As we head into our first invitational of the year tomorrow I want to pass along a little information that should help everyone prepare for a fun morning. First, the bus is only picking up swimmers at WB at 7:30 (all swimmers participating in the meet have been notified). Second, the meet is taking place at the South Campus of Lyons Township High School. The address is 4900 South Willow Springs Rd, Western Springs, IL 60558. Also, the meet will begin at 9:00 and should run relatively quickly. There are two heats of every event with awards for top 6 immediately following each race. This meet has some of the fastest teams in the state in attendance and is a great chance to race, have fun, and get a feel for the big meets to come with minimal pressure.
Second, congratulations to the girls for a great meet at York on Tuesday. While I do believe that we lost a number of races we should have won, the girls battled overall and learned a great deal. As I said on the bus after the meet, it is great to make our mistakes and miscues now so that we are prepared once October and November roll around. That said, we swam a number of great times considering we were coming off a long weekend and a morning practice.
Third, I want to give special recognition to Natalie Obrzut for being recognized as our team Golden Goggle winner at York. Natalie is our second first year swimmer to win the award which is a great sign for the future. Natalie was nominated by the captains for her great swims in both relays and the backstroke, as well as her work ethic (as her picture on the website shows) and attitude. Congratulations Natalie and keep up the hard work.
Fourth, our season really gets rolling once we hit Monday afternoon. My plan is for our training to find another gear, while also doing what we can to win conference meets moving forward. This definitely takes a step up mentally but I believe we are up to the challenge. Two ways I believe we can get there are by looking at the two articles Here and Here.
As to the meets, obviously we are at a disadvantage with no divers this season, but that only means we need to be creative with lineups and need a number of girls to step up along the way. However, we are not going to have a chance to do this if we are not in the pool healthy. It is imperative that as the weather shifts the girls are dressed appropriately and are eating right and sleeping enough. All of the swimmers need to have some sort of long sleeve garment with them after every practice, and I cannot believe I am saying this, but shoes are mandatory. There has been a rash of illness going around and we need to get in front of it. Further, the girls need to make sure they are eating quality food and not chips, hollow calories, and other foods that detract from performance. Thus, here are some ideas for things to avoid and be mindful of. Lastly, I am a firm believer that unless it is homework related, the swimmers should be screen free by 10/10:30 every night. There is no benefit from staying up later by clicking through twitter or Instagram. Sleep is king and any way to maximize it is crucial. Don't Believe Me? Check It Out Here.
Lastly, while it is still a few weeks away I wanted to get out information regarding Senior Night. This year, due to our rotating calendar it will be at Hinsdale South on 10/1/15. The Hornets have been kind enough to invite us to celebrate our seniors on the same night they do. We will have a ceremony at the meet and will also have a small meal with both teams after the meet is over. There will be more details to come in the next week or so, but I wanted to get out the date so anyone that may need to be notified or may need to take off work has a chance.
Sorry for being long winded as usual but I want everyone to be in the know.
As we head into the long weekend there are a few things I need to communicate briefly. First, thank you to all of the parents and supporters that showed up to our meet Wednesday at Vernon Hills (and a special thank you for the food). While it was not the outcome we wanted on the Varsity level, the JV came away with a win and as a team I believe we learned a great deal. As I have said to the girls over and over throughout this young season we keep showing “flashes” of our talent but have yet to put it all together. Our plan is to work on consistency and to improve on doing the little things (turns/starts/breakouts/etc.) better in the coming weeks.
Next, as we head into the long weekend there are a few updates to be aware of. First, practice on Saturday is still from 8:00-10:00 at AT as usual. However, due to Centennial closing early on Monday we were forced to move our practice up to 10:30-12:30 without a bus for transportation. While I understand that this may impose on previous plans it is important that the girls do whatever they can to attend practice since we will be competing against York and Riverside Bookfield on Tuesday at 5:00 at York High School in Elmhurst. Also, there are still morning practices at both schools on Tuesday morning before the meet. While our goal is to swim fast, we have larger goals for the end of the season we need to continue to work towards. As for the meet at Lyons Township on the 12th, that will be a meet for mostly Varsity swimmers only. It is possible for a few F/S or J/V to swim up but that number will likely only be a handful.
