Kahncept Of the Week 

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June 29 2015


All of the Long Course and Short Course practices will peak towards our DAM-hosted, long course meet on Saturday, August 8. It's our next biggest event of the summer.
As the date approaches, the coaches will provide starting block practices at both pools. Know that, for the mildly apprehensive of you, in-water racing starts for Masters Swimmers are perfectly acceptable.
We'll also have the entire Schaal pool (all 8 lanes) to ourselves on the evening of July 23. Mark your calendars and come swim with the team that night. Get your first taste of LC swimming.

Please note, that a team-hosted event of this magnitude doesn’t administer itself. Dave Woodruff, DAM Meet Director, will soon be asking for volunteer help. There will be portable sign-up sheets on the deck at Schaal and at SignUp Genius online. The good news is that Master’s meets are pretty easy to run, but they're not simple. Within our club we have qualified computer and timing systems operators, as well as certificated Officials who oversee the meet administration. Due to restrictions at Schaal, we’re unable to host a snack bar or afford to bring in outside sales vendors. But we will offer hospitality (light food and drinks) to all the working officials and volunteers. Our biggest responsibilities will be:

  • Friday night (Aug 7) facility set-up and preparation (10 people from 6:00-8:00pm)
  • Athlete check-in on Sat morning (2 people from 7:30-9am and 4 people from 9-noon)
  • Filling-in timers’ chairs for all 8 lanes (roughly 24 per hour, three from each of the DAM Civic practice times.)
  • Overseeing the warmup lanes and checking bathrooms during the meet (2 Marshalls per hour)
  • Manning the hospitality table and providing snacks and beverages to the officials and other volunteers (4 every two hours)
  • Providing runners to get the necessary paperwork distributed and collected around the venue before and after each race (2 per hour)
  • Staffing the Officials positions (1 back-up Starter & 4-6 Stroke & Turn Judges).

It is perfectly acceptable to step away from your volunteer duties to go race in an event, making it possible to volunteer AND swim in the meet. Check the volunteer signup times against the racing order of events to select your combination of working and racing.


# Sex Event
1 Women 200 M Free
2 Men 200 M Free
3 Women 200 M Breast
4 Men 400 M Breast
5 Women 400 M Medley Relay
6 Mixed 400 M Medley Relay
7 Men 400 M Medley Relay
9 Women 50 M Free
10 Men 50 M Free
11 Women 50 M Back
12 Men 50 M Back
13 Women 200 M Fly
14 Men 200 M Fly
15 Women 50 M Breast
16 Men 50 M Breast
17 Women 400 M Free Relay
18 Mixed 400 M Free Relay
19 Men 400 M Free Relay
21 Women 200 M Back
22 Men 200 M Back
23 Women 50 M Fly
24 Men 50 M Fly
25 Women 100 M Free
26 Men 100 M Free
27 Women 200 M IM
28 Men 200 M IM
29 Women 400 M Free
30 Men 400 M Free

We challenge every member of DAM to swim in the meet. We want everyone to make your current swim routine relevant. Take your 60 minutes of practice and elevate it to 60 seconds of effort. Gather up all the training, time and technique you’ve expended and absorbed, and roll it into one day of competition. The 'good' type of competition. It won’t be 'Us' versus 'Them'. This is not a team-scored meet. Instead, this event is sports purity at its essence. It’s an individual-effort meet. A marvelous opportunity for you, and your lane mates, and your team mates and your coaches to all share the same goal. Part of our coaching vision is to bring every DAM swimmer together to do the same thing, at the same time, at the same place. We see this as helping each other take risks, set goals and accept personal challenges. That’s what we think our DAM community is really all about.

If you're in town on August 8th, we’re inviting you to the Schaal Pool.

Here is the Club Assistant link to register for the meet online - DAM End-of-Summer Splash

Here are some compelling arguments as to why you should enter:

And the number 1 reason to swim in the August long course meet...

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June 22 2015

Your First Swim Meet

As much as your DAM coaches enjoy the camaraderie and uplifting environment of daily practices, we know that swim meets are really the best thing our sport has to offer. If you’ve never swum in a meet before, you might be missing out on a huge part of the sport.

