Friday, December 26, 2014

Winning Isn't Normal

(via Us Too)
If you're not familiar with Dr. Keith Bell's books, it's probably because they've become tough to find in recent years.

Some of my favorites were Target on GoldThe Nuts & Bolts of Psychology for Swimmers, and (of course) Winning Isn't Normal.

I'd be very surprised if our more "senior" coaches didn't have at least a couple of Bell's books on the office shelf.

Great news!  You can now get eBook versions of Keith's work at Keel Publications

Quote of the Day

A tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will
hang a man nonetheless if he's not careful.

(via The Book Catapult)

Yann Martel

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pre-Christmas Update

Enjoy any or all of seventy minutes with The Pretenders:

The City of Lakeway needs an aquatic facility coordinator

Yesterday's CSCAA D-II (M&W) poll is here.

NITRO was the only Texas program to achieve "Gold Medal Club" status.  There were plenty that made it onto the Silver and Bronze lists.  View all here.

Incarnate Word Christmas Invite

Burnet 5A & Under Invite

Gulf Age Group Champs

Brownsville City Meet

Northside Invite (South Pool)

Northside Invite (North Pool)

CBA Thursday Night at the Races

King Marlin Pro-Am

American Energy Pro-Am

Burnet TISCA


Tentative start date for the AT thru-hike is February 7.  That's just forty-five (45) days away!  Shopping list has been whittled down quite a bit.  Still need to pick up some clothes (socks, soft-shell jacket, gloves, pants, etc.), stuff sacks, bear bag, etc.  A couple more trips to REI ought to do it.

I'm torn between planning too much and not enough.  Sure don't want to feel the need to be in any given spot by any specific date, but there is a need to have at least some idea of when/where I'll re-supply and pick up mail drops.  Also want to have this wrapped up in time to return to the workforce in the fall.

Once on the trail, I'll update both the official trail journal (starts here) and the hike blog (here) as often as possible. We'll see how it all works out.  If uploading pics and vids takes too much time/effort, it might just end up being text.

Am often asked "Why?"  There isn't a simple answer.  Maybe it's just a desire to see lots of stars and hear plenty of birds...without having been hit on the head first...

Our tenth season of Texas Swimming fantasy foosball came to an end with yours truly on top of the fourteen-team league.  Four of the top five this year are Bay City guys.  Blake Holden was third, Bobby was fourth, and Keith Hill was fifth.

Quote of the Day

When we finally got to "A Little Help" I
felt this throng of humanity come alive.

(via William & Mary)

John Robert "Joe" Cocker

Thursday, December 18, 2014

From Peyton's Dad

Many of you know that College Park HS assistant coach David James recently lost his son, Peyton.  Catch up here.

Thanks to all who responded so positively.  Coach James asked me to post this message thanking y'all for your kindness:

Thank you one and all for your donations to Products for Peyton.  The donations that we received at the TISCA meet at The Conroe ISD Natatorium were incredible.  They far exceeded my expectations.

I have made it my goal to email the principal at every school that donated. I realize every one of you did this out of the kindness of your hearts with no intention of recognition, but I want to brag on you to your principals.

We all put in long hours working with every kid from future Olympians to the kid we high five the first time he does a flip turn or swims a 200 nonstop, but because we coach a "non revenue" sport, rarely receive recognition.  I want to brag on my colleagues for their selfless contributions.

If you would contact me at djames@, I would appreciate it.

Thank you

Quote of the Day

Man is whole when he is in tune with the
winds, the stars, and the hills...being in
tune with the universe is the entire secret.

(via The Atlantic)

William Orville Douglas

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More News


Top ten Texas SCY teams (as of this a.m.) in Virtual Club Champs (w/national rank):

Nitro (7)
The Woodlands (16)
First Colony (26)
Alamo Area (35)
Lakeside (38)
Metroplex (56)
Cypress Fairbanks (65)
Texas Ford (71)
Katy (83)
Rockwall (113)


Irving Swimmers needs an assistant swim coach


Regular readers will recall that throwing around the term revenue sport is just a smokescreen at most schools.  Fact is, very few so-called "revenue" sports actually bring in more money than they spend.

