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May 26 18

FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, Madrid, Day 2: Four golds for Spain, Vivienne Koch makes Switzerland big

by ZwemZa
The second day of the sixth meet of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, organised in Madrid (ESP), had Spain as the winner of four gold medals (duet technical, mixed duet technical, free combination and team free) and Swiss Vivienne Koch as the best at the free solo routine final.
The day started with the victory of the Spain’s Paula Ramirez and Sara Saldaña at the duet technical routine final. They were the strongest with 86,3442 points.
“We have been training a lot and, obviously, in training there is no pressure, there are no nerves and there are things that work out better. Here with all the judges in front of us, there may be mistakes but we train hard every day to do it better and better. We still have a month and a half for the most important event of the year, the European Championships in Glasgow, and we will try to do it perfect”, Paula Ramirez said.
These two Spanish swimmers have been swimming together “for a short time”. “We still do not know very well what we can aspire to. I think we can get more, but it’s the first year we’re together, our second competition, and it takes time”, she continued.
Sara Saldaña recognised that, as it is her first year as a competitor in the duet, she was “a little nervous before starting” the performance. “It was the second time we swam together in competition, but I think that we did it well”, she added.
Noortje and Bregje De Brouwer, from The Netherlands, finished second (81,4378) and Iryna Limanouskaya and Veronika Yesipovich, from Belarus, finished in third position (81,4378).
In duet mixed technical routine, Spanish Berta Ferreras and Pau Ribes scored 82,1257, earning a 22,1722-point lead over Kazakhstan’s Sofiya Lyakh and Olzhas Makhanbetiyarov.
“We always try to focus on our work and our routine to offer the best image we can. I think that we have improved a lot in the last three years and, personally, I love doing the mixed duet because it is totally different. I try to do different things with Pau and we look for differents goals”, Berta Ferreras said.
“We have a great feeling and she has a lot of patience”, Pau Ribes joked. He also explained that FINA Artistic Swimming World Series are a “great opportunity” for mixed duets. “There are more countries and more clubs that present a mixed duet in competition”, he said.
Spain continued its victorious path at free combination routine. Leyre Abadia, Abril Conesa, Berta Ferreras, Emma Garcia, Carmen Juarez, Meritxell Mas, Elena Melian, Paula Ramirez, Sara Saldaña and Blanca Toledano capture gold with 90,8332, wearing a swimsuit designed by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.
“It has been one of the most beautiful projects we have done. This swimsuit was the most important design for Agatha this year”, Javier Carrera, member of the creative team of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, said.
A score of 78,5332 gave Hungarian Anna Apáthy, Janka David, Boglárka Gács, Mira Gerstenkorn, Szabina Hungler, Szofi Kiss, Luca Renyi, Anna Viktória Szabo and Veronka Szabo the second place.
The competition continued in the afternoon, with the solo free routine final. Swiss Vivienne Koch, who was the best at solo technical (76,0091) on Friday, repeated in the first place at solo free on Saturday.
She scored 78,0000 and added another remarkable result here in Madrid.
She was happy with her gold medal at solo free but she was even happier with the fourth position at duet technical. Noemi Peschl and she earned 80,8343 points, what brings them closer to the European Championship.
“Oh my god, I can not believe it”, she recognised.
The second day of the sixth meet of the FINA Synchronised World Series concluded with team free routine final, after a lively ‘batucada’.
Spain scored 91,8332 to claim gold with a story based on life in a factory. Austria finished in second position, earning a 0,1000-point lead over Hungary.
Sunday, final day of competition in Madrid, sees the duet free, mixed duet free and highlight medals awarded.
FINA Artistic Swimming World Series – Madrid
– Day 2
Duet Technical
1. Paula Ramirez/Sara Saldaña (ESP) 86,3442
2. Noortje De Brouwer/Bregje De Brouwer (NED) 81,4378
3. Iryna Limanouskaya/Veronika Yesipovich (BEL) 81,3193
Duet Mixed Technical
1. Berta Ferreras/Pau Ribes (ESP) 82,1257
2. Sofiya Lyakh/Olzhas Makhanbetiyarov (KAZ) 59,9535
Free Combination
1. Spain 90,8332
2. Hungary 78,5332
Free Solo
1. Vivienne Koch (SWI) 78,0000
2. Szofi Kiss (HUN) 76,0668
3. Ivette Pinter (AUT) 74,3332
Team Free
1. Spain 91,8332
2. Austria 77,7000
3. Hungary 77,6000
May 26 18

