Coach Pete

Expert advice for Swimmers, Triathletes, and Coaches


Motivation, has always been one of my best attributes as a coach. Motivation is what makes good athletes, Great athletes….Motivation is what keeps us going when the going gets tough….If you come to a workout without being motivated, you will not get all that you can get out of the workout. The US Army has a great slogan…”BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE”…this can only be accomplished with Motivation. We do not strive to be mediocre….we strive to be the best we can be…don’t we?… get MOTIVATED TODAY!

This weekend I was motivated to get my camera out and shoot some photos of sunflowers….near the end of August sunflowers are all over, fields here in Loveland, Colorado

sunflower 2 sunflower 1

wild flower loveland Pass loveland 8


August 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dara Torres Scheduled For Hernia Surgery, Knee Surgeries Slated for Future


CORAL SPRINGS, Florida, August 26. DARA Torres will go under the knife this weekend as she has surgery to correct a hernia this Friday, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Originally, Torres knew she would need work on her knee as evidenced by several remarks regarding the injury during the 2009 World Championships held in Rome. Those surgeries are slated for September and October.
As recent as last week, Torres has been on the record as potentially shooting for the 2012 London Olympics. Currently 42 years old, Torres would continue to prove that she is ageless when it comes to the sport of swimming as she would be pushing the mid-40s by the time London comes around.

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations…takes a stand on High-Tech Suits

High-tech Swimsuits Banned in High School Swimming

Contact: Becky Oakes

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 11, 2009) – High-tech swimsuits that have been linked to record performances at all levels of competition the past couple of years have been banned for high school competition, effective immediately.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee approved changes to Rule 3-2-2 that will make the high-tech swimsuit no longer a legal suit for swimmers at the high school level. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Effective immediately, swimmers shall be limited to one swimsuit, which shall be constructed of a woven/knit textile material, permeable to water and air, constructed so as not to aid in buoyancy, and shall not contain zippers or other fastening systems. In addition, the suit shall be constructed so that the style/shape for males shall not extend above the waist or below the top of the kneecap and for females shall not extend beyond the shoulders or below the top of the kneecap, and it shall not cover the neck.

“These high-tech suits had fundamentally altered the sport and become more similar to equipment, rather than a uniform,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “The rules of swimming have always prohibited the use or wearing of items that would aid in the swimmer’s speed and/or buoyancy. The technical suits and styles had evolved to a point where there was little, if any, compliance with these basic rules,” Oakes said.

The committee discussed the high-tech swimsuit issue at its meeting in March, but did not have enough factual information to take action at that time.

“With new developments in the swimming community, the committee knew that in order to preserve the integrity, tradition and heritage of the sport, as well as protect and enhance the interscholastic swimming program, these new requirements were necessary to promote fair play and the educational values of high school and could not wait for another year,” Oakes said. “The immediate implementation date, including style, will help guarantee fairness in competition throughout the high school swimming seasons and allow meet officials to fairly and consistently enforce the rule.”

The following link to the NFHS Web site contains complete information on the new swimsuit requirements, as well as the penalties for violation of the uniform rule .

Swimming/diving ranks eighth in popularity for girls with 147,197 participants in 6,766 schools, according to the NFHS 2007-08 High School Athletics Participation Survey. The sport ranks 10th among boys sports with 111,896 participants in 6,428 schools.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colorado Swim Star Missy Franklin Top Swimmer of the Junior National Championships

 Colorado Stars Missy Franklin was outstanding this past week at the Junior National Championships….Missy won the 200 IM in 2:12.73 crushing the meet record of 2:14.95…Missy went on to also win the 50 free in 25.23 and the 100 free in 54.03 (meet record) and the 200 back in 2:09.16 another meet record. The Colorado Stars Swim Team set a new meet record winning the 400 free relay in 3:48.52

August 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coach Raphael De Lima Wins Silver at the U.S. Masters Nationals

 Coach Raphael of the Midtown Athletic Club in Weston Florida, won the silver medal in the 50 meter freestyle at the U.S. Masters National Championships held at the Indiana University Aquatic Center. Raphael is the head coach of the Midtown Athletic Club(Formerly Team Weston) Swim Team. Well done my friend…….

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Open Water Swimming in Colorado

If you live on the Front Range as I do you may be searching for a body of water to train on. The Chatfield Reservoir in Littleton is a great place to train. They offer two evening and one morning to swim across the 900 yard pond. To do so you must posses a COMSA (Colorado Masters Swim Association license) for info go to COMSA.ORG You also may be able to purchase a pass from the Colorado State Park. Another area that is offering open water swim training is Prospect Lake near the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, they offer a Saturday evening swim from 6-8 PM . Boulder Reservoir offers a 500 meter swim along the ropes, with an affiliation with the Boulder Masters Swimming there is access to a full open water course on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Grant Ranch in Littleton also offers open water swims clinics and a couple of swim/run races through  Mile High Multisport ….. of course you should expect a small fee to use all of these facilities . Good Luck I hope you find somewhere to train

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The Big Deal About Swimsuits”.

