December 8, 2011

New month, new quarter, time for coaching and team fees.

Also a new year is coming up, so that means it’s time for you to renew your USA registration.  If you did not do that in the fall (the only people who did were those who registered seasonally in the summer).  Click on the link on our front page to go to 2012 USA registration.  Please be sure to include a check for $58 made out to our team-- Maclay Northside Dolphins.
We need these  in by December 17 since the Florida Swimming Office closes down for part of the Christmas holiday.

It seems as though our Swim-o-Rama results are quite good.  We need to raise about $11,000 to 12,000 and we seem to be on track, but please remember your contribution really matters.   Because we had that holiday soon after Swim-o-Rama, we are extending the deadline for turning everything in to the end of this week.  Please try to tie everything up by then.

I don’t have a timeline or warm-up lane assignments yet for the B Champs, but when I get it, I’ll let you know what to expect for warm-ups asap.

You can watch a tape of the Gator meet at


PARENT MEETING,  Friday, 6:00 --main topic-- SWIM-O-RAMA FUNDRAISER, date set (Nov. 19), details at meeting
also brief discussion of why frequency of meet attendance counts

Bolles meet entries--
I can take more entries through Wednesday.  Those going to Gator will benefit greatly by going to this meet, even if you went to Dothan.  This will give you a chance to hone your race strategy and get comfortable with relatively new events.  Learning how to swim a race does take practice in meet situations.
    Also if you did not go to Dothan, then you certainly should go to this one.

GatorFriday Saturday, Sunday, Dec 2-4 and Area Champs (at Cecil Fields on West side of Jax) for those not qualified for Gator the following weekend.  Also those 10 & unders who have B times for Gator, but not A times, can participate in Area Champs and definitely should.  For them, the Gator meet is experience and the Area Champ meet is a chance to shine.
    8 & unders can swim all 25’s regardless of Gator participation.

October 13, 2011

We are going to revamp Fridays.  Now that the colder weather has begun, Fridays as originally envisioned don’t work as well.  The kids get cold waiting around for relays and then can’t focus when relays are over, so for many younger ones, it’s value is rather limited.
So we are going to do it this way this week:  Same times.  I’ll have the older/more experienced swimmers work with the newer ones on certain basic techniques, whether it be touching properly or working on their breaststroke.  As always, I‘ll be careful to match up student and teacher appropriately in every way.

For the relay experience, we are going to try something else new.  We will offer (this week only, then we’ll re-evaluate*) a Beluga practice to overlap the 2nd practice on Saturday and run a few relays then.  In fact, I’d like to run the 2n practice to over lap a bit more with the first so they can also run relays.  So this week we’ll try this schedule:
8:45-11:45   1st practice  (advanced)
11:15- 1:00    2nd practice  (intermediate)
12:30-1:45    3rd practice (Belugas + jr team who has their USA in)

This will also allow us to do some different things in the sunny weather, including more starts.

* we definitely will not have this practice on Oct 22, but may return to it on Oct 29

October 7
I feel it’s important to review the swim schedule now before you miss the chance to go to Dothan.

If your child is serious, s/he needs to swim meets at least once a month, even if only for  day as opposed to going both days).  Dothan is 1 month after PCB.  Bolles is 2 weeks later and teehn comes Thanksgiving and then Gator.

Further, Gator Meet is Dec 3 and 4th with qualifying times--- they are finally available and they are A times for 11 & over, B times for 10 &under.  But entries will be OME, which means the entry times must be pulled out of USA archives of times actually done, so  you have to have swum the event and attained the qualifying time before entering.
Before the Gator meet we have only 2 more chances to swim-- and one of them is very limited.  There is this meet in Dothan-- which has all the events and all the distances and then there is a meet at Bolles, which we’ll go to only if there are enough swimmers who register to go (10 minimum) on Saturday only, Nov 5.  That meet has only 9 and 10 events (not 10 & under), so 8 & unders will not get a chance to swim any 100’s in that meet.  We won’t stay for Sunday bec the morning session is going to likely be too cold and the  limited nature of the afternoon session.

