Future Target Events:
Try to get your selves entered in a few galas which offer events which you don't normally get chance to do... 200's, 400's?!    

Club Gala Events
Pocklington Times League - Division 1 Champions
Barnsley Minors League - Still in progress

Past Events Analysis:
Pocklington Times League - Division 1 Runners Up
Barnsley Minors League - Division 2 Third Place


posted 10 Oct 2015, 05:18 by Clive Greenhalgh   [ updated 10 Oct 2015, 05:19 ]

Personal bests - September 2014

posted 29 Sep 2014, 15:00 by Clive Greenhalgh

Below are the updated files for our swimmers based on the most recent team gala.  As always if you find any errors or omissions then please let us know and we'll rectify it.

Comparing your times with Britain's best

posted 8 Sep 2014, 14:38 by Clive Greenhalgh   [ updated 8 Sep 2014, 14:42 ]

You know what your personal bests are but how does this compare with other swimmers in the country?  Well the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) issues a swimmer comparison table that they use to grade swimmers across the country.

Below you will find the swimmer comparison report that tells all swimmers where they are in relation to the rest of the country.

AAA grade is national, AA grade is North-East Region, A is County, B is Town, C is the club grading.

Each distance / stroke has an associated grade (as above) and how far you are away to the next grade. Your overall grade is calculated on your highest grade with 3 entries.  If you have any questions then please let Clive know (remember the information is a snapshot and we will update this report every 3 months).

Sorry it's a bit small but there is soooooo much information to give you :)

Personal Bests July 2014

posted 31 Jul 2014, 14:09 by Pete Hardy   [ updated 31 Jul 2014, 14:13 ]

The club records all the times that you achieve and ensure that personal bests are tracked and you are congratulated for your efforts. 

As well as placing the personal bests on the noticeboard we are now going to place them on-line to ensure you can keep an eye on how you are developing.

Let us know if you think we've missed anything and well get on it.

August 2012 - Pushing yourself and being pushed

posted 6 Aug 2012, 00:58 by David Holmes   [ updated 6 Aug 2012, 01:02 ]

I hope you've all been watching the Olympics - not just the swimming but as many sports as you can. There have been some truly inspirational performances from British athletes, Mo Farah, Jess Ennis, Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton and just about any rower you can think of!

What you may not have seen, or paid much attention to is how in the post event interviews all of the GB athletes said how amazing the crowds have been and how their support spurred them on to go harder, faster and for longer. So this got me thinking about a proven psychological concept of external motivation and how people generally perform better with encouragement during their performance than without. 

So that raises a series of interesting questions (which I don't have the full answers for).

1 - Why do we need external encouragement to push ourselves to the maximum? 
2 - What would happen if an athlete ALWAYS trained in front of a loud, encouraging crowd during physically demanding training?
3 - Are there athletes who are able to push themselves absolutely to the maximum without having a crowd?

A coaching friend friend of mine has a great analogy for this idea that external forces can make us push ourselves harder. He talks about how our mind is like an over protective parent, telling us "trying this hard might be bad for us, and we're not used to it so we should stop". The crowd or coach or self motivation in great athletes is like the voice of that cool uncle who tells you "it's OK to do some stupid things, go faster, go further, make it hurt". Maybe we should listen to the cool uncle a little bit more and ignore the sensible voice in our heads telling us to stop because training is hard??

Who will you listen to?

June 2012 - Does training always require 100% effort

posted 6 Jun 2012, 05:41 by David Holmes

The simple and unsurprising answer is YES!  However, that does not mean that you have to swim as fast as you can all the time. 

As you all know, different types of training sets should be done at different speeds. As the speed of the set changes so too should the ratio between mental and physical effort. So there is kind of a scale from 100% physical effort with very little mental effort to 100% concentration with very little physical effort.

Generally, if you're swimming slow you're doing drills - this means you're trying to change and improve your technique and therefore need to think about what you're doing A LOT! You still have to put in a little physical effort to keep good posture and form, but for the most part it's about getting your brain to tell your muscles what to do and also get feed back from them about how these new techniques feel.

In the middle of the scale would be something like a long 200 pace set. This kind of work requires you to hold on to really good stroke and turn technique while being close to maximum physical effort. If you get this kind of set right then you know you've worked hard!!

Finally there is a real sprinters set. If you're goal is to increase turnover, or kick speed then there are certain sets (or parts of sets) which really require very little thought at all - just ask yourself can my arms/legs go any faster?!!?

These are important things to think about and get right in training. If you're not sure where on the scale the set that you're doing should fall, then ask your coach.

