How to find an ASA number and times

Now, you know that Carol and I care very much about all of our swimmers and parents at the club, and will generally do all we can to assist whenever we can.  We, and the other coaches, are completely thrilled and overexcited by the fact that 45 (count ’em!) swimmers have applied for swims at the Newmarket gala, more than we’ve had at a gala for some considerable time (this stuff really makes us happy!). Obviously, this creates a little bit of work for Carol, who needs to sift and sort and check and collate and enter and calculate and email… so if you could make your forms as shiny and complete as possible before you hand them to her *in good time* for the deadline she sets, that would really help her.  As an aside, please note that whenever you are giving Carol a form rather than sending it off yourself, you need to make the cheque payable to ‘Bottisham Swimming Club’ as we make one collective payment for all swimmers with the electronic entry.  If you’re entering directly (e.g. if you missed Carol’s deadline!) then you need to make the cheque payable to the name on the form and hope the organisers don’t mind you sneaking in separately…

Allow me to introduce you to the ASA database, which will tell you your child’s ASA number if you plug in his/her surname.  It will also list his/her best licensed times, so if your child is a regular competitor and you’re struggling to get on to the club database for whatever reason, this is a good place to look for entry times.  However it doesn’t include results from unlicensed galas like JFL meets or club championships.

All times achieved are available, along with your child’s ASA number, on the club database (‘Swim Data‘). This continues to be slightly erratic in its operation, unfortunately, and I understand that quite a few people are still having problems getting on to it.  If you do have problems, please try resetting your password – if that doesn’t work, send me an email to and tell me your login and when you tried to access the database, which will help me get an idea of how often the problems are occurring and may give me some clues on how to solve them.  Thanks!

Christine Illman’s breaststroke wisdom

We were privileged and excited to have Christine Illman coaching a packed pool yesterday evening at Bottisham.  Here are the main take-away points from her fabulous session:

  • At the start: A-pull, up, glide, kick.
  • Streamlining is essential for a fast breaststroke.  Your arms should point forwards with the palms facing slightly outwards, ready to catch the water.
  • Keep your head as still as you can throughout the stroke.  You can drop your chin slightly as your arms go forward, but too much head movement wastes time and energy.
  • Breathe when your arms are puling back under your shoulders.
  • A narrow kick is good propulsion.  80% of the forward movement in breaststroke comes from the legs. Your knees should not go out past the line of your shoulders on the kick.  Your heels should come right up to your bottom and your knees be as far back as possible.
  • Your feet should be turned out and should rotate during the stroke: you should make a circle with your feet.  The kick itself comes from the inside of the feet and the inside of the shin.
  • A good breaststroker can do 25m breaststroke in 8 strokes.
  • Everyone swims breaststroke differently.  You have to work out what adjustments make you faster.
  • If you’re serious about swimming, keep a training diary.  Write down after each session what you did, what went well, what didn’t go so well, and what you need to work on next time.

Christine has promised to come back and see how the breaststroke is going in a few months’ time.  We are looking forward to seeing her again.


How not to get disqualified

As so many of our swimmers are attending the Neate Meet on 3/4 October, and with the JFL Final coming up on 17 October and the Club Champs on 14 November, now seems to be an excellent time to put an emphasis on knowing the rules of swimming.  It is essential that all swimmers understand what is expected of them in a competitive environment.

The full FINA Rules of Swimming can be found here.  For those who prefer the more abbreviated version of the behaviours that are liable to get a swimmer disqualified in a race, and how that happens, you can download the DQ report and FINA DQ codes, and I urge you to do so!

Suzy will be running a drop-in rules clinic/legal-stroke-check during the sessions on Sunday 27 September and Wednesday 30 September for anyone from ANY SQUAD who wants to make sure they understand the rules of the strokes they are swimming at the Neate Meet, or generally.  Please check in to make sure you do everything you can to make your competitive swims count.