Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More From Olivier Leroy

At some point your swim coach has told you to focus on the process, or totrust the process.

But have you ever stopped to listen?

Or thought a little more deeply about how focusing on the process instead of results can help you be a significantly better swimmer?

(Not only that, but also decreases stress, increases enjoyment, and makes you 9% less likely to get kicked in the face by wayward breaststrokers.)

I understand the resistance to this concept…

By focusing on the process we aren’t obsessing over our goals, and if we aren’t obsessing over our goals, than obviously we don’t want it enough, and as a result we won’t achieve them.

But here’s the kicker…

We don’t achieve our goals by thinking and wishing non-stop for them to happen.

We make our goals happen by focusing on the process.

I am going to give you two quick examples of what I mean.

#1. Focus on the process when building your goals.

I’ve talked a lot about goals and goal setting through this newsletter. From tips and strategies to setting better goals, and what you need to do to stay on top of them.

At the top of that list is building a process to get there.

In other words, going backwards from your goal, what do you need to do in training each day to get where you want to go?

Not merely the things you need to accomplish to get to your ultimate goal, but what you are going to do each day.

This is your process.

This is your preparation.

By focusing on what you can do to get faster you give yourself control (which inspires confidence, decreases anxiety, and even makes the whole training thingy more enjoyable).

A process also gives you a concrete set of things to work on at the pool each day.
  • 5 perfect dolphin kicks off every very wall.
  • An effort rating that is at least 8.5/10

Your process includes things that you can control.

#2 Focus on the process when you are neck deep in a tough workout and set.

Swimmers overwhelmingly pull their punches in training.

It’s a common sight, and something coaches tell me often…

Because they are afraid of the pain…afraid of “dying”…afraid of having nothing left for later in the workout…afraid of how much more of the practice still remains to be completed… They never really go through a full swim practice at full effort.

This leaves a lot of wasted potential on the table.

And it doesn’t prepare you for the challenge of competition.

You are essentially training yourself to give most of your best, but never entirely.

This pain avoidance is 100% natural and instinctive.

And unless I’m paying to attention to my own process, I am just as guilty of it in training.

Last week I was at the pool doing a 3,000m fartlek kick set (Fartlek—fun to say, and good for you too!)…I was alternating doing 125m cruise and 75m at an all-out pace…

By the time I got to about halfway my legs were slowing considerably, going full Jello-mode by the end of each high intensity rep.

During one rep in particular I thought about how I still had like 9 more hard efforts to go, plus another 2k to swim after that.

My legs instantly slowed down. Even though it was done consciously, the thought of how much more workout was still to come ended up causing me to slow down.

Our brains, being those wonderfully complicated little things that they are, thought it was doing me a favor by yanking the parking brake.

“You still have so much workout left, let me help you out by slowing you down,” it was whispering to me.

The solution?

How do we override this pain-avoidance mechanism?

I switched to a process-based focus by focusing on the rep I was doing and that rep alone, and focusing on a series of cues to keep my legs moving at a fast(ish) pace:

Kick in a tight box… Keep your ankles loose and snap them! Kick all the way to the wall!

Anytime my mind drifted off to how many more reps I had, or how much workout I had left, I returned my focus to those process-based cues.

As a result, I was able to complete the set at a higher level than I would have if I continued focusing on the outcome and focusing on what was next.

Simply put, a process-focused approach allowed me to be more present in my swimming, giving me a better training session.

Focus-based thinking and focus will help you swim faster. More often.

Often I get emails from young swimmers with big goals.

From going to the Olympics…

Breaking a best time…

To getting back into shape.

And invariably I like to ask…

What’s your process look like?

See you in the water,


P.S. Getting better at mastering the process is just one of the things that tracking your workouts can really help you with.

When you see how long it takes to make progress, when you have an accountability tool to help you stay on track, and when you have something that gives you the little jolts of motivation that come with nailing your process on a daily basis, then your swimming will take off to a whole new level.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hall of Honor Update

The Hall of Honor in the Natatorium is being updated and hope to be completed by summer.

Yesterday the Hall updated the WIAA State Qualifiers.

The four new names brings the number of WIAA State Qualifiers to 160, with many of the swimmers with multiple appearances in state meet. 

We have been given by the Tech. Ed. Department cabinets that are being hung on the walls, to display our State and National Certificates (All-State, All-American, Academic Awards, National Top 25 etc...). We also use these to display team pictures from over the years.

