Winter Yorkshire's 2011
Post date: 09-Oct-2011 11:30:28
So here goes... time to try and summarise the long weekend that was the 2011 Winter Yorkshire Championships. I think the first thing to point out is that the weekend being so long shows how far we've come as a club. We had 23 swimmers (listed below) entered in 80 different swims over the two days - 13 of those swimmers only train 3 times a week at Armthorpe, and a couple of them are in the pool considerably less than that! I'll come back to talk about that fact later on though.
The first events of the weekend saw our (somewhat excited) 9 year olds go in the 50m freestyle. All of them were swimming in their county championships but none of them were in the least bit intimidated by that. Millie, Gill, Charlotte and Maisy were up first and having seen the way all 4 of them swam at the METS the previous weekend we knew some fast times were on the cards. The girls didn't disappoint. Each of them worked on specific things that we'd been working on in training - breathing patterns and turns bring the biggest ones! Maisy managed to take a pull out a 2m lead over the girl in the lane next to her just by having a great turn. To top off some great swims in that even Millie managed to bring home a bronze medal!! Harvey was not to be outdone though. His events had 9 and 10 year olds seeded together so he wasn't in the fastest heat, but we knew he was in with a great shout of a top 10 place too. He swam really aggressively and managed to do much better than top 10, he picked up a bronze medal too! So 2 events down, 2 medals in the bag. Fantastic start.
Obviously the weekend wasn't going to continue in exactly that fashion, but it wasn't a million miles away. Every time one of our swimmers dove in we expected, and got, something good. Either good times, good placings, good tactics, good technique or all of these things rolled up into a truly great swim.
The award for the most satisfying swim of the weekend has to go to Dale Marshbank for his 100m freestyle, where he dipped under the 1 minute barrier for the first time. The reason I picked that swim is because Dale and I had been working on playing around with pacing for some time and he was finally able to control and relax on the first 50m while still going fast. This meant he could accelerate through the 3rd length and deal with the pain on the last 25. So well done to Dale for getting smart.
There were a whole host of other stand-out swims over the weekend, but the most rewarding thing for me as a coach was seeing how much fun everyone had, how much attention to detail there was during races and how people are now really analysing their swims so well. Thank you all for a great weekend. Below is the full list of medalists, top 10 finishers and a complete list of Armthorpe swimmers - well done to all of you!
Millie Colbear, gold 50 back, bronze 50 free
Jarvis Parkinson, gold 100m breast, bronze 100m freestyle
Alex Pollard, silver 100m back, silver 100m fly
Chantelle Waugh, bronze 100m fly
Harvey Williamson, bronze 50 free
Armthorpe top 10 finishers;
Millie Colbear, 4th 100 IM, 4th 50 fly, 7th 50 breast
Jarvis Parkinson, 4th 200 IM, 5th 100 fly, 9th 100 back
Alex Pollard, 5th 100 free, 5th 200 IM
Harvey Williamson, 6th 100 IM
Dale Marshbank, 6th 100 back, 7th 100 free
Gill Clarke, 7th 100 IM, 8th 50 back
Chantelle Waugh, 7th 200 IM
Full list of entrants (lets make this list bigger next year)
Millie Colbear, Charlotte Howard, Maisy Allott, Gill Clarke, Harvey Williamson, Chantelle Waugh, Callum Fielding, Reece Fielding, Alex Pollard, Caitlin Dixon, Jamie Clarke, Jack Waddington, Torin Wilson, Jarvis Parkinson, Dale Marshbank, Georgia Wright, Niamh Cogley-Rock, Toni Briggs, Ben Long, Heidi Smith, Shaun Sadd, Jack Durose, Rebecca Wright.
I said at the top I'd talk about training volumes and how some people can qualify without doing that much swimming. A lot of this has to do with the amount of other sports these people do that have a positive affect on their fitness, power, body control and motivation. Doing a variety of sports at a young age (9, 10 or 11 years old) to a decent standard is a great way to ensure that you give yourself a great start in your sporting lives, by building a solid base of fundamental, transferable skills. Plus, you don't know which sport you're going to enjoy the most until you've tried several! That is a idea which works as part of a Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD). This is a model that is followed by many national governing bodies for sports, including British Swimming. The plan embrases the idea that an athlete should improve gradually over several years and that there are specific stages to improving performance. In my view, this can best be achieved by starting out with a wide base of physical activities at a young age and gradually specialise into just a couple or sports over a period of years.
Swimming in Doncaster provides a great framework for this LTAD model to be carried out, and has done even before the model was drawn up! Feeder clubs, like Armthorpe, provide that base of skills training and fitness required for the early development, then those swimmers who wish to can wean themselves into DARTES' phases to gradually add more pool time in a more competitive environment. This allows that steady growth and progression to continue. I strongly encourage those swimmers who are 11 or 12 years old and have their sights set on bigger things to think about the amount of training that is available to you, if it is enough, and if swimming is one of those sports you want to excel in? You are the only ones who know what you really want to gain out of swimming, so be honest with yourself. If you want any advice, just ask Dave on poolside!