When swimming programs are dumped for "financial reasons" we can usually prove that isn't really the case.  Unfortunately, that logic hasn't gotten us very far, has it?

So, where does that leave foosball programs bleeding red ink?  Read more here.

(via Fansided)

UAB gave in and let the truth set them free - free from a program that was financially ruining the university.  They recently axed a foosball program that brought in nine (9) million bucks annually - while spending twenty-seven (27) million.

It doesn't take a mathlete to see foosball wasn't even close to being a revenue sport there, right?

Instead of seeing schools dumping foosball, I'd much rather see them retain their programs while cutting back on the insane spending.  

Contrast the UAB experience to Ohio University, where we have some experience. Like UAB, it has a so-so football team (6-6 record) and considers a game with 15,000 attending to be pretty typical, despite its stadium capacity of 24,000. Like UAB, it plays in the shadow of a football powerhouse that regularly draws over 100,000 to its games, currently fourth-ranked Ohio State, playing UAB’s sister school Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Like UAB, OU is forced to subsidize intercollegiate sports to the tune of about $18 million a year – again, nearly $1,000 for each of its roughly 20,000 students on the Athens campus (partially disguised as part of a “student activity fee”). Both universities have medical schools. The institutional similarities are striking.

Each OU student pays nearly a grand a year so the school can fund a team with a bloated roster of 118 players and 23 coaches?  That's just D-U-M dumb!  Is there anyone in that administration that could pass Logic 101?

So, we've got the money argument covered.  What about the "not competitive" argument often used to axe some sports while saving others?

Great little reminder:

Many university presidents fail to recognize the Iron Law of Sports: when someone wins a game, someone else loses. It is impossible for a large portion of schools to achieve primacy in any given sport.

Again, just do the math...reasons for dropping our sport just aren't adding up, are they?


Brownsville TISCA

Frisco TISCA



Lewisville Invite

16-6A JV District

Conroe/Oak Ridge/Dulles

Linda Price-Applewick Memorial

NTN BB & Under

TTST 8 & Under

AAAA BB & Under

TXLA Jingle Bell Splash

SASA Tis the Season

HCAP Fall Champs

Nitro Pick 5 November Splash


We'll learn Jack Bauerle's "sentence" today when the NCAA releases their findings.  More here.

The NCAA also alleged that Bauerle “carried out his plan…despite repeated instructions from athletics department personnel not to proceed in this manner.”

Translation:  Georgia AD Greg McGarity took advantage of the first bus that came along.

Thanks for the heads up, SS!


Time for a Cake Wreck:



Quote of the Day

The public pays and feels it is
entitled to participate in the
personal affairs of a performer.

(via Hedy Lamarr Foundation)

Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, a.k.a. Hedy Lamarr

Saturday, December 13, 2014

TNG + P&R = Parks and Trek

More from Neill Cameron here.

Swimming World's "Camp of the Week" is Longhorns Swim Camp.  Story here.

(via Knoxville News Sentinal)

Those Appalachian Trails folks keep moving the goal posts.  According to this, thru-hike will now be a 2,189 miler.

Cedar Park Swimming needs an assistant.  Info here.

The Town of Little Elm needs a Recreation and Aquatics Coordinator.

Want to fuel your swimmer with just the click of a mouse?  Visit Garrett Weber-Gale's Athletic Foodie site here.

High School Results

College Park vs. Magnolia

YISD Invite


Club Results

LSST Fall Champs

PACK Fall Champs

Leo Cancellare Invite

COR Winter Classic

NITRO Holiday Splash

Gulf Senior Champs

Junior Nationals Coverage

USA Swimming site has results, timelines, heat sheets, live streaming video, scores, etc.

Top Texas team through 24 events is NITRO.  They're 5th in the combined team race (14th in women, 4th in men).

