swimmers who have been either doubling up the 5.30am and 6.30am sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday at Challenge just recently (or maybe just doing an extra 1-2km into the second session) are kindly advised that it will no longer be possible for you to do this sadly as we get squeezed down to 3 lanes at the new venue. I apologise for the inconvenience of this, however, we have added the Wednesday morning session and will be requesting an extension on this to 7.30am to allow you to get a 2hr totally specific endurance set in mid-week, coupled with our Rottnest Pace Awareness Session and Volume Builder on a Saturday at 5.30am up at Challenge Stadium (if you're not on the email list for this specific session - non-coached - but would like to be, email me back please advising this) and also the Sunday morning long ocean swim. This I feel is more than enough volume for you during the week and should allow you to really focus on the quality of your performance on a Friday morning in particular. Of course, if you're attending at 5.30am and want to pop into another public lane to finish off at 6.30am, then this will be fine.
  3. The 5.30am and 6.30am sessions will go back to starting at these times (as opposed to 5.35am and 6.35am) as usually Claremont are pretty good at letting you through at about 5.26am and obviously you only have a 30s walk to the pool now - yipee! Please be ready to start on time.
  4. I have allocated 8 people per lane in all the sessions, with an additional 3 "buffer" spaces per lane as well. If you are on the buffer list, you can attend. The way this system works is a little "give and take" - we have decided to maintain the flexibility of our Pay As You Go Card system (PAYG) to allow you maximum payment flexibility at the sessions - don't fancy swimming one day and your name is on the list? Not a problem, we won't penalise you for it! This often means that the squad operates with fewer people per lane than we anticipate. Again, this is great for you guys. However, at peak times (i.e. the next 2 weeks and January / February 2011), we do anticipate times when the sessions will be a little busier when everyone nominated may turn up for a session. I hope that you can understand and support this as it all balances out in the wash (as they say), leaving everyone happy, i.e. you the swimmers and us the coaches. Below I have detailed my top tips for good lane swimming etiquette at the busier sessions.
  5. I will still be pushing for that 4th lane in the earlier sessions, and like last summer, I am hoping that this might be possible from 6.45am - I'll keep you posted!

OK, so to finish off then, here are my Top Tips for good lane swimming etiquette at our sessions - follow these and everyone will be happy chappies! Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you back at Claremont Pool from Monday, Paul.


  1. Unless otherwise advised, please use the clock and set-off exactly 5 seconds behind the person in front of you. You do not (and should not) try to catch them up immediately, as whilst this gives you a draft and makes it feel easier, you're not getting the best possible workout that you could and it also annoys the person in front. The coach will announce when drafting is actively encouraged, but especially on drill / technique sets, please keep your distance to allow everyone to perform at their best.
  2. Always keep to the left and swim in a clockwise direction (like you would on the road). Stay close to the lane rope and avoid swimming in the middle of the lane as this is when head-on collisions occur or whacking of arms. This is especially important in Lane 3 (fastest lane) as there is a good range of ability within this lane especially in the faster, harder sessions.
  3. If someone is catching you up and you are aware that they wish to get past you, either pull right over to the left (keep swimming), or better still, when you reach the end of the pool pull off to the left, stop, and let them past here.
  4. Be vigilant when you are pushing off in the middle of a set - is someone coming up to the wall to effectively lap you? If so, don't push off immediately in front of them as this is very frustrating. Let them through and then when it is clear jump into a spot behind them.
  5. Aim to start each and every lap with a good torpedo push off. If you don't know how, check it out here: - it will really pay dividends and make you look quite the "pro"!
  6. When using fins or pull buoys, chances are the speed order (pecking order if you like) of the lane often changes. If you know that you are particularly quick with fins on, don't be afraid to ask to go in front of the person in front of you.
  7. Aim to pace yourself well, this is ultimately what keeps the lane flowing really well and makes the most out of your own practice time. See how here:
  8. Aim to do your drill and technique work to the best of your ability. Don't feel pressured to rush through this aspect of the session. I will quite regularly slide to the back of the lane in the squad which I swim with when working on my technique, even if it means missing the odd lap. A drill worth doing is a drill worth doing well - please always remember that.
  9. Try to keep all your kit neatly organised on the pool deck - a mesh kit bag is highly advisable and prevents other swimmers mistakenly walking off or using your kit. Also, naming your kit in bold black marker is ALWAYS worth doing!
  10. Lastly, be nice to your fellow lane might be early in the morning and you might be a little grumpy normally at this time, but there's never an excuse to get irritable with anyone in the lane. If there's a problem, let the coach know or just diplomatically address it with your swimming buddy. We're all here to have a good time and not feel pressured when we swim.

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