Our team is like the vast majority of swim teams in the world. We have no real access to long course training pools, and so we train short course all the time. This makes the transition to the long course season difficult, and it makes the first long course meet of the year very, very interesting.
There are a two uncomfortable aspects of the first Long Course [LC] meet.
1) Entry times are very difficult to beat.
This may just be an Ontario thing, but we use a system where entry times for a normal meet generally default to the fastest converted time. Since we’ve just finished our Short Course [SC] season, it generally means converting these times to LC for this meet. The problem is that SwimOntario mandates a 2% SC-LC conversion rate, which is absolutely ridiculous. How ridiculous? About a year ago I did an extensive analysis on SC and LC times, and determined real conversion rates for the different strokes, distances and genders (see here). These rates vary from a low of 1.5% for women’s distance Free to a high of 5.8% for men’s Back.)
So for the first LC meet of the year, we’re taking our fully tapered SC times from last month, adding 2%, and then publishing these times on the heat sheet. Most younger kids, some older ones, and virtually all parents do not understand that these entry times are unrealistic. To them, these times form a binary Good Swim/Bad Swim threshold. It’s a system that is designed to frustrate kids.
Let’s take an example from one of our younger female swimmers at our first LC meet on the weekend.
Last month PB: 200m SC Back: 2:46.46
Add 2% for SC-LC conversion: 2:49.79
Proper 4.4% conversion: …read more
Source: Rick’s Blog