So going to Dothan is an IMPORTANT step in your swimming progress if you are serious about excelling.

October 5, 2011

Dothan entries are due now.  The absolute latest I can take them is Saturday morning, but  much prefer them by Thursday of this week.  This is a very good meet for our younger swimmers, one worthy of entering and only 2 hours away-- an easy day trip, even if you have the morning session. Remember you do gain an hour on the way over.

Please welcome our new coaches -- Ali and Spencer.  Sorry it took so long to find them, but it was worth the wait-- they’ll be very good and with us for a long time.  And I have another excellent one in waiting so when Coach Freddie leaves we won’t miss a beat.

The pool temp Monday was an anomaly.  First cold spell and I was out of town and couldn’t take care of it.  We got the heater cranked back up and the pool blankets back out, so we shouldn’t have to suffer with 77 degree water again.  Our target temp is 80 throughout the winter, which I found out last weekend is higher than at least a couple of large programs to our south during their winter season (they shoot for 77).

If you’re paying monthly, please be sure to get you check in today.

September 11, 2011

Thank you all for coming out for our developmental meet.  I hope everyone learned something to help them in the next real meet at PC.

I did hear a few people trying to compare their times to other SCY (short Course Yard) times.  PLEASE DON’T.  Maclay is SCM (short Course Meters), meaning it is 10 % longer than the short way across Trousdell or any other pool we swim in during the winter.

SCM are unusual pools.  This one was built during the period when it looked like our country was going to convert to the metric system in the early 80’s.  It really work well for us, bec then swimming SCY is shorter and swimming LCM is no problem bec the distance is the same.

The official conversion in to drop 10%, but that’s not accurate bec you don’t get 10% more of the fastest parts of your race-- the dive and turn-- and you do get 10% of he slowest part of your race-- the end when you are the most tired.  So more like a 12-15% conversion is more accurate, depending on your level of conditioning the length of the race---  but really, SCM and SCY are just different courses, best looked at independently. 

Newsletter, August 29

We are now totally into our school year schedule.  Until High School (HS) swimming ends at the end of October, our schedule will be as laid out on our schedule page on the website. 
I’ve noticed some people have accessed an old schedule page.  Please go to our homepage and access the current schedule from that link

We are taking entries now for Panama City Beach Meet Sept 23-25.  It has been up on our website for 3 weeks now, as are the other meets for the winter.  Please look now and don’t wait for me to email you about a meet.  You need to make plans.
Our meet hotel will be the Palmetto. 850-234-2121.  Rooms are as follows:

Beachside, refrig/microwave, no kitchen, 2 queen size beds-  $85
Beachside, full kitchen, 2 queens- $85
Beachside, suite , sleeps 6, full kitchen- $125
Beachside, sleep 6, deluxe suite- $155
Across the road, non-beach- $75 for 2 queens, refrig/microwave, no kitchen
Across the road, non-beach- $80 for 2 queens, full kitchen

This is a great hotel, great site, just 2 miles from the pool and on the beach.  We’ll do a cookout Saturday night.

Picnic, parent-child races,  summer awards, Monday Sept 5, 11:15, right after practice-- we do have practice for our serious groups that day at regular Saturday times. 

Unofficial Developmental meet, Saturday, Sept 10.  Advanced and Advanced Intermediate will have normal practice and swim 2 distance events after.  Hopefully they’ll be able to stay and help timing after that.  All others arrive at 11:00 for warm-up. Meet for those swimmers starts at 12:00.  We will be able to use these times (or rather conversions of them since our pool is SCM) for all meets except championship meets.  For entries, just let me know you’ll be there by giving me an index card with name on it.  We’ll try to finish up by 2:15.

Please check the info posted on the pillars by the entrance to the pool, as well as on the indoor bulletin board on the way to the bathrooms.