Further, please check out the website for a few new additions. I have added a section of video from the meet at VHHS and will continue to do so for every meet this season. While I will not be able to upload every race it is still worth looking at and evaluating ourselves and teammates. Second, we have added a section about our team Golden Goggles Award. This is an award that our captains vote on after every meet. This past week they selected Brianna Richardson for her accomplishments and attitude at VH. Congrats to Bri and I cannot wait to see who steps up next. Finally, ATWB received a little press in the Daily Herald regarding the upcoming season and some swimmers to watch. The link to the article can be found here DuPage County Preview if you want to check it out.
Lastly, as we get ready for our next few competitions it is important that we correct those “little” errors. One thing that jumped off the tape at me was our collective team struggles in breaststroke and specifically our breaststroke turns. We will be spending some time working on this stroke in particular with every swimmer over the next few days and looking through these Breaststroke Slides is definitely a great way to familiarize yourself with some of the terminology I will be using. Further, whether you every want to swim breast or not we can still work on open turns as a group. This video does a really nice job of slowing down what a great open turn should look like. Yes, it is Lochte and he is incredible, but the fundamentals are things that can translate regardless of overall times.
Sorry for being long winded but hopefully this answers a number of questions some of you may have had. Thank you again for everything you do to support ATWB and all of the people that make it so special.
As week 4 is now underway, there is some information I want to be sure to communicate with all parents and swimmers as we finally get ready for our first meet of the season. First, that I have been extremely impressed with the work ethics and attitudes of the team as a whole. We are at a point where things are no longer new and bodies are starting to get sore, while homework is also mounting and everyone is starting to get tired. It is very easy to lose focus and/or begin to mail it in somewhat. However, we absolutely cannot afford to do this, especially with under 40 practices remaining until taper on the varsity level and even fewer for those tapering for conference. Parents, please encourage your swimmer to challenge themselves on a daily basis and swimmers be sure to stay focused in order to put yourself in the best possible situation moving forward. This article from NCAA Champion Ivy Martin may help to put things in perspective Ivy Martin Talks Meet Prep and provides a great look at a positive mindset.
With that said, here are a few pieces of information regarding the meet tomorrow night at Vernon Hills.
1.) The meet is technically scheduled to start at 5:00 but will likely begin later due to the time it takes for us to travel to VH and warm up. In all likelihood I would guess that we begin sometime around 5:15/5:20.
2.) Wheeling High School has dropped out of the meet tomorrow so it will not just be a true dual between us and VH. This does provide some more swims for us as a team but as a smaller team it also puts us at a bit of a disadvantage from a point standpoint. However, it will still be a great measuring stick regarding where our team is at this point.
3.) The meet will roughly take 2-2.5 hours to complete and will take place on both the Varsity and JV levels. Swimmers will compete at the level Coach Murphy and myself believe they are best suited for at this particular meet. They may move up or down at future meets depending on our discretion. It is our goal to put all swimmers in the best possible positions to succeed and we believe we are on the right track with that goal.
4.) If this is your first high school meet you will definitely notice some differences between it and a club or park district meet. First, each swimmer is allowed to swim a maximum of 4 events. Within that stipulation they are allowed a maximum of two individual events. Thus they may do 2 individuals and 2 relays, or 3 relays and one individual, or maybe only 2 and 1 depending on the lineups we devise. Each swimmer will compete in at least two events, but more than that is at our discretion depending on scoring.
