Category Archives: Club

Living a Balanced Swim Life

Living a Balanced Swim Life

With the new season just around the corner, and it, potentially, being a big one I thought it was important to share this with you.

This is a copy of a post by Will Jonathan//Contributor  | Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The link to the original article is here

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teamlarne

 

It was Allison Schmitt, an 8-time Olympic medalist for Team USA, who said a very important swim-quote that I think all swimmers need to really listen to and absorb. She said:

“Swimming is such a small part of life. Yes, I love it. But at the end of the day, it’s just a sport. Whether you finish first or last, you’re still loved by the same people, and you still are who you are.”

A perspective like this isn’t always very-well accepted within competitive sport, even swimming. The common perception is that, to be successful in something, one must treat the sport as if it were their very existence—the sole reason they wake up each day and the absolute most important thing in their life. It has to be an obsessive passion. While having a passion for swimming is certainly an important, and even necessary, ingredient to excel at it and do well, even too much passion is a bad thing.

Psychologically, there are two different forms of passion. And, these two different forms of passion comprise what is called The Dualistic Model of Passion. Let’s take a look at these two different forms of passion, and we’ll start with the first one:

Obsessive Passion – When your passion for swimming becomes all-consuming. You have difficulty pulling yourself away from the sport, and your identity as a person is tied to your swimming. It is fueled by external motivators and an unhealthy desire for external success/material success.

Scientific research on the effects of obsessive passion are well-documented and thoroughly studied, and have yielded the following results:

  • Tying your sense of validation and self-worth to the results of your swimming.
  • Becoming more passionate about the results of your swimming rather than the pleasure and fulfillment of swimming itself.
  • Developing an extremely harsh and debilitating self-criticism towards yourself and your swimming.
  • Failures & setbacks are seen as personal attacks against you rather than simply obstacles to overcome.
  • An unhealthy, never-satisfied attitude for more; more medals, more records, and more validation.
  • A far-greater tendency to consider cheating or other forms of unethical behavior in order to attain external success, no matter the cost.

Obsessive Passion is passion taken too far, and it can lead to these kinds of negative side-effects that breed an extremely unhealthy mindset and will inevitably lead a swimmer down the path to physical and mental burnout and walking away from the sport.

However, as I mentioned previously, passion is still a necessary ingredient for performing well and succeeding. So, how does one have a passion for swimming, while at the same time, not allow that passion to devolve into something that’s all-consuming? By cultivating what is called Harmonious Passion:

Harmonious Passion – When your passion for swimming is in a healthy, balanced state. You’re able to disconnect yourself from the sport when necessary and your identity/self-worth as a human being isn’t tied to your swimming. It is driven by internal motivators and healthy desire for both external success and internal fulfillment.

Just like with Obsessive Passion, the effects of Harmonious Passion are thoroughly studied and well-documented, and yield the following results:

  • You become more interested in the joy and satisfaction the activity of swimming itself gives you rather than the external rewards it can give you.
  • You increase your overall levels of happiness, health, and overall life satisfaction.
  • You’re much more likely to continue in the sport over a prolonged period of time and are far less likely of experiencing physical or mental burnout.
  • You experience greater internal fulfillment from your growth and improvement as a swimmer.
  • You’re able to voluntarily pull yourself away from swimming when necessary and have a life outside of swimming.
  • Your sense of self-worth and personal validation is not tied to the results, rewards, outcomes, or goals you achieve or don’t achieve in swimming.

THIS is the kind of passion you want to have as a swimmer – the kind of passion that gives you the emotional drive and commitment to perform and succeed, while at the same time, providing the mental and physical balance you need to maintain a healthy, happy mindset and not burn yourself out.

If you think your passion towards swimming is a bit too all-consuming and leaning more towards the obsessive side of passion, here are some things you can do to help foster a more Harmonious Passion towards your swimming moving forward:

1. Use Positive Language Towards Your Swimming.

We’ve all heard phrases like, “Ugh, I HAVE to go to practice at 6am tomorrow morning” or “I HAVE to get my dry-land work in this afternoon”. It may seem like no big deal, but the language being used here really can make a difference. When you tell yourself you have to do something, it gives off the implication that you’re having to force yourself to do it against your will, and the moment swimming starts to feel like something you have to force yourself to do rather than something you want to do, you’re in trouble.

Instead, be mindful of the kind of language you’re using when talking about swimming and try to transition to phrases that are more positive and empowering. For example, instead of saying, “Ugh, I HAVE to go to practice at 6am tomorrow morning”, switch that to, “I can’t wait to go to practice tomorrow morning” or “Tomorrow morning, I get to go to practice and continue improving at this sport I love.” That’s a BIG difference, and will allow swimming to feel like something you choose to do rather than something you feel like something you have to forceyourself to do.

