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kaday
July 5th, 2009, 10:06 AM
Hey sorry this is not quite related to Masters swimming but it is driving me crazy so maybe someone out there can offer some comments. My daughter recently tried out for a top area swim club. She has only swam one summer on a local team. She is dyslexic and ambidextrous so our pediatrican recommended year round swimming as a way to make both sides of her brain work together and also to strengthen both sides of her body. She is just 7. She is not fast yet but improved quite quickly over the course of the seven week summer team. She is a natural glider in the water and extremely tall for her age. When trying out last week for the competitive all year round team, the coach watched her swim freestyle and backstroke and then attempt breaststroke (she hasn't learned as she swam 6 and under this summer only free and back). He then had her get out of the water and stretch her arms over her head. He then had her lay on her belly and it looked like her was pushing her legs and ankles into a breast stroke kick all the way down to the ground. Then he put her back in the water and watched her kick with a board. Due to her extreme height he was very surprised at her age. After this he said he'd take her for the team even though technically she wasn't ready. I am going bonkers trying to figure out what all this means...especially the leg stretching exercise. Any thoughts?

qbrain
July 5th, 2009, 10:24 AM
I think it means that he expects her to have a legal back, breast and free, but he is willing to work with her on her breast stroke. Taking her out of the water and instructing her on her kick serves two purposes. Does she have the flexibility already to perform what he is asking her to do, and does she take instruction well.

There should not be anything to worry about. Try outs are about space. There is only so much lane space, and competitive teams have to give that space to kids who are ready to start competitive training, not who need lots of instruction to master the stroke. There are other teams that are less competitive that focus more on instruction than training.

If you are really concerned about what the try out process actually means, ask the coach. He is the only one who really knows.

tomtopo
July 5th, 2009, 04:31 PM
Hey sorry this is not quite related to Masters swimming but it is driving me crazy so maybe someone out there can offer some comments. My daughter recently tried out for a top area swim club. She has only swam one summer on a local team. She is dyslexic and ambidextrous so our pediatrican recommended year round swimming as a way to make both sides of her brain work together and also to strengthen both sides of her body. She is just 7. She is not fast yet but improved quite quickly over the course of the seven week summer team. She is a natural glider in the water and extremely tall for her age. When trying out last week for the competitive all year round team, the coach watched her swim freestyle and backstroke and then attempt breaststroke (she hasn't learned as she swam 6 and under this summer only free and back). He then had her get out of the water and stretch her arms over her head. He then had her lay on her belly and it looked like her was pushing her legs and ankles into a breast stroke kick all the way down to the ground. Then he put her back in the water and watched her kick with a board. Due to her extreme height he was very surprised at her age. After this he said he'd take her for the team even though technically she wasn't ready. I am going bonkers trying to figure out what all this means...especially the leg stretching exercise. Any thoughts?
When any coach tells you a seven year old is technically ready, I'd ask him "ready for what"? Most novice or beginner swimmers at almost any age should all be looked at as diamonds in the rough. I've had high school swimmers unable to swim one length of the pool without picking their head up and stopping, end up Junior National Qualifiers and All-Americans. I've also seen and heard of age group superstars who either quit before they entered high school or improved very little as they grew older. If the coach knows what they're talking about, can teach proper stroke mechanics and keep children excited and motivated, your daughter will have a great experience. One of the most important things your daughter can find from this experience and future experiences are life-long friends and the work-ethic a good sports program can foster. Good luck to you and your daughter and make sure the program at her age keeps the "fun" in fundamentals. Coach T.

nkfrench
July 5th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Some kids are referred back into lessons if they will need a smaller swimmer:coach ratio to give more individual attention on strokes. Maturity and focus varies tremendously for young kids and for some, we recommend that they do not join the ongoing swim team but just take lessons every other month until they are able to benefit (and not disrupt) in a group workout with up to 15-20 kids. The month off keeps their attitude fresh without losing much ground in between sessions and lets them be kids a little longer. I've also seen kids who are physically able to swim with much older swimmers but it would be a social disaster to put very young kids in with some street-savvy older kids, not to mention the beating a tiny kid will take with a clumsy older kid who outweighs them by 100#.

kaday
July 6th, 2009, 07:10 PM
When any coach tells you a seven year old is technically ready, I'd ask him "ready for what"? Most novice or beginner swimmers at almost any age should all be looked at as diamonds in the rough. I've had high school swimmers unable to swim one length of the pool without picking their head up and stopping, end up Junior National Qualifiers and All-Americans. I've also seen and heard of age group superstars who either quit before they entered high school or improved very little as they grew older. If the coach knows what they're talking about, can teach proper stroke mechanics and keep children excited and motivated, your daughter will have a great experience. One of the most important things your daughter can find from this experience and future experiences are life-long friends and the work-ethic a good sports program can foster. Good luck to you and your daughter and make sure the program at her age keeps the "fun" in fundamentals. Coach T.

He meant for this team she would be expected to already swim Free Back and breaststroke. He did clarify that was why he wouldn't otherwise put her on the team. They have a developmental team for learning strokes etc. She will be bypassing that. What I don't know is why in her case he made the exception.

Thanks for all the respnses.

gobears
July 6th, 2009, 07:28 PM
It's possible he was testing whether or not she is close to a legal breaststroke kick. Some take a long time to get the feet turned out correctly and take awhile to be able to get just the kick. Those who don't only have to work on timing. She may have been close enough to put in the more advanced group.