Mereshko Yelyzaveta doubles up in Lignano

by ZwemZa

Mereshko Yelyzaveta made it two golds in two days at the Lignano Sabbiadoro World Series © • Getty Images

Ukraine’s Mereshko Yelyzaveta won her second gold medal in as many days as Paralympic and world champions went head-to-head on day two of the World Para Swimming World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, on Friday (25 May).

This is the fourth event of this year’s World Series, with all races featuring swimmers from multiple classifications. The medals are determined by a standardised points system, which led to a number of close finishes on day two.

This was the case in the women’s 100m breaststroke final with just one point separating the gold medallist Mereshko Yelyzaveta (SB5, 940 points) and silver medallist Germany’s Elena Krawzow (SB12). Beatriz Carneiro (SB14) was one of five Brazilian medal winners on day two as she completed the podium with 934 points.

Yelyzaveta – who also won gold in the 100m freestyle on the opening day – was back on the podium collecting bronze in the women’s 200m individual medley; another event which saw a close finish between a Paralympic and world champion.

Italy’s SM13 world champion Carlotta Gilli beat Paralympic champion Rebecca Meyers (SM12) of the USA to the touch by one point to claim her third medal of the meet with 997 points.

The men’s 200m individual medley also saw a battle of champions as 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Ihar Boki of Belarus claimed his first gold medal of this year’s World Series.

The SM13 Paralympic and world champion scored 1020 points to finish ahead of Colombia’s SM7 world champion Carlos Serrano Zarate (984 points). Ukraine’s Denys Dubrov (SM10, 978 points) finished third.

After missing out on gold in the 200m individual medley, Serrano Zarate went one better in the men’s 100m breaststroke, scoring 1051 points to secure the victory. Spain’s Antoni Ponce Bertran (SB5, 1010 points) also passed 1000 points as he claimed silver, while Nelson Crispin (SB6, 991 points) ensured there were two Colombians on the podium.

Brazil’s Daniel Dias (S5) was another world champion to triumph; claiming his second medal in as many days. Dias – who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday – improved on his 100m freestyle silver medal from the opening day by winning the men’s 50m breaststroke final with 1038 points.

Italy’s Vincenzo Boni (S3, 1001 points) and the Czech Republic’s Arnost Petracek (S4, 988 points) finished second and third respectively.

There was also a Brazilian winner in the women’s 50m backstroke as Edenia Garcia (S3, 954 points) finished 60 points ahead of Italy’s Monica Boggioni (S5). Garcia was joined on the podium by her compatriot Susana Ribeiro (S4, 690 points).

Victory in the women’s 50m breaststroke SB2SB3 final went to Brazil’s Patricia Pereira Dos Santos (SB3, 770 points) after she finished ahead of Canada’s Tammy Cunnington (SB3, 308 points) and Italy’s Angela Procida (SB2, 132 points), who claimed silver and bronze respectively.

There was a home winner in the men’s equivalent as Italy’s Efrem Morelli (SB3) won gold with 845 points. Spain’s Miguel Luque (SB3, 829 points) was next to touch to claim silver, while bronze went to Michael Schoenmaker (SB3, 698 points) of the Netherlands.

The Lignano Sabbiadoro World Series continues on Saturday (26 May) with the 50m and 400m freestyle, the 4x100m medley relays and the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay.

Both the heats and the finals will be live streamed on World Para Swimming’s website, with full results available here.

Adam Bailey | For the IPC

May 26 18

Hosts Spain win team technical title on first day of Artistic Swimming World Series leg in Madrid

by ZwemZa

Switzerland’s Vivienne Koch won the solo technical routine event ©Getty Images

Hosts Spain claimed the team technical routine gold medal on the opening day of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Artistic Swimming World Series leg in Madrid today.