Whether you’re nervous about swimming in front of people or are worried that you’ll finish last in your race, you also might be misinformed about what Masters meets are all about. Meets are surprisingly friendly and laid back, full of people just like you. Chances are many of them are about your speed, too, but if you never go, you’ll never know. Here are a few reasons why you should consider checking out a Masters meet.

Competition doesn’t have to be intense but it can be
When you do go to your first meet and swim your first race, you’ll find it incredibly exhilarating. Especially the 50's. Sprinting as fast as possible for a short burst is a real, full-body rush. If you haven't flooded your body with adrenaline and endorphins in a while then, just like a car's carburetor, you're probably are in need of a systems flush. And after the race; after the meet, remember those experiences and feelings by depositing them into your confidence bank. You can withdraw later whenever needed.

Use competition to test yourself against yourself and against your age group
A lot of people are not aware that Masters meets are swum by entered times but scored by age groups. That means you'll be racing next to someone of similar speed though not necessarily the same age. The race results are then parsed into five-year age brackets, so chances are good that at our August 8 LC meet very few of the events will more than 10 people in an individual age group. This gives you a pretty good chance of doing well in at least one of your races. However,other than: 1) comparing yourself with your cohorts, 2) achieving personal satisfaction or 3) receiving a hug or handshake from your coach, there are no other awards at the 8/8 meet.

Use meets to help you set goals at practices and future meets
We all need goals or else we run the risk of the activity getting old and stale. Someone who only goes to swim practices may not be getting everything they can out of the sport. Going to meets and seeing what other people your age are doing can help direct you on how you want to swim. That direction, coupled with coaching support and guidance, is both inspiring and invigorating.

Benefit from the social aspect
Come and find out what it really means to be part of a team. Meets are such a good place for you to get to know your teammates and build lifelong friendships. This helps when you might have a hard time finding the motivation to go to practice. It’s a lot easier to go if you know your friends will be there.

Remember the first KOW of the year was Competition, which in the original Latin meant to 'strive together towards a common goal'. If you keep that in mind, swimming in a meet isn’t such a scary idea anymore. Be bold; give it a go! You won't regret it.

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June 15 2015

Summer Swimming

Though not a huge schedule change for the club (we still offer nine practices a day), the next eight weeks bring modifications and variations to our DAM program. Here are the TOP TEN clarifications about Summer Swimming.

  1. Long Course is at the UCD Schaal pool on T/TH mornings (6-7) and evenings (6-8). Please be prepared to help put lane lines in and take them out at the start and end of each session.
  2. The Aquadarts have the Civic pool reserved M-F from 8-10am. Plan your 7am cool-down to end by 8am, and avoid coming too early at 10am.
  3. If you're taking an extended vacation of a month or more, contact Finance Director, Allan Crow at admin@damfast.org to place a hold on your dues payment.
  4. When ending a vacation where your dues were paused, please notify Allan upon your return.
  5. If inviting a friend/visitor/family member to a DAM practice, please insure they are a USMS member before coming to the pool.
  6. All drop-ins at practices or open swim pay a $10 fee and must be USMS members.
  7. Visitors will be asked to wait through the warmup to see if space is available before paying the drop-in fee.
  8. Prospective members are allowed three free swims during a two-week period, and must bring a completed USMS Tryout Form (available at damfast.org) with them to their first practice. Successful tryouts begin with four continuous lengths of freestyle swimming with sideways breathing.
  9. DAM hosts a long course meet at Schaal on Sat, August 8. Everyone who trains LC this summer is encouraged to attend.
  10. This year the meet offers 400 meter relays. DAM will be putting relays together to set team records and finish in the National Top Ten rankings.

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June 8 2015

Finis Tempo Trainer
One of the biggest, most immediate benefits of our recent and highly successful Big Day of Giving has been the purchase of new DAM training equipment. Fins, paddles and buoys have already made their way into the team inventory at Civic and Arroyo. One other item that we're excited about using are Tempo Trainers from Finis. Currently, we have 30 of the Tempo Trainer Pro (TTP) models at Civic and expect to buy 30 more this week for Arroyo. We've experimented with them at two recent practices and are very pleased with the swimmer feedback and product potential.

