Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For every great man, there’s a great woman!

Ok, that’s not really how the saying goes. However, that fits our purposes. If you haven’t read yesterday’s blog, simply scroll down before reading this… Now that you are done with it, upon reading the title, you can probably guess what this one is about. Since we are talking about 10 year-olds, we could have used boy and girl on the title, however, we feel that their will power is so great they deserve the title as it is!

Enough of introduction: after Matt’s feat yesterday, another brave soul decided she wanted to give the 1000 yards fly a try! Morgan Rosser was seen on the video of yesterday’s blog. After coach Aron asked why she wanted to do 1000 Fly, while Matt completed one of his 40 lengths of the pool, she said she didn’t really know, she just wanted to do it! We really deny a 10 year old from trying…

Last night, after swimming the whole practice, Morgan stepped up on the block, dove in, and swam 40 continuous lengths of the pool in Butterfly! She was the first female swimmer from ACAC to do so. We are very proud of having swimmers that won’t shy away from a challenge. Below you can take a look on some of those laps:

Congrats, Morgan!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The man, the legend!

It was 6:40pm at the Ames High pool. After a relatively hard practice, kids were given a choice: 200 easy, just to cool down and go home, or 1000 yards Butterfly. His option, an easy one: become legendary! Matt Boylan got up on the blocks, dove in, and swam 40 lengths of the pool, nonstop, all in Butterfly!

The feat deserves recognition. In a season where we are trying to teach kids on the importance of being mentally tough, of taking down challenges, Matt gave the best lecture. Why did he do it? Was it a punishment? No, he simply knew he could, and so he did. That’s how great feats are achieved. There was no doubt in his mind; he just knew he was capable of doing it. There was no price or punishment; he just wanted to do it. Period. As simple as that, and yet by doing so he gets all the recognition he wasn’t expecting. Several senior and age-group swimmers were simply stunned by his resolution, and towards the end he got all the moral support we could hope for.

We were lucky to have a camera on hand, so here’s a snippet of what the last laps looked like. The raw footage was so amazing we felt like we shouldn’t edit it at all:

Congrats, Matt!

Monday, September 28, 2009

More interesting things...

There is more about the minor things that we do that are exciting and crazy, but we just can't video all day long. This blog would be so amazing you may just spend your whole day watching what we do. Here is a short video of some of the things we did last week.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who’s talking now?

From the World Press: Team Boleiros showed up for the pool in fair numbers against Team Ninja for the second clash between the teams in two weeks. Decided to erase the marks from last week’s defeat, they opened a six-point advantage following the first round of events. During the first break, Team Ninja lost two swimmers – Ethan McCallum due to injury, and Luuk Dekkers, scared after the first round! Team Boleiros utilized its number advantage to open the lead during the second round. With a deficit of astonishing 15 points leading in to the Relay, Team Ninja’s head coach made a plead so that Relay winner would get 16 points and second place would get nothing, which was promptly accepted by Team Boleiros. After a great effort during the Relay from both teams, Team Boleiros came out with the victory, to put a shocking 31 points advantage in the final score. Team Ninja’s Head Coach Aron Nakama was found crying in the locker room after the meet, and did not want to comment (after asking this reporter for a hug). Rumors were he left the state in order to hide. Team Boleiros’ Lucas Ferreira limited to say: “Our guys were hurt after last week, it wasn’t an easy week. And I compliment them for putting such a great performance today. We showed what we are made of, but this is not the end. We better be ready for next week!”

In all seriousness, the coaching staff was again pleased with how swimmers performed during our second week inter-squad dual meet. On top of several good performances for an early season mock meet, it seemed like everybody had fun. For the second week in a row, having a number advantage over the opposite team was crucial for going home with a victory. We expect all those who were present to “recruit” their teammates for showing up next week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Check out our favorite swimming websites and blogs!

We added a new feature to the blog. On the right side of the page, scroll down to see a list of links to some of our favorite swimming websites and blogs. The underwater recordings of some races that took place in Beijing last year (including what is regarded as the best swimming race of all time, the 400 Freestyle Relay) are highly recommended!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First team meeting of the season!

