Badger Ball Golf Outing Foursome Winners

Badger Ball Golf Outing Foursome Winners

Winners of the “Badger Foursome at Winged Foot” from the Badger Ball.

Chris Poleway, William Raffo, Todd Growich and Chris Powers, out enjoying a day of golf with good friends.

Environmental Influence – Harmony

A note from Badger Parent Advocate, Mike Conaton:

I’m reading a great book, Out of Habit, about Sister Rose Ann Fleming who is the Academic Advisor and Guidance Counselor for the Xavier University men’s basketball program.  Xavier takes academics and graduation very seriously and for the last 30 years Sister Rose Ann has been working with some of Xavier’s athletes who are a bit out of practice when it comes to the classroom.  Sister Rose Ann, the former President of Trinity College with three masters, a PhD and a law degree, would actually say she met her greatest career challenges while unlocking the potential of these student athletes. 

My favorite lesson in the book so far is a simple one – kids perform better if they think the teacher “likes them” in a “comfortable” environment.  Sister Rose Ann tells the story of the basketball player who was skipping classes and struggling with the work.  After much probing, it turns out the big seven-footer was actually quite sensitive and thought that the teacher didn’t like him, ignored him and favored other non-basketball athletes in the class.  Somehow the high profile player felt he was taken for granted.  The teacher never asked him how he did or commented on his frequent TV appearances.   The only reference to his basketball was to ask him if he had done his homework during his absences while traveling. He was uncomfortable and insecure, and while his hurt feelings were probably irrational and immature, guess what, kids are often irrational and immature.  Sister Rose Ann points out that “students learn better when they know you like them.  If young people don’t think you like them, if you don’t respect the abilities they have, they will shut you out.  They care”.  It can be as simple as a smile or an acknowledging “hello”.  

Certainly there is a message here for teachers and coaches, but how does this translate for a parent of a swimmer?   Not only do we “like” our kids, of course we love them. But I think an extrapolated point of the story is the notion of creating an environment in which the kids can feel comfortable and thrive.  

Best I can describe it is trying to be conscious of a certain consistency, or harmony.  I’m not going too far as I’m not here to talk about parenting skills and technique.  I’m just pointing out the observation I’ve had over time, for what it’s worth, that our household seems to function better when we have our act together, which certainly varies from time to time! I will admit that our good times, not so good times, laughs, disagreements…could sometimes be contagious and set the tone for the whole household, whether we realized it or not.

This general vibe at home can probably also explain some of the interaction with the kids…I’m just looking back thinking about the car rides home from work out, the dinner conversations, the TV breaks…as frustratingly uncommunicative (or sometimes confrontational) as they could be (think tired, cranky teenager)…were probably just important breaks and down times during exhaustingly busy schedules that we may have gotten in the way of every once in a while, causing (perhaps unnecessary), dis-harmony. I remind myself, that obviously we’re the parents and of course we should act accordingly, but maybe there’s an element of perspective and/or battle picking that can be applied to promote that consistency and harmony to the day to day.

I’ve read, and I’m aware that kids are influenced by their environment. Maybe we were imagining it, but if things were “good” at home, it seemed the kids were in a better place at school, and even the pool. Insert your own various and relative definitions for “good” and hopefully you get my general, non-judgmental point. In any event, suffice to say that I’ll add for all of us, “it ain’t always easy”, to my recurring cry, “parents are awesome”!

Michael Conaton, Badger Swim Club Inc. and Badger Swimming Inc. accept no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

Badger Swimmer Anina Lund Makes Verbal Commitment To California Golden Bears

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

As Reported by Swimming World Magazine:

The California Golden Bears claimed a verbal commitment from distance freestyler Anina Lund in a bid to help regain its freestyle strength.

Lund will be a big asset to a program that had not been very strong in distance freestyle recently. She’ll partly fill a gap left by the departure of Cierra Runge from the program and will score well in the 500 and 1650 freestyles at the Pac 12 championships in her freshman year.

