Thursday, June 24, 2010

In Brief…

> Santa Clara Sprinter Nathan Adrian sweeps the 50m and 100m freestyle Swim Network
> Star sightings: Michael Phelps back with Miss California LA Times Blog
> Swimmer Phelps to tee off in Chinese Pro-Am event Reuters
> Search #SwimBlogsUnited on Twitter
> Unconventional Abs Swimming Science
> The History Behind Prince Albert’s Engagement to an Olympic Swimmer Gold Medal Mel
> FINIS Turnmaster Pro FINIS
> Alain Bernard from Arena Water Instinct via the17thman

Monday, June 21, 2010

USA Triathlon Adopts New Wetsuit Regulation

Press Release from USA Triathlon June 21, 2010


Friday, June 18, 2010

Ian Thorpe Will Play Serial Killer In Theatrical Debut

How’s that for an inflated attention-grabbing headline? Well I just caught a link from USA Swimming on Facebook to a news item in The Sydney Morning Herald. Thorpe is scheduled to make a one-time-only theatrical appearance as “a serial killer with a conscience” in the play One Night in Emerald City at the Sydney Theatre.

This 2010 adaptation of the 1987 play Emerald City will feature Thorpe and 10 other celebrities pushing past their comfort zones to benefit charity.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Olympic Gold-Medal Swimmer Charlie Hickcox Dies At Age 63

Charlie was a friend of Kast-A-Way Swimwear and a friend to Susan Allen who wanted me to share her thoughts on the blog:

I knew Charlie and spent some time with his family when I was helping Doc Counsilman with his retirement party from IU. Charlie was such a help to me in contacting all the old swimmers, divers and staff. When he did get into town, he felt that part of the weekend needed to be spent just hanging out at Doc & Marge’s house. When there, we had a chance to really get to know one another and I enjoyed the experience immensely. Charlie was so well respected from his teammates and coaches. I later learned that he went to visit his old fraternity and it meant the world to them as well. He was so grateful for his time spent with Doc and I U and felt that it made him the man he became.

It was one of those moments in life I’ll never forget and I’m very saddened by his passing.

- Susan Allen

You can read more about Charlie Hickcox from Swimming World and

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Research Into The Science Of Luck

I read a fascinating post titled “Crossing your fingers boosts performance (touch wood)” on the Sweat Science Blog. The post refers to an article published in Psychological Science by lead author Lysann Damisch in which participants performed golf putts, and other motor dexterity, memory and anagram challenges.

In the case of the golf putt, the participants were either informed that their golf ball has been lucky so far, or that it is simply the ball that everyone has been using, before performing 10 golf putts. “Sure enough, the lucky ball group hit 6.42 putts, while the neutral ball group hit just 4.75″ (source).

Because I’m not going to pay to read the full text of the article, I don’t know how many participants were used in the study. However, the use of a control group definitely lends credibility to the study – whereas I usually attribute perceptions of luck to a simple confirmation bias.

The proposed mechanism for luck boosting performance is an increase in self-efficacy. Self-efficacy can be confused with self confidence, but it has less to do with a general sense of certainty and more to do with a belief in one’s capabilities to perform specific tasks in relation to goals.

Some rituals and superstitions that involve stretching, increasing physical readiness (jumping up and down), or routines that help you focus do not influence luck in this same way. These habits have their own physical and mental mechanisms for improving performance. However, it is interesting that the presence of a charm or other arbitrarily lucky object can produce a testable improvement in performance by increasing a participant’s beliefs in their ability to succeed in context of the situation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Diver Tom Daley Gets Dunked On BBC Sport Relief Night

Smithy won Sports Personality Coach of the Year at the 2010 BBC Sport Relief Night. Here is a clip from his coaching montage where he shows his frustration with Tom Daley by dunking him.

You can view the full montage (from the official BBC YouTube channel) here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kast-A-Way Blog Joins ‘Swim Blogs United’ To Support College Swimming

If you are a swim blog reader, you might have noticed the Swim Blogs United (SBU) logo popping up in your RSS Reader. Swim Blogs United is an alliance of swimming websites that will focus on supporting collegiate level swimming from a journalistic and blogging front.

Along with the ongoing editorial support from all partner sites, Swim Blogs United is also dedicated to support and work hand-in-hand with the financial efforts of Go For 5!. Through the SBU logos found on partner sites, visitors are able to make tax-deductable donations to Go For 5! Donations will help Go For 5! raise awareness, fund facilities, endow scholarships, and do whatever it takes to save college swimming programs.

By helping to organize a swim blog movement, Swim Blogs United will be able to harness the net influence of our combined voices to reach a bigger audience!

So get your wallet out, and donate $5 in tax-deductible support to college swimming programs. You can follow this link, or click on the SBU logo in my sidebar to make your donation on a special Swim Blogs United section of Go For 5!

Related articles from Kast-A-Way Blog:
> What Happened to My Conference?
> RE: College Cuts are Coming

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In Brief…

> Gary Hunt is 2 for 2 in 2010 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
> Tuesday Tweet: May the best taco win Garrett Weber-Gale
> 2010 Chesapeake Bay Swim Wrap Up Rob Aquatics
> Photos of Chloe Sutton and Kate Ziegler at the ’2010 Swim Meet of Champions!’ SCAQ Blog
> Jeff Commings Discusses “Odd Man Out: An Autobiography” The Morning Swim Show
> Resistance Training For Distance Athletes Swimming Science
> Expedition Great White National Geographic Channel
> Keeping Ducks And Birds Out Of Your Pool Swim University

Monday, June 14, 2010

Alec Baldwin As The “Angry Swim Coach” On Saturday Night Live

Alec Baldwin captures the essence of an angry swim coach in this SNL spoof of an awards banquet.

“I’ll try to keep my remarks brief – considering I’m suppose to say nice things, that shouldn’t be a problem…”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Undersea BASE Jumper Hits Deepest Submerged Sinkhole

This video is both impressive and well produced. It features world renowned free diver, Guillaume Nery, performing an undersea BASE jump.

B.A.S.E. is an acronym for the types of fixed structures thrill-seekers jump from on dry land, and include buildings, antennae, spans (bridge), and earth (cliff).

Nery’s undersea jump certainly resembles BASE jumping, as he plunges into the depths with help from a weight belt but without an air supply.

The jump takes place at a location in the Bahamas called Dean’s Blue Hole, west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas. A blue hole is a sinkhole (like the one making news in Guatemala) except it forms underwater.

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Thanks to Sam for turning me on to this video; visit Sam’s photo blog: Project 365.

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