Category Archives: Regional

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 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

Swim Ulster Development Meet 3

On Saturday and small group of the clubs youngest swimmers took to the water on the start of their competitive swimming journey.
It was great to see 2 people racing for the 1st time👍
The purpose behind the development meets is to provide a shorter more accessible level as an introduction to competitive swimming. Skills are emphasised over time and sessions last about 2 hours.

The kicking races are an interesting addition to the program at this level and it’s good to see the need for a strong leg kick being emphasised (even if it doesn’t make for a great spectator experience) . And the ability to streamline is rewarded more than times in the medley events.
This is the first year Swim Ulster has tried to do this sort of format and there are a few teething issues but the principal matches our own club Development strategy of process driven coaching.
Anyway well done everyone who took part (i will get a full results list out soon) I was delighted with the progress being made and the skills on display.
🅿

Ulster Championships 16

Over the last 6 weekend Larne Swimming Club athletes have competed in 6 open meets, 1 schools meet, 1 club meet and 1 club time trial.

A lot of racing in anyone’s book

What better way to prepare for Christmas than with Ulster Championships? 

A team of 21 swimmers competed for the club over the 3 days of racing in Bangor Aurora.

Session 1

26 swims in the 1st session and 20 best times and 4 club records were set this morning

Anna Campbell 11-12 800 free

Chloe McKay 13-14 100 free

Giulia Allen 13-14 200 back (mairead O’Mahony was also under old time)

Lui Hurson 15 & Over 400 IM 

The womens 100 free saw Danielle Hill continue to show how to swim fast 1st thing in the morning qualifying for the final in 3rd place with a very easy looking 57.3. D also easily qualified fastest for the 200 BC. So another busy night for the fastest female swimmer in Ireland ☺

Chloe and Amy Campbell both also chipped away at their PBs

The 400 IM next and Lui Hurson knocked over 10 seconds off his best to just miss out on the final. He did however make up for this disappointment in the 100 medley qualifying into 2 nights final in 2nd place with another great personal best.

The womens 100 breast was a little hit and miss with 3 PBs out of 5 swims. Most notably Mairead O’Mahony knocling over 4 seconds off her time. While in the men’s event Jan staked his claim for a relay place with a solid swim.

The men’s 50 Fly provided no shocks as new Irish Record holder dominated the heats setting up for hop0yefully anther cracking at his own record later with Ryan Lewis making it 2 Larne athletes through to the final. ZJ then lowered her time by 1.5 seconds in the same event making 2 PBs from 2 swims for bambi after the 100IM.

The 200 BC and again Giullia Allen led the way with an impressive 8 sec PB 

The 800 Free and all 4 girls swam impressive best time Amy Campbell and Erin Barr both lowering their times by over 13 seconds.

Ryan and Jan brought the morning session to a close with 2 more best times in the 100 IM, Ryan joining Lui into the final session 2 night. 

Session 2 – Finals

7 swims, 7 PBs,  2 Ulster Senior Titles, 1 Ulster Junior Title, 1 silver, 2 bronze, 1 Irish Senior Record

The Finals session on day 1 got underway with the 100 FS and Danielle continued her improvement in this event taking her time down by over a second to 55.81 picking up a silver medal.

Conor Brines continued his dominance of the sprint fly event with another Gold making him the Ulster,  Irish & Scottish open championships. He also lowered the Irish senior Record by 0.05 to stand alone as the fastest Irish flyer. Also in this final was Ryan Lewis who, having posted a best time in the heats, showed that given an evening swim he can go faster again. Something he backed up in his 2nd final of the night the 100 IM. 

It wasn’t long before Danielle was back in the pool in what some consider her best stroke, the backstroke, and again she swam to a lifetime best lowering the time she set at Irish Championships 2 weeks ago.

Danielle – 50 BC, 100 BC, 200 BC, 50 FS & 200FS Ulster Champion

The last individual event was the 100IM and joining Ryan in the final was Lui, who having just missed out on the Junior title in the 400, made up for it with a huge swim of 60.1 to claim  a bronze and the Junior title – his 1st medal since winning ‘best rainbow’ painting in PB

The 2 relays brought the session to a close with a Bronze for the Girls and a 4th for the boys.

A fantastic start to the weekend.