Lund, who currently represents Badger Swim Club in New York state, holds best times of 4:49.40 in the 500 free and 16:27.90 in the 1650 free that were done at the 2013 U.S. winter nationals. READ MORE…


Badger Outfitting – D&J Sports Inc.

It is that time of year again, time to gear up for the season and be proud to wear your Badger gear around!

quick_links_banner-01Badger has teamed up with D&J Sports Inc. out of Dallas, Texas and Allentown, Pennsylvania to outfit the team this year.

D&J is one of the nation’s largest swimwear and competitive swimming outfitting companies, and we are very excited to start our season off in partnering with them to outfit us.

With the competitive calendar quickly approaching, we felt a strong need to bring D&J in as soon as possible.

That being said, D&J is sending a representative to Badger on Wednesday, September 23.  D&J will be at Badger Pool starting at 10:00 am through 2:00 pm.

We have put together a great assortment of gear. Once the order form is available, I will have that posted on the website.

We look forward to an amazing season filled with great swimming, amazing team building and why not look great too in your new badger gear.

“Be a Student of The Sport” – Success

     “Be a Student of the Sport”  – SuccessVrooman 2


The first in a series of “Be a Student of the Sport” clinics brought to you by Badger Swim Club was a huge success.  The clinics, led by our National Champions, Badger Swimmers and National Team members, Zane Grothe, Cody Miller, and Lindsay Vrooman, were filled with advice from pre-race preparation to post-race recovery.  Each session was well attended by the majority of the Junior Team and Competitive 10&Under Program.  Over the course of the four day clinic, the team had an opportunity to get coached by and swim with three National Champions who kept the team engaged and paid incredible attention to detail in and out of the pool.

USA National Team member, Cody Miller is one of the fastest breaststrokers in the world.  He is also an American record holder in the 50BR.  He shared, demonstrated and coached the Senior, Junior and Competitive 10’s in Breaststroke and Backstroke during the clinic. Cody spent time with all the kidsIMG_0200 over the weekend and talked about his approach to workouts, workout recovery, and pre-race routine.  Cody touched upon his dedication to nutrition and commitment to maintaining a healthy body how together they allow him to perform at his best. The drills and excitement that he brought to each session was felt by all; the kids thoroughly enjoyed Cody’s vibrant approach to swimming.

IMG_0191USA National Team member, Zane Grothe, ranked 9th in the world in the 400 freestyle,IMG_0226 spent time talking to the kids about his experiences as a distance freestyler, highlighting how important technique and communication with his coaches is to his current and continued success.  In the water Zane focused on his approach to power in relation to his freestyle with emphasis on his technique and how important it is to be self-aware of your stroke in order to continually improve.  Zane shared and demonstrated his turn technique regarding fast walls and how key it is to practice perfect and powerful walls daily.  He connected the significance of practicing in terms of preparation for successful meet performance.

Lindsay Vrooman joined us at the Badger pool on Monday and Tuesday and worked vrooman 1with the largest groups of the weekend.  These swimmers were treated to Lindsay’s explanation to how important proper breathing is to her swimming as well as her focus on technique in her freestyle. The swimmers were also informed on Lindsay’s incredible work ethic and practice routine that aided her in winning gold medals at the CIG, World University Games, USA National Championship, and FINA World Cup.  Lindsay discussed the importance self-motivation as well as motivating those around her at workouts and establishing a positive training routine and group.

Although each Champion had different messages, there were some underlying commonalities: Race preparation, proper nutrition, the need for sleep, post-race recovery, and the importance of proper technique.  All four days of “Be a Student of The Sport” clinics were a success for the swimmers who were treated to a high level of  education on technique, pointers on things they can work on but also a great insight into the careers, training and lives of Badger swimmers Lindsay, Zane and Cody.

