Friday, September 30, 2011

Bensenville Practice Location

Parents,

Below is the address to the Bensenville Park District Aquatics Facility.  To enter the pool athletes must go into the hockey arena area and then go through the locker room.

545 Johns Street
Bensenville, IL 60106

Please make sure they are a bit early to practice.  We are paying rental for the facility whether we are in the water or not, please help get them there on time.

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

OPRF Dual

Okay so first directions to OPRF.


We will be getting in around 3:45-4:00.  Please leave after school and head over to Oak Park.  I highly recommend taking Roosevelt all the way to Harlem.  

The entrance is the southern most on Scoville Ave.  And we have been told to use the parking garage just South of the building on Lake Street.

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wildcat Championships, and Indoor Season

Please let me start by saying I am very pleased with our performance at the Wildcat Championship over the weekend.  We finished 2nd to a fairly strong LW-North team despite not swimming our best events and missing an athlete.  There was of course a reason for this and that is I want to win the Andrew meet.  But more on that later...

For this week we have 3 mornings(West on Friday) and we will have a Saturday practice.  I don't want to post it yet due to not knowing where.  If I can find a pool with blocks we will use it.

All afternoon practices henceforth will be at Oak Brook Terrace Tower.  The pool is in the basement.  Go down the stairs and it is the big glass double doors at the bottom.  Athletes MUST bring in their permission/liability waivers on Monday to be able to get into the facility.  I will be bringing our "flags"  the athletes who can drive have the remainder of the gear.  Anyone who has their own gear can and should bring it, they can store their stuff at the facility.  We will still be having dryland on Wednesday, please remind the girls to bring proper apparel.

As this is the zenith of the season, we will be wearing tights at practice for the next two weeks.  Tights are anything that is water permeable and skintight to the swimmers body.  This can be as simple as a pair of pantyhose.  That athletes have been told at least 3 times before now, so please remind them.  To continue the zenith theme now is more important than ever to take proper care of the athletes body through sleep, nutrition, and recovery drills.  They will be as, or more, beat up than any time before.  Please remind them to do all the little things properly.

OPRF meet on Thursday will be much like the York meet earlier in the season.  Very close.  Please leave immediately following school.  I will double check with the coach about proper parking and entrance, as I have never seen their pool.  I believe this is a 2 level meet and as such should run fairly quickly.  I will update more further.

chris.flamion@gmail.com

Monday, September 19, 2011

West Chicago Update

West Chicago has finally passed on the information about their upcoming meet.

Friday night meet will start at 5:00pm.  This is a slight change from earlier.  Coaches have asked to move it up as 5:30 was a very unorthodox time.  Meet should be done by 7-7:30.  We will be warming up around 4pm.  Athletes need to be at the pool ready to swim by 3:45.

Saturday the meet will start at 1 pm. Meet should be over by 4 pm.  We will be getting into the pool at noon, be ready to swim by 11:45am.  If you do not make finals you are still expected to be at the meet on Saturday.

Below is the map.  The pool Entrance is in the Northeast corner of the building.


View Larger Map

All the kids got their waivers that are required to swim in the new pool next week.  Please make sure they are brought to the pool on Monday.

Chris.flamion@gmail.com

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekly Recap/Update

So I fell waaaayyyy behind this week.  Please allow me to remedy this issue. 

First, the York meet.  In a meet that was basically going to come down to who had the better meet, we ended up losing by a mere 7 points, stupid diving.  That said we swam very well with a large number of best times and event winners.  Overall I was pleased, though not ecstatic with our performance, however an entire season of those type of meets will make for a fantastic season. Best times for the season(once again all of last year is now gone, so sorry)

Jenny, Meg, Courtney, Brandi, Colleen, Kasia, Connie, Katie, Brenda, Allie, Hera, Paige, Marina, Sheline, Malvika, Maddie, Elise, Lucy, Hailey, Joy

Varsity Event winners

Connie, Joy, Allie, Kasia, Brenda, Meg, and Courtney

Hero week also continued from Wed-Fri.  We discussed the importance and self sacrifice of first responders, namely the police and fire who dove into Ground Zero with abandon.  On Friday morning we discussed Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy, Medal of Honor recipient.  I will not go into great detail on what makes him worth comment, however the book Lone Survivor tells his story quite well.  We recognized his honor with a workout known as "Body Armor" aka Murph,  though modified due to facility limitations.

Moving forward now.  Our next meet is this coming Friday and Saturday. At this time I do not have a meet packet for the meet so I am reluctant to provide any further details.  However,  I expect the meet to be Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, with a limited amount of entries.  Please check back often to see if I have any more information.

Attendance and attitude have been great so far, please keep it up and make sure to continue encouraging proper rest and rehab between practices.  As always nutrition is a key, so also try your best to influence that. 

