Monday, June 30, 2008

Aubrey's Debut at Trials

Today was not a good day for us. Aubrey got her debut at the US Olympic Trials and she did not have a good race. I know that she is very disappointed and I am also upset. But I told Aubrey after the race that we need to look at the positive side of the negative and we need to make sure that we learn from what did happen today.

First positive I see is that Aubrey is 16 years old and at least she has one maybe two more Trials under her belt. I am pretty sure that if she keeps improving with her training and keeps working hard at the next Trials she will be in a position to be a player (no pressure :-). Second positive that I see is that it is better to have a “not so good swim” when you don’t have anything to lose than if you have a chance to make the team. It is better now than in four years.

I know that training and taper is not always perfect but what I saw today was a swimmer that 20 minutes before "the race of her life" she was very nervous and tight (just my observation). Aubrey has been swimming better and better every day and even yesterday night she was swimming very fast and she was telling me that she was feeling very good in the water.

As a coach I am very proud of what she has done this whole season. I am upset because I don’t like to see any of the swimmers I coach upset and in such pain but as I said before we need to focus on the positive. I have the privilege of coaching Aubrey for two more years and I have no doubts that we will have many happy moments watching her swim very fast. We need to keep working hard and most important we can “NEVER GIVE UP ON OUR DREAMS”


Also thanks for all the support that you are giving Aubrey and Coach Chris.

Have a beautiful night.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Amazing First Day of Swimming

What an amazing first day at Trials, 2 World records, 1 American record and 1 Trials record. A very fast first day of swimming here in Omaha at the 2008 US Olympic Trials.

Watching the way Ryan Lochte make Michael Phelps work for the win was one of those races that will be very hard to forget. At the end of the race I was showing Chris (he was sitting next to me) all the Goosebumps all over my arms :-)>. Both of them swam under the World Record but only Michael Phelps walked away with the record and the first spot in the 2008 US Olympic Team. Phelps later on said that it was a very hard race and that he swam that fast because Lochte was pushing him. Amazing!!!

I have the impression that Ryan Lochte was not very happy with his swim tonight. After the race when Phelps was congratulating him Ryan did not look happy at all. Many years ago I had the same feeling at the 1990 Goodwill Games when I swam .7 under the World Record in the 200 Breaststroke at that time but my training partner touched the wall .3 ahead of me to beat me. The best race of my life but I can assure you that I was very unhappy at that time and the way Ryan Lochte looked tonight I have the feeling that he feels the same. He swam under the World Record made the 2008 Olympic team but at the end of the day he was not able to win and be the best in the world. Well this is the way I see it and you know me :-).

The battles in the pool did not stop with the 400 IM, the women’s 100 fly semifinal was such a close race, the men’s 400 Free final was another epic swim with two swimmers swimming under the American record and most important swimming stroke by stroke until the end. The women’s 400 IM was another race that was out of this world. Incredible the way these swimmers get the best out of their bodies and minds. Incredible they way they will not give up and the way these swimmers have train their bodies and minds to squeeze every single ounce of energy and will power to reach their dream of being an Olympian. After watching these races I feel like I want to get back to the pool and train again, but then I walk to the parking lot to get to my car and reality hits me. There is no way I can do this again :-), I am too old and most important I don’t think TYR, Blueseventy or any one of those brands makes a suit to accommodate my size.

Tomorrow we have one of our Sharks making her debut at Trials. Aubrey has done a very good job training this season and I really think she is ready to swim very well. She has been looking better and better in practice every day and today she felt pretty good in the water. She is excited and ready to swim fast. I hope that she takes the approach that she has nothing to lose and a lot to win. At the end of the day she has a lane for herself and she just needs to give herself a chance to see how good she is at that moment in time.

Well I am going to bed; by the way Spain won the 2008 European Championship after 44 years of not winning. What a great day!

Buenas noches!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Blowing' In The Wind

You can just imagine a newscaster saying it: "The Olympic Trials blows through town on the heels of a 100 mile-per-hour storm that's literally ripped off part of the Qwest Center's facade."

Maybe you heard, maybe you didn't. This nasty, and I mean NASTY storm came careening into Omaha Friday night before Trials, damaging the building and forcing everyone inside to evacuate. I wasn't even in it, though.

Five minutes before the storm hit I was out on the street looking for a burger or something to eat. I was on the phone with a friend of mine when sirens started sounding. Not ambulance sirens but TORNADO sirens. I told my friend, "That can't be good," so she checked the radar and let me know that a storm was moving in. Me, I still wanted that burger.

Keeping a wary eye on the approaching darkness I found this neat place and pulled inside. Sipping a soda I noticed the local meteorologist on the TV. The sound was turned down so I couldn't hear him, but I didn't need to. His sleeves were rolled up. We all know that when they do that there's some serious weather. When a meteorologist rolls up his sleeves you'd better look out. A house might land on you or something.

So there he is, sleeves rolled up, red map, and these huge circling graphics on the map that I took to indicate potential tornados. I can't write what I started thinking! Then I see that all the other people at the restaurant were staring out the window. I turned around and the only word I can use is "chaos." The wind was so vicious I could actually see it! Two-inch hail was pounding everything in sight. I was transfixed. So transfixed, actually, it didn't occur to me that I was the only person sitting on that side of the restaurant. It appears that the locals knew something I didn't: Storms like this can take out windows.

Well, the windows were fine and so was I. After it blew over I left and walked back in what felt like a different city. The sidewalks were covered in leaves and fallen branches. An arts festival a few blocks away was decimated. I got the feeling I'd turn a corner and see a house with a pair of ruby slippered shod feet sticking out the bottom, that's how sure I was there must have been a tornado. But no witch. This wasn't Oz. I was still in Nebraska.

