This week, Olympic champ Tom Shields joins the SwimSwam Breakdown and we discuss the World Cup, Olympic Trials, and NCAA Dual Meets.
On the heels of the World Cup Series Finale in Indianapolis, SwimSwam sat down with USA Swimming's Chief Commercial Officer, Shana Ferguson. Ferguson was not only overseeing the World Cup stop in Indy, but also taking time to prepare what she deems "The Meet of the Century": the 2024 Olympic Trials, which will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The CCO updates us on where USA Swimming is at in their preparation, including an artist's rendition of what the venue will actually look like with all 3 (yes, 3) pools inside.
This week on the SwimSwam Breakdown, we discuss 2 new world records, swimming in the NCAA, and Simone Manuel's return to racing.
University of Virginia head coach, Todd DeSorbo, didn’t roll back on his heels after winning the 2022 Women’s NCAA DI Championships team title. DeSorbo, who is on the TritonWear Advisory Board, dove into swimming data. “TritonWear is powerful tech,” he said. “Increasingly we’ve been using it, and we used it a lot starting in the early spring with an eye on the long course season.” DeSorbo was a 2022 Team USA FINA World Champs head coach, but his goals spanned the summer. “Budapest, World Champs, was over in June, but we always intended to show up at Summer Nationals (in Irvine).” DeSorbo singled out Matt King as one example where tracking swimming data made a big difference. “He was a 49.9 PB in the 100m free. This summer he dropped to 48.33, and his stroke count was essentially the same.” Matt King dropped the 48.33 in the prelim. He touched in 48.44 in the final to tie for the U.S. National Title. King, only 5’11, swam big. DeSorbo noted stroke efficiency as the big gain, a TritonWear metric he tracked closely since early April. “He (King) was like a 22.6 PB in the 50m free,” DeSorbo said, “ and he won national with a 21.8, a big drop.” DeSorbo was an CPA at one of the biggest accounting firms in the world before he decided that career path wasn’t making his happy. “I could do it,” he said, “but it wasn’t the same as coaching swimming. That’s my passion. But, with my CPA experience, I know to respect the numbers--trust numbers.” What is DeSorbo’s go-to Tritonwear Metric? "Push-off Power," he said. “You’re never faster in a race than exploding off the wall. That starts your speed…speed you fight to maintain throughout the lap.” In recent news, FINA Technical Congress saw the passing of a proposed change to rule SW 10.8. As of Jan. 01, 2023: “The use of technology and automated data collection devices is permissible for the sole purpose of collecting data. Automated devices shall not be utilized to transmit data, sounds, or signals to the swimmer and may not be used to aid their speed.” This means wearable technology to collect data for research, education, and entertainment is legal. However, that data cannot be used in real-time – in swimming races – to aid a swimmer’s speed.
Harvard Women’s Head Coach, Stephanie Morawski, joined the SwimSwam Podcast early on in the Crimson’s season, which starts later than most on October 1st. Morawski talks about how they deal with the late Ivy League start and how Captain's practices create leadership within the team. It may seem obvious, but the Harvard women’s team is full of high achievers. Keeping a group of type A athletes in a good mental state is a big priority for Morawski and you can hear it in all the ways she tries to support her women. It starts with making practice a happy place for them. Morawski tells us how there are times when she has to trick them into the work, and gives a great example of an amazing race set that they did this season. The foundation of joy at practice is just the beginning of the athlete support. They have weekly team meetings and a speaker series, where athletes present on a variety of experiences that benefit the whole team. Morawski touches on recruiting, balance, and even a little bit on her own swimming at Harvard. This is a great interview, filled with usable information for coaches and athletes. Enjoy!
USA Swimming support link: https://swimssupport.usaswimming.org/support/home
Since USA Swimming rolled out SWIMS 3.0 about two months ago, there has been mounting frustration among the membership over technical issues with the new software. For media, there have been a number of issues with related systems, like times lookups, not working.
But things are beginning to stabilize, and one-by-one the problems are clearing up.
Late last week, we spoke with USA Swimming’s Patrick Murphy, who is leading the effort to modernize the organization’s information technology resources. In this interview, we discuss what went wrong with the rollout, how those problems are being fixed, why the change had to happen, and Patrick answers the question: “Should USA Swimming be in the software business?”
We sat down with Rex Maurer, the #2 recruit in the class of 2023 who waited far longer than any other big name in his class to announce his verbal commitment. With the family history he has there (as well as his current family, his older brother swims there), it didn't come as a shock that the middle-distance standout ultimately chose Stanford. Listen to what Rex has to say about his recruiting process, his swimming in the last few years, and why we will now see him on the Farm in just one year's time.
Two-time Olympian, two-time Olympic medalist and Speedo Athlete, Hali Flickinger, has taken the longest break of her career since winning gold (4×200 free relay) and silver (200 fly) at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. However, she was not idle during her time-off. Hali’s been building a career selling real estate. She got her license back in Georgia, and she got her license in Arizona–and she loves it. Hali needed time away from the pool, a mental health break, to recharge her swimming-batteries. She’s back in the water now with Coach Bob Bowman, and while it’s been rough getting back into elite shape, Hali’s been okay with the process. She will not rest for her return to race-action on the FINA World Cup Series (her first World Cup appearance since 2011), and she may not rest for the 2022 FINA Short Course World Championships in December. She’s taking it day-by-day now with her sights set the 2024 Olympic Trials in Indy.
We sat down with Carsten Vissering, the former USC Trojan and NCAA Champion in the 200 Medley Relay (2018) who most recently qualified for the US National Team in Bobsled. Vissering explains why he chose bobsled, how he was selected for the national team, and what that will look like for him moving forward. The USC Alum also shares some of his favorite memories and stories from his time as a Trojan.