May 2012 - Get out what you put in

posted 1 May 2012, 07:20 by David Holmes

One of my favorite quotes is this - 
    "Hard work will always trump talent, unless talent is willing to work hard"

I'm sure you've all known that person who was 'just naturally good' at something, and you'd think that all those athlete's looking for a place on Olympic Teams all over the world right now are all 'just naturally good' at their chosen sport, but that is just not true. It is very, very, VERY rare that someone can get to the top of their sport (or anything else in life) without working their butt off. 

The obvious example of this is Michael Phelps. People saw him win 8 gold medals in the Beijing pool and said 'wow he's talented' or 'he was born to swim' or 'he so fast because his feet are so big!'. What they don't always see or understand is that (by his own admission) he didn't take a day off from swimming for 5 YEARS in the build up to Beijing, just so that he could get all the hard work done. So he swam in the Athens Olympics in 2004 and while every other elite swimmer at those games took a couple of weeks or more off, he got to work preparing for Beijing. That is what got him to the point of being able to compete for all those medals... hard work, motivation, drive, ambition and doing more hard work than the other sometimes 'more talented' athletes he would have to race against.

A less obvious example is Adel - you know the singer who always seems to be at number 1 in the album charts!? Well surely her voice is pure talent? NO. She still has singing lessons!

This is not to say that hard work alone will get you to be the best in the world at whatever you do (pretty sure I could work for YEARS and not sound better than a pub karaoke singer) you do have to have a certain level of skill and natural aptitude towards something to reach that kind of level. What it does mean however, is that you can be a lot better than you are now by dedicating yourself to working hard. 

If you want to swim faster, listen to your coaches, trust that they are telling you the right things to do, try to do them and then go to the extra effort of pushing yourself harder than the coach asks you to.

If you want to get good results at school, listen to your teachers, trust that they are telling you the right things to do, try to do them and then go to the extra effort of doing higher quality work that the teacher asks you to.

  "Hard work will always trump talent, unless talent is willing to work hard" - everyone in our club has talent. EVERYONE. This talent will blossom at different ages, in different things, but it's there. Just work hard enough to get out what you want.

February 2012 - Turns and Breakouts

posted 30 Jan 2012, 07:33 by David Holmes   [ updated 30 Jan 2012, 07:34 ]

We're going to be focusing a lot more on our turns. Right from lane 1 up to the Masters. It's an area where I can see real room for improvement.

Main coaching points will be:
  • Accelerate into the wall in a straight line
  • Get your feet to the wall FAST
  • Get your hands/arms into streamline before you start to push off the wall
  • Push off in a straight line (aiming for the other end of the pool, not the next lane over)
  • Hold onto your speed off the wall and through the first couple of strokes.

December 2011 - Land Training and Skill Transfer

posted 9 Dec 2011, 01:52 by David Holmes   [ updated 12 Dec 2011, 05:31 ]

You may have seen the older swimmers jumping around, skipping or throwing medicine balls on a Saturday. This is to help make them stronger, faster, more powerful and more flexible. 

Land training should be part of every swimming clubs training program because it allows you to strengthen your posture and improve power far quicker than in the pool. Having said that, dryland training doesn't have to be done on the side of the pool or in a gym. For those of you who dance, play football, rugby or basketball or do athletics or gymnastics you are all doing land training. You may not be thinking about it at the time but by doing these other activities you are making yourself a better swimmer. 

Have you ever noticed that someone who plays a couple of sports regularly can generally pick-up new sports really quickly? Well that is, in part, down to the development of their muscles and the way their brain can control different muscle groups effectively. For example, coach Dave played basketball for years and was forever jumping up in the air as high as he could to try and look like Michael Jordan! This meant that his legs became pretty strong and his brain became really good at telling his body to put in a maximum effort when jumping. This skill transferred over to swimming and meant that as soon as the starting signal went in a swimming race, Dave's brain knew how to jump off the blocks as fast as possible, therefore making him a good starter.

So for all of you who do other sports, keep doing them! Also, keep in the back of your mind how they are helping you become a better and faster swimmer.

November - Shoulder Stability

posted 25 Oct 2011, 23:59 by David Holmes   [ updated 26 Oct 2011, 00:01 ]

Prevention is easier that cure!

Lots of swimming can put strain on the muscles around your shoulder. The repetitive movements of length after length can cause an imbalance in the development of your muscles and this in turn can cause impingement on the nerves – causing pain. For a club that can only
offer 3 sessions a week for a maximum of 4.5 hours this really should not be a massive problem, but it is something that the younger swimmers should be aware of if they wish to go further with swimming (most likely through Doncaster DARTES).

The best way to solve the problems related to shoulder injuries is light shoulder stability exercise. Doing these exercises after every swimming session will help prevent any injuries and are also great for those recovering from existing shoulder injuries. The idea behind these exercises is that they allow the smaller muscles around the shoulder to be worked giving a more stable shoulder joint and reduce the chances of the nerves getting squashed by the larger muscles.

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