This is one of the best written articles on the swimsuit controversy that I have read. It is written by an old friend and fellow age group coach John Leonard. John is also the executive director of the American Swim Coaches Association, I respect and agree with his opinion…..Coach Pete

For Swim Parents

 John Leonard

by John Leonard, Executive Director, American Swimming Coaches Association.

             Over the past 18 months, the swimming world has been a frenzy of controversy over the emergence of technology in swimsuits. At the recent World Championships in Rome, the constant and overwhelming refrain about suits, echoed the volume and intensity of the last time we were in Rome for a World Championships,when the topic was doping….drugs distorting our sport…in 1994. Fifteen years later, the emotional topic was the new high tech suits that have swept through the sport from the World Championship level down to the local park district championships in the summer league. The parallels were impossible to miss.   

           FINA, in an unprecedented move at its Congress in Rome, banned the use of all “non-textile” materials from suits beginning in 2010, and limited the coverage of the body to “knees to navel for men” and “knees to shoulder straps” for women. 168 nations voted in favor of the restrictions, against a mere 6 in opposition. (who apparently did not understand the word “textile”) This in the face of strong opposition to the move by the sitting President and Executive Director of the FINA organization. Amazing and never seen before.  The USA delegation initiated the restrictions and led the opposition. Why such a strong reaction in opposition to the existing plastic and rubber suits?

           A parent new to the sport, from a middle class background, might well say “hey, why not? Technology marches on! Equipment gets better. Why not let my son/daughter wear one of the fancy new suits and swim faster?”

             Its a valid question that requires a thoughtful answer. Here it is.

            The answer revolves around two words, with of course, a considerable amount of “side data” that adds to the intensity of the discussion and the strength of the resolution to end the problem worldwide.

          Those two words are “Maximizing” and “Enhancing”.

      Quality lane lines “maximize” the opportunity of the athlete to swim fast, with minimum turbulence in the lane. (you should have seen the waves in the pool back in the 60’s and 70’s.)

      Good Goggles allow the athlete to see the turns, see their competitors, and comfortably compete.(to say nothing of allow them to train hard for hours….impossible in the chlorine pool without goggles…in the old days, yardage and performance was a fraction of what it is today.) Goggles Maximize the opportunity of the athlete to work hard.

        Evolution in coaching techniques in training and biomechanics allow the athletes to Maximize their ability to benefit from their time in the sport.

         Swimsuits, up until approximately the year 2000, and certainly until early 2008, were designed to maximize the opportunity of the athletes to go fast….the manufacturers designed suits to “get out of the way of the water”. Less suit, less friction with the water, less drag, tighter fit, and better materials MAXIMIZED the ability of the athlete to perform to their highest earned level.

          Beginning in 2008, manufacturers took advantage (and must be applauded for doing so, within the existing rules, which were close to non-existent) of the idea of designing suits to ENHANCE the ability of the athlete to swim faster. A line had been crossed. Designed suits incorporated plastics, rubberized material and new design criteria, to enhance the ability of the athlete to be buoyant in the suits (riding higher makes you faster), wrapped more tightly (compressing the “giggly parts” makes you MUCH faster) and shed water from the plastics and rubber materials much more effectively, thereby reducing the drag of the suits remarkably.

            Since February 2008, 158 world records have been set by elite athletes. Their ability to perform has moved from being “maximized” by their swimsuits, to being “enhanced” by their swimsuits. This rate of improvement is absolutely farsical in the historical context of over 100 years of our sport. At the world championships, new world records were receiving polite applause akin to the “golf clap” for a good shot, rather than the historical roars of appreciation that a swimming crowd used to provide when a human barrier went down, as it infrequently did, by great athletes at the peak of their power.

            How does this translate down to the local pool?

Pretty simple. The manufacturers don’t make any money by selling suits to the elite athlete. They give the suits away to them. They count on age group swimmers watching the “big guys” and wanting the same suits and equipment.

              And lo and behold, the same miraculous benefits accrue to 12 year old Sam and Samantha when they put on the “magic suits” in their local championships. The time drops are miraculous, the smiles are, literally, “priceless” and child, mom and dad are all happy.

               Wait a second. That suit just ripped. wow. How did that happen? How much did it cost? Wow! You paid $500 for a suit that Sam just put his foot through, rendering it a $500 broken garbage bag? Uh-oh., well, honey, get him another one….we can’t have Joe Jones’s son Pete beat him in the 200 free tomorrow. Teeth Grit. This is a kids sport? We now have $1000 in suits so far.

