Tag Archives: Waukesha Express


Competitive AdvantageThe family had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Alan Goldberg this past weekend. This was part of an educational series put on by the club team that my kids belong to and that I coach for.  I attended the Coach session, Michelle the Parent session, and the kids were in the Athlete session.

Dr. Goldberg specializes in sports psychology for peak performance and mental toughness for athletes. The 5 hours of time with him were well spent.

The main takeaways when the four of us talked about our sessions were

  • Stay in your “own lane” and focus on what you can do
  • Everything should be process based not outcome based
  • When you sign up for a team there is a unwritten rule that there will be good times and bad times

Dr. Goldberg told a number of stories and tailored each one for the respective groups.

On the Competitive Advantage website, there are are great deal of printable materials that you should look at an review.  I know there are enough swim families that read this, and this material is really good stuff.


Express FundRaiser

I know that you are bombarded with requests to give your hard earned money to organizations that you hardly know.  And I know some of you have already donated, and to that I say THANKS.

ExpressI think this request for your financial help might be a bit different. The donation that you can give to my kids and their swim team is helping them and a ton of kids that have chosen to be part of athletics.  I know that they are becoming a better people, more capable, more confident, getting in shape and ultimately I know that hard work they have committed too will deliver results.

These are life skills to be a better student, future employee and parent.   And this will pay big dividends to me as Anna’s high school coach in the fall.

All I can ask is that your money will make a difference to them and their team. It really will….

Team Name: Waukesha Express Swim Team
Event Title: Waukesha Express SwimFest
Date: 4/20/13 at 10:00 AM
Goal Amount for our Team:  $12,000.00

Donating is really fast, easy and all online.

Just click the link below and you will be sent to a personalized landing page. Click on the green “Please Donate” button and rest will be self-explanatory.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW or copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Thank you again!

Future Northstar Thoughts

This is a homework assignment turned in by my daughter Anna who is now in 7th grade.  This is one of those proud moments.  A moment that gets me excited that she wants to swim with me at WNKM!


My favorite memory started out as not so much my favorite. I was so nervous that my legs were shaking. Wait, let’s back up like 3 weeks or so…

It was Monday.  I was trying out for the Express swim team.  The try-out was at North High School.  I was joining in the middle of the season.  Everyone else was practicing.  They cleared a whole lane for me to try out!  Some kids were watching me, but most were still swimming.

Coach Bill (the Coach in-charge) told me to get into the pool and stretch a little bit. After I was done stretching, he said, “Okay, show me your Freestyle.”

I went as fast as I could without breaking my form; form is like how professional or perfect the stroke looks so that you know you’re performing correctly.  Next, I did my Breast stroke and my Backstroke.  Finally, I did Butterfly for half of 25 yards and switched to freestyle for the second half so I could show Coach Bill my flip turn.  When I got out, I thought that Coach Bill looked really impressed with my skill level.

“You did a great job! If you decide to join, then you would be in Silver Three.  Kyle, make sure to… (I kind of zoned out a little bit here).  If you register any time this week, then you can start practicing as soon as next week Monday!” Coach Bill said.

Two weeks later, I am practicing as hard as the rest of the Silver kids, which, let me tell you, is a lot harder than the YMCA Competitive Swim Class.

Just to let you know, there are different groups of Express: Ribbons, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Senior One, and Senior Two (I’m in Silver).  In each group, there are levels one, two and three, with three the most experienced and one the least experienced in the group (I’m in Silver Three).

When I first joined, I couldn’t believe I was already in silver, because my brother is going to join in the summer season and he’ll be in ribbons, which, like I said earlier, is the lowest.

The practices are tough, because we start with doing 300 swim and 100 sculling (all numbers are yards), which is 400 total just for warm-up!  Sculling is when you do freestyle kicking and tread water with your hands.  Even though you’re treading water technically, you’re still moving forward in the water.  The 300 swim is just any stroke you want.

After the warm-up, we do drills depending on what stroke we practice that night (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly).  Usually, we go out into the middle of the pool and practice doing flip turns by swimming into the wall with whatever the stroke of the night is.  The coaches give us tips on how to do better with the flip turns after each person has gone, as in, if I do a flip turn, right after the coach will tell us what we need to work on next. we usually get two or three flip turns done each.

Next, we do some stamina work. Sometimes, we do ladders, which means we would swim a 25, then a 50, then a 75, then 100, then 75, then 50, then another 25.  Usually we would repeat that twice.

Finally, we work on our dives off of the starting block.  First, you mount the block, next you bend over, with your feet shoulder length apart, your hips in the air.  Your back foot should be the length of you big toe away from the front foot.  When the starter says, “Take your mark…” you grasp the front of the starting block and lean back with tight, straight arms. Next the starter presses the button (this is in meets – in practices they just shout “go” really loudly) which triggers the start machine.  It makes a loud, obnoxious beep.  Once the start machine goes off, you push off the block with your back foot as hard as you can, while going into streamline position.  Streamline position is when your arms and legs are almost perfectly straight so that when you enter the water you don’t go at a weird angle once submerged.