Eddie Reese and Greg Rhodenbaugh on Parenting

A note from Badger Parent Advocate, Mike Conaton:

I recently caught up with coaches Eddie Reese and Greg Rhodenbaugh and asked them about their views on the parent’s role in swimming.

Greg Rhodenbaugh is the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming programs at the University of Missouri and recent USA assistant coach at this summer’s Pan Am Games. While most of his coaching experience is at the college level, Greg also happens to be the parent of EIGHT kids of his own, many of whom are age group swimmers. “People think I’m an expert because we have eight kids”, says Greg. “We just try to help them learn how to take responsibility – isn’t that what parenting really is”, he asked rhetorically. “You can have an age grouper swim really well by doing everything for them”. But in the long run ironically, Greg implied, we can set our kids up for failure. “The ability to take responsibility can come naturally with maturity”, he concluded. But it seems it can be hastened by parents backing off and allowing kids to fend for themselves and be responsible. Responsibility in swimming can include getting to practice and making a consistent effort when there, preparing for meets, building self-confidence…

I think “helping kids take responsibility” sums things up beautifully and succinctly. And it’s amazing how that theme even carries into the college level.

Eddie Reese is a three time Olympic head coach and the legendary head coach at the University of Texas, where he won his 11th NCAA team title this year. Eddie told me he is happy to take inbound calls from his kids’ parents, but he often filters the “advice” he hears from some. “Some parents will want to tell me how it is and I kind of look at them and say I’ve been doing this for a while”, said Eddie. I find this hilarious and incredible to hear. Look, we parents mean well I always say, but comes a time we have to let our kids be coached, especially by the best of the best. “And comes a time kids have to take responsibility for themselves” said Ed. Again the recurring theme. He told me the story of a parent who called to ask Eddie to help their son deal with a couple disappointing races at a big meet. Eddie’s response – “he needs to help himself…We can’t keep pillowing these kids”, he added. I will add the commentary that he is of course talking about young adults in college if you think this sounds a little harsh. Eddie dishes out a lot of tough love but most know he is a sweetheart of a guy and his kids would take a bullet for him, and vice versa.

Both Eddie and Greg intimated that they tend to spend a lot of time (and probably too much time) with certain swimmers, who even at the loftiest levels, can still struggle with confidence. Self-doubt can quickly spiral. Thus the earlier comment cautioning against coddling age groupers too much. Relying on someone else to support kids emotionally can be a crutch and can catch up to them. The consensus seems to be that kids need to learn to take responsibility for themselves as early as possible. Eddie offered up his advice on the subject – “The key to success and longevity [in swimming] is learning how to deal with problems at each next level”. There is always a new set of issues and obstacles to overcome at each turn (i.e. plateaus, training fatigue, self-confidence, physical and emotional maturity). It’s how we deal with those issues and overcome those obstacles that defines our ability to achieve continuous improvement.

Eddie went on to suggest a little bit of humility is also important. “You can’t ever think you’re above it all. I still pick up trash on the pool deck and put in lane lines”, he said.

Words of wisdom for us all….

Michael Conaton, Badger Swim Club Inc. and Badger Swimming Inc. accept no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

Congrats to Badger Swimmers at County Swimming Championships

Congratulations to Badger swimmers Ella Harshman and Maggie Sullivan, the Girls 10 & Under High Point Winner and Runner-Up! Further Congratulations to all of the Badger swimmers who competed last week at the Westchester County Swimming Championships at Playland.