2. Leave Swimming At The Pool.

I cannot stress too much just how important this one is. It’s so easy, when you’ve had a bad day at the pool, to drag that home with you and let it have a negative effect on the rest of your day, and sometimes beyond that. As a consequence, you suffer, the people around you suffer, and your levels of happiness suffer. When you’re done with swimming for the day, especially after a really bad day at the pool, always make sure to leave your swimming at the pool. Disconnect from it as best as you can and don’t carry that baggage home with you. When a practice or meet is finished for the day, leave it behind you and allow yourself to enjoy the other areas and people of your life outside of the sport without constantly dragging swimming around with you.

3. Have Other Hobbies & Do Other Things That Aren’t Swimming Related.

One of my swimming clients loves to read about ancient history in her time away from the pool. One of my other swimming clients loves to go kayaking when he’s not swimming. Justin Ress, a US National Team member and former swimmer for NC State, loves to play Fortnite and stream it on Twitch. Caeleb Dressel, one of the best swimmers on the planet, loves to play Mario Kart! Whatever it is you love to do, it doesn’t matter. It’s simply important that you have something outside of swimming that you can enjoy doing and allow yourself to use as a mechanism to help you disconnect from swimming. This helps to keep your motivation levels sustained and does a really great job at staving off burnout.

Love your swimming. Be committed to it, be disciplined, be dedicated, and give it absolutely everything you can. Be passionate about it. However, balance those out by always remembering the following: You are not a swimmer. You’re a human being that swims. That distinction is very, very important. You’re not just a swimmer. You’re a valuable, amazing human being that does swimming. As Allison Schmitt said, it’s an important part of your life, but it’s only part of your life.

 

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Season 2019 – a snapshot

Its been a while since I put anything on this……but its gonna be a big year and I thought I’d get back on it again. So to get us up and running this is a copy of an article posted in Larne Times last week.

 

July 2018 and the focus of Irish swimming was firmly on the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Larne swimming club was no different to any other club.

It is safe to say that for the small regional club the meet didn’t go as planned. Team ambassador Danielle Hill dislocated her elbow in the warm-up on day 2 and was unable to compete. The team struggled to compete as their talisman was sent home.

Danielle would subsequently be told that she needed surgery, an operation that would mean no swimming at all for 4 months.

As the rest of the team got back to training in late August with sessions in Larne’s Tower Leisure Centre and essential part of the necessary training program. The staff and Councils willingness to facilitate the club is invaluable.

Danielle started on the road to recovery. The S & C team and physio in SINI (sports institute Northern Ireland) and the doctors at Ulster Rugby got to work rebuilding the elbow.

At Christmas, while many of their peers where relaxing this dedicated group gave up their holidays and went on a residential camp. Foundation movement skills, mindfulness, sports psych and nutritional workshops where the order of the day along with double swim sessions every day.

By January Danielle had started to swim a little, slowly and with some very basic movements but still – swimming. The squad rallied around her and helped to keep her moral high as frustration started to grow (and more than a little impatience).

A trip to compete in Lisbon and this group of young athletes started to galvanize as a team. Our #Teamlarne is more than just empty words, this group is a team in an individual sport, they support each other and push each other to exceed their own expectations.

At Irish Nationals in April – rehab complete and confidence high (despite a forced switch to the 50 free from the 100 back due to a potential weakness in the elbow) but with only 10 weeks of work, Danielle set a new Irish Senior Record in the 50 BC and lowered her person best in the 100BC but ultimately missed out in her bid to qualify for the world university games in the summer.

TEAM

The re-set button was pressed and the focus set on Irish Summer Nationals, a competition that the club has traditionally had around 6 swimmers competing in recent years. This year – 19 athletes travelled to Dublin, a signal that this is a club moving forwards in a big way.

Day one and up stepped Ben Woodside, 16, in the 100 breaststroke. The 1st swim of a meet can set the tone for the whole team and Ben didn’t let us down, breaking the Ulster Junior record – a fantastic swim.

BEN NATIONALS

Day two and Danielle stepped up breaking the Irish Senior Record in the 50 free and Ben went again in the 200 Breast taking a second Ulster Junior record. Day three and yet again Danielle steps up and smashes her own record in the 50 Back setting a time that would have taken a silver in the world university games and placed 11th in the world championships. There was still more to come on day 4 with both the 100 free and 100 back being Northern Ireland very own Iron Lady Danielle decided to race both, the 100 free say record 3 fall to Danielle breaking Sycerika McMahons 2013 record which had been set at the world championships. Incredibly, in a first for Irish swimming, Danielle set her 4th Irish Senior Record of the meet in the 100Back a record held by Aisling Cooney (another Olympian).

