Friday, May 11, 2007

tonight's practice and activites from our day

We'll play a bit of catch-up.

Yesterday the boys had a violin lesson. The teacher came to the house. She was good and teaches for many home schooled children. The boys have a new song to learn -- a tune from the N.Z. tradition.

Today we went to the bike shop and got a new bike for Grant. His was giving some troubles in the shifting of gears and a rattle on the chain often between gears. So, a new (to us) yellow bike is his ride.

On the way, we hit a big rain and wind storm. They said that the rain comes and goes if the wind is with it. Without the wind, it will rain for a long time. We had wind today. Sure enough, the rain stopped about an hour later. With the dark sky and wind and rain -- we used the time to play in the gym at Wharenui. The boys and I played basketball for 90 minutes or so.

After Grant's swim practice he got to go with a swim buddie to the mall and KFC.

I coached the 'development group' and then hung around with the national group too. They had a spring workout.

The group I'm coaching has done a great job with a few of the challenges I've given them so far. Yesterday we devoted some time to dive 25s with fins -- kicking fly underwater in a streamline -- trying to get to the other end of the pool without a breath in as few kicks as possible.

At the start, some of the kids were hitting 15 to 20 kicks. After a few, they were 12 and 10. Then a few more and some were at 5, 6, 7 kicks to get the length of the swim pool.

Today we reviewed a bit. Then the swimmers were asked to go as far as possible after a dive with fins and only TWO kicks. One swimmer was able to get nearly to the flags at the other end. All of the swimmers were past half-way.

In the national group, I helped with some starts. On the last start the swimmers went underwater, streamlined, kicking breastroke, counting the kicks for a length. They were asked to get as few kicks as possible. Some kickers were at 7 and 8. Most were around 10.

The head coach, Martin, is going to swim in the AM practice and I'll lead the session. We train from 7 to 9 am on Saturday mornings. We'll have a combined group with National and Developmental kids in the water.

I got a good bit of video and some photos tonight of the swimmers so as to pull together a technique presentation. But, I'm not going to post that to the web. And, I'm going to avoid speaking about any one swimmer.

We're going to Willowbank tomorrow. I went there with Erik and Grant the other day on bikes. But we'll go in the evening and see a Maori Cultural Show with a Haka, I expect. Then a tour. The kiwi (a bird) is nocturnal. They run around in the day as they have a darkened room. So we saw them the other day -- but it was way to dark for cameras and there were lots of signs about no cameras too.

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