We only have one more week outside.  I know it is a bit chilly, but the water is definately not any colder than a true championship facility(there are none in Illinois, so most haven't ever swam in one).  I will go get all the waivers for the indoor facility at some point this week.  When I do I will pass them out and ask that all the girls bring them the first day of indoor practice next week.

Chris.flamion@gmail.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

York Meet Info

Tomorrow we will travel to York High School for our biggest meet of the year, to this point.  Please leave immediately after school and plan on getting in the water by 3:40pm.  I will bring the line-up tonight to practice, I have scored out the meet 3 different ways and each time the meet comes down to less than 3 points.  3 points in a swim meet is less than a point in a basketball game, in other words one of the closest meets physically possible.

Directions to York are below, park in the front and walk through the building to the North East corner.  They are going to start with diving(ughh) and then start the swimming portion of the meet. There will be no concessions.


View Larger Map

Hero week update

  This morning we discussed Flight 93.  Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  The workout while long and extremely difficult is something that shouldn't make the sore.  The following link is as good a read on the flight as I could find.


See everyone tomorrow night.  Be loud.

Chris.flamion@gmail.com

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hero Week

So this is Hero Week.  For those of you who don't know I have a very close tie to the military.  Not only do I come from a military family where both grandfathers and my father served, but I myself worked for the military.  Shortly after my initial move to Chicago I took a job at the Naval Station Great Lakes to work as a drill instructor for Naval Special Warfare, aka SEALS.  During that time I trained/coached over 500 prospective students, over 100 of whom served the nation as a Special Operator.  Obviously, these men know the risks, the obstacles, and the emotional fortitude necessary to be a hero.  Since I resigned from my post, I have buried 4 students.  For those reasons, I have no shame in saying that anyone in uniform is my hero.  This week now has more meaning as one of our own has chosen to wear a flag on her sleeve.

There will be a decidedly different tone this year for hero week.  Due to the date, and the 10 years since(and my admitted addiction to NPR who has been doing this all week), I want to start with a short story about my memories from 10 years ago today...

I remember very clearly walking into the athletic labs after my first class of the day and seeing no one in there.  With an athlete base of nearly 1000 kids not a soul in the best lab on campus was odd, to say the least.  As I explored the rest of the building I saw where everyone was and was immediately riveted to what I was watching.  I sat with approx 50 other kids watching the 2nd plane hit, and then as they both fell.  I didn't cry, I didn't wince, I simply sat and watched.  Alabama was one of the few schools that didn't close for the afternoon, so I went to my class, oddly enough Aerospace Engineering,  and we did nothing.  My professor who actually helped design the plane used as a weapon, told us to call home tell our parents we loved them, and then told us all to switch majors as Aerospace had just died.  At practice we swam, in silence, with the news on the radio.  I have never in my life been to a pool with so much emotion, not sectionals, not state, not nationals, in fact nothing has even come close.  My group coach was silent as his wife was supposed to have flown back from New York that morning and he still hadn't heard from her(she ended up being okay).  My training partners where both from Europe and seemed completely disenchanted with what the US had happen to it.  So over the next couple weeks as I debated joining the Air Force and whether or not I could do anything else, something amazing happened.  The rebel flags that proliferate down south disappeared, replaced by the stars and stripes.  A school campus normally draped in red saw blues and white mixed into the greek systems wardrobe, and then  Alabama had a home game.  95,000 people sang God Bless America, in unison to not a dry eye in the house.  My roommates who hadn't mastered the English language stood in shock as the entire swim team cried, hugged, and held hands.  Franck, who is very french, now has his citizenship and works for the CIA as a cryptologist.  Last I spoke with him he remembered that week very clearly and still defines it as a turning point in his life.

So why do I share this?  Simply put, I have kids at home who have seen me open an email and breakdown.  All they know is that someone I cared about died, they don't understand why.  After talking to the team, they don't understand the why either, not really.  They don't understand why the world changed, or why an entire generation has grown to have a chip on it shoulder.  While not my job, it is my privilege to share from as close an account as safely possible what these men and women do for this country.

Finally, please understand that despite my obvious respect for our military I don't suggest the military to anyone.  If an athlete comes to me and asks my opinion on the military my first question back will always be "Do your parent's know?"  Once again the purpose of this week is nothing more than to reiterate how lucky we all are to have neighbors and family who are willing to risk everything for each of us.

Minor change to the schedule, morning practice will be at West on Friday, after this week we will alternate.  York meet on Tuesday will be extremely close.  Be loud, be proud, and be the team I want to never forget.

Let's Roll

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lyons Township Relays

Tomorrow we have our first "invite" style meet of the season.  We will be traveling to Lyons Township South for their Relay Invitational.  Warm-ups start at 7:45am.  Meet starts at 9am.  Please get to the pool at approx 7:30.

