What a difference a day makes..

What a difference a day makes used to be a famous song. Twelve months into the role and I am realising what a difference 365 days makes. When I first walked through the stuck by ice doors of the Aquadome one year ago, I did not expect the swimmers and coaches to transform in such a way as they have. Since then a few things have changed:


  • A criteria of what it takes to be a performance athlete that is suitable to each level of an athlete’s development
  • The organisation of squads has occurred with a timetable to match their suitability.
  • Like-minded coaches have been hired who are of a suitable calibre to take the athletes to performance levels.
  • Each and every child from Early Performance and higher have had a review of where they are and where they should be heading with individual targets along the way.
  • Regular three month visits to every club within HST.


  • This has been the biggest shift in the past year. All coaches have put technical developments far above the “going fast” and it is paying off in dividends.
  • We have a large databank of analysis on each athlete where we can communicate with home coaches over areas needing or skills that are improving, as well as, discuss with athletes who want to see where progressions can be made.
  • We have training video analysis on a regular basis with the “Performance” squad athletes and plan to develop this to further down the program in 2018. This is also accessible over training weekends an hour before the day starts.
  • Athletes are far more efficient in the water than they were 12 months ago and are able to understand the minutia of swimming technique.


  • We, as a team, surpassed our National Age group top ten figures from 2016, resulting in some of the highest number of finalists HST has had before.
  • We, as a team, followed that up with a great summer championships, resulting in more medals than previous years.
  • Personal bests from Early Performance and Skills squads have seen a rise on a meet by meet basis – with some younger athletes building in confidence to try further distance events
  • And finishing the season off with a new Junior record in the 4×200 relay by Jenna, Louise, Katie and Brooke – all of which should be really proud of themselves.


Now none of this would have been possible without the huge help from the committee of HST. The fantastic support of all the lead coaches – Stevie, John, Viv, Val, Kirsty, Stuart, Cath and Craig. The ever present support of Thorsten and Allan (regulars at the HST training weekends) and the HST coaches of Jen, Dawn, Maureen and Jim. Each of whom deserve a huge amount of thanks for all the work they put in.


Well, what happens next?


Firstly, it is Christmas and New Year – you know what that means? Presents, stuffing your face and holidays from school – all of which richly deserved for the hard work this year. However, I am also keen not to lose focus on the goal of continuing the momentum of the previous year into 2018. With this in mind, I am pushing the idea that on the odd occasion when boredom kicks in and you are starting to feel that bit out of shape, I would pick up some sessions at the pool when it is open. I have put some sessions below to maintain the fitness over this block:

Set 1

15 x 50     Every 5th on RP   50s
12 x 50   Every 4th on RP 55s
9 x 50   Every 3rd on RP 60s
6 x 50   Every 2nd on RP 70s
3 x 50   Every 1 on RP 90s


Set 2)


4 x 75     50 Max 25 Ez + WB   1 min 45
2 x 100   Max 2 min 30
6 x 75   Every 2nd Max + WB 2 min
4 x 50   Max 1 min 30
8 x 75     3 Max / 1 Ez   2 min



Set 3)


1×100 Cruise 1min 30
1×50 Race Pace 1 min
1×150 Cruise 2min 30
2×50 Race Pace 1 min
1×200 Cruise 3min 30
3×50 Race Pace 1 min
1×250 Cruise 4 min 30
3 rounds          


And as for 2018……


We have a whole lot in store.

We will be running an education day on the February training weekend covering all the ins and outs of HST – come along ask some questions, suggest some team ideas and hear about the exciting future of this team.

We will be continuing our ideas from 2017 with a plan to deliver it more frequently to the younger squads within the program

We will be putting on a huge team day in June.

We will be planning our first away trips to Luton, Derby and maybe a few other locations.

We will be competing at the National meets on offer in April, June, July and December.

Maybe, just maybe, we might have a few more records in 2018 to look forward to.


Now I have set my glass of milk out and a carrot out for Rudolph, I think there is really only one more thing to say


Hope your festive period goes swimmingly and I will see you all in 2018.