Interesting that only nineteen (19) teams have made it onto the combined scoring board so far.

Quote of the Day

Inevitably the party trying to resolve
a matter had to contend with the
party most willing to exploit it.

(via flickr)

Carolyn Janice Cherry, a.k.a. C.J. Cherryh

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What's New?

Rather than repair them, Ft. Worth's city council voted last week to demolish five (5) public pools.

This leaves the city of 800,000 just two (2) public pools.  Read more here and here.

Sylvania Park Pool is one of five the City Council voted to demolish. The others are Sycamore Park Pool, built in 1926; Lake Como Park Pool, built in 1957; Kellis Park Pool, built in 1960; and Hillside Park Pool, built in 1960. All have been closed since 2010 because of budget cuts.

Turning the sites back into open park space is expected to cost $262,688, with the demolitions scheduled to start in February.

The council’s decision leaves only two public pools open in the city: Forest Park Pool, which was repaired in 2013 for $661,000, and Marine Park Pool, which was demolished and reconstructed in 2012 for $3.2 million. Both are on the western side of the central city about five miles apart.


Meanwhile, Harlingen CISD is putting the finishing touches on their new natatorium:



Info on USA Swimming's Futures program is here.  Meet is for kids who do not qualify for Junior Nationals, but achieve the time standards listed here.  Texans participating will compete in Mt. Hood, Oregon July 30 - August 2.  Meet info is here.


Jeff Bonser will retire as Angleton HS coach at the end of this season.  If you're interested in taking over the position, contact Ryan Roark at 979-864-8048


Them danged do-gooders done did bad.  Real bad.  Read about the big Greenpeace screw-up down in Peru here.

He said the government was seeking to prevent those responsible from leaving the country while it asks prosecutors to file charges of "attacking archaeological monuments," a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.

The activists entered a "strictly prohibited" area beside the famed figure of a hummingbird, the Culture Ministry said in a statement. They laid big yellow cloth letters reading: "Time for Change; The Future is Renewable."

Oh yeah, they made a video to document their stunt:


Junior Nationals video is here.  Real time results are here.  Top Texas team after Day 1 is Nitro (currently 5th in combined scoring).


On to the CSCAA polls:

View D-I women hereA&M fourth, UT sixth.  SMU got votes, but fell out of top twenty-five.

D-I men hereTexas at #1.

D-III men & women hereTrinity women 25th.

Quote of the Day

What is a committee?  A group of
the unwilling, picked from the
unfit, to do the unnecessary.

(via getty images)

Richard C. Harkness

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

TownLake Wake

That's the name of Austin's newest swimming program.

The folks at the TownLake YMCA have a masters program and are in the process of getting an age group program off the ground.

Click pics to see details.

There's no risk to try it out.  Morning masters workouts in December are FREE!

Get your kids started toward age group swimming in their lesson program.

Check out all their programs at their main page here.

Sign-up links for age group programs:

Swim League Beginner (twice weekly)

Swim League Christmas Break Camp (three-hour sessions)


Get in touch with Aquatics Director Joe Doyle at 512-542-9622

A Little News?

Starting it off with a little quiz.  Before checking the links, can you guess Who Wears These Shoes?:

(via Mashable)

In local news, Matagorda County was soundly defeated in the recent Water Wars.  The drought put the LCRA in the middle of battles involving Austin, Corpus Christi, and Bay City.  The good news?  They're breaking ground on an important reservoir this week.  More here.

According to a Sept. 17 news release, the LCRA Board of Directors “took historic action to expand and protect the water supply of the lower Colorado River basin.” That action included giving final approval to the 40,000 acre-foot off-channel reservoir near Lane City. According to the release, the reservoir could be filled several times a year, adding up to 90,000 acre-feet of firm water to the region’s supply.

The new Tenaris plant near Van Vleck will provide a big boost to the county economy.

(via Facebook)

So, things are looking up!  Kind of like Elton...