Session 3

23 swims, 19 PBs, 5 club records, 1 Irish Senior Record, 7 finalists

Conor Brines – 15 & Over 100 FLY (Irish senior record)

Danielle Hill – 15 & Over 200 IM

Zara Jane Melody – 15 & Over 50 BRS

Chloe McKay – 13-14 50 FS (Erin Barr also under old record)

Adam Mahood – 13-14 200BRS

The 2nd day of the Ulster Championships kicked off with the 200IM, and in her ‘fun event’ of the day Danielle qualified for the final, a feat she would match by qualifying fastest for bothe the 50FS and 100BC later in the session – a great mornings work.

Mairead and Amy Campbell continued to improve both recording best times.

The 100 Free next and Lui & Finn picked up where they left off last weekend by continuing to improve on the times the set in Edinburgh and Qualify for the final in the process. Finn doubled up on his finals with a new best time in the 50BC as well.

Jan, Adam and David all produced life time bests swims in the 200BrS while the girls had a mixed bag in the 50 with PBS from ZJ, Amy and Cher. ZJ getting in 2 a swim off for the evenings session but just missing out on a final place.

Arguably the best swim of the morning belonged to Conor Brines in the 100FLY recording another Irish senior Record to easily qualify fastest for the final. PBs for Ryan and Lui saw them just miss out on evening swims in the same event.

The 100 BC and joining Danielle in the heats was Mairead who finished off her day withe a solid race in the fastest heat.

The last swim of the morning belonged to Amy Barr in the 400FS, having PB’d in this event 2 weeks ago Amy swam to within 1/2 a second of her best.

Session 4 – Finals

7 individual finals, 3 relay finals, 8 PBs, 3 Ulster titles, 2 Ulster Senior Records, 2 Irish Senior Records, 2 Silver Medals

Wow!!!

A record stans for 13 years them falls twice in a week!! 

Danielle got the finals session off to an incredible start with another Irish Senior Record in the 50FS winning her 1st Title of the night. She later backed it up with another PB in the 100BC to bring her titles count to 3 so far.

Finn and Lui continued their development into real competitors at this level with their 3rd final each of the weekend in the 100FS Finn stopping the watch under 54 for the 1st time. 

In the very next race Finn is back again with the 50BC again posting the 2nd best time he has ever swum.

Conor Brines continues his incredible rise to the top of Irish swimming with a 52.08 Irish senior Record in the 100FLY.

Conor – Ulster Champion 50 & 100 FLY

The relays gave an opportunity for some of our younger girls to post a best time in lead off legs and Amy McCullough did just that as Danielle anchored the team to a close run 4th in the 4 x 200FTR

Ryan Lewis did the same in the 4 x 100 FTR with a 4 second PB as the boys split the Ards teams to win silver

Finn, Ryan, Lui & Conor silver 4 x 100 FTR

The last race of the night, the Mixed Medley FTR saw the team of Finn, Danielle, Chloe and Conor double the silver medal count.

One day left. Surely it can’t get better 

Session 5

16 swims, 9 PBs, 3 club records, 7 finalists

Adam Mahood – 13-14 200 IM

Adam Mahood – 13-14 200Fly

Erin Barr – 15& Over 200 BRS

The last day of racing and the Men’s 200IM is up 1st with Ryan and Adam swimming lifetime bests, both boys would rep   eat this feat in the 200 FLY later in the session. 

Ryan continues to improve with 2 more finals meaning he has finaled in very event he has entered.

Danielle, Chloe, Conor & Finn 4 x 50 Mixed FTR claimed silver

The womens 50 BC and once again Danielle was to the for posting a time 0.01 outside her own Ulster Senior Record qualifying for the final in both this and the 200FS.
Some of the younger girls stepped up to produce huge best times in the 200BrS especially Mairead and Giullia who each knocked over 10 seconds off.

Lui finished in a creditable 6th in the 400FS and finished the morning off with a PB in the 50 FS to make the final in this, a fun event for him.

1 more session 2 go and this run of 9 meets in 6 weekend will be over.

Session 6 – Finals

6 individual finals, 5 PBs, 3 relay finals, 2 Ulster Titles,1 silver, 2 bronze,  1 Ulster Senior Record,  2 Club records, 

The last session of the meets kicks off with Ryan in the 200IM, having qualified for every final and swum faster in every one Ryan continued this trend with a new lifetime best in the medley.