Performing under the “funny and happy” theme Namaste, the home nation emerged victorious with 88.1682 points at the Swimming Center M-86.

Their young team was made up of Paula Ramirez, Sara Saldaña, Carmen Juarez, Blanca Toledano, Leyre Abadia, Meritxell Mas, Elena Melian and Berta Ferreras.

Head coach Mayuko Fujiki said the team is working with the ambition of beating the 90-point barrier.

“I think that it is possible with this technical routine, which is difficult and also requires a high speed of execution,” she added.

Kazakhstan finished second with 76.7253 points, while Austria completed the podium with 76.5721.

In the solo technical routine event, Switzerland’s Vivienne Koch triumphed with 76.0091 points.

“At the World Championships I had 80, but it is difficult to compare because new elements are more difficult,” she said.

“I can do it better.”

Hungarian Szofi Kiss scored 75.2077 points to claim the silver medal.

Poland’s Swietlana Szczepanska won the bronze with 66.0431 points, capturing her first medal in an international event.

This sixth meet of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series is due to run until Sunday (May 27).

Tomorrow’s action includes finals in the duet technical routine, mixed duet technical routine, free combination, free solo routine and team free routine.

Daniel Etchells | Inside the Games

May 25 18

Marc Evers claims third World Series gold

by ZwemZa


Marc Evers claimed his second backstroke gold of the World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro © • Getty Image

Marc Evers of the Netherlands secured his third victory of the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series as the fourth event of the season got underway in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, on Thursday (24 May).

Evers, who won two gold medals in the opening event of the series in Copenhagen, Denmark, in March, made a strong start on his return to World Series action in Italy. The 26-year-old repeated his 100m backstroke win from Copenhagen by winning gold in the same event in Lignano Sabbiadoro with 992 points.

The Dutch swimmer (S14) finished ahead of Italy’s Riccardo Menciotti (S10, 952 points) and Japan’s Keichi Nakajima (S14, 932 points) to add the title to the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly gold he won at the opening event of the year.

After bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke, Nakajima was on the podium again a few minutes later, this time collecting silver for the men’s 200m freestyle. The Japanese swimmer finished behind his compatriot and fellow S14 swimmer Dai Tokairin, who won gold with 963 points.

Nakajima (939 points) and Tokairin were joined on the podium by Italy’s Misha Palazzo (S14, 864 points).

There were also two trips to the podium for Italy’s Carlotta Gilli (S13) as she claimed bronze in both the women’s 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke.

Gilli was one of two Italian swimmers to make the 100m freestyle podium with Arjola Trimi (S4, 984 points) claiming silver after finishing 32 points ahead of Gilli. Gold went to Ukraine’s Mereshko Yelyzaveta (S6) who produced a brilliant swim to take the title with a points tally of 1001.

Less than 30 minutes later, Gilli was back on the podium, finishing third in the women’s 100m backstroke. The victory went to Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto (S9), who like Gilli had competed in the 100m freestyle just half an hour early.

There was, however, no sign of fatigue as the 19-year-old scored 983 points, 17 more than silver medallist Cleo Keijzer (S8) of the Netherlands.

Italy’s Francesco Bocciardo produced the biggest roar of the night from the Italian crowds as he won gold in the men’s 100m freestyle, getting the better of Brazil’s defending World Series champion Daniel Dias in the final.

Both S5 swimmers passed 1000 points, but it was Bocciardo who beat Dias to the touch to top the standings with 1020 points, 11 more than the Brazilian’s total. Nelson Crispin (S6) of Colombia completed the podium with 992 points.

There was a close finish in the women’s 200m freestyle A final as Amber van der Kruk (S14, 910 points) touched just ahead of Canada’s Angela Marina (S14, 904 points) to take gold by six points. Bronze went to Germany’s Janina Breuer (S14, 834 points).

The Lignano Sabbiadoro World Series continues on Friday (25 May) with the 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley.

