Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches

Start Block Controversy at Olympics

race start

Swim officials get set to resist

  • Nicole Jeffery, Beijing | February 05, 2008

A REVOLUTIONARY swimming starting block that is said to improve times by up to one-tenth of a second has become the center of international debate in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics.

Officials fear Australian swimmers will be disadvantaged if the new block – designed by official timing supplier Omega and featuring an angled piece at the rear of the platform that resembles a track starting block – is adopted for the Games.

Omega has set up a prototype of the block in lane nine of the new pool in Beijing, where the China Open Olympic test event is being held – in an effort to persuade the larger swimming community to adopt it for the Beijing Games in August.

The company has gained some support from within the International Swimming Federation, which will put approval of the new technology to a vote at its extraordinary congress during the world short course championships in Manchester in April.

Australian head coach Alan Thompson, who is the secretary of the FINA coaches committee, believes Omega’s offer to supply each competitive swimming nation with two blocks on which to practice would disadvantage large nations such as Australia and the US, where the Olympic team swimmers were spread out across the country. Thompson added that the Australian Institute of Sport and the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center had both tried unsuccessfully to order sets of the blocks.

He said the sport would be moving too fast by introducing the blocks just four months before the most important competition in the calendar.

“Everyone thinks the blocks are a great idea, but we won’t have any time to practice on them before the Olympics,” he said.

“If we’re not ready to do it properly before the Olympics, let’s not rush it. I think the blocks have to be more widely available first. We need to practice and race with them. While they are not readily available, it puts some people at a disadvantage.”

The FINA coaches commission is arguing for an amendment to the Manchester proposal that puts a starting date of September 1, after the Olympic Games in August, on the introduction of the technology.

A prototype of the new block was displayed at last year’s World Championships in Melbourne but Omega has since improved it, creating a block with an adjustable piece at the back that can be moved into five different positions to suit individual swimmers.

Omega spokesman Peter Huerzeler said the company had tested the block with a group of German elite junior swimmers and found they improved their starting times by up to one-tenth of a second.

“The track start – one foot forward, one foot back and popular with many swimmers – without this is hopeless because they have nothing to push off from behind their back foot,” Mr Huerzeler said.

“This is only an advantage for the swimmers and nothing else.”

Whether or not the starting block is approved, Omega has introduced another innovation at the Water Cube pool: a new video replay system to check on the legality of starts, finishes and relay changeovers.

The old system used videotape that could be rewound and reviewed only following the race and led to delays. The digital system can be checked while the race is in progress so results can be confirmed immediately


April 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What I have been doing lately


Lake Loveland Shoreline

Being retired is sitting real well with me.This is a photo of Lake Loveland it is 5 minutes down the road from my house, now that the weather is getting warmer I will be doing some fishing here. In the background is Longs Peak and the Rocky Mountain National Park, we will be doing some hiking there. I just got my bike tuned up and we will be doing some cycling with my son. This week end is little Luke’s second birthday and we will be having his birthday party…Ginny and I are getting involved with a ministry at our church that feeds the homeless, this weekend we are cooking for four homeless families. It is our way of giving back all that the Lord has done for us. I will continue to try and write a few times a week, if you keep reading!

Adios for now….Coach Pete 

April 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swim Camps….

TWA3 060


Checking the statistics of what is read on my BLOG is what makes me keep on writing. I thank all of you who have had a good experience reading what I write. One of the most read post was the article on “Choosing a Swim Camp for my child”. I think that Sending a child to swim camp is a big decision – one that should involve open communication between you ,your child and your coach. As a parent, you need certainly to look at the financial and logistical aspects, but also elicit from your child what he or she hopes to gain while at camp. Discuss their goals with your coach and see if he/she agrees with their goals. Does your coach think that reaching those goals at a swim camp are realistic or not. What I am trying to say is not waist your money and time on something that is not possible. There is an old cliche “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

If your child is just looking for a change of scenery or needs more socializing with different swimmers….That may be a different story. If your child is in need of better stroke technique training than they are getting at home, then by all means find a good camp to fit those needs.