Swimming news?  Yeah, there's been some.

Lifetime Fitness in Austin needs a head coach.  Info here.

(via New York Times)

I sure hope this doesn't happen.  The IOC says synchro might be on the chopping block.  More here.

Synchronised swimming, one of the sports under a FINA umbrella that now stretches to six disciplines including five in the Olympic realm, is on a “fit for removal” list among Games bosses considering replacements they feel more in keeping with popularity in the 21st Century.

The City of Grapevine needs an assistant pool manager.

Junior Nationals psych sheet is here.  More info (to eventually include a link to results) is here.

Rice vs. A&M (W)

Big Cat Invite

The Woodlands vs. Kingwood (JV)


FCST 10 & Under

CFSC Fall Champs

MARC Fall Champs



AQTX Tuesday Night Races

McMurry vs. Austin College

UALR Christmas Invite (Day 1)

UALR Christmas Invite (Day 2)

UALR Christmas Invite (Day 3)

Reindeer Games

Belton End of Year

Hoot and Holler

Burnet Winter Classic

Quote of the Day

Although our intellect always longs
for clarity and certainty, our nature
often finds uncertainty fascinating.

(via Clausewitz Graphics)

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz

Friday, December 05, 2014

Quote of the Day

The more the president talks about his ideas,
the more unpopular he becomes.  Why would
I want to deprive him of that opportunity?

(via The Snap Download)

John Andrew Boehner

Thursday, December 04, 2014

USA Swimming Rule Change

In high school swimming here in the US, we can't go a year without changing our diving rules.

(via LA Times)

Internationally, it's breaststroke.  Ever since FINA allowed a Kitajima to win Olympic gold using a dolphin kick during a pullout, updates in that stroke seem to come along a couple of times annually.

Effective immediately:

“101.2.3 Kick – After the start and each turn, at any time prior to the first breaststroke kick a single butterfly kick is permitted. Following which, all movements of the legs shall be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane without alternating movement.

The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. Scissors, alternating movements or downward butterfly kicks are not permitted except as provided herein. Breaking the surface of the water with the feet is allowed unless followed by a downward butterfly kick.”

Quote of the Day

Erasers remind us there is no faultless human.

(via Ann Telnaes)

Javad Alizadeh

Monday, December 01, 2014

Quote of the Day

If we assume we've arrived, we stop
searching, we stop developing.

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Misc.

(via reachforthewall)

Golden Goggles

Female Athlete OTY:  Katie Ledecky (video)

Male Athlete OTY:  Michael Phelps (video)

Female Race OTY:  Katie Ledecky, Pan Pac 1500 free (video)

Male Race OTY:  Connor Jaeger, Pan Pac 1500 free (video)

Relay OTY:  Pan Pac Women's 800 (video)

Coach OTY:  Bruce Gemmell (video)

Breakout Performer OTY:  Maya DiRado (video)

Perseverance Award:  Haley Anderson & Andrew Gemmell (video)


MAC Open


Dallas Cup

Caney Creek/Willis/Huntsville

Phill Hansel Invite

Frisco ISD Invite

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps vs. Trinity

AAHSSL 11/22 Duals (Block)

AAHSSL Reagan vs. Brandeis & Marshall vs. MacArthur

AAHSSL O'Connor vs. Churshill & Clark vs. Johnson

Art Adamson Invite

Alief ISD Sprint Invite


Killeen ISD Invite


Hang in there, Art Bell fans.  The late night radio superstar plans to return via internet in July 2015.

Will Modern Farmer ever replace Mother Earth News?

Longhorns Swim Camp employment info is here.

For 2015, the Camp is seeking 23-26 individuals who are motivated, team-oriented, energetic, enjoy coaching, learning, and working with young people. This is an exciting opportunity for established and up and coming coaches!  It is highly encouraged to complete and return all paperwork ASAP.

Quote of the Day

Nature always uses the simplest
means to accomplish its effects.