Yesterday, we had the first team meeting of the season. As we said on the V-log (twice J!), this year we are holding team meetings once every 3 weeks. If you missed it, here’s the agenda (and a short synopsis of each topic):

- ACAC Autumn Opener entries are due on 9/25. That is this Friday, so make sure to submit your entries before that!

- Parents meeting, regarding swim meets also on 9/25, from 6:20 to 6:45. This meeting is geared mostly towards new families, so that they understand everything that goes around during a swim meet. We will also hand out a swim meet manual. Experienced parents are also welcome!

- Check out the coaches’ blog! Well, if you are reading this, good job in doing so! We wanted to make sure all our swimmers know about it, and are checking it frequently. Also, be sure to click on the videos on the right to watch the weekly show! Some laughs and a lot of information guaranteed!!!

- Working out and competing as a team: First off, remember to support and cheer up your teammates. That is going to come around on the days you are in need of some support! Second, we are giving emphasis on how the team scores on each meet. Our first priority? Let’s win our home meet! This is our turf, so let’s defend it! Let’s make sure everybody is swimming as many events as they possibly can, and adding points to the team!

- Team cheering! We are working on defining our team cheers. They should be purposeful, and help us getting pumped up for racing! If you have any ideas, be sure to share them with the coaches!

It was a relatively short meeting, which allowed swimmers to get back in the water and keep their hard work!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Novice swimmers make a splash!!!

As programmed in our 3-week lane schedule, last night the Novice swimmers had a taste of the deep end. Since they were there, they took advantage of it and worked on their starts. And it looked like they were having quite some fun! Being on the shallow lanes most of the time, this opportunity is very important for them. Parents take note of it: Monday, three weeks from now, you don’t want your kid to miss it! BTW, we were also planning on having the TIVO system working for them. Unfortunately, we had some technical problems. We hope those are taken care of by the next time our Novice swimmers are in lane 1!

A few lanes down, Age Group 3 had what was perhaps their hardest practice so far. And they stepped up to it! Everybody making the intervals and responding well, giving the coach a good fell that we can go even further!!! While the focus on Age Group 3 is still mainly on technique – which we didn’t overlooked, since we also worked on turns – it is great to see we can take a few days to swim longer and with quality!

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing Age Groups 1 and 2 back in the pool today!

Coach Lucas


Technical difficulties tanked the TiVo!!!! We will work on this. The actual problem was that the TV was not turning on. Hopefully we can fix this by the end of the week.

There were a couple announcements that we forgot to mention in part 1 of the VLOG. First, ACAC meet entries are due on Friday the 25th. Please get those updated on the website. Second, we have a parents meeting scheduled this Friday from 6:20-6:45pm. This meeting is intended for new swim parents and is focused on everything dealing with swim meets.

Finally...we actually have no control over the videos that are accessible from the blog. It seems that, yesterday, no one was able to see part 1 of Week 3. If you would like to see all videos or if you would like to view a larger version there is a youtube icon below the four listed videos. Click on that and search "swimacac" on the youtube page. There you will get a list of all of the videos and because they are larger you can read the captions and titles with ease.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Duel in the Pool

Team Ninja was victorious over Team Boleiros by about 20 points. The competition was close after the team events (everyone on both teams swam 50 fly/50 back/50 breast). However, Team Ninja had an advantage with key swimmers in attendance and having 7 swimmers to Boleiros 6. This proved to be the difference in the end. Team Ninja was able to use this advantage during the specialty events (300 free/100 IM/50 Free) and took a lead in to the relays.

The practice design itself was a huge success from a coaching standpoint:
Swimmers had fun...check
Swimmers worked hard...check...they probably worked harder than during a normal practice
Friendly trash talking...check (emphasis on friendly)

The main set was a snake through the pool with every lane a different emphasis. It was designed for fitness with fast elements, breath control, details like starts, turns, and breakouts, and it was difficult to the point where swimmers very tired at the end. They did not stop moving for about 15 minutes.

Here is a short video on the meet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Great night at the ACAC fundraiser!!!