Again my recommendation of one of the best swim camps out there is Nick Bakers Peak Performance Swim Camp. You can find his link on my BLOG on the home page on the right hand side column.

April 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big News from South Florida

Swimmer Chelsea Britt,13,Qualifies for the Olympic Trials


Fort Lauderdale Aquatics now has two of the youngest swimmers qualified for the June 29-July 6 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.
At the Southern Zone Section Championships that end today at the YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, Chelsea Britt, 13, won the 100-meter butterfly in 1 minute, 2.12 seconds, well under the qualifying standard of 1:02.39.
Britt joins teammate Lauren Driscoll, 14, who was also 13 when she qualified, as two of the youngest swimmers in the trials.
“We have some pretty spectacular stuff going on up here,” FLA coach Ian Cross said. “Our youngest phenom girl made the trials cut and won the event. I thought that was pretty darn special. She is pretty psyched.”

April 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good way to look at how you approach your goals

Washington 354

This chart was on the Plantation Swim Team Web-Site and I thought we could all benefit from it

Ladder of Achievement

100% = I Did
90%   =  I Will
80%   =  I Can
70%   =   I Think I Can
60%   =I Might
50%   = I Think I Might
40 %  = What is It?
30%   = I Wish I Could
20%   = I Don’t Know How
10%   = I Can’t
0%     = I Won’t

This is called the Ladder of Achievement. It shows how your attitude towards a goal or task can impact your ability to achieve it.

The ladder of achievement suggests that an attitude of “I can’t” has almost no chance of success whilst “I won’t” is no chance at all.

Change “I can’t” and “I won’t” to

April 12, 2008 Posted by | Age Group | Leave a comment

Masters News…..

Prostate Cancer Hasn’t Slowed Down Burwell “Bumpy” Jones — April 7, 2008

By Emily Sampl
BOULDER, Colorado, April 7. THERE aren’t many things that can keep 75-year-old Burwell “Bumpy” Jones away from the pool, including radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
Jones, who was diagnosed a few months ago, continued to train throughout treatment, logging around 4,000 yards daily despite occasional weakness and fatigue. “I worked out every day. I just cut back when I felt more tired. I talked with my physicians about working out and they thought it’d probably be okay,” he said.
Now that he’s finished radiation treatments, Burwell is on the road to full recovery. He still notices some lingering effects, but things are looking up.
“It’s been going okay,” Jones said in reference to his recovery. “I just finished radiation two months ago, but I still feel a little weak and fatigued sometimes. If anything, swimming made my recovery faster.”
Jones doesn’t seem to have lost too much strength or endurance through the illness. At the 38th Annual Short Course Championships in St. Petersburg, Florida, held March 28-30, he broke five USMS records in the 75-79 age group. His new records came in the 500 free (6:25.47), 1,000 free (13:25.53), 1,650 free (22:13.03), 100 back (1:13.99) and 200 IM (2:48.07). Always wary of the competition, Jones doesn’t expect them to last long.
“They likely won’t be long standing. There are a lot of good swimmers out there. But we’ll see,” he stated.
Unfortunately, because of his diagnosis, Burwell was forced to cancel his trip to Australia for the FINA Masters World Championships, scheduled to begin April 17. YMCA Masters Nationals in Fort Lauderdale (May 15-18) are highlighted on his calendar, however, and he’ll have a chance to lower his records even further there.

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Masters Swimming | Leave a comment

Swim Coaches Clinic…..

USA Swimming, in conjunction with the American Swimming Coaches Association and the appropriate LSCs, are presenting very affordable regional coaches clinics offered throughout the nation. The purpose of these clinics are to bring coaches education to areas that are not frequented by other clinics. USA Swimming’s goal is to raise the level of coaching and swimming through educational training programs.