Both the heats and the finals will be live streamed on World Para Swimming’s website, with full results available here.

May 25 18

Nathan Adrian continues to train with eyes on fourth Olympic Games

by ZwemZa

Nathan Adrian (USA Swimming)

It’s no secret that Nathan Adrian is a nice guy.

Having a conversation with him,or seeing him conduct an interview or interact with younger swimmers is proof that despite his swimming success and celebrity, he has never allowed the notoriety to cloud his true reason for doing what he does.

He simply loves swimming.

Always has and always will.

“I don’t put too much of an emphasis on (being an ambassador for swimming),” he said. “I just know that when I am involved in something like a USA Swimming National Team trip, working hard and trying to be helpful and not hurtful is a pretty good ground rule to follow. You can figure out the rest as you go.”

One thing Adrian hasn’t had difficulty with over the course of his 10-plus-year swimming career is how to win and be a champion.

Ever since he began working with Gary Hall Jr. and Mike Bottom at The Race Club in the Florida Keys prior to the 2008 Trials, Adrian has carved out a very successful niche in the sprint freestyle events.

Included among his numerous National Championships, he’s won a total of 32 medals in major international competitions – 20 gold, 7 silver and five bronze spanning three Olympics, five World Championships, and two Pan Pacific Championships, along with numerous National titles.

In his Olympic debut at the 2008 Olympics as a 19-year-old newbie, he swam in the morning prelim heats of the 400 freestyle relay and helped his U.S. teammates to a gold medal.

Ever since, Adrian has enjoyed and endured his fair share of highs and lows with the highs more than outweighing the lows.

In his view, it’s all part of the ebb and flow of being a top-level athlete in the sport.

“This entire thing has been a dream come true,” he said. “I remember taking the opportunity to train with Mike Bottom at The Race Club in the Keys in 2007-2008 and saying to myself, ‘you have to give this a shot; it may be your only opportunity to live the life of a professional athlete.’

“I loved each and every day of that year and continue to enjoy my time spent swimming professionally now.”

Two weeks ago at the Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis, Adrian showed the same speed and grit he’s known for the past decade with victories in both the 50 and 100 freestyle.

And while he said he’s happy with where he is now with his training and swimming, he knows in order to contend with reigning National and World Champion Caeleb Dressell as well as other veterans (Anthony Ervin) and up-and-comers, he’s going to need to keep working.

“Caeleb is certainly a special breed – there is no doubt about that,” he said. “But I have never judged my performances based off of the guys I compete against. I have always been motivated by doing things I have never done before whether it be in practice, the weight room or in a competition.”

That’s part of the challenge for a swimmer in his prime but also one who will hit the 30-year-old mark later this year – finding new ways every day to challenge himself in practice so it’s there when he needs it during competition.

At this point in his life and career, he said he has to come to the table with a plan because there is a limited amount of training from which he can recover.

The old mentality of trying to work his hardest on every single set the coach gives him every day simply doesn’t work anymore.

He knows that would be a one-way ticket into a deep hole of overtraining. That being said, it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying “I have a great base I don’t need this aerobic training.”

So as with everything in life, he’s discovered it ends up being a balance.

If it were easy, everyone would be an Olympic champion, right?

“We have put a lot of good work in over the past season and now comes the exciting part of the season where we get to continue to train,” he said. “However, training becomes a bit more race specific. Now we get to start hammering out 50s are true race speed and that is one of the most fun things about training in my opinion.

“It’s about figuring out ways to be faster. The fun part about swimming is that nobody has figured it out 100 percent quite yet. What makes it even more fun is that every individual athlete responds slightly different to that training/technique. It all ends up being one big optimization problem so maybe one day we will use artificial intelligence (AI) to figure it all out, but for now we have some pretty good coaches taking care of us.”

And while he said he views this summer’s Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships in Irvine, Calif., as “just another selection meet in the process of getting ready for Tokyo 2020,” he does see the value in making the Pan Pacific Championship team (and next year’s World team) and getting to compete this summer in Tokyo two years prior to the next Games.