The week was highlighted with some of our swimmers finishing at the top of their events:

Nathalie Eid – 2nd place in the Girls 17 & Under 200 IM and 100 Butterfly, 4th in 100 Freestyle, and 5th in 100 Backstroke

Scottie Berridge – 1st place in the Girls 17 & Under 100 Breaststroke and 7th in the 100 Butterfly

Mary Kate Melnyk – 2nd place in the Girls 17 & Under 100 Freestyle, 3rd in the 100 Butterfly and 7th in the 100 Backstroke

Ian Bidwell – 2nd place in the Boys 17 & Under 100 Breaststroke and 6th in the 100 Freestyle

T. Speres – 3rd place in the Boys 17 & Under 100 Freestyle

Garrett Towne – 3rd place in the Boys 17 & Under 100 Backstroke

Kim Jogis – 4th place in the Girls 17 & Under 200 IM and 14 & Under 100 Breaststroke, 5th in the 100 Butterfly and 6th in the 100 Freestyle

Liam Loveless – 1st place in the Boys 14 & Under 100 Breaststroke

Anya Pabby – 1st place in the Girls 12 & Under 50 Freestyle, 2nd in the 50 Butterfly, 3rd in the 50 Backstroke, and 6th in the Girls 13 & Under 200 IM

Mary Rotenberg – 2nd place in the Girls 12 & Under 50 Backstroke, 3rd in the 50 Freestyle, and 4th in the Girls 13 & Under 200 IM

Max Hardart – 8th place in the Boys 12 & Under 50 Breaststroke

Ella Harshman – 1st place in the Girls 10 & Under 50 Freestyle, 50 Backstroke, and 50 Butterfly. 8th place in the Girls 50 Breaststroke

Maggie Sullivan – 2nd place in the Girls 10 & Under 50 Backstroke and 50 Butterfly, and 3rd place in the 50 Freestyle

Rory Sheridan – 6th place in the Girls 10 & Under 50 Butterfly

Lizzie Ford – 7th place in the Girls 10 & Under 50 Backstroke and 8th in the 50 Freestyle

Two Gold Medalists on Day One of National Championships

There were two Badger Gold medalists on Day 1 of USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships in San Antonio, TX.

Congratulations to Badger Swimmers Zane Grothe and Lindsay Vrooman. They are both 2015 National Champions in the 400M freestyle. Zane won the men’s 400M with a time of 3:45.98, and Lindsay won the women’s 400M with a time of 4:07.88.

Congratulations to Ryan Feeley for winning the consolation final of the 400M with a time of 3:50.80.

Badger Successes at International Meets

Five more meets – dozens more Badger swims:

On the home front, don’t forget we have 7 swimmers headed to Zone Senior Champs, 7 more to Futures, 5 more to Nationals and 11 to Nationals.

The psych sheets came out for Juniors today, and we are seeded well (View psych sheets)…

Olympic Trials – (Alumni News)

Also, on the alumni front, Alex Gianino qualified for Olympic Trials yesterday.  He went 1:02.78 in the 100BR.. not yards – LCM – yes.  Holy Cow.  Hopefully, another trial cut of many this summer.  Best luck to all over the rest of the summer.


Some asked how to get notes of congratulations to Ryan and Lindsay or notes of good luck to Cody… Email them to me, and I will forward them:

Lindsay Vrooman Wins Gold at the 2015 World University Games in Korea

Lindsay just returned from Gwangju, South Korea where she competed for the USA at the World University Games: (View Here.) Lindsay won the women’s 800M freestyle against some of the best competition in the world.  She also took home silver in the 400M and 1500M freestyle.  Next stop for Lindsay is US National Championships where she hopes to continue her winning streak.

Ryan Feeley takes home Silver at the 2015 PAN AMERICAN Games in Toronto

Ryan took home two silvers at the PAN AM games.  Ryan placed second in the men’s 400M freestyle with a time of 3:49.60 (View here.)  Ryan was also a member of the men’s 4x200M freestyle relay that placed second.  Ryan is headed to San Antonio to the 2015 Phillips 66 National Championships as well.

Cody Miller is Headed to FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia

Cody is headed to Russia to compete for the USA at the 16th FINA World Championships: (View here.) The event begins on August 2, 2015, and Cody is going up against the best in the world in the 100M breaststroke.  Cody is currently #3 in world rankings in the 100breast, and he hopes to go :58 at World Championships.