Friday, November 30, 2012

National Select Camp Disfavors Sprinters

In a recent USA Swimming weekly newsletter, the selection of the National Junior Select Camp was listed. I was delighted to see one of the young ladies I work with on the list, but I was slightly disturbed with one area in the selection criteria: “In all events except the 50 free”.

Now I know USA Swimming suggests “building the base” in youth swimmers [I argue these strict suggestions as closed-mindedness prevents and discourages advances in any field], but I feel this approach is impeding development and discouraging growth this niche segment, which the USA is currently already struggling.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Problem of Evaluating Coaches

Is Bob Bowman a good coach? Probably.
Yesterday, at the Golden Goggles, Bob Bowman was awarded the title of "Coach of The Year". Earlier this week, I wrote about the departure of Paulus Wildeboer from Denmark, almost universally acclaimed as that country's best ever national team coach.  Yet, if you were to anonymously poll American swim coaches about Bob Bowman's success, I think a significant amount of them would say that Bowman was nothing more than a jockey to Michael Phelps' horse for these past twelve years, while just weeks ago prominent members of the Danish swimming community were calling for Wildeboer's head. All of which begs the question: how do we know if a coach is any good?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paulus Wildeboer and the "Hero Coach"

Do you ever wonder how quickly things can change? On Monday, I wrote a blog detailing the struggles of Swedish Swimming, comfortably gloating from my position of Danish fandom. Sweden had a crisis of leadership, whereas Denmark had locked up the most successful coach in their modern era, Paulus Wildeboer for another Olympic quad. Then, they didn't, as news broke yesterday that Paulus was bound for Queensland, Australia. The following is rampant speculation as to why.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Is Swedish Swimming a Mess?

Swedish Swimming needs to get it's act together
Over at my favorite Danish Swimming blog today they have an interview with Simon Sjodin. Luckily for readers of this blog, it is in English. Sjodin made news at home and abroad when a petition was started to get him on the Swedish Olympic team after he was left off the team despite achieving a FINA "A" standard (he was a 1:59.4 in the 200 IM that he had not tapered for thinking qualifying was assured). Sjodin's plight, however, is just one symptom of a disastrous era of mismanagement in Swedish swimming.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear Chris: Should I Resign?

Following last week's post posing a very important question to the Screaming Viking, we here at the Swimbrief have seen a sharp uptick in questions to the writers of this site. Here is one we received from Chuck W. in Colorado Springs, Colorado:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dear Viking!: Why Bother to Shower?

Swim Brief readers email us questions all the time.  For real.  What, do you think we would just make up questions from imaginary readers for a phony advice column?  What kind of a website do you think this is?  So, welcome to our newest recurring feature, "Dear Viking."

The Viking thinks hard so you don't have to...

Dear Viking!

I swim all the time.  It's not like I reek of BO or anything.  Do I really need to bother to take a shower?

Dear concerned reader who is obviously a real person,

Why bother?  I know!  Right?!  Swimmers don't shower... well, at least not to rub off all the smells.  Sometimes I used to just kind of hang out in there to get warm and occasionally pee on my friends, but I have never really understood why those silly divers use all those soaps and lotions and stuff.  Swimmers smell like chlorine-- and what does chlorine smell like?:  CLEAN.  That's what.