DANIELLE

Finals by James Strutt (in his 1st national event), Jamie Clements and Ellie Falls and a silver medal for the mixed medley relay team of Jamie, Ben, Ellie and Danielle rounded of the best national meet for the Larne Swim team.

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The support team surrounding this team is incredible, Nutrition from Julianne Larkin, the many S&C coaches utilising their expertise, the physios the sports psychologists and the coaching staff in Larne Swim Club working together to support each athlete to achieve their goals. Of course the facilities managers and owners are also a huge part of the success and need to be thanked, Larne Leisure Centre, Belfast Royal Academy, Crossfit Castrum, Peak Performance, Julianne Larkin Nutrition Sports Institute Northern Ireland and the University of Ulster.

Season 2017/18 up and running

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Its only the 2nd of October and already the competitive season is in full flow.

Last weekend the club got off to a winning start in the Provincial Towns League (PTL) in a home fixture against Ballymena Swimming Club. Then this weekend the 1st of Swim Ulster’s Development galas took place.

The range of swimmer taking part in these meets went from some competing in their first ever meet to Irish and Ulster Champions.

More important than the great club win and the list of personal bests achieved (and medals won) is the manor of the swims. I have been head coach for a little over 3 years and saw more skills to be proud of, and from more swimmers, than at any other meet so far.

The willingness of the vast majority of our young athletes to sacrifice the ‘splash and dash’ in favour of higher skills and a long term gain was incredibly pleasing. It is always great to see the efforts of our coaching team start to pay off.

it is still very early days in a very big season for our club but it is a fantastic start.

 

#keepitup

Irish Age Groups Championships and summer open

Quite possibly the longest title for a Gala in the entire history of swimming 😕

A small team travelled from Larne to this 5 day competition in Dublin with only 7 athletes making the trip. 

#IAGSO2017

Day 1

Danielle Hill, 2 weeks out from her focus meet, is using this as an opportunity for some long course work and racing tough off no rest. The 200Free in session 1 was 1st, making the final but electing to put in a 4k  training set rather than race the final. There are much bigger fish to fry this month so watch this space.

The new format for this year say Mairead, Adam and Ben come down for 2nd session. All 3 racing 100BRS. Both Mairead and Adam putting in solid swims but it was Ben’s day with a huge PB in the heats to qualify for the final and taking a further full second off to claim the clubs 1st medal of the meet. 

 

Ben Woodside IAGSO2017 – 100BRS champion

Day 2 

Danielle once again got the session off to a good start with the 50free (an event she holds the Irish senior Record for). An easy qualification for the final followed and then a very impressive 26.2 unrested was enough to once again claim the Irish title.

Adam and Ryan both swam the 100 fly with Adam producing a personal best performance before completing a tough double with the 200 BRS. While Ryan produced his fastest morning swim just missing a PB time.

Cal had his 1st experience of the Irish Age Groups with his 1500 free and did himself proud with a swim right on his PB time.

Arguably the 2 best swims of the day came from Ben again. The heats of the 200BrS saw a huge 8 second best time to qualify fastest for the 14/15 final. Not content with that the final saw him take another 4 seconds off to claim his 2nd Gold of the meet. The time of 2:29 was also comfortably inside the new Swim Ireland National squad time for his age.

The club now has, potentially, 3 swimmers on the national program for the 1st time in a few years.

Day 3

Danielle was again 1st in the pool, the 50BC this time. The heat was saw her qualify in fastest position. The final in the evening and Danielle once again showed that she is the class act in Ireland in this event finishing in 29.0.

Adam, Ryan and Ben all contested the 200 IM with Ben progressing through to the final with another Personal Best performance. The final saw him improve once again finishing in 5th place.

Adam, recovering from tonsillitis, again had a tough double with the 100 Free to finish off his meet.

Day 4

A tough day for everyone with Danielle completing a double, the 100 BC & FS, Ryan in the 200 FLY and Mairead travelling down for the 100BC.

Danielle finished a very close 2nd in the 100FS finishing very fast and only just missing out on the Gold,  a 1st place in the BC almost making up for that disappointment. 

Ryan kept his best swim of the week for the 200FLY qualifying 8th for the final and producing a best time to finish 7th.

Day 5

With the focus on the Slovenian open in August, Danielle only planned to swim the heats of the 200 FLY and head home to finish off race prep. A 2:19 in the morning qualified fastest for the final in her fastest even heat swim – a very encouraging end to a tough week of racing.

Conor Brines made his 1st appearance of the week in the 50FLY and didn’t disappoint with a Gold medal taking the clubs total to 8 for the week (not bad with a team of only 7 athletes)

Only 4 more weeks left of the season
#HWAPO 

P.T.L. v Templemore


A team of 48 swimmers aged 8 to 17 made the short trip to East Belfast to compete in this duel style meet against Templemore SC.

