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Monday, January 14, 2013

Parenting In The Open Water - Part 1

Parenting is a joy as much as it can be challenge. But parenting of an open water swimmer takes on special meanings for parents who are experienced in open water swimming and, especially, those who are not.

The veteran swimmer, as both an athlete and parent, knows intimately well the joys and challenges of the sport. They know on a profound level what their children will experience: the good, the bad and the ugly.

This parent understands the immense feeling of satisfaction when the child comes safely up the shore, often with raised arms and wide smiles. And they can feel the intense feeling of disappointment and frustration when their child's swim ends prematurely. These swimming parents have first-hand experience with the commitment and training sessions - morning and night, weekdays and weekends, that are the foundation of success. And they know well how much a non-finish hurts inside because of this commitment.

Mike Miller whose daughter Mackenzie replicated his 1978 Molokai Channel crossing in 2010, says, "Mackenzie's goal was actually the English Channel. But not completing the English Channel was ultimately responsible for one of the all-time best learning lessons ever, a true "teachable moment".

Her coming up short [in the English Channel] is driving her now in a learning curve that really surpasses swimming. Her life is setting goals of all kinds and finishing the goals. Mackenzie was driven to swim the Molokai Channel because she was not happy with herself not finishing England. Gearing toward Molokai, she trained alone, doing 6-7 hour training swims all by herself. The day of her crossing, she swam nearly 15 hours and was not tired. Her stroke count increased in the last two hours, by nearly 25%.

I purposely went through a basal cell removal, the week prior to her Molokai swim, so I could get out of her way, thus confined to be crew. While not minimizing the swim itself, I think parenting in open water is more about parenting than anything else. The swim is a by-product of swimming parents and a swimming keiki (child)
."

Sally Minty-Gravett who has touched all of the marathon swimmers in Jersey in some capacity over the past four decades explains another perspective as a full-time swimming instructor and coach. "I see much potential in many children...and often. In all these 40+ years, I see potential on a regular basis in children of all ages from 4 months upwards to academy children. That is, they are strong and efficient swimmers who may not be necessarily fast, but they have an affinity with water and love to be in it. And over here in Jersey, loves to be in the sea.

This is one of the first questions I ask them. I then ask the parents if they do love the sea. If the answers are yes, I then ascertain if the parents are keen to commit. Then, I ask them to come try club pool training session. These take place on Tuesday evenings, from October to the end of May. During these hour-long sessions, they get stronger, and as important, they get to know others who swim regularly too.

Then, when we start regular club swims in the sea at the beginning of May, they are soçially and physically ready to jump in and have fun safely in the sea. We have wonderful clean seas over here.

The club sea swims are supervised in groups, according to ability..and each little pod is supervised by one of our committee, round island or channel swimmers who escort them from the slipway or beach to the buoy and back with each weekly swim gradually increased according to sea and weather conditions. We then not only see their strength building, but personal confidence and character developing too. The parents wait patiently on the beach or slipway for them and after their swims are treated to a social cuppa and chat after. And this happens from May till the end of September by which time, many of them are happily enough to swim along the shore under supervision or very happily with kayak supervision
."

Conversely, parents who have not had the experience of open water swimming can be a nervous-wreck when their child heads off in the open water. They see their child pushing themselves to the fullest without knowing exactly - or even vaguely - what is going on. The depth of their fatigue or the feeling of hypothermia is unknown to them.

This unknown can be even more worrisome than if the parent knows well what happens to the body and mind of an open water swimmer.

Ned Denison, a leader in the Irish swimming community, gives a different perspective from the role and responsibility of a swim organizer. "The situation with an involved parent is easy - they are often our best volunteers at formal events. Our challenge is with the absent parent. They either do not realise that their child is swimming in a meet at 6 pm casual swim or they try to use swim organisers to mind their under 18-year-old while they head off to another child's soccer match, shopping, or to the pub. This presents all manner of legal and child protection issues for the adult swimmers. In Ireland an adult should not even transport a child to the hospital without a witness present at all times. Unless it is a very specific open water program for kids, parents need to understand that it isn't right or fair to expect random adults to mind their kids."

And, in previously unimaginable development increasingly occurring in the open water swimming world, the community is seen parents over the age of 50, 60, 70 and 80 who are doing the swimming while their sons and daughters are doing the watching and worrying onshore.

The circle of life continues.

Photo above shows the start of the Midmar Mile where there is the world's largest family mile swim. All team members must be immediate family. All team members must have a direct link to at least one other member of the tea (e.g., Father – Son, Sister – Brother, Father – Daughter, Brother – Brother, Mother – Son, Husband - Wife, Mother – Daughter, Step Father – Children, Sister – Sister, Step Mother - Children).

Parenting In The Open Water - Part 1 is here.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Swim Across the English Channel...

OWSM-CM

Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?

Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!

Open Water Swimming Magazine


Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
LEARN MORE

The Other Shore


The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
LEARN MORE...

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
https://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/preview-open-water-swimming-almanac


The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.

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Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program