There will be no MWF 3:15 practice unless I hear from more people wanting to avail themselves of it.

Maclay HS will have home swim meets on these days: 
Wednesday, Aug 31, 5:00-7:30
Friday, Sept 9, 3:30-6:15
Wednesday, Sept 21, 5- 7:30
Tuesday, Sept 27, 4:30-7:30
Tuesday, Oct 11, 5- 7:30

We will have practice those days.  For those days that Maclay has a meet during your practice time, check first at my office-- we will be there or I will leave a note where to go.  If your practice starts at 3:30, please be sure to be on time those days because we’ll start right away and swim as long as we can.

August 14

    One more week before school for public schools, and we are ready to rock in my morning group.  Times are 7:45-11:00 this week (Adv Intermediate will be done a little earlier).  Extending practice will allow us to get all that we really need in in the morning (including weights on Tth) because I have the feeling that many families will be too busy with getting ready for school to come back in the afternoon.  (Weights for 11 & unders consistent almost entirely of moving against their body weight)
    We had 2 new swimmers join us last week.  This is the week to move up if have that ambition.  No school to contend with, more recovery time and less division of focus.

    Afternoon times remain the same for this week (except Saturday- see below), but will change beginning the following week when school gets started for everyone.

    Tentative times beginning Saturday, August 20 appear on our practice schedule page--
We’ll be off MT of the first week of public school for everyone except my Advanced High School swimmers. 

    Beginning August 29, we hope to also run an early Afternoon group of Belugas from 3:15-4:30 on MWF, especially tailored to Maclay students, but also open to anyone else who can make it.  This depends on interest, so let me know if it suits you.

    Parent meeting:  I’d like to have one soon.  This week I’ll have enough coaches on deck I could have one during practice.  I’ll let you know as soon as I find out when the cafeteria is open.

At the end of this week, we will no longer store fins of Advanced Belugas in the large box.  We need more storage space plus Adv Belugas should have blades as well as large fins, so with 2 pairs of fins, it makes more sense to keep them together and have quick and easy access to them.  We are also spending too much time with children being unable to find their fins, so if we reduce the number in the box, we should be better off.
We have fin bags for sale at the pool  and I can order more.  If your Adv Beluga does not have blades, please try to get them early this week.

    Private lessons-- I was talking with a parent this Saturday and there may be a misimpression about how private lessons come to be.  He told me he had been told I will tell you when your child is ready to take them.  I usually don’t do that as that might be interpreted as a conflict of interest.  If  we are in a conversation they directly or indirectly bring the subject up, then I’ll mention the possibility but I never push them. 
    Once a child is on the other side of Beluga, most of them are ready for private lesson and would benefit by them-- as long as their practice attendance is meeting our guidelines.  Belugas who have 6-12 months of experience, may also be ready.
    So if you are interested, you need to let me know.

PS.  I do have a texting package, but it’s limited to non-Verizon users, so pls let me know if you have Verizon and if you do, what your number is.  Otherwise please limit your texts to what is necessary.

June 10

Please be sure you know the Friday/Saturday practice schedule.   We are on our Summer Schedule (sent out 2 weeks ago), which is very different from the school year Friday/Saturday schedule.  It is also posted on the our bulletin board inside to the right on the way to the bathrooms.  There are quite a few changes which are emphasized on the webpage before you click on the attachment to actually see the schedule laid out.  Despite the fact that some are going to a meet, there is no change in Saturday practice--it's on.  There is only no Saturday practice when we have a team meet, not an optional meet.

Also, I have been very pleased with our
morning practices.  But I noticed poor attendance today.  I want to be sure everyone realizes the minimum practices/wk is 5, although I expect 6 for Intermediate and 8 for Advanced.  You do get credit for a practice for each meet day, but there are some I'm afraid may be thinking 4 days a week is enough.  Not if you are serious and doing mornings.  Remember to check the practice schedule so you are on time for Saturday.  Practices are earlier in the summer and Belugas also have practice.