With this meet coming just 6 days before the 1st Swim Ireland selection meet of the season we fielded a rotated team, giving an opportunity to swimmers to swim events theybwud notmally not compete in.

2 of our youngest age group had never competed at all before and were thrown in at the deep end (or…..1 of the 2 shallow ends in Avoniel Leisure Centre)

No diving for the A group and shallow dives for everyone else robbed us of the racing skills we have been working on but there were still some scope to show off a much improved underwater and turns level of performance.

The team spirit show by everyone was a highlight of the night and is becomig a hallmark of Larne PTL nights with the oldest swimmers staying on deck to cheer the smallest swimmers.

A fantastic night of racing and great fun
Templemore 551

Larne 593

Well done everyone 

🅿

Irish S.C. Champs

The 1st weekend in December has become the traditional weekend for the Irish National Short Course Championships.

Held in Lisburn each year this is the 1st opportunity for National level swimmers to sound out where they are in ralation to their end of season form.

With no qualification places up for grabs for either National age groups or International teams, the importance of this meet in the national calendar has deminished over the last few years making it a ‘swim through’ meet for the vast majority.

With their focus firmly elsewhere, a small team of only 12 athletes from Larne competed this weekend (21 had qualified) 

Day 1

Ryan Lewis opened up the proceedings with a PB in the 50 Free, a feat he matched half an hour later in the 100Fly. 2 PBs from 2 swims on day 1 cant ask for much more than that.

Chloe McKay and Amy McCullough both opened their accounts with PB swims in the 100 Free while Erin and Amy Barr got off 2 a solid start in the 100BRS.

Danielle, having complefed 45k in the pool this week and been in the gym last night, is truly unrested, but managed to make the final of the 50BC and the B Final of the 100 free.

Amy Barr rounded off the Morning session with another PB, in the 800 Free this time.

The Finals session on Day 1 and Danielle did what wmshe does best and raced incredibly well breakng her own Ulster Senior Record becoming the 1st female to go under 29 seconds. 

She also swam a lifetime best on 56.99 in the 100 winning the B final comfortably.

Danielle Hill, 1st female under 29 sec 50BC

Day 2

The 2nd day of racing got underway with the womens 50FS and Danielle picked up where she left off the night before with the fastest time of the heats. Chloe McKay swam a lifetime best of 28.4 while Amy Barr repeated her best time again.

Ryan continues to progress in the fly with a 6 sec PB in the 200 just missing out on a final swim.

Sinead got her Irish Short Course up and running in the 100FLY qualifying for the finals session in the process.

Lorcan smashed his 50BC PB bypassing 29 seconds completely going from 30.e to a 28.8 and again just missed out on a final place.

Danielle completed her mornings efforts with a fastest qualifyer spot into the 200BC lowering her lifetime best in the process.

The morning session  was brought to a close by Amy and Erin Barr and Amy McCullough who all produced best times in the 400FS.

Finals sessions and Danielle swims 50 FS and 200BC within 10 minutes of each other claiming a Silver and a Gold respectively, on both occasions matchingbher best times coming into the meet. 

#restisfortheweak

Sinead brought day 2 to a close with a PB in the final of the 100FLY

Day 3 

Last day of Irish Short Course gets underway with the 200FS. Amy McCullough and Amy Barr both produced small PBs and Danielle continued to show how competitive she is across a range of events even when racing (very) tired by qualifying for both the 200Free and the 100BC (posting the fastest hrat time in the later)

Amy and Erin Barr completed their Irish Short Course weekend with solid swims in the 200BrS whil Jan Manillili produced a 4 second best in his 1st ever meet at this level.

The last session in a tough week gets underway with Danielle deciding to compete in both the 200FS and 100BC.

If your gonna finish you may as well finish strong and that is exactly what Danielle did this weekend. 2 silver medals in the final session first a 6 second PB in the 200Free missing out on the Gold by less the 2 tenths of a second in a fantastic race with Lisburns Rachel Bethel then 8 minutes later a 2nd silver coming in the 100BC.

A fantastic weekend of ‘racing tired’ from the whole team.

Next week we travel to the Scottish SC in Edinburgh

#teamlarne🏊

Hard work ALWAYS pays off

P

War Memorial 2016

One of the biggest events in the Swim Ulster calendar each year is the War Memorial Gala.

This relay gala always attracts the largest crowd of athletes and spectators with many past swimmers making a point of attending each season.

A team of around 26 young swimmers from Larne travelled to Bangor to compete this year.

While the team didnt win any of the events we did place in the top 3 in 5 out of 10 and in the final 7 times.

Club member Conor Ferguson was awarded the Swim Ulster Swimmer of the Year award for the 3rd year running while father Peter picked up the official of the year award.

Congratulations to everyone who competed on a great atmosphere and fantastic team spirit once again.