First of all, we know the blog has been slow for a couple of days. We were all busy working on videos of the age groups and the program for the 1st Seniors Dual Meet. More info on that (and the videos) coming soon!

Last night was hold the 2nd annual fundraiser for ACAC. We would like to thank everyone that showed up. As this is being written, we still don’t have an official final number as to how much was raised, but we can tell everybody was extremely generous on donations and bids. As coaches, it is great to see how much our parents believe in the sport and support the club. Again, thanks a lot to everybody!

If you missed it, you can still make contributions towards the coaches’ wish list. The list will be posted on the team’s webpage, and you can check it out and make a donation towards equipment that will benefit everybody on the team!

But perhaps most importantly J, if you couldn’t come, you missed a great presentation from Coach Aron! Lucky for you, we had a camera on hand and were able to capture some of it. We must apologize for the camera shaking so much, but coach Lucas just couldn’t stop laughing (and I bet you won’t either)…

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dual Meet Draft

Here is the video from the Dual Meet Draft. I will post the Dual Meet Teams on the ACAC website under the news section. Also, here is a link to a blog that has the Shaq Vs. Michael Phelps show on it. I could post a link to the show, but you should get used to visiting the Swimming World TV website.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Age Group 2 gets the deep end... and MORE

For the first time this season, our Age Group 2 swimmers were able to work on their dives. And they all showed they were ready to do so! It seemed they were all looking forward to this opportunity, and showed their coaches they are ready for diving in. Great job guys!

Meanwhile, it was great to have all our swimmers in the pool again. Novice swimmers were engaged in their technique work, and Age Groups 1 and 2 did some work with their breaststroke. It was great to see the results of all that work when the kids put the whole stroke back together.

I also had the privilege to work with some of the senior swimmers today during their dryland portion. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did (which is hard to believe since they were sweating and panting while I kept pushing them to go harder and harder :). Great effort from those guys as well!

Last, but not least, it was great to be at the banquet tonight. A lot of recognition and awards to all the great achievements from last season. Everybody is working hard for an even greater season now! We got some videos during the banquet, so expect to see those once we have a chance to edit them.

Coach Lucas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's awesome

I must apologize...Yesterday's morning show was not nearly as entertaining as week 1. We will do much better next week.

Lucas and I held a draft for the Saturday dual meets. It was an intense draft period, after a few dirty looks, and some emotional breakdowns (Lucas cried twice), we finished the draft and now have some teams set-up for great competition.

Dryland was kicked off this week for the Senior groups. I was surprised to see how well the swimmers remembered the exercises and general flow of the dryland circuit. Coach Anja really did a great job working with our Senior group as well.

Novice was in full force last night. Coach Stacy was in the water with Coach Annie on deck making practice a complete experience for the swimmers with on deck and in water instruction. I enjoyed seeing lots of enthusiasm on the shallow side of the pool.

This morning was the first morning practice of the season, and well, I could blog about it, but here is a video instead...

Up on the block quick!!!

The first week flew by. Yesterday, we kicked off another week in great style. Age group 3, after another great effort during drylands, hopped in the water and had a surprise FAST 50 fly at the end of their set. Basically, after reaching the wall at the end of their set, they were greeted with the words “Fins off get on the block quickly. This is a 50 Fly for time: Take your marks, go!”

The goal was to surprise the swimmers, so that they would put the right effort into the main set, and then get on the block and go FAST, without having time to think about it too much. That goes to show them that they are ready and capable of swimming fast anytime!!!

Good job fellas!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Manic Monday

The weekend was relaxing, 'cept for having to host the Hawkeyes...They humiliated our football team, but my Packers pulled it out last night in dramatic fashion. The Ames High School Girl's team had an amazing meet on Saturday winning their own invite. I got the update in a short phone conversation with Head Coach Dan Flannery (short conversation with like 30 minutes). Way to go girls!!!! We posted some of the fastest times in the State. Our medley relay will be one of, if not thee, best team in the State.