Any Alumni, that would like to donate any certificates that they won from their years at BMHS. Feel free to contact me. Team Office phone number is 608-361-3163.

Beloit Strong!!!
Beloit Proud!!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Summer Season Starting

Beloit TIDE USA Swimming starts practice

Monday April 10th 6:00 PM BMHS Natatorium
Parent Meeting Thursday April 6 at 6:00 BMHS Natatorium

Beloit Krueger Recreation Team starts Monday June 12th 11:30am.

All Sign ups at Leisure Services ASAP.

Become Beloit Strong

Beloit Proud!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

If you’re not struggling, you’re not improving by: Olivier Leroy

Oh, hello!

You know what’s really fun?

Being awesome at something.

Working really hard, for a consistent and lengthy period of time, and mastering something you were previously incapable of doing.

Things like…

Breaking :40 seconds for a 50 kick.
Dipping under a minute for the first time.
Destroying a best time.

It’s a fantastic feeling when we break through those barriers.

For rapid improvement you need to seek out the hard stuff. Seek out the weaknesses in your swimming that you avoid and steer clear of because of a self-perceived belief that you aren’t naturally good at it.

In order to achieve mind-blowing success in the water it is key that you are continually focused on hitting that spot where struggle and mastery intersect…

Right on the edge of “I almost have it!”

We Avoid the Stuff We Think We Stink At

Not a good kicker? I bet you don’t get over-the-moon-WHAMMY! excited when coach prints out a thick kick set up on the whiteboard.

Think your breaststroke looks more like Bambi on ice? You probablylooove those breaststroke sets.

It’s natural to not dig the things we believe we aren’t good at...

But the result is something a little more problematic than simple distaste:

We tend not to give our best effort when the workout calls for work on our weaknesses. In fact, we might pull the old “gotta go to the bathroom” card and hide out in the showers until that particular set is completed.

But when we avoid these things we hamstring the opportunities we have for growth.

Yes, the struggle can be, well, a struggle.

There are times where you feel like you are doing the old “one step forward, two steps backwards” shuffle and dance.

But when you look struggle in the face and muster the words: “I accept you!”

Than you are setting yourself on a high-pitched course for faster swimming.

And isn’t that the whole point?

When you are ready to rock out with your log book out, go here.

See you at the pool,


Friday, March 3, 2017

Olivier Leroy on Your Goals


There’s a familiar pattern to trying to make a big change with our swimming.

Maybe we’ve finally decided we’ve had enough and really want to punch that best time in the face.

And so what do we do?

We show up to practice every day.

Bang out the main set with precision and ruthlessness.

Clean up our lifestyle habits, eat a bit better, go to bed a little earlier.

After a few weeks the expectation is that we are much, much better.

We’ve worked hard, after all.

Only we find that in doing a test set, or racing that we’ve barely improved.


Cue up the greatest hits of soggy self-talk:

“I suck—see I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

“This goal will take way too much time for me to achieve. I’ll never be able to do it.”

Before you throw away all that hard work, before you give up on doing things the right away, there is something ya need to know…

And it’s this…

We are hilariously brutal at guesstimating how long it’s going to take to accomplish something.

We can look at our past history, and make predictions based on our experiences and abilities, but more often than not we underplay how long and how hard something will be.

Here are two examples.

Example 1:

The first example is something you can almost certainly identify with…

Last weekend I was meeting up with a friend to grab lunch.

I sent out a text, “Leaving now, be there in 5.”

I gathered my things, and headed out the door.

15 minutes later

I walked through the door of the restaurant.


Example 2:

In 2004 at the Athens Olympics Michael Phelps was going for 8 gold medals.

We forget that this was the case, because he accomplished it four years later.

In reality, he failed in his stated goal to win 8 in 2004.

The 200m freestyle, known as the Race of Century, exemplified why he came up short.

Racing against Ian Thorpe and Pieter van den Hoogenband, Phelps was never really in the race, placing 3rd.

For Phelps, the disappointment was hard to disguise as Thorpe and Hoogie smiled and laughed across the lane rope.

Those devastating walls that he became known for later weren’t in his repertoire at that point in his career.

In the years after Athens Phelps dedicated himself to develop an underwater dolphin kick that would demoralize the competition.

This included leveling up his back squat to just under 400 pounds, being able to do 300+ pound box squats for 20 reps at a time, and doing an endless amount of weighted vertical kick.

Oh, and also not missing a single day of training for nearly five years.

The result in Beijing spoke for itself.

Phelps 200m freestyle win was one of his most dominating, taking a half body length off the dive and never looking back, his underwaters powering him to a mind-blowing 1:42.97, a mark that would still stand if not for the Rubber Suit World Championships in 2009.

The lesson?

Things always take longer than we imagine it will.

Whether it’s going to meet a friend down the street, or crushing our personal best time, it will always take a little longer, and require more work than we initially realize.

So when you feel those self-defeating thoughts start to creep up…

And you are getting frustrated that things are taking longer than you’d like…

Stick with it.

See you in the water,


P.S. One of my favorite parts about writing out my workouts is that I can see with some measure of accuracy how long it’s going to take to improve.

Why is this important?

Because it helps us to be realistic about progress, about how long things will take to level up, and help keep us motivated over the long term.

YourSwimBook’s custom ten-month log book is designed specifically for swimmers. It also comes with a 76-page mental training skills eBook—appropriately called “Dominate the Pool”—that will help you stay on top of the mental aspect of your training and racing.

Monday, February 27, 2017

TIDE has End of Season Awards Banquet

The BMHS Purple TIDE Boys swim team had it's end of the season awards banquet.

This was the largest team in Beloit History (42),  so there was a large turn out for the event, over 125 Friends and Family at the Beloit Rotary Center.

The TIDE said good bye to it's out going seniors and hello to it's incoming freshman(Class 2021).

TIDE Varsity Letter Winners;
Ben Levy, Max Saladar, Nathan Sill
Tyler Davis, Will Klobucar, Smith Mayse, Adam Mianecki, Kyle Raisbeck, Jim Santas, Ryan Santas,
Adrian Sowicz, Nick Wadle
Graham Boudreaux, Omar Cancino, Nial Gillen, Jackson Prowse

Major Awards and Announcements:

Varsity GPA: 3.754 first time winning the National Gold Award
Academic All-State and All-American:
Niall Gillen & Jackson Prowse

WIAA State Qualifying Medals:
Jackson Prowse Will Klobucar, Kyle Raisbeck, Jim Santas, Ryan Santas, Adrian Sowicz, Nathan Sill.

Rock Award(Bryan Long Award): Kris Anderson

Rookie of the Year: CJ Light

Most Improved: Kyle Raisbeck

Hardest Worker: Tyler Davis

Iron Man: Omar Cancino

Benji Klett Award: Ryan Santas

MVP: Jackson Prowse

Captains for 2017-2018: Will Klobucar, Jim Santas, Ryan Santas

1st Practice for Next Season is 257 Days Away

Beloit Proud
Beloit Strong

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Press Release 2/16 TIDE Classroom and Pool Success

It’s been another great year for our swim teams both in the pool and in the classroom.

Heaven Well (11) qualified for her 2nd state meet and finished 8th in the 100 backstroke.
Her time and place qualified her for WISCA All-State Swim Team. Heaven also qualified for the USA Swimming Jr. Nationals in March.

Michaela Fraley-Markley(12) qualified for WISCA Academic All-State and NISCA Academic All-American. Her GPA of 3.880 was easily under the 3.75 GPA required for winning the NISCA Award. Seniors are required to carry this GPA for their 1st 7 semesters.

TIDE Women Win NISCA Academic Team Gold Award for the 12th year in a row. The Varsity Team GPA of 3.775. To win the award, team of a GPA of 3.75.

The Boys swim team qualified all three relays and Jackson Prowse (12) for this weeks state meet. This the 1st time since 1998 that the TIDE qualified all of its relays and sectional participants for the state meet.
Participating in this week's meet:
Jackson Prowse (12)
Omar Cancino(12)
Tyler Davis (11)
Will Klobucar (11)
Kyle Raisbeck (11)
Jim Santas (11)
Ryan Santas (11)
Adrian Sowicz (11)
Nathan Sill(10)
Max Saladar (10)
Ben Levy (10)

Jackson Prowse (12) and Niall Gillen (12) both qualified for both the WISCA Academic All-State and NISCA Academic All-American. Jackson’s GPA is a 3.952 and Niall’s 4.000.

