Swim England Winter Regionals Success: 2 – 4th Nov 2018
5 Millfield Records
15 Regional titles
83 Finalists throughout the weekend
67% PB Hit rate
Just before the chaos of the second half of term started, the Millfield team were busy down at the school pool for the Swim England winter regional championships. After some much needed rest and recuperation over half term break the students were ready to get back to it. The first events of the weekend were the distance events on Friday the night (2nd November). We had new recruit Ioan Evans, the old hand Jakob Goodman, the Millfield purist Alex Sargeant and distance lover Izzy Woollard all in action. All the students managed to set either lifetime bests or season bests in the process. An excellent start to the weekend.
(Alex, Ioan and Jakob sharing the podium after the 1500m freestyle on Friday)
Saturday came around and time to get the main chuck of action underway. The emphasis around this meet was to try and improve on any skill elements highlighted at the TYR super series and couple of weeks earlier. As always the Millfield students were in fine form and it was clear to see the supportive bond between one and other. The events of the morning sessions (heats and finals) were M 200m IM, W 200m BK, M 200m BR, W 100m BR, M 100m BK, W 50m FLY, M 50m FR, W 400m FR. We had some outstanding action across the morning sessions. Millfield records falling to Rachel Anderson in the 200m BK (2.10.50) and Lily Booker and 100m BR (1.08.56). I am going to give an insight into this with some of the coaches overarching highlights:
Coach Dale: "Watching OM (still training at Millfield) Marcus Rogers set a lifetime best in the 50m freestyle, after a troubled year it was awesome to see Marcus get some reward for all his hard effort. In the process he also collected his first ever senior medal at a regional championship".
Coach Clarke: "General ability for younger students to focus on process goals rather than focusing on the outcome. Stan, Evan and Will all doing a fantastic job in this. Example being Will Ellington managing to negative a 200m BR by 4 seconds".
Coach Aldington: "Watching the athlete self reflect through video analysis and make process changes to the next race. Taking their ownership over this by taking stroke count/rate etc. Alice Chan was a prime example of this by watching the heat of her 100m and making a more relaxed and efficient start to the final".
Dan Waddingham: "Athletes self managing their own pre race priming routines. Polly Painter being a good example of getting on with the pre race routine and managing self effectively".
After a frantic morning the afternoon session was quickly upon us. The events up for grabs in the afternoon were as follows: W 100m IM, M 200m FR, W 200m FLY, M 100m FLY, W 100m FR, M 50m BR, W 50m BK, M 400m IM. Again we had some awesome swims with lots of process targets in the mix. Some reflections from the students below:
Gemma Peters: (Y10): "Even though this is only my second winter regionals with Millfield, I feel that the way things have been run around making our performances better has improved a lot. For example, we have a small area where gym activities can be done before races to prime and prepare. Yesterday I took advantage of this and just from doing some more band jumps before my 50bk, it led me forward to doing a PB which was a great achievement for me at the end of the day. I have leant from this that small things can make a big difference my racing".
Huw Williams (L6): "Going into this weekend I knew it was going to be tough. Due to not being prepared as well as I could have been. I went into the weekend with an open mind. Before every race Coach Dale and I went through a race plan and I tried to execute the plan to the best standard I could. Most races went to plan however some didn’t. The races that didn’t go to plan I watched back on the IPad and analysed where parts of my race didn’t go to plan. From watching back my race and how I felt when swimming the race this gave me points in training where I could focus on in training to improve my race. The races that didn’t go to plan also where I could improve on my emotions. As a younger swimmer I wasn’t good at the emotion side of racing however over time I have worked on it. When I have races that don’t go to plan this allows be to work on the emotion side of racing".
(Coach Clarke giving feedback)
Matthew Hall (Y9): "Attending his first senior regionals championships, Matthew was quick to realise the slightly higher intensity, you have to be at your best in the heats to make the finals given the varied age groups. Matthew also mentioned that even if you have a tricky race something good can always come of it. The ability to bounce back for the next race can easily be done. Matthew won the junior title in the 100m BK".
Danny New (U6): "After consulting Coach Dale before and after every race I had a strong feeling of how I had performed in comparison to how I wanted to perform. The excellent video analysis enables detailed frame-by-frame analysis at a later date so I will be able to pick up on every flaw in my race and focus on eradicating them during the next block of training so I’m able to make a clear improvement next time I race!"
Sunday came along and all the students were in the mood for some more fast swimming. The events on offer were W 200m IM, M 200m BK, W 200m BR, M 100m BR, W 100m BK, M 50m FLY, W 50m FR, 400m FR. Again, the focus was on the process and all the prep was done ready to see what outcomes the students had in them today. Coaches highlights included:
Coach Aldington: commitment to repeated racing with great intensity.
Coach Dale: watching students race back to back finals without worry about the outcome.
Coach Waddingham: increase in intensity towards finals.
Coach Clarke: resilience shown after Day 1, resulting in positive performances on Day 2.
(Izzy Woollard being self reflective)
The afternoon session saw the following events up for grabs, M 100m IM, W 200m FR, M 200m FLY, W 100m FLY, M 100m FR, W 50m BR, M 50m BK, W 400m IM. It was great to witness the positive mind-set form the students on the last session of racing. It has been a long weekend but the resilience on show during the last session bodes well for the season ahead. Below you will see an insight from squad captain, Emma Harvey and a reflection from Coach Dale.
Overall, the meet has been a great success in and out of the water. The younger students especially have done a great job stepping up in between heats and finals with many of the older students putting in great showdowns against other swimmers. One of Millfield’s main focuses has been nailing the small details, which will eventually translate into sharper swimming come the meets later on in the year. My personal highlight was watching Marcus Rodgers set a personal best in the 50m and 100m free after working really hard over the last few months. The team’s morale has been very high over the last two days and as always, I’m very proud to be a part of this team.
Coach Dale reflection:
This meet is a great stepping stone in the season. It provides the students with a chance to reflect on where they are at and what needs to be done moving forward. This year the meet sit at a slightly tricky time being the last weekend of half term. With our holistic vision we understood that not all students would be available to make it back for the competitions. Having said that it was surprising to see so many Millfield records broken and for the team to achieve 15 regionals titles across the senior & junior categories is just fantastic. A personal highlight for me was the amount of responsibility and ownership the students were taking over their performance, thus providing great sustainability moving forward.
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