However, at its basic foundation, he sees this summer’s meet is no more than a stepping stone along the way to the Olympics – which would be his fourth Games and another piece of his dream come true already in progress.

And as the times, titles and other accolades have come his way, Adrian said he knows that despite the many sacrifices required to compete at his level, it’s been worth it because it’s something he’s always loved and wanted.

Time and maturity have altered his perspective, but at the core, it’s always been about swimming – and swimming fast – which is what he’s done and plans to continue to do as long as he can.

“I still love what I am doing and look forward to practice every day, so until that isn’t true, I will probably still compete,” said Adrian, who asked longtime girlfriend and now-fiancée Hallie to marry him in May 2017.

“The thought of leaving the sport completely would make me terribly sad. I don’t know if I necessarily want to coach or be involved in governance when my competitive career is done although all options are open at the moment.”

Mike Watkins | USA Swimming Contributor

May 25 18

Swimmer bids to become first to cross Pacific, raising awareness of plastic pollution

by ZwemZa

Ben Lecomte (Red Bull)

When Ben Lecomte stepped onto land for the first time after swimming across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998, he told himself ‘never again’.

Yet, 20 years on, Lecomte is attempting an even more daunting challenge as he looks to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean, covering 9,100 kilometres.

On Tuesday, Lecomte and his nine-person support team will set out from Tokyo on an epic expedition expected to last more than six months and see the Frenchman arrive in San Francisco.

“I knew it was something that was part of me and my identity,” Lecomte told Reuters as his team undertook the final preparations to the support yacht in Yokohama’s Bayside Marina on Friday.

“The way I look at it is as a way to express myself.

“It didn’t happen very soon after the Atlantic (swim) because I got married, I had children, so I put that aside. But I knew I was going to come back to that project eventually.”

The 50-year-old’s plan is to swim for eight hours a day, as well as consume over 8,000 calories, as he undertakes an extraordinary journey that is part-adventure and part-scientific experiment.

Much of Lecomte’s backing comes from scientific publisher, who will be providing daily updates on his progress as well as promoting research on the data collected by the support team.

More than 27 different scientific organizations, some medical and some oceanographic, will be benefiting from the data gathered during the expedition.

Much of the research will focus on plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean, specifically the build-up of ‘plastic smog’ containing billions of pieces of microplastic.

There is increasing concern among scientists about the effect of pervasive plastic pollution on marine ecosystems.

In particular, they are worried about microplastic particles, bits measuring no more than two-tenths of an inch (5 mm), which come from large plastic trash that has fragmented into smaller pieces or microbeads in products like facial soap, body wash and toothpaste.

For Lecomte, raising awareness of these issues is more important than setting any record.

“I remember my father and he was the one who taught me how to swim in the Atlantic. I remember times when we would go on the beach and walk and never see any plastic. Now, everywhere I go, on the beach I see plastic everywhere,” said Lecomte.

“If we are all aware of it then after it is much easier to take action and to change our behaviour because the solution is in our hands. We know what we have to do.”


The Frenchman, whose Atlantic crossing was never ratified by Guinness World Records because it cannot be fully verified that he resumed his swims in the exact point he stopped them the day before, believes the mental battle will be tougher than the physical endurance.

“It is mind over matter,” said Lecomte, who is also an architectural consultant based in Austin, Texas when not in the water.

“To do the physical aspect of it, sure it is difficult and all that but what is much more difficult is to be in that very hostile environment, to do that days in and days out, to push you and to push your limits, then the mind has to be super strong.”

To overcome this, Lecomte will make a strict plan for what he will think about for eight hours in the water each day.

“The worst thing that can happen is not knowing what you are going to do with your mind and going to the wrong place,” he said.

As well as mental challenges, Lecomte will have to endure turbulent and unpredictable weather, potentially freezing cold water, as well as sharks and jellyfish.

However, right now, Lecomte just wants to get started.

“I am a little bit like a tiger in a cage, ready to go.”


May 24 18

Olympic and World champion Joseph Schooling signs with Speedo

by ZwemZa

Olympic and World champion Jospeh Schooling of Singapore signed today with Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear brand.