                And of course, all those magic benefits only last 7-15 swims, so good for maybe 2-3 meets, unless its a championship and your child swims 6 events and makes finals in all events…in which case its $500 a meet.

               Lets see, $500 a meet, we go to 2 meets a month, 10 months of the year….Honey, its gonna cost us $10,000 Just for Samantha’s suits this year!

             Well, the solution is simple….just wear the suits for the championship meet and wear your regular suit the rest of the time. OK. Good.

           But, Samantha’s 58.5 100 free with the magic suit on, just became a 1:02 100 free with the old suit on. Smiles gone. Gone. From Samantha, from Mom. From Dad. Oh well.

            And of course, there are some other objections as well.

First, the magic suit deal is like paying for your child to have instant improvement. Is that what you want your child to learn from the sport? Or do you want them to learn to persevere, EARN improvement with hard work, attention to detail, paying attention to the coach and, shall we say it again…”Working Hard”. Or do you want them to learn that you can always “pay your way” with cash to what you want?

“Earn it, or buy it”. Which do you want to teach? Answer carefully, parents.

Second, the suit does not affect everyone the same. The thin, fit swimmer will benefit marginally by it. The overweight swimmer will swim like a young seal in it. Spending the same $500 on two children will yield radically different results. Not a fair competition at all. Is that what anyone wants?

Third, and its seems unnecessary to say this…but if you just buy 3 suits a year, that’s $1500 or MORE. (Today, purchasing one of the great European suits online from the USA will cost you $900…with no guarantee of fit, durability or return-ability, and about 30% of them RIP on the first attempt to put them on…no refund, folks.) Do we really want age group and high school swimmers to have to spend that kind of money to BUY success rather than work for it? It doesn’t make our sport a middle class sport, it makes it a sport for wealthy families.

       Are you pooh-poohing that? Wait till your son or daughter gets beat the first time by someone whose mommie or daddie could afford a more expensive piece of plastic and rubber than you can. The bitter taste in your mouth is not fun. Not much in the way of “sport” there.

        So, in answer to the local official who asked “Why are “they” (FINA officials) wasting time with worrying about THAT? Don’t they have better things to do?”

           The answer is no, the suit debacle is the most important thing that any of us can attend to. It preserves the heart and soul of our sport….which is reverence and appreciation for the hard work, attention to detail, courage and teamwork required to be a fine competitive swimmer and to learn to succeed with those life-skills. Instead of with your Daddy’s wallet.

           The Congress (not the Ruling Bureau) of FINA took the rules into their own hands after the Bureau had time and again failed to establish the rules necessary to keep our sport vital, credible and important. Bravo for them.

               All the Best, John Leonard

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Festive September Weekend in Fort Lauderdale

— August 2, 2009

PHOENIX, Arizona, August 2. IN A Voice for the Sport in the August issue of Swimming World Magazine, publisher Brent Rutemiller writes about a U.S. Olympic Coaches Reunion as part of the International Swimming Hall of Fame inductions.
The United States has led the swimming world in Olympic gold winning performances for more than a century.
To have all nine of the living USA Olympic Head Coaches in a room together would be a wish come true; Coach Stan Tinkham (’56), Coach Gus Stager (’60), Coach Peter Daland (’64, ‘72), Coach Jack Nelson (’76), Coach Don Gambril (’84), Coach Mark Schubert (’92, ’00, ’04), Coach Eddie Reese (’92, ’04, ’08), Coach Skip Kenney (’96) and Coach Jack Bauerle (08).

