Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet #3

Another week has past and we have seen this young man achieve much at a swim meet. Going into the meet, J a bit nervous as they had assigned to him his first IM in practice. An IM in this league is 100 m, but each 25 m, they switch strokes, from Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke to Freestyle.

J competed in a Medley relay (each member did a different stroke), an individual freestyle, individual breaststroke and the aforementioned IM. Dropping seconds in each event, the biggest difference was with the IM where he dropped over 1 minute from his base time! He was not first in the heat, but he didn't care since he dropped his personal time. "That's the neat thing about swimming---you may not win the race, but you may beat your time," as J would say.

Each of the weekly meets are two teams from the league. There are volunteers for timing-3 people per lane and meet half, volunteers to help the little swimmers, volunteers to be judges, to be scanners, to be computer people, to run the concession stand, to assign ribbons, to calculate scores, to be water runners, to organize the kids into the right lanes and lifeguards for safety. There are referees, and the meet directors and announcers. It is a major undertaking and a lot of work done by the swimmers and parents. That is just for the meet itself. There is also set up and clean up and the duties of the coaches to assign events and to match abilities with the other teams. J's mom has assigned ribbons, making sure that all of the statisitcs for the earner is securely attached to the ribbon won as well as an extra hand during the practices with paperwork, etc. while J is swimming. J's dad is a timer at each of the meets. It really takes everybody to make it happen and work together. J's grandfather was amazed at the precision and effort to make it a success for the kids.

The swim league is based on neighborhoods in the region. J's team would also be considered the city team. The family has had great success with the teams and coaches and couldn't ask for a better. This is J's 2nd year on the team.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Meet #2

Thursday evening, we watched the team swim again as we went against another neighborhood team in the local league. It was a nice evening and the team did well, although J's team did not win. J, however, did quite well, even dropping more than 20 seconds from his previous time for the Butterfly Stroke. He also competed in a Freestyle relay, freestyle and breaststroke. Official times have not come in yet but it appears that J dropped time in all individual events.

We are all still hoping that the weather holds during the morning practices so the kids are not rained on (well, the parents, actually) as they swim their laps and perfect their strokes. J has been annoyed by the drills they have been instructed to execute but is beginning to see how the drills in practice do help in the meets when times and legal strokes count and progress is being made.

On a side note, there seems to be a lot of young boys J's age this year on the time. It has been fun for J to have a group of friends and, in some ways, interesting for his parents to watch him giggle as the girls walk past as they sit at a distance.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Meet #1

We have survived the first meet of the summer season. The team that young J is a part of won, 651 to 569. It has been awhile since the team has beaten this particular opponent. It wasn't just a team success, though. The week before the meet, J was timed in all of his events. At the meet, J competed in 1 relay and in 3 individual events. In his relay, he said they came in 2nd, although the calling of events was so quiet in the beginning, even his parents missed the race.

His individual events, J not only made sure his parents were watching by sending the coach over to get them at the end of the pool, but he dropped about 8 seconds from Freestyle, about 10 seconds from Breaststroke and about 15 seconds from Backstroke. All resulting in very good times for J, especially the first week out. Looking at the official print out at practice this morning, J has also moved from lowest scoring division, the White level, to the middle tier, the Red Level and seemed to be first and second within the Red level. His goal this summer is to move into the top tier, the Blue Level. Scoring divisions are based on each swimmers performance and ribbons are awarded within each division.

Many of the practices this season has been in the rain. J asked his mother when they were going to have a "dry" practice. Although they have yet to look at a weather forecast for the rest of the week, this concept seems to be a bit of an oxymoron. We would all like to get through a week without rain and have a bit of warmer weather return with the sunshine.