Friday's practice was pretty crazy with the race club. We started with some diving in the deep end. It was pretty intense as the swimmers had to hold their breaths, touch the bottom, perform a flip turn and then jump off the bottom again to high five the next relay swimmer. We had some pulling and some kicking relays. I especially liked the kicking relays as the swimmers had to wave to me while they swam. I have video posted at the bottom of the post. We finished up with a freestyle relay. I would have to give racer of the day award to Ethan McCallum for his ability to always come from behind to touch the wall first. It was a great effort by all.

We have a busy week with the banquet on Wednesday and the Fundraiser on Saturday. Oh, and let's not forget, the morning practices start this week too. Let's keep the hard work going from last week and continue the preparations for our first meet.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Coach Aron and the early errand

We had to work on the Autumn Opener event file late after practice on Wednesday. We could blame it on being tired after a full day of work, but maybe it was just lack of attention… the thing is: we had a 13&Over 400Fly! We even though of keeping it in there, and make sure everyone got a taste of this great event J. The fact was brought to our attention only past midnight. Aron woke up early the next day in order to change it before other teams started submitting their entries. He was awake enough to think about this blog, and record a short video.

Snapshots into the coaches’ life

The title of this post should be snapshots into the coaches’ job. However, these two terms can be used interchangeably, since we don’t really know a time of the day when we are not working. Even during our small breaks for working out, family reunions, long drives, etc, we tend to keep our minds into swimming, and thinking about ways to better teach strokes, improve the program, and the list goes on. On top of that, with coaching there is a log of office work that goes unnoticed.

The coaching staff decided to document some of these moments, and bring them to you. Here’s one of them:


Awesome day of practice yesterday!!! It was our first day of lanelines. We worked on all four strokes and lots of breath control. Lucas has explained that breath control work releases hormones that promote muscle growth. I was proud of all of the swimmers for keeping themselves honest and for the team leaders holding teammates accountable.

The kick was amazing as we have a new team record for 100 yards. Luuk Dekkers went 1:14 for 100 freestyle kick. We had some amazing performances from other swimmers as well, Marios Tringides went 1:16, Taylor Kutchen was 1:20 and Caleb Utesch went 1:22.

We started a new tradition on Wednesday after practice. All swimmers, whether it was a great practice or not-so great practice, need to shake my hand before they leave. It is a great way to sum up the day’s activities and gives us a great starting point for tomorrow. When all is said and done, there is respect for yourself, the effort you put in as a swimmer, the effort the coach put in to the practice, and respect for the program. We will now carry this tradition after every practice and every meet.

Let’s all be ready for Race Club Friday’s!!!!!

-Coach Aron

Be sure to check SwimWorldTv!

Swim World magazine has a new website, and every swimmer on the planet should be checking it out regularly! The great Garret McCaffrey, the latest addition to Swim World, is currently on the helms of coverage directly from ASCA world clinic. This is day one, and they already have some great videos. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from some of the greatest American swim coaches of all times!

And here’s a link to the coaching staff’s favorite interview so far, starring Dr. Dave Salo:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 2 - More open water action!

Wow!!! At some point during today’s practice I felt like diving into the pool with a surfboard. I bet no beach in Iowa ever had a better swell…

And again, our swimmers showed what they are made of! Both seniors and age groupers did sets that would have been challenging enough in a pool with lane lines in! It has been a great start of the season, and I am sure our swimmers will keep on putting this type of effort into every stroke, in order to get the success they deserve.

On top of that, it was great to see the novice swimmers getting in the water for the first time this season. They also showed great spirit and courage to get some strokes into our wavy pool!

Coach Lucas.

ACAC Day 1

After a long break, our swimmers finally got back in the water today. Well, sort of....

The pool had to go through an unexpected maintenance, and so Age Groups 1 an 2 could not get in the water. Everyone had a great time, though, and put a lot of effort into some drylands! Seniors and Age Group 3 both got in the water, and experienced some "open water" swimming!!! It was fine for the Senior group because we swam underwater dolphin kick sets. I hope all of the Seniors learned that kicking off the walls will help you to avoid unnecessary waves.

Despite the small problems, this was a great first day! I was especially excited about getting to know more of the Age Group swimmers, and I am sure this is going to be a great season for us!

Coach Lucas and Coach Aron