5.) The order of events is also different from other meets with each event being swam twice, once as JV and then again as Varsity. Order of events is as follows.
a. 200 Medley Relay
b. 200 Freestyle
c. 200 IM
d. 50 Free
e. Diving/10 Minute Break
f. 100 Butterfly
g. 100 Freestyle
h. 500 Freestyle
i. 200 Freestyle Relay
j. 100 Backstroke
k. 100 Breaststroke
l. 400 Freestyle Relay
6.) It is imperative that all athletes get to sleep as early as possible tonight to ensure they are rested and ready to go for the meet tomorrow. Also, they should plan to bring a snack and/or drink to have prior to the meet. The athletes should not go into competition hungry or dehydrated.
7.) Thank you again to Lisa Morrone for organizing food for after the meet. This is truly a great thing for all of the athletes and is greatly appreciated.
8.) Yes, there is still morning practice Thursday morning.
I hope this provides some clarity and I cannot wait to see what we are able to do as a team tomorrow. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns that may arise.
Parents and Swimmers,
Welcome to week 3 of the season! As hard as it is to believe, we have a meet at Vernon Hills High School one week from today. However, before I get to the meet I want to go over a few other pieces of information.
1.) Team Captains – I am incredibly pleased to announce that our team captains for the upcoming season will be Annalise Morrone, Meghan Koterba, and Melissa Johnston. These three young women have proven to be not only accomplished swimmers, but also strong leaders and great teammates. I am thrilled to see what they are able to do as the role models for the rest of the team.
2.) Team Apparel – There should be one more shipment of team apparel coming out in the next day or two. The company was trying to ship as much as they could as fast as they could, hence the issue with some people not receiving their entire order. This should be remedied in the next few days. That said, if you would like to continue to order apparel or items, the team store will remain open all season.
3.) Training – At this point in the season the girls should be rounding into shape for the most part. That does not mean that they are where they all need to be, but Coach Murphy and I have seen some great progression in ability and stamina over the past few weeks. This is likely due to the great attendance we have seen to this point at both in water and dryland practices. Also, the varsity team completed a test set yesterday that will be used to chart growth and progression throughout the season. Info and results can be found here. Test Set 8/25
4.) New Team Website – Over the past few days I have spent a great deal creating a new team website for ATWB. I believe that it is the best way to provide information with all of you. It has everything from schedules, to training tips, to meet results (once we get going), to archived results, to location information, team information, captain information, and even great team pictures. Please explore it here New ATWB Team Site and provide me with any feedback you would like to share. I want to make it something the team can use and enjoy. With that said I will only be sending emails through gmail and not 8to18 any longer. If you did not receive this email from gmail you need to email me and have me add you to the list.
5.) Meet at Vernon Hills – As I mentioned earlier we are one week away from our first meet at Vernon Hills High School. This meet is always a great test for us and is a chance to get things rolling. This is a far meet and usually has the girls getting home around 9:00 so please be warned. However, it is our furthest meet and the others will not follow such a late timeline. The meet will be run on the Varsity and J/V levels, and swimmers will be alerted to their events on Tuesday. Finally, busses will run from WB to AT to VH and back in that same order. Swimmers must take the bus to and from meets due to school policy.
6.) Final Tips – I wanted to take a few moments to share a few articles that I believe are beneficial for all swimmers and parents to read. There is a great website called swimswam.com that provides some great ideas for swimmers and coaches and is generally work your time to check out. As we get going in the season I picked out a few articles that I believe are worth taking a look at. One Thing You Can Do - Ways To Encourage Great Relationships - What To Do When You Are Ready To Achieve Your Goals - Rules for a Great Swim Please take some time and again share any feedback you may have.
That is more than enough information for now but please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have at any point. Thank you for all that you do and have a great day.
To this point the team is off to a great start. We currently have 32 girls on the roster with a great deal of freshman and sophomores leading the way. Hopefully the girls are getting into the rhythm of the school year to this point and are preparing for what the season is like with the added commitment of school. I understand that there is a great deal going on with morning dryland and afternoon practice but with our lack of pool time it is essential that we get in the extra work when we can. Lastly, we are only a week away from Vernon Hills and we need to clean up a few things here and there. It is extremely important that the girls are ready to not just work on conditioning, but also on correcting the small things like turns, starts, and breakouts.