Below is the map from central Glen Ellyn.


View Larger Map

As a reminder, we are using this meet as a tune-up meet.  I decided it was more valuable to get everyone experience at a large "championship" format meet than to try to score as many points as possible.  Everyone is swimming at least 2 times and no one is swimming more than 3 times.

See everyone tomorrow

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Winning!!! and Practice Change

First off, we won.  Congratulations to all the girls on getting the season started on the right foot.

We won 130-40.

Though normally I would list everyone who went season best times, I will skip that for the time being.  I apologize and will post is soon as I recover date from my old PC.

Congrats to everyone who won a varsity event.

Paige, Kasia, Meg, Colleen, Lucy, Allie, Connie, Brandi, Jenny, Malvika, Hailey, and Joy

Hope everyone enjoyed the first meet, next dual meet will be much more intense....

Practice for Wednesday and Friday morning have been changed.  Wednesday will be at West, Friday will be at South.  The calendar has been changed accordingly.

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

Morton Map and Entries

Tomorrow we finally get to begin our meet season.  We will be competing at Morton West High School, with the meet starting at 5:00 PM.  There will be no diving(I hope they are not listed as a team with diving).  Everyone needs to park in the Cermak Plaza Parking lot due to a festival. 


Below is a map from central Glen Ellyn.


View Larger Map

Please drive carefully, but promptly.  We will be doing an abbreviated workout prior to the beginning of the meet.

Below are the entries.  Everyone is currently listed as an NT.  I apologize and will remedy this ASAP.

Morton Entries

Finally, since I don't believe we have gotten shirts yet...Please wear anything from your respective school or apparel from last season.

Make sure you have your team suit and team cap.  These are required to be eligible to swim.

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Update - September Part 1

Happy September everyone, and congratulations of surviving the first month of swim season.

First off, the schedule for the week.  Normal afternoon practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  We are still practicing outdoors at Butterfield Park District for a couple more weeks, so no changes yet on that front.  Morning practice Wednesday at South, and Friday at West.  For the Morton West meet on Tuesday we will be getting in the water no later than 3:40pm.  This provides nearly an hour to get to the pool and get ready. Saturday we are at Lyons Township High School.  For Saturday be at the South Campus pool by 7:30.  We will be getting in at 7:45am.

Attendance is still up to date and I am quite glad to say everyone is eligible for both meets coming up this week.

The calendar gets updated regularly so please check often.  One change is that Friday morning practice have been added.  The girls decided to keep all Mondays at West, all Wednesdays at South, and we will then alternate Fridays.  When Butterfield closes I will then add all the information for Lifestart Wellness, but until then the calendar is blank after the West Chicago Meet.

Just a quick note on meet methodology.  For most dual meets I am more concerned with making sure everyone gets an opportunity to swim multiple events than I am with what they are best at.  Sometimes this means athletes moving up and down levels multiple times throughout a meet.  This is not meant as a slight or anything else, just me trying to provide the most opportunity to the most people.  For this coming Saturday meet at Lyons,  I was most concerned on giving everyone an opportunity to swim multiple times, as opposed to trying only to win.  I have explained this to the girls, and more importantly I have stressed that oppurtunity is presenting itself, and to make the most of it.

Final note for the evening.  The swim season is long, and the human body is amazingly complex.  Combine them and somethings are going to start to wear out.  So I give a list of some things to help out.

Cryotherapy - AKA Icing,  15 minutes on tender spots 2-3 times a day will help tremendously.  Make sure there is a thin layer of fabric between the skin and the cold.  Never more than 15 minutes per 2 hours as well.

Anti-Inflammatory - Use rarely and only as necessary.  That said when muscles are locking up it does do wonders.

Stretching - Preferably nightly, but at the minimum regurarly(2-3 times per week).  The following link the probably the most comprohensive basic strectch series I know of.  Stretches

Mobility Training - And here is where I start to get a little....eccentric.  Mobility is just like stretching, only it revolves around the joints ability to move to the full range of motion. It requires some things that are not normal to all households, but if you don't have something ad lib.  The one exception is a foam roller and the lacrosse ball.  Best money any athlete could ever spend.  Now before I post the link, the crazy tattooed guy has his PhD in Physical Therapy and is on the payroll of 4(yes 4!!!) US Olympic Sports governing bodies.  He is a little hard to understand at times, but I like him(no idea why though...hmm)   Mobility Wod  I suggest going back to the very beginning and starting at the 10 minute squat hold.  Humbling for most.

Rest and Nutrition - Already beat this into the ground but please get sleep and eat right.

I will post directions and the line-up tomorrow evening.  Have a great day off/holiday tomorrow.

Chris.Flamion@gmail.com