It wasn't until I got to the Qwest center that I saw the damage here. Incredible. I listened to Aaron Peirsol saying that he had to run out the second floor with his bag over his head because water was coming through. But all is now well.

Gotta run. Hope you're all having fun.

As I Leave....


This morning as I get ready to leave for Omaha, I can’t help reflect on the people and events that have brought me to this point. It was less than eight years ago that I showed up on the pool deck for my placement swim. I was just shy of my ninth birthday full of confidence and short on experience. I guess things never change. Since then I have had seven different coaches who have all contributed in some way to my being here. I have made many life long friends some who still swim and others who have chosen a different path.

Coach Bahr was my first coach. I will never forget my first meet. I had never swum anything but a 25 yard race, 50’s seemed so long, and then there was that back stroke flip turn that I had never heard of or seen. Coach Bahr encouraged my to give it a try. I did-I was DQ’ed. That race taught me that thru our failures we learn our greatest lessons. It gave me a place to start, a place from which to build. Thank you Coach Bahr.

Throughout the next few years in the age group program I swam with Coach Chris and Nancy. They taught me technique and discipline. Nancy taught me to expand my horizons. One season she only let me swim the backstroke once, she thought I was picking my races. She made me focus on the events I didn’t like (those that I didn’t think I was good at.)  I went from being absolutely the worst breaststroker to making finals in the 200 breaststoke at J.O’s. While I am still not a breastroker, it sure helped my IM.  Thank you Nancy and Chris for making me face my weaknesses.

My first experience in the Senior Program was with Coach Zubero. There is no other coach with as much patience and understanding. Those couple of years I was faced with many serious health issues and without him there to continue to support me each time I fell, I would probably not have continued in the sport. He was able to keep me believing on days that I wanted to give up and somehow trained me through it all. My vision was that he would be by my side when I swam at trials. While he won’t be with me physically, he will be there in my heart. Thank you Coach Zubero, for being my coach and friend.

Besides the coaches, my friends have played a crucial role in my swimming. Many of them have been there since they day I started. They are the reason that I came to practice and worked hard. It’s the undeniable “social” part of swimming that is so important. Without this group of talented swimmers who came to race everyday at practice and challenge me for that slot on the relay or place in first interval I would still be blowing bubbles. Thank to those who have been around since I started, Caitlin, Casey, Taylor, Kendall, Kylee, Ellie and everyone else who has joined us along the way.

To my parents, thank you for everything, for always being there to support me and take me to those early morning workouts...

Last but not least, Coach Sergio. I trust you and believe that I am ready. I hope that I do not let you down. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

Well I have never been short on words. If only I could type as fast as I talk, I could have written a book.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Box

WOW!! There is less than 48 hours until Chris and I leave for what might be the biggest and most important meet of our lives. The Olympic Trials marks the beginning of a life long dream for some and is the last stepping stone before the Olympics. While some will arrive at the meet with the goal of making the U.S. Olympic Team, I am choosing to embrace the experience with different goals and the determination to make it my meet. Each swimmer at the Trials has earned their own time in what i like to call "Your Box". For each event whether it be the mile or the 50 free, that individual will have time to prove him or herself to the world. You have two lane lines and two walls. For me, I have a little over 1 minute to show the world not only who I am but what Bolles is. While at the meet I hope not only to represent the team well but also learn from some of the best athletes in the world. I look forward to sharing my experiences over the next week with everyone.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Excitement Is Building

Even those living beyond the swimming world's bubble are feeling the buzz about this Olympic Trials. Those in the know already know that, well, they may not know anything. Sure, Michael Phelps will qualify in a slew of events along with Katie Hoff and Natalie Coughlin. That much seems for sure. Erik Vendt and Peter Vanderkaay are also likely qualifiers. But the one thing I know after swimming at my own Olympic Trials is that there are no sure things. This is a meet apart, an experience like no other.

Naturally I'm incredibly excited to be a part of the event. For those who don't know I'll be working with NBC on broadcasting the Trials. At the end of July I travel to Beijing to do the same thing. Basically I'll try to help Dan Hicks with swimmers and times and the kinds of things the lay-person doesn't really know about our sport.

But that's me and that's boring. What's exciting is knowing that Chris and Aubrey will have the chance in competing in a historic meet. I for one am excited to see them surprise people, including themselves, with what they are capable of doing in the water. And the beauty is they aren't walking in there with a nation's expectations on their shoulders. The trick at Trials is to walk into that building under the radar and leave it as a prime target.

I hope I can do justice to the excitement at this meet. I'll do what I can to bring you the other side of the Trials, the things you won't get to see during that live hour of broadcasting each night.

And while I'm gone, SWIM FAST!!!!

Coach Bahr

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Breakfast with Champions - June 21-08 at Bolles

Thanks to all of you that came to our "Breakfast with Champions". I want to thank Mrs. Talwar for the great efort that she put in organizing this event. Our younger Sharks had a blast getting autographs from our Trials and Olympic swimmers and the whole team had a chance to gather together to celebrate the great TRADITION that Bolles has developing world class swimming.

Thanks to All!


Hello :-)

This is my first post hopefyully it works. We will try to use this blog during the 2008 US Olympic Trials to post our thoughts, pictures and anything we see. As you know we have Aubrey Peacock, Chris Hagedorn swimming at the meet and then me (Coach Sergio) as the coach and also Coach Christian who will be helping with NBC.

We will keep you posted.