Below is a copy of my morning swimmer expectations.  It's not in the final form, but it still should be helpful.  This is posted on our bulletin board.  So is the participation award criteria for the summer./

May 31, 2011

New Quarter, New Month.  Please update your coaching fees and team fee.

ATAC meet entries
-- we need them really early.  They will fill this meet and to be sure our entries are accepted we need to send them in very early.  I want them in by this Saturday, June 4, so I can work on them this weekend.  I may wait to send them off next week, but would like to send them off Sunday to be sure we are one of the first ones in.
Please see Upcoming Events to access info.  New parents, pls see how to enter a swim meet  (it's a link on the left-hand menu on our front page)

We start our
summer schedule on June 6. 

Newsletter, Dec. 28, 2010

  Meet entries for the EAJ Invitational at Cecil Fields, Jan 14-16 is up on our website (under upcoming events). I need entires by this Friday if possible, but for sure by next Tuesday.  Anyone who has hopes of making the Florida Age Group Championships really needs to go to this meet, but it's not jsut for htose swimmers.  We wn't have swum for over a month by the time this meet comes up, and that's for those who went to the B Champs.  For others it's even longer.  Kids need to swim regularly to learn how to approach meets and see their progress.  And I guarantee you that your swimmer will be faster at the ATAC meet at Leach Center 2 weeks later if you attend this meet.
    So we'd really like to get a good group going-- remember to send a coach, it takes 10 entrants.

    Also meet info is up for the ATAC meet and FLAG's.

    I also want to point out one more thing.  It's dry outside.  Your swimmer can get just as de-hydrated now as in the summer.  A new DOLF water bottle may be just the thing for him/her.  We still have plenty for sale-- $10 each for an air insulated bottle with our logo- cheaper than at Sports Authority.

Newsletter, Dec. 14, 2010

1. USA registration for 2011 must be taken care of before the end of the year and since the offices at Florida Swimming close btw Christmas and New Year’s, we must get those USA renewals (it must be renewed every year) by next Monday.

The form is on our website

 near the bottom of the front page.

2. DOLF water bottles are a great stocking stuffer. Only $10 (same price you’ll pay at Sports Authority without getting our personalized team logo). These are air insulated so they stay cold in the summer, warm in the winter, dishwasher safe, and made from the good, non-toxic plastic.

3. Swim-o-Rama money is coming in and our participation is good. In fact, when I talked to Robin today, she indicated it was excellent in most cases, and we are all very appreciative of your efforts.

However we are still not where we need to be, so please keep working on those sponsors, especially business sponsors. I know I have still have 3 potential business sponsors whom I‘ll need to follow up with possibly for months, one of whom I’ll see today.

Dec 1- 

3 timely items:

1. It’s a new month and a new quarter-- Please drop your coaching fees and team fee in the white box at the gate.

2. It’s also a new year soon-- we need a 2011 USA registration for everyone who registered before the fall (those in the fall have already registered for 2011 and got the fall of 2010 included)

3. This is the week to turn in your Swim-o-Rama donations. However, if you still have ideas for sponsorships, please pursue them beyond this week.

Also remember goal to be able to cover our winter heat is $200/person. If you fell short of that goal, don’t hesitate to continue to try to raise additional money.

Those who missed the first Swim-o-Rama may make it up this Saturday. Some of the new swimmers though may wish to wait until later in the month as they gain more stamina. Just talk to Coach Bob, but this is the one essential fundraiser that allows us to swim through the winter-- and then have a team there for those who only want to swim in the summer.

November 19, Thanksgiving week schedule, Saturday hereafter:

Next week’s schedule:

Wednesday and Friday practice will be held almost according to Saturday’s schedule.

Advanced will be from 10:00 to 12:30

Intermediate 10:30-12:30

Advanced Beluga 12:00-1:30

Beluga 1:00- 2:00.