(via Larousse)

Pierre Louis Maupertuis

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

The criterion of truth is that it works even
if nobody is prepared to acknowledge it.

(via Great Thoughts Treasury)

Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

To understand the workings of American
politics, you have to understand this
fundamental law:  Conservatives
think liberals are stupid.  Liberals
think conservatives are evil.

(via cac)

Charles Krauthammer

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The Aggies moved into the top spot in this week's CSCAA D-I Women's Swimming poll.  View that hereTexas was 4th and SMU dropped to 22nd.

A&M hosts the Art Adamson Invite this weekend.  Real time results should be here.

Men's and women's D-III poll is here.  Only Texas school getting votes was Trinity (W).


Dallas Mustangs Intrasquad



Klein JV Invite

Kingwood JV Klassic

(via reddit)

In foosball news:  Did you know Houston won the 1952 Salad Bowl?

(via behance)
The UIL 8-hour rule doesn't mean just eight hours of training per week.  It means eight hours outside the school day (athletic period doesn't count against it) through the close of school Friday (Friday afternoon and Saturday don't count against it).

Serious high school programs that lack a nearby club program to supplement their training can still - legally - get in sixteen hours of training weekly (without going too crazy on Friday afternoon and Saturday), right?

How do college programs stretch their NCAA 20-hour rule without breaking it?  Optional time, of course!  Read NCAA Practice Limits Have Their Loopholes here.

(via ESPN)
Most college sports teams have found ways to legally circumvent the 20-hour rule. Making portions of practices optional seems to be the most common approach, and this is easier in swimming than most sports. In some sports, coaches are not allowed to attend optional practices, but for swimming, there is a safety exemption that allows them to be on the pool deck during optional work.

A few other facets of the NCAA’s rule are that mandatory team meetings count toward the 20 hours, and all competitions count as three hours of practice. In addition, no more than four hours can be required on any one day, and student-athletes must get at least one day off per week.

In our case, the 20 total hours and four-hour maximum per day are both skirted because of optional hours. Thankfully, we do get Sundays completely off.

Yes, high school and college swimming can seem like a part-time job...but a fun one, right?

(via The Keep Calm-O-Matic)

Nope, you've never heard the above from me.  Just can't stand it.  Worked with a couple of guys who used it more than a little.  It's one example of thought-terminating clichés (more here).

Though the clichéd phrase in and of itself may be valid in certain contexts, its application as a means of dismissing dissent or justifying fallacious logic is what makes it thought-terminating.

Watch Minneapolis Grand Prix here.

Real time results should show up here.

Quote of the Day

Despair is a narcotic.  It lulls
the mind into indifference.

(via Wikipedia)

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

One thorn of experience is worth
a whole wilderness of warning.

(via Wikipedia)

James Russell Lowell

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Time to Lower Expectations?

Guess I expected too much after posting Opportunity to Save the Males!

Since Wednesday, hundreds have seen the post and not a single person has been interested enough to respond with contact info.

I may have this "Save the Males" thing all wrong.  Maybe they don't want or need to be saved.  Young men might be just fine with fewer opportunities in college swimming.

Think I'll dismount, give Rocinante a break, and leave them windmills alone for a while...

In other news:

If your USAS coaching credentials are up for renewal and you need info on safety requirements for the 2015 year, info is here.

WADA's revised doping code will take effect January 1, 2015.  The banned substances list:

WADA 2015 Prohibited List

Here's a groovy little item, the cubic rubber band:

via nendo


SMU vs. TCU (M)

Dragon Invite

The Woodlands vs. Collins

Conroe/Oak Ridge/Dulles




O'Connor/Brandeis/Health Careers/Holmes

AAHSSL "D" Division Dual #2

McKinney North/Liberty/Heritage

CSCAA Polls:



Save College of Charleston Swim/Dive video:

Minneapolis Grand Prix Psych Sheet

West University Recreation Specialist - Aquatics

USA Swimming feature on Laura Sogar is here.