To watch some of the greatest aquatic athletes be honored on the same weekend would be equally impressive.
Wish no more… On Thursday evening, Sept. 10, at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, a Reunion Dinner of the USA-Olympic Team Head Coaches will take place. The success of these coaches will be celebrated at this time and 500 people are welcome to witness this historic moment.
The American Swim Coaches Association will host the event during its 40th World Clinic. United States Swimming will be sponsoring the event and SwimmingWorld.TV will be streaming the event as a tape delayed broadcast.
All of the coaches will share some of their Olympic experiences, personal insights and coaching philosophies with those who are privileged to be in the room.
There will be an exclusive, never before seen, interview with late Coach Richard Quick, about his Olympic experiences. Richard granted SwimmingWorld.TV his last interview before he passed away earlier this year. It is a powerful interview demonstrative of Coach Quick’s passion and positive attitudes that have inspired thousands of swimmers around the world.
Throughout the same weekend, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), based in Fort Lauderdale, will host a number of events and induction ceremonies at the same Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
On Saturday, September 12th at 7:30 pm, the 2009 ISHOF Honoree Class, consisting of 9 of the greatest names in aquatic history, will be inducted.
The class includes INGE DE BRUIJN (NED) Swimmer, ALEKSANDR POPOV (RUS) Swimmer, JENNY THOMPSON (USA) Swimmer, OLGA BRUSNIKINA (RUS) Synchronized Swimmer, GIANNI LONZI (ITA) Water Polo Player/Coach, KEVIN MURPHY (GBR) Open water swimmer, IKKAKU MATSUZAWA (JPN) Coach, JUDY McGOWAN (USA) Contributor/Synchronized Swimming, and IET VAN FEGGELEN (NED) Pioneer Swimmer.
Master swimmers Gertrude Zint (USA), Margery Meyer, USA. Karl Hauter (Ger) Keijiro Nakamura (Jap) will be inducted into The International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame earlier that same day at noon.
Tickets for the Olympic Coaches Reunion Dinner may be purchased for $49.00 and are available from ASCA via the website: A reserved table may be requested for any group of 10 attendees. Tickets are now available and can still be mailed to your home until August 15th. Tickets purchased after August 15 will be available at the Will Call table outside the event’s banquet room. Attendance is limited to the first 500 registrations, so plan to register today.
For more information about ISHOF contact the International Swimming Hall of Fame at 954 462-6536 or visit their website at
Both evenings will be a wonderful reunion of old friends and a chance to make new ones.
Whether you are a swimming fan, or just a fan of fantastic performances, you will be inspired by these remarkable individuals who will assemble in Fort Lauderdale for a magical weekend in September.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NBC Coverage of the World Championships

Once again NBC Sports did magnificent job with the coverage of the World Championships. The underwater shots showing the fantastic streamline position of most of the swimmers was fantastic! If you were watching and did not learn from what you saw….shame on you! It was like being at a clinic, you were able to see the beautiful long stokes, the strong pullouts, the incredible fly kicks off of the starts and turns…it was a just all too much! If you think that the Hy-Tech suites made the difference, then you weren’t watching what I was watching……Now is the time for you to put into practice all of the fine technique that you witnessed on TV…..By the way Michael proofed his point about the suit didn’t he! (100 Fly)

August 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Masters Swimmer Not Afraid of a Chilly Challenge

master swimmer

I am always writing about swimmers from South Florida…..Here is an article from Alaska

Dave Schmidt of Alaska Masters isn’t afraid of the cold. Schmidt, 63, participated in the first annual Chena Lake Swim outside of Fairbanks, Alaska this summer. While some might have shied away from this chilly challenge, he jumped right in.

Schmidt grew up a swimmer. A sprinter as an age-grouper, he loved the water. He bucked his sprinting training and experienced his first open water swim when he was a young teen. Immediately Schmidt became fascinated with the challenge and the fun of the open water. He swam throughout childhood and college, stepped away for many years, and returned as an adult. He became a member of U.S. Masters Swimming in 1973.

Schmidt earned multiple degrees in environmental studies. While working toward a master’s degree in fisheries biology, he moved to Alaska to further his research. Already a Masters swimmer, Schmidt found it easy to find fellow swimmers in his new home. “There really are quite a few of us up here,” he says. He is now an environmental coordinator for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.

The Chena Lake Swim
The Chena Lake Swim actually took place in a new reservoir outside of Fairbanks, in a small town call North Pole, Alaska. The event included a 1K and 5K option.

The Swimmers
Swimmers of all ages participated in the inaugural event. Some participants wore wetsuits to battle the cold while others wore regular training suits.

The Water
The water was a chilly 65 degrees. Though some participants chose to wear a wetsuit, Schmidt wore nothing more than a Speedo brief. “It was cold for the first 100 yards, but then you get into a groove. I had a stride and patterns that helped raise my body temperature and kept me focused on the swim.”

So, how did Dave Schmidt perform in this chilly event? “It was fine. A good midseason swim,” he says. He is ultimately looking forward to the Alcatraz swim in the San Francisco Bay on August 29. He trains mostly in the pool, however has a long list of open water events in which he’d like to participate. “I’d love to swim in an event in the Bahamas and a swim in the South Pacific from Asia to Europe.” When asked how to prepare for a swim like the Chena Lake swim and the others in his future, Schmidt offered some sound advice. “It is really mostly mental preparation. Your body will know how to swim once you are there, but you have to be ready, mentally, for the challenge. If you are afraid of creepy crawlies or the cold water, find a swim in warm and clear water. There is nothing better than a clear swim.”

Schmidt is quick to point out that Alaska has an active Masters swimming population. “There are plenty of swimmers and many opportunities to compete,” he says. Alaska is home to 242 Masters swimmers and multiple workout groups. “I love swimming here. I am able to train and compete as much as I’d like.”

To learn more about the Chena Lake Swim visit

To learn more about Masters Swimming in Alaska visit

To view upcoming U.S. Masters Swimming open water swimming opportunities visit

August 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment