Below is an interview carried out with myself following our second meet of the season.
Q. How have the first two meets gone?
A. If you look at the results, they’ve been pretty spectacular. Our Personal Best rate [PB] in our first meet in Hamilton was an impressive 87%. The second meet in Guelph has just finished and it looks to be about the same. But these meets are not really about results.
Q. No? What else could they be about? The races are all about times, aren’t they?
A. Not really. Don’t get me wrong, our coaching staff is very pleased with the times. But for early season meets we pay far less attention to the times than we do to the race preparation and technical details of the swim. You see, competition racing is a complex skill all by itself that requires preparation, focus and practice. Not unlike trying to master butterfly, or a dive, or a flip turn. None of our swimmers have competed for many months, and so our competition skills are understandably rusty. As coaches our job is to review what went well in these races, what didn’t go well, and how we can improve things.
Q, Are you saying that PBs and times are not important?
A. PBs and time are always important. It’s the primary measure of a race. When you see the coaches talking to a swimmer after a race, the first thing we do is to congratulate them on the race. But then we talk to the swimmer about how we can go even faster next time. We may move our arms wildly through the air in ways that the swimmer understands but nobody else does. We’re trying to get the swimmer to …read more
Source: Rick’s Blog