“I’m looking at a lot of schools right now, some close to me and some not so close; I’ve got time to decide,” said Sogar, who intends to pursue her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). “I’m very happy with life right now, especially being back on the road to being healthy, and I’m really excited about what’s still to come – in and outside of swimming.”

Will likely encounter rattlers, black bears, and a bazillion skeeters on the AT.  Might even run into a Bigfoot.  State by State sightings list here.

(via Custom Woven Towels)

USAS feature on NITRO Swimming is here.

3. We build from the bottom up. We have great lesson programs at our pools, and our conduit programs connect to our swim team. Intro to Nitro is the first step of being on the swim team, then we have Technique and Fitness, which is more about learning strokes and staying in shape. Those help us build within the infrastructure of our own team and work up the pyramid.

Sir Charles weighs in on Derrick Rose:

Quote of the Day

If you expect nothing from anybody,
you're never disappointed.

(via Wikipedia)

Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Opportunity to Save the Males!

Was contacted today by television producer who wants to hear from high school boys (15-17) who have experienced loss of college swim opportunities due to Title IX (mainly proportionality).

Parents and coaches, please get me contact info for young men who are swimming in high school and have discovered:

a) the school of their choice has a women-only swim program,
b) little/no financial assistance is available because they're males,
c) roster caps mean they can't even swim as a "walk on", and/or
d) any other reverse discrimination issues.

Producer would like to talk with kids by phone first (by the end of next week), then set up on-camera interviews.

I'm more than happy to be the go-between for this effort.  Email me contact info and I'll pass it along.

This is a great opportunity to tell a side of the story that's often missed in the media.

We know our sport is the most gender-equitable one out there, yet our young men pay a heavy price because other sports aren't nearly as "fair" as ours.

Wildcats End Drought!

Okay, it's not a Texas story (New York, actually), but bear with me (there's Texas news later).

In 1977, our sectional meet didn't come down to the last relay.  Our Marcus Whitman Wildcats' boys team came close to our first swimming team championship, but even our upset win in the 400 free relay wasn't enough to put us over the top.  As they say:  Close, but no cigar.

While up in Rushville last month for the Hall of Fame ceremony, there was talk that "This year could be the year."  Our girls' team was having a very good season and had a shot at a sectional title.

Last weekend, the Whitman girls won our school's first-ever sectional championship in a meet that came down to a must-win 400 free relay.  Full story here.

Marcus Whitman rallied in the last race to come away with the Class C team championship. The 400 free relay team of Hailey Rossi, Amelia Stash, Natalie Johnson and Courtney Copper won to give Whitman 303 points, edging out the host Rams by two points and third place Dansville by five.

It was the first sectional title for Marcus Whitman in program history.

“I’m so proud of all of my girls. They have inspired each other to be their best, which in turn made the team the best,” Marcus Whitman coach Marcy Adams said. “The competition at this meet was unbelievably strong, and I’m so grateful that we were able  to be part of it.

“Our team stayed very strong and worked off one another’s energy. They truly showed what teamwork and hard work can do.”

Note about the girls' picture:

When you win an event at sectionals, they give you your letter jacket patch on the spot.  Blue shield for individual events, white shield for relays.  Still have mine floating around here somewhere.  Might be a cool idea for UIL/TISCA to explore, right?

Way to go, Cats!

Now for the Texas news.  A new TISCA president's letter is here.  In summary:

1.  Spring '15 superintendent survey is next step in "24 to State" movement.
2.  A 3rd division might become a reality if/when 4A numbers increase.
3.  UIL wants polo but the L.C. doesn't.  It's up to TISCA to change that.

A few high school and club results:

Bob Stallings Aggieland Invite

Victoria ISD Invite


Cathedral/Loretto Invite

PEAK Senior


CCAA Turkey Trot

Rockwall Invite

Red River Shootout

Georgetown/East View/Midway

Plano vs. Plano West

Broncos JV Sprint Pentathlon

Weslaco Invite