02 Dec 2023

Author: Matt Boyd-Wallis

Elliot Medals

The season so far has been a true eye opener and continues to demonstrate what the coaches and I have thought and believed about our swimmers and Eastleigh Swim Club. Our swimmers keep building their confidence, belief in themselves and their achievements. This was our first long course swim meet of the season, and many swimmers find it hard to transition between short course (25m) competitive swimming to long course (50m) competitive swimming, yet this weekend our swimmers demonstrated the technical skill and determination to cope and compete effectively.

Many say that to swim long course, you need exposure to long course pools! To a point I agree, however we also must use what we have at our disposal and, like us, many clubs don’t have 50m pools and yet they regularly compete effectively at these events. So, what’s the difference between long course and short course? The essence is nothing. If your stroke is smooth, long, efficient, if you stay consistent in your stroke length, count and breathing pattern, you will swim well. What then separates swimmers is their base level fitness, race strategies and their willingness to push themselves in their preparation leading up to racing and their discipline during competition. In all aspects, self-checking – ‘how they feel?’, mobilization (stretching & mobility), warm up, activation (jumps & getting the body firing), staying warm and then recovery after (swim downs, prep for next race, nutrition & sleep).

Last weekend I saw swimmers demonstrate all these elements of competitive swimming, investing in themselves and achieving the results they deserve. Focusing on the moment at hand and how to swim the race, rather than the outcome and then moving onto the next challenge. Enjoying the moment, yet ‘following the process’ to help the outcome to be achieved! We are a small club, and we are learning to focus on ourselves, invest in ourselves and concentrate on ourselves. As a result, we are recording and achieving the results we deserve and can take forward and improve further on, in our own way!

This was a two-day meet up at Garrison Swimming Pool in Aldershot and we had a total of 161 swims over the two days accross all age groups and events. It was wonderful to have more swimmers competing in the distance events of 1500m, 800m FC, as well as the 400m IM, which shows a strength and belief in our swimmers, which we didn’t have before. Then to continue and compete in all other events 200m, 100m and 50m, again showing a fitness level and technical skill to be able to move from one discipline to the next. In short, we swam 161 events, we recorded 114 PBs, meaning that 71% of our races were PBs, and that came after an incredibly busy competitive weekend before in Bournemouth. We came home with 32 Gold, 21 Silver and 15 Bronze medals, in total 68 medals, meaning that 42% of our swims were top three placing.

It was lovely to see swimmers enjoy their swims, achieving new PBs, supporting each other and their teammates. Listening to and taking on board advice and applying what they have been coached and taught from their coaches. These skills demonstrate that our swimmers are becoming more independently strong and responsible for what they are doing, which are skills we all need in everyday life. Controlling disappointment and helping themselves stay happy and focused by supporting each other, being there when we need it and being in the moment. We can only control and determine ourselves and the moment we are in, so focus on that! Well done guys and you did incredibly well! Keep going and let’s go into Christmas happy and smiling.


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