Here is some basic information about the features, operation and benefits. It will be very helpful if everyone can familiarize themselves with the button sequencing in advance of their first trial swim this Friday, June 12.

The TTP is a simple waterproof metronome that emits a beep corresponding to designated increments of time. When used correctly, swimmers learn a consistent, rhythmic, evenly paced swimming style that carries over phenomenally to racing. Swimmers who combine distance per stroke (DPS) with appropriate tempos swim smarter and faster. 


• The Tempo Trainer Pro must be worn underneath a swim cap, in front or behind the ear, with the buttons facing out. DAM will provide caps at practices for those who don't normally wear swim caps.


• To turn the unit ON, press and hold button [B] button for 1 (one) second. The button, if in mode 1, will begin beeping immediately
• To turn the unit OFF, hold down both buttons [B] and [C] at the same time 
• To scroll the setting UP and increase the duration between beeps (slower cadence), press button [B]. Hold down button [B] to make the time scroll faster
• To scroll the time DOWN and decrease the duration between beeps (faster cadence), press button [C]. Hold down button [C] to make the time scroll faster
• Hold down button [A] to switch modes.


• The device has three modes. Mode 1 is for Stroke Rate or Tempo in cycles per second; Mode 2 is for using the beeps for sendoffs like a Pace Clock and Mode 3 is for Stroke Rate or Tempo in cycles per minute. For the time being we will be using only Mode 1. 


• The purpose of the Tempo Trainer Pro is to help you find the optimum combination of Distance-per-Stroke (DPS) and stroke rate (SR). We will use it first to individualize sprinting speeds but the device is equally valuable in quantifying cruising or distance paces.

**IMPORTANT NOTE** - For freestyle and backstroke, we'll set the beep to synchronize with TWO ARM PULLS PER BEEP. Your goal is to have the same hand in the same position in time with the audible sound. That position can either be the entry of the hand in front OR the exit of the hand at your thigh.

For Sprinting on Friday 6/12/2015, we started with the outer parameters of DPS and SR and work our way in.

1. 2 x 25 Freestyle, with the Tempo Trainer Pro set at 1.00 seconds in Mode 1. For most people this will be a very high turn-over, very difficult to accomplish
2. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 2.00 seconds. You will be amazed at how much slower and longer another 1.00 seconds will feel. Reach, pull and push with good DPS. 

Now that you have established both ends of the spectrum, you will want to find that ideal setting somewhere in between where you are most efficient.

3. Continue the pattern of adding and subtracting 2 one-hundredths of a second per pair of 25 repeats
4. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.20 seconds 
5. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.80 seconds
6. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.40 seconds 
7. 2 x 25 Freestyle, set at 1.60 seconds 
8. At some setting you will find the perfect combination of stroke rate and DPS that will elevate the quality of your swimming. This setting should also be your fastest 25. Remember this setting for future sprinting sessions with the TTP.

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June 1 2015

Open Water Reminders


  • Race Effort Sprint (1-2%)- Steady (97%) – Sprint (1-2%)
  • Sighting Every 10 strokes at first, then 20-30
  • Breathing  Bilateral and often


  • Draft Stay in bubbles of or at hips of faster swimmers
  • Observe Wear clear goggles, look around under water
  • Landmarks Pre-sight large, stationary objects beyond buoys

(After rounding the second & final turn buoy on the 1 and 2 mile races, look on the ridge bluff back on shore, behind the finish arch. The bright, yellow All-Star Rents truck should be positioned directly in line with the course and the finish line. Sight for the truck on the bluff.)


  • Recovery Straighter arms in choppy water
  • Tempo Slightly quicker with less kick
  • Sighting Two to three, consecutive, forward alligator lifts 


  • Contact Prepare for ‘bumping’ at the start and at the buoy turns
  • Objects Things floating only seem like scary creatures
  • Wierdos Sometimes people do strange things

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