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Friday, 14 September 2012

Sometimes, Athletes Just Gotta Keep Plugging....

I've got a few younger guys at T2 Aquatics who have some good potential, performance-wise, in swimming.  Some of them are highly ranked (Top 20 per age group in the U.S.) -- and many of them are not....but my mindset remains the same: we can become great through hard work and dedication.

It helps to realize that not all U.S. National Team members were amazing age groupers.  With this realization, we can better see how a guy who is ranked 100th in his age group might eventually get to the top level of our sport.  It takes time to go along with dedication and the ability to stick to it.

To see what I'm talking about, check out U.S. Olympian Scott Weltz's progress, which I dug up looking at the U.S. Swimming "Times" page.  We all know Scott came "out of nowhere" to make the team this year.  But did he really come out of nowhere?  Scott was a pretty good swimmer....in the Freestyle and IMs as an age grouper and college swimmer.  A decent breaststroker, but not amazing.  Look at his ups and downs (am I missing something here?....maybe some of his meets weren't recorded....maybe he was injured -- full disclosure: I am only as knowledgable as the US Swimming website allows me to be in this case). 

But for sure, this progression is a lesson to all athletes, coaches, and parents: improvement is not linear in many cases, and Scott's ability to deal with the ups and downs of swimming improvement -- from an outsider looking in -- is a huge reason why he was able to find the big swim when it counted, and put himself on the US Olympic Team.  Congrats to Scott and his Coaches on his impressive performance!

Here's the progression from the US Swimming website:

                                       100 SCY Breast     200 SCY Breast     100 LCM Breast    200 LCM Breast    …other

2002       14/15                     1:03.9                    2:15.5                    1:08.4                    2:29.4

2003       15/16                     59.7                        2:18.1                    1:07.4                    2:24.5

2004       16/17                     1:01.4                    2:15.5                    1:08.3                    2:24.3

2005       17/18                     1:01.6                    2:14.6                    1:11.6                    2:24.0                    45.9 1Fr

2006       18/19                         x                                   x                     1:10.0                    2:28.5                    424 5Fr

2007       19/20                         x                                    x                         x                         2:23.7                    356 IM

2008       20/21                         x                            2:07.3                    1:09.9                  2:18.9                    207 LCIM

2009       21/22                     56.3                        1:54.9                    1:03.4                    2:17.6                    201 LCIM

2010       22/23                     53.7                        1:56.1                          x                              x                       145 SCIM

2011       23/24                     55.1                        2:00.5                    1:02.2                    2:14.4

2012       24/25                     54.4                        1:59.1                    1:00.2                    2:08.9

{Congrats to Scott, and I'd be happy to clarify if this is not all correct -- please leave comments if you know more on this subject!}


  1. agree with what you are commenting on my experience is those who are sleeping around 13-15years but have a vey good work ethic and train the house down are the ones come through the system