Schooling, 22, is Singapore first Olympic champion in swimming. An achievement he reached in Rio 2016 Olympic Games when he won the men’s 100m fly.

On this occasion the young star defeated the world’s most decorated athletes Michael Phelps (USA) as well as World champion South Africa’s Chad Le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh as they all claimed silver in that same race making history.

Schooling also won his country’s first ever medal in a FINA World Championships, in Kazan 2015.

Speaking of the new deal, Schooling said:

“I’m very excited to begin my professional career as a Speedo athlete and evolve not only as a swimmer but also as a person. Growing up, the best swimmers in the world wore Speedo and I feel honoured to join Team Speedo and work with such an iconic brand. I look forward to taking my swimming to the next level with Speedo by my side to become both faster and stronger.”

Rob Hicking, Brand Director at Speedo International Limited commented:

“Speedo’s goal is to inspire people to swim and we believe that Joseph Schooling will do just that. He has already achieved a fantastic college career and had a sensational win in Rio. We are thrilled to welcome Joseph to Team Speedo and we look forward to supporting him in his exciting future.”

Joseph will now be sporting Speedo’s most advanced swimwear technology, the Fastskin LZR Racer X suit in his forthcoming competitions.



May 24 18

Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu splits from coach and husband Shane Tusup

by ZwemZa

Last December Hungarian Olympic champion and multiple world record holder Katinka Hosszu said that their relationship was “undergoing trials,” and attended separately a Hungarian sports gala where her US coach and husband Shane Tusup pledged that he “would work to change”.PHOTO: REUTERS

Hungarian Olympic champion and multiple world record holder Katinka Hosszu said Thursday that she was no longer working with her US coach and husband Shane Tusup citing “personal issues”.

“I would like to get ahead of the gossips, sadly Shane and I haven’t been able to resolve our personal issues, therefore we are no longer working together,” Hosszu, 29, said in a Facebook post.

“I am still preparing for the upcoming competitions while looking at my options for my support team,” she added.

Last December Hosszu said that their relationship was “undergoing trials,” and attended separately a Hungarian sports gala where Tusup pledged that he “would work to change”.

Nicknamed the “Iron Lady” and currently Hungary’s most successful sports star, Hosszu met Tusup, 30, when both were swimming at the University of Southern California.

The American took over as her coach soon after a disastrous London Olympic Games in which she missed out on podium finishes despite high expectations.

With Tusup as her coach, Hosszu became one of the world’s top swimmers, winning three golds and a silver at the Rio Games.

She also won two golds each at World Championships in 2013, 2015, and 2017.

Her next major target is the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, she told Hungarian media earlier this year.

Tusup’s intensive training methods for Hosszu raised eyebrows among some swimming insiders, but his emotional reactions to her races also won admirers.

NBC’s official Olympics Twitter account in 2016 urged women to “find someone who loves you the way Katinka Hosszu’s husband loves her”.


May 24 18

Why Swim Coaches matter

by ZwemZa

Dave Durden on deck (USA Swimming)

When I was growing up, I was intimidated by teachers. I’m not sure why. I didn’t want to mess up or say something wrong around them, didn’t want to get in trouble, didn’t want to stand out from the crowd. My teachers were all wonderful people. My own weird growing-up personality contributed to my own anxiety around them.

However, around swim coaches, I was different. Maybe it was because I knew, deep down, that swimming was just a sport and something to do for fun. Maybe it was because I wasn’t behind a desk. Maybe it was that I wasn’t being graded.

Whatever the reason, I wasn’t intimidated around swim coaches, and ironically because of that, I learned more from them. I learned what hard work really meant. I learned the value of a commitment. I learned that “on time” means five minutes early. I learned that failure is only a “failure” when you let it be. Wave after wave of disappointment, I learned how to get back on those blocks, and try again — often, because a swim coach encouraged me to do so.

Swim coaches matter. Sports coaches matter. Coaches are not parents. They are instructors, mentors, teachers, and life guiders. And in the greater scope of growing up, coaches are like architects who can mold young humans into better humans.

