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