Danielle Hill proved again just how fast she can be with a new Ulster Senior Record in the 50BC taking the Ulster Title in the process. 

Erin Barr, making her 1st appearance in the finals session, up next in 200BRS clocking her 1st PB in a year #HWAPO well done Erin. 

Ryan completed a personal full house competing the final of the 200 FLY and stopping clock in another new PB.

Danielle Hill in the 200FS took her 5th title of the meet with yet another personal best time bring a phenomenally good meet to a close.

Lui brings the individual finals to a close with his 50FS improving to 7th with a 25.00

The relays bring the curtain down on the meet with the men’s 4 x 200 of Lui,  Finn, Ryan and Conor taking the bronze.

Not to be outdone the womens 4 x 100 medley team of Danielle, Erin, Zara & Chloe hit the wall in 3rd place. 

Last but by no means least the Mixed 4 x 50 medley of Danielle, Lui, Conor and Chloe closing the meet with a very impressive silver medal

A fantastic meet with a crazy number of record broken…… 
Well done everyone
P




Swim Ulster Winter Qualifying Meet

The change in the qualifying rules for Irish Age Groups saw a smaller than usual team of swimmers from Larne SC compete in the 1st qualifying competition of the year.

Those who did race did so real well.

The 1st session is always a long 1 with the 800 and 1500 both being contested. 6 girls and 1 boy from the club stayed in Lisburn until after 9pm to get a PB time.

Their wait was rewarded with a 100% strike rate. Anna & Amy C, Amy McC, Siobhan, Cher & Holly all produced life time bests while Cal had his 1st experience of the longest pool race in the Olympic program – the 1500 Free. 

Day 2 got under way with PBS for Adam,  Jan and Luke in the 200 IM and Siobhan, Holly and Ysabella in the 100 FLY to maintain the impressive run of PBs 

More PBs for Adam and Jan followed in the 100 Free with bothe guys just missing out on breaking 60 seconds for the 1st time.

After Molly and Ysabella raced 50 fly, Jan brought the morning session to a close with another PB, in the 50 BC this time. 

Session 3 and, back on Freestyle, the PBs kept coming with the boys 400FS and the girls 200, Chloe, Cher, Ysabella, Giulia and Cal all setting lifetime bests.

Call  (again) also swam 200BRS just missing out on a PB while Dave (the rave) smashed his PB in the same event by 20 seconds.

The club has a bit of an iffinity with backstroke but they girls all topped up and carried on the clubs tradition with Gr8 PBs for Sienna (her 1st PB in a while showing that hard work always pays off) and Giulia  (who took 12 seconds off her 100 BC time)

We seem of have found a new ‘ironman’ in Luke Calwell who completed his 1st 200Fly this afternoon and his last 50 was his quickest so there is loads more to come. Adam also swam to a solid PB in this event.

The sprint events brought the curtain down on day 2 of the winter qualifiers and Ysabella and Cher both swimming to significant PBs in the 50 free, Jan in the 50 BRS swam his 5th PB of the weekend and Sienna in the 100 IM proved that PBs are like buses, you wait ages for 1 then 2 come along together. 

Well done guys on a fantastic day of racing

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.

A Winning Start

Tonight saw Larne Swimming Club kick off their P.T.L. season with a home meet against Coleraine S.C.

A team of 40 swimmers took to the water a we looked to get the season off to a winnin start against a team that had beaten us last season.
The format of the meet is simple. 

10 & Under, 11/12, 13/14 and 15 &over

50s on each stroke & 100 IM 

4 x 50 medley relay

4 x 50 Freestyle relay

With points score for 1st 2 swimmers home for each team.

A number of the under 10s were competing for the 1st time over 50m never mind in a PTL.

There was great noise and support from both teams as the points from the 1st round of events (the medley relays) were shared.
By the end of the backstroke the home team had opened up a gap continuing the cluns fine traditions in this discipline.

This gap was never to be closed over rest of the meet with the home side recording a win of 50 points.
The working being done on the skills side of things was evident as Larne swimmers were consistently the last to break the surface on starts and turns.

This is the start of what we hope will be a long and successful season. 

Well done everyone, from both teams, on a great afternoons racing and good luck for the rest of the season