Our first two are:

Eastern Region Coaches Clinic, West Lebanon, New Hampshire on April 25-27, 2008

Dakota Coaches Clinic, Fargo, North Dakota on May 9-11, 2008

For more information go to US

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daniela Victoria Trying to Qualify for the 2008 Olympics


Daniela will be competing in San Marino Italy at the end of April in the Copa Latina Meet to try and qualify for the Venezuelan Olympic Team that will compete in Beijing this summer. Daniela is a member of Team Weston Aquatics and trains at the Midtown Athletic Club in Weston Florida under Coach Tomas Victoria, her father. Daniela has been one of Florida’s top female breaststorker’s and will be attending the University of Florida in the fall. Our hearts go out to her and we all wish her luck in her pursuit of making the team

April 9, 2008 Posted by | Age Group, Coaches, Masters Swimming, Parents, Triathlons | Leave a comment

Coach Pete’s Opinion on Boycotting the Beijing Olympics


For the past few days I have posted different views and opinions on should we boycott the Beijing Summer Olympics from different areas of the world. It is now time to post my opinion of this complex problem. To begin with my opinion, lets look at a few facts. The Chinese has imprisoned 27 journalists and more than 60 Internet users, making China the “largest prison for journalists in the world” according to Paris -based Reporters Without Borders. What is it that they do not  want reporters to report on? Is it their behavior on human rights, trade, nuclear proliferation, aid to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, support of genocidal regimes in Sudan and vicious dictatorships in Burma, North Korea and now Tibet? With all of these horrible atrocities on record, how then did the IOC ever award the 2008 Olympics to China in the first place? That decision was a mistake and the events of the last month in Tibet show exactly why. So should we now foster this horrible mistake by sending our athletics to this Olympic Tragedy. I feel that the USOC has buried their heads in the sand and as they did in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. In 1936 nobody used the limelight of the games to make an issue of Germany’s deepening persecutions of Jews,and its occupation of Rhineland. The European countries and the United States, failed to use the 1936 Games as a pulpit from which to shame Germany’s leaders; instead they actually downplayed German violence, treats, and excesses. Today history repeats itself, however we have an opportunity to do something about. I am a strong advocate of a world boycott on the 2008 Games. Let Coca Cola and the rest of the greedy cooperation’s of the world EAT IT!

Now that you have my opinion, do you coaches form ASCA and US Swimming have the cojones to post your opinion on my blog……BRING IT!

April 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

And yet another opinion

  • Comment by Ben Howe

    Posted on June 6th, 2007 at 11:03

    The Olympics Charter states very clear that that the Olympics is for the promotion of peace and human fairness. The decision to allow China, as a dictatorial communist state with a bad human right and invasion record, was conditional on its being able to improve upon it human right situation and to become a peacemaker in the region.

    1. China has never improved upon its human right record. In fact, Reporters Without Borders has recently accused China for increased suppression of freedom of speech and freedom of religion in China, especially in the invaded areas of Tibet and East Turkistan.

    2. Forced eviction with little compensation for the Olympics has been a known fact. While some big corporation are thirsty to milk the Olympics cash cow, we, normal consumers, not only have no interest in following suit, but are disgusted by the inhumane forced eviction of over 1.5 million poor dwellers in Beijing, who have resided at the Olympics site for generations.

    3. China, as an evil communist state, has been a major threat to the world. With its recently earned wealth, through exploiting Chinese workers, Chinese communists have been expanding their military and even nuclear force. The success of Beijing Olympics serves as a major propaganda for the Chinese communists to promote nationalism which in turn expands their imperialism and imposes a major threat to the region.

    I am not an advocate for boycotting the Olympics at the atheletes’ level, but an advocate for boycotting the Olympics at the consumers’ level. As a normal compassion consumer, I don’t want the money I spent on Olympics souvenirs or cheap Chinese products to be involved in the genocide in Darfur or Burma. I don’t want my money to be used for internationally unacceptable weapon trades that result in the killing of innocent civilians around the world.

    To see how, as a conscientious consumer, one can boycott the genocide game, please visit:

    and youtube discussion group

    Together we can make history

  • April 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment