Team Nitro Notes – January 26, 2022

PARENT AND ATHLETE DRIVERS: Please slow down in the Nitro Parking lot. Save speeding until you are in the water. We cannot have anyone getting hurt in the parking lot. Please look for younger and smaller athletes in the parking lot.

Exciting news! Nitro is now a TYR team! The team and TYR will make an official announcement later this month. As the team makes the transition to a new sponsor, when your athlete needs new gear or training equipment, please make sure to purchase TYR gear. Athletes will still be able to purchase suits and gear in person at local vendors.
TYR has a ton of great stuff – from sunglasses to shirts and other apparel – follow them online @tyrsport

NITRO needs officials! The ST-LSC needs officials. If you are interested, please contact John VanderMeer. For a swim meet to be sanctioned by USA Swimming and for the times to count, a meet must have at a minimum: a Meet Referee, a Starter, Stroke and Turn Judges, and Administrative Officials. Consider volunteering and becoming an official so Nitro can continue to run great events. Thank you!

CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IS HERE. The sooner we’re all on that page, the better. We’re officially 5.5 weeks out from Sectionals. 4.5 weeks out from STAGS and HS State Championships. COPS is this weekend!. The SCY season will be over in a blink of an eye. This is the last chance this season to make corrections, change habits, and keep getting faster. Moving forward, we want our athletes to be successful at all the meets on their calendars. There will be a lot of moving parts at practice as we strive to meet the needs of the team. Make sure that your goals have been communicated to the coaching staff so we can best facilitate them. Here are some quick thoughts to keep in mind in this phase of the year:
• Stay Healthy: do what your mother says!
• Get Sleep: Make sure you put time into recovery. SLEEP. PUT THE PHONE DOWN. Snapchat is not more important than getting rest. Blackout curtains for naps. Blue blockers help athletes sleep and get to bed on time.
• Take Ownership: Communicate with your coaches. Track your progress. Be detailed oriented. Get to the pool. Be on time.


 NEW FEATURE – with the OnDeck app, you can now view your athlete’s “Practice Report.” On this report, you’ll see not only attendance percentages, but you’ll find yardage, intensity, stress, distances for stroke type, and more. This is a powerful tool. At the end of the season, we will be using this tool to go over what went right and examine what we can do better. It’s been active for the last two weeks of practice – take a look!

Eat Right: What you fuel your body with matters. USA Swimming has some great articles on the topic.
Time Management: Stay organized with school work and get ahead.

Last week, we had a great team meeting and reviewed our team “covenants” or “glue words” that we ask athletes to bring with them to each practice. Respect. Trust. Focus. Fire. Grace. As we head into this phase of our season, split into groups, have athletes with different focus meets, needs and timelines – these words become increasingly important. Here are what they mean to us:

  • RESPECT – bring respect for your coaches and peers and treat them the way you want to be treated. No exceptions. Easier said than done, especially when goals are on the line, but it’s a key lesson as our group grows. Put yourself in their shoes and first seek to understand, then be understood. Coach Randy says the “think” acronym: – is what you are about to say Thoughtful, Helpful, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind? If not, maybe rethink it. The things we do and say to one another matter. You can’t have a good day without doing something for someone else. (ALSO – Respect the Dojo – keep the pool clean. Bags neat and our team area tidy.)
  • TRUST – Trust 3 things.
    • #1: The process – don’t worry yourself about how you’re feeling in the moment. Sometimes, you’ve got to get going to feel good, not the other way around. Trust that when you work hard, things will work out the way they should – well! (Check out this article from USA Swimming on the topic).
    • #2: Trust your teammates, that they’re giving their best effort. Honor them with your best effort.
    • #3: Trust your coaches. Communicate with them. “A coach is someone who will tell you what you don’t want to hear and show you what you don’t want to see so you can become the person you’ve always known you could be.” Trust that your coaches giving their best every day – just like you!
  • FOCUS – don’t just be present, bring presence and mindfulness. Practice with purpose and do things the right way. “If you don’t have time to do it right….now, when do you have time to do it over?” Swim with intention, mindfulness, and focus – even on 3×100 @ 1:40 D/S for warm down. Perfection isn’t the goal, mindfulness is. Every day we’re shooting to be better than yesterday.
  • FIRE – bring passion to practice. Bring the A-game every day. Compete. Don’t wait till tomorrow to work twice as hard. The season is almost done. It doesn’t work like that anyways. We need fire, emotion, and passion at practice – all day, every day. You honor your team, teammates, and everyone else in the building with your effort. Whatever it takes, do it.
  • GRACE – My dad had this great bumper sticker – “Help me be the person my dog thinks I am.” No one’s perfect and people make mistakes sometimes. Meet everyone, teammates, coaches, friends, and others where they’re at and with the understanding that they are probably going through something you aren’t aware of. For some, the pool deck might be the only place to hear or be shown the right character, told positive affirmations, or modeled the right behavior. Be that for your teammate.

Print them out, stick them on the fridge. We will continue to go over these “glue words” as the season unfolds. In the meantime, keep it up, everyone. DREAM BIG. Anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Keep working hard, having fun, and swimming fast in practice. BIG THINGS TO COME!

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Joe Mink