We swim for an hour (see above for what I mean by swimming) and then get changed for dry-land. Changing is just in the locker rooms, and it takes about 5 minutes at the most.

When we’re done changing, we go sit on the bleachers until around ten after the hour (which isn’t too long).  After that, we just work out, like with the TRX, or we play games, like Capture the flag.

My favorite memory was my first swim meet. I was so nervous, that I almost didn’t enjoy it at all, until my race started…

It was my first swim meet, the SYOA (Swim Your Own Age) run by SWAT (South West Aquatics Team).  I swam the 50 Fly and the 50 Free.

My first event was starting.  I got into line in the right spot, because there’s a specific order to get into (you line up by heat number).  I was REALLY nervous.  When I started, I felt really good on how I was doing.  But when I got to the flip turn, disaster struck.

When you swim Butterfly or Breaststroke, you do a 2 hand-turn, which is basically where you grab the wall with two hands, then push off again ASAP.

The disaster was that, being my first meet doing a 50 in a stroke other than freestyle, I didn’t know that; so, when I did the turn, I only touched the wall with one hand.  Of course, I went as fast as I could, because I didn’t know that I was DQ’ed (shorthand for disqualified).  When I finished, my time didn’t show up on the scoreboard.  I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting…but it never went up there.

When I got out of the pool, I asked the timer what my time was (I don’t remember it – that was in November of last year).  I went back to the bleachers, where my parents were sitting.  My mom and dad both looked happy yet sad at the same time.  I asked them what was wrong.  They told me I was DQ’ed, and I collapsed onto the seat, sobbing.  If I couldn’t get it right the first time, then how would I ever get it right later?  After about 5 minutes, my mom told me that was the fastest time she had ever seen me swim.  That stopped me right in my tracks.  The time! I couldn’t remember what I had got!

“Mom, I forgot what the timer said my time was after the race.”

“Oh. Well, that’s okay. Because it didn’t go up onto the scoreboard, I didn’t see what it was. But don’t worry, because you got DQ’ed, the time won’t count anyways.”  That was easily the worst thing she could say.  “Hey, your next race is coming up!” She finished somewhat halfheartedly.

“But I don’t wanna swim anymore.”

“Yes you do! What are you talking about?” My dad wondered.

“I’m not any good at it though!”

“Yeah, you are. You just made one little mistake.  I wouldn’t worry about it.  You’ll get the hang of it soon.”  His pep talk really helped.

And, to prove that it helped, my time in the 50 Freestyle was 34:52.  I couldn’t believe how good I did; I even got a Heat Winner ribbon!

Ever since then, I’ve learned that disqualifications are just another hurdle in my way.  I’ve only gotten one more since then, and it didn’t even bother me all that much.  I just bounced right back up to try my next race.  The coaches really help a lot, too.  They give you advice on what to remember before each race, and help critique you after.

Now I love swimming so much that my first passions for it can be compared like a drop of water to an entire pool.  Express has become a huge (beautifully great) part of me, and the South High School pool has become my second home.

Full 2011 Swim-A-Polooza Wrap Up

45 Hours later and one of the greatest Team events I have ever worked on and participated in is complete.

Thursday at 4 PM we got on the bus and went to Hartford for our first dual meet of the season.  Great start of the season for a good number of the younger swimmers to get a strong taste of what to expect.  There is a full recap in the previous post here.

8 AM on Friday we gathered at the North Aquatic Center (Editors Note: With all the capital improvements we are planning, I figure it is time that we give the pool a much better name) to start prepping for the day.  First point of business was to clean out the entire coach’s office so it could be cleaned, purged of junk, and repainted.

Starting the Relay Challenge

Once the office was cleared out , we had our first of 5 meals.  Then onto a team swim for a over and hour and a small game of water polo.  The Silver  Streak defeated the Black Thunder 10-8 for those keeping score at home.

Then it was onto the Relay Challenge.  The first swimmer in was Senior Jessica Zillmer.  The three seniors swam the first hour.

The early after noon started the first of our two stroke clinics.  Coach Dan Meinholz from All American Aquatics came in and worked on proper streamlining and did some hands on stroke analysis for the swimmers.  Coach Meinholz was barely out the door when Coach Blaine Carlson from Waukesha Express came in and brought in Coach Cam which is an underwater video camera so we could get front and side views of the swimmers from under water.  This is a tremendous asset to the swimmers.

Food Pantry Collection

Then at 6PM the team gathered and went into the community and did a scavenger hunt for the Waukesha Food Pantry.  Point values were assigned to different food items and 5 different teams went out into different areas and collected 697 food items.  And because we wanted the relay to continue, we had 7 brave Alumni come in and swim for the two hours while the current team was collecting food.  The Alumni managed to swim 7,800 meters in that stretch.

Couple more relay teams swam and a bit more eating