Tricks of the mind

Whilst Madison is still not able to swim with both arms, her training has collapsed but Madison feels she can get back into performance swimming pretty quickly, once the shoulder is fixed. Madison thinks that her youth will help her to get back to top performance quickly.

I wait for it and see what happens. As we’ll have to wait till September now because the shoulder has still not healed and doctors may need to try something else.

In the meantime, I get up extra early in the morning to improve my own fitness and swimming. Since the Aquatics Centre hosts Ultra Aquasplash daily, the competition pool closes at 9am. Because I prefer the 50m pool, I make sure I get there in time to do my daily 1000m.

And hurray, today I managed to improve my best time by 5 minutes. Yet I felt like a rock in the water but the clock never lies.

Swim England National Summer Meet 2019I think those 2 weeks officiating at nationals have magically improved my fitness. Lets continue that and I will be helping at the World Para Swimming Allianz Championships 2019 at the Aquatics Centre.

The Aquatics Centre has become my favourite place for swimming and officiating. But the team work and discipline at the nationals is so far the best experience ever.

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Doing my bit

It was my first year helping at Nationals and I participated in both the

British and English Summer nationals 2019.

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I missed the team photo for British Nationals in Glasgow but our coach Rick Hall, took a photo with my best smile ever. It was a very happy occasion.

After Glasgow came Sheffield and almost a week’s worth of officiating for a bunch of very dedicated swimmers from as far as Canada and Europe.

It is notable how well disciplined the swimmers and officials were all week.

Sheffield-19-teamEverybody just feels like a team. And all still managed to smile and was full of enthusiams on the penultimate day of the meet.

It is hard work but if our swimmers can spend all hours of the day training in the pool, so can we parents and helpers spend a few hours allowing them show how well the swimmers maintained their stroke technique and improved their times.

Being an official gives an unbeatable feeling of positive belonging to a great team. All swimmers really appreciate that we make competitions fair for everybody.

Coaching unlocks potential

Passing on knowledge, passing on the feeling for the sport. Sir John Whitmore is a British racing driver, not a swimmer but the knowledge is the same for all the sports. Sir John thinks it is more imporant to set actionable goals rather than just to give advice.

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Madison, the second swimmer visible on the left

Madison knows very well which goals can be managed and how swimmers feel at various stages of their career and is very popular with the younger swimmers. It is important that swimmers like their coach.

MedalsWhen Madison was still competing she was a trendsetter in the local clubs and won many medals at local meets.

As the more senior swimmers train with Rick, who is of course the bee’s knees of coaching, there are now some goals becoming apparent as the club in a first of its short history has achieved 3 relay and medley relay races entries.

Considering that not all members of the relay teams have achieved single entries for the British Summer champs 2019, it is quite remarkable that this young club – Hackney Aquatics – has now achieved entries into the British nationals for the first time in all three male team events.

Since Madison cannot train or compete at the moment it is very important that she can pass on her knowledge to younger swimmers and help them set goals as she has been through the stages of development.

The atmosphere in East London clubs is changing for the better and we give each other strength and encouragement.

Madison is now waiting for another appointment to see whether her shoulder gets better as the screws that were inserted do not seem to do the trick.

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This is my best smile, I am very happy to help at the Glasgow Summer Champs. This event is superbly organised and the discipline is exemplary. A real pleasure.

But I might as well help with officiating of the British and English champs this year so we keep the good swimming competition feeling in the centre of our hearts.

 

For the future

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Session 2 1905041525 – ASA London Region London Regional Summer Championships 2019 2019 on May 04, 2019 at London Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, E20 2ZQ, London. Photo: Ben Davidson, http://www.bendavidsonphotography.com

The shoulder injury is not healing up any time soon. The shoulder operation takes much longer to work the wonders we expected than thought. Yet swimming is an important part of Madison’s life. The best solution, whilst Madison wants to stay with swimming, is to allow Madison to pass on her enormous knowledge to the younger swimmers.

Madison’s style has always been very clean, I think she didn’t get disqualified more than twice in 5 years of competitions. It is more than important that all swimmers learn to swim according to the rules and learn to get fast with all the rules in play.

It can become a drag on a swimmer’s career when you suddenly realise that you had been doing something wrong all these years and it only becomes apparent at a top level meet.

Madison will be coaching next season and train as much as possible for herself.

I’ll be going to Glasgow and Sheffield for both the summer meets. Our club sends a fair amount of swimmers to both the British Swimming champs and the English summer champs, so its only fair that we should send at least one official, which happens to be me.

It will all be visible on the life-streams.

Move towards coaching

So far the shoulder operation had little impact on Madison’s ability to return to performance swimming.

We are currently awaiting further x-ray and doctor’s appointments for more up-dates on the progress.

Madison will step down from the main competition squads as swimmer and become a Junior Masters swimmer instead. That also leaves the option of becoming a swim teacher and or coach in the future.

Madison loves coaching and helps out at the club at least twice per week. That is good for swimmers because Madison knows everything about preparing for and competing at events.

Club swimmers are doing very well. The club has swimmers at both British Summer Nationals in Glasgow and English Summer Nationals in Sheffield this year.

I will be helping out as Judge at both competitions, so we are involved in the competitions.

But, formally to be able to train as coach or teacher, Madison must have reached 16 years of age, until then all helping is purely voluntary. It should make an interesting addition to the GCSE schedule next year to also fit in coaching or swimming teacher training.

But, should Madison’s shoulder recover next season there would be nothing holding her back from getting back into performance swimming.

There is this very good ethos at Hackney Aquatics, who have a club for life ethos, that allows swimmers to switch squads and stay with the sport in whatever capacity.

Live-streams

Currently watching the England National Champs on live-stream and from tomorrow the European Championships for Swimming will be streamed from Glasgow here.

Hackney Aquatics had some great results at the England National Champs with a bronze for Kai Ogden in 400 IM so far and today it’s Lily Girardet in the 50 backstroke. Eagerly awaiting this one.

Whilst for English national champs clubs send their own representatives and coaches for the Europeans swimmer get sponsored by British Swimming with national coaches in attendance.

What a time to nurse an injury. But swimmers never give up, missing one year, means you are doubly keen the next.

Itching for next season

We were ecstatic yesterday to watch Kai Ogden (second from right) win a bronze in the English National Championships in Sheffield. Madison has been training with Kai since she was very small and apart from going to LACPP for a while and Kai changing to Hackney Aquatics earlier, when Madison still remained in Bethnal Green Sharks, they have spent almost their whole swimming careers within sight of each other, or within the same club.

Kai always struck as being Born to Swim, his dedication was always such an encouragement to us all.

I am pleased to say that Madison’s shoulder is now getting better, the exercises help and now she can at least stretch both her arms out again to do a proper starting jump and begin to do the arm strokes again.

It should be fine by Sunday, when we go to Melanie Marshall’s Swim inspirations camp.

But Madison is itching to join her fellow swimmers next season to make the podium on the premium events.

Even her friends who went to Welsh Nationals achieved very good placings in finals so far and Madison closely follows her long-standing training partner Kaia Cudmore on her success.

Somehow what Madison lost on training through injury before the end of the season will be made up through the mid-season swim camp. It is all working out fine but Madison really wanted to be part of the action, which is definitely going to happen next season.

We gotten our new training plan, and it provides the much-needed gym sessions, three sessions per week at the London Aquatic Centre. Most of Madison’s former friends from the LACPP, which was then taken over by Newham, have now also joined Hackney Aquatics. HAC is the club to be for us East Londoners.