Thursday schedule: Advanced only- 10:00- 12:30.

Saturday: new normal Saturday schedule

Advanced 9:45-12:30 (this is a 15 minute push back)

Intermediate 10:30-12:30 (same as old schedule)

Adv Beluga 12:00-1:30 (this is a 15 minute push back)

          No Beluga practice on Saturday

Lots of news- October 5

    First, the water will be warmer than yesterday. Due to a combination of circumstances, it was unusually cold and it felt colder bec we are all so used to the 95+ degree heat of 2 weeks ago.

    Wetsuits should be in by next Monday; until then you can borrow from my collection. I ordered a few extra in case you missed the order.

    Water bottles are in! We have 24 oz and 20 oz with our logo on the them. They are made from the new non-toxic plastic, are air insulated so they keep cold even in the sun, are dishwasher safe even with the logo on (it’s inside the insulation layer).
    In their words-- “Polar Bottle® is the original insulated plastic sport bottle. It keeps liquids colder longer than other water bottles. We innovated the industry back in 1994 by creating a bottle that would actually keep water cool during any outdoor activity. BPA-free, Phthalate-free.”
    We are selling them at cost-- $10 each-- Sports Authority sells them at $10 + tax without our logo. So this is a very good deal. We ordered 50 and need to sell them all just to break even. A picture will follow in a forwarded email
    The meet this weekend-- October 9. Adv and Intermediate be there at 7:45. Belugas be there at 8:00 sharp. Bring some warm clothing and 3 or 4 towels. Please remember that any snacks should be those that are easy to digest-- very little protein, no fat-- for during a meet.
    Entries posted on website.
    The meet in Dothan--- we will go to this meet on Saturday morning only if we get 10 entrants by the time entries close-- this Saturday. I have 2 entrants right now. Saturday morning is 11-2 boys, 10 & under girls and boys, 8 & under our and girls. Why are we not going to the whole meet? The facility is rather limited, only a 6 lane older pool with limited (and stuffy) seating. There is not place for warm-up/warm-down during the meet-- why we aren’t going with our older swimmers. It will be a decent experience for our younger swimmers who don’t need as much warming up and warming down.
    It is doable to drive over in the morning for the meet-- I have usually done that in the past-- You gain an hour going into CVST and warm-up aren’t until 8:oo AM; it is only a 2 hour (exactly) drive. So if you leave at 7:00 AM and don’t have any stops, you can be there on time. That’s not bad.
    I just got back from the annual coaches meetings for the Florida LMSC. We dates set of spring and summer Junior Olympics which will be listed on our website under upcoming events.
    A new change-- Junior Olympics is no longer the name for our 14 and under championship meets. Henceforth it will be called Florida Age Group Championships (FLAG). I think this is a good idea-- for years I’ve thought the very name of our age group championships is a bit intimidating to many of our younger swimmers and really quiet misleading. Our age group championship meet only includes the local USA Florida Chapter-- not even including the western panhandle (they are in Southeastern) or the Gold Coast (Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, etc-- they are the Gold Coast). So the meet is not so all-encompassing as it sounds. It’s certainly not international like the Olympics. 
    However, Florida is one of the 5 best chapters in the country and the meet is very special. But this name is more in line with reality, not so grandiose.
    Secondly, JO’s (FLAG’s) order of event has been altered to allow all 10 & under events to be within 3 days instead of 4 and the QT’s have been tightened a bit-- to approximately the 40th place time from the previous year. This was an idea I had first put out a year ago to cut down the time on such a long meet and also to make it a bit more elite, since there is so much travel involved for so many swimmers. It doesn’t make sense to travel hours to swim an event that you will be seeded 80th. The next thing I’m going to try to get are bonus events forgoes whop just make one or 2 events.
    New order of events and QT’s will be posted on our bulletin board at the pool-- inside the doorway to the bathrooms.