For the 1st time ever after winning silver or bronze awards the last 11 years, the Boys finally won the NISCA Academic Gold Award with a varsity team GPA of 3.754.

Again our teams are not only tough in the pool, but tough in the classroom.

WIAA State Meet Review 2017

The TIDE showed up Saturday at the WIAA State Meet and made a lot of noise.

The 200 Medley Relay started out the meet for the TIDE finishing 2nd in the 1st heat and moved up to 16th place improving it's seed time .18. Final Time; 1:41.59. Time was the 3rd fastest in school history.

Relay Members: Jim Santas (11) 27.14, Jackson Prowse(12) 28.22, Adrian Sowicz(11) 23.88, Nathan Sill(10) 22.35

200 Free Relay drop another 2.2 seconds swimming the 2nd fastest time in school history, finishing in 17th Place. 1:29.49

Members: Adrian Sowicz 22.63, Kyle Raisbeck(11) 22.58, Will Klobucar(11) 22.30, Nathan Sill 21.98. 
Nathan's split was the 5th fastest 50 swam in school history.

Jackson Prowse improved another .5 second in the 100 Breaststroke finishing 2nd in the 1st heat and moving up to 18th place. His time of 1:01.76 is the 5th fastest in school history.

400 Free Relay dropped another .5 second again swimming the 2nd fastest time in school history, Finishing in 22nd place.

Members: Adrian Sowicz 50.10, Kyle Raisbeck 50.47, Ryan Santas 51.77, Nathan Sill 50.81.

The TIDE finished 33rd in the meet of the teams that scored points.

The Future is very Bright for Beloit Swimming. 
The next few years are going to be a lot of fun...

Beloit Proud
Beloit Strong

Monday, February 13, 2017

Beloit Swim on WISCA Blog

February 12, 2017

Wisconsin Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association Blog

-- Has any team qualified all three relays to state with fewer individual qualifiers than Beloit Memorial this year? Maybe, but you'd have to look hard to fine one. After all, strength in relays across the board usually means a team features some state-quality level swimmers. But the Purple Tide -- demonstrating the team commitment you find in coach Dick Vogel's squads -- qualified all three relays with only senior Jackson Prowse qualifying in the 100 breaststroke. Beloit may lack the firepower you see in their Big 8 Conference brethren, but the Tide almost always swims really well at the one meet of the year they point to -- sectionals.

Beloit Proud
Beloit Strong

Saturday, February 11, 2017

TIDE Back at State

Every year we sacrifice for the unknown and every year we bring our best and the results speak for them self.

We came to swim today...
16/18 Life-Time Bests
17/18 Season Bests
All 3 Relays Qualified for State
Jackson Prowse Qualified in the 100 Breaststroke.
Many All-Time Purple TIDE Top Times.

Meet Summary:

200 Medley Relay 6th Place 1:41.75 (5th Fastest School History) State Qualifying
Jim Santas, Jackson Prowse, Adrian Sowicz, Nathan Sill

200 Free:
13th Jackson Prowse 1:53.14
Tyler Davis 1:57.91

200 IM
Ryan Santas 2:12.89
Omar Cancino 2:13.48

100 Fly
Ryan Santas 58.82
Ben Levy 59.68
Omar Cancino 1:00.69
Max Saladar 1:01.00

100 Free
9th Adrian Sowicz 50.54
10th Nathan Sill 51.45
15th Kyle Raisbeck 51.9
16th Jim Santas 52.21
Will Klobucar 53.1

500 Free
Tyler Davis 5:22.81

200 Free Relay 7th Place 1:31.63 (3rd Fastest School History) State Qualifying
Adrian Sowicz, Kyle Raisbeck, Will Klobucar, Nathan Sill

100 Back
Jim Santas 1:00.23

100 Breaststroke
7th Jackson Prowse 1:02.21 (5th Fastest School History) State Qualifying
Ben Levy 1:05.89
Max Saladar 1:07.67

400 Free Relay 7th Place 3:23.54 (2nd Fastest School History) State Qualifying
Adrian Sowicz, Kyle Raisbeck, Jim Santas, Nathan Sill

This is the first time since 1998 that the TIDE qualified all 3 Relays for the state meet.
The TIDE's next meet is next Saturday at the WIAA State Meet.

Beloit Strong!!!
Beloit Proud!!!