Here are (just a few) reasons why swim coaches matter:

1. Coaches are life teachers.

Even the definition of coach includes the word “teach.” Swimming teaches so much about who we are as people. So do swim coaches. The best advice I’ve ever had in my life, outside of from my parents, came from my coaches, and often had nothing to do with swimming. Advice on how to grow up. Advice on how to be a man. Advice on how to be the best human I can be. All this came from swim coaches.

2. Coaches instruct kids the value of commitment.

When you’re late in school, you let yourself down. When you’re late for swim practice, you let your team down. Coaches hold swimmers accountable for time management — I often remember the line, “If you’re not five minutes early to practice, you’re late.” I still remember that line today (and often having to do some extra butterfly at the end of practice for each minute I was late). Coaches teach kids that when you commit to something, you have to follow up on that commitment every single day. True commitment is every day, and coaches often hold their swimmers accountable.

3. Coaches make swimmers try their best, and then try, try again.

Coaches understand their swimmers, and their swimmers’ failures, in a different way than parents do. When you’re a parent, you see your child through your parental eyes. Coaches can see slightly different: They see the individual, the potential, the future, and often, the difficulties in getting there. They see all those daily failures, and how to overcome them. There’s often a cliche thrown around when people talk about great coaches, that great coaches often mold their swimmers into shape. But it’s true. Coaches are human architects. And like drawing up a blueprint, coaches aren’t afraid to draw over and over again until they get it right.

4. Coaches can change lives for the better.

One positive word or one encouraging sentence can change a life for the better. I still remember many of my interactions with coaches. Coaches don’t just train a swimmer how to kick freestyle. Coaches teach swimmers how to work at something with all their heart. Coaches teach swimmers how to follow dreams. How to commit to those dreams. Sports can change lives for the better, and often, it starts with the coach and that coach’s vision. These coaches are people who aren’t millionaires, aren’t doing it for the money or prestige, but instead, are doing it because they believe what they do is important — that they can change lives for the better.

So thank you, coaches, for all you do. The good ones know who you are, and you truly matter.

Mike Gustafson | USA Swimming Contributor

May 24 18

Tips for choosing double-duty snacks

by ZwemZa

Snacking is a way of life for many swimmers, and for good reason. Snacking provides a steady stream of energy (calories) for active athletes that sparks physical and mental performance. But, snacks can also do double-duty… that is provide not only needed energy, but also important nutrients that promote growth, development, and repair of all body systems. Here are some of my favorite double-duty snacks.

Low-fat chocolate milk

Everyone know that milk is a good recovery beverage, providing high quality whey and casein proteins to promote muscle protein growth and repair after exercise. But, did you also know it is a good fluid replacement? You might not think about milk as a sports drink, but research shows that milk is as effective as, and possibly even more effective than, commercially available sports drinks at promoting recovery from both strength and endurance exercise. (insert link


A handful of walnuts, about a quarter cup, is a satisfying snack. In addition to providing protein, walnuts do double duty by also giving you an essential fat, called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. Essential means that your body can’t make the nutrient so it must be provided from the foods or beverages you eat or drink. Walnuts provide more ALA than any other nut. And, research shows that walnuts promote a healthy gut microbiome, the friendly bacteria that live in your gut.

Orange sections

Fresh fruit contains carbohydrate in the form of naturally-occurring sugar for quick energy, making orange sections a good pool-side snack. Oranges are also loaded with vitamin C a nutrient associated with immune protection. And, vitamin C is also the precursor for the protein collagen, important in the structure of bones, skin, and blood vessels. After surgery, vitamin C is crucial to help with wound healing.


Try kefir for a tart and tangy fermented drink; a bit like yogurt, but drinkable. Made from milk, kefir is high in protein with about 10 grams in 8-ounces, but it does double-duty by being a great probiotic food. Look for kefir with a “live and active cultures” seal to ensure a viable dose of probiotics. Try the fruit-flavors, like blueberry or strawberry, for tasty snack.

Chris Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN, is a nutrition professor emerita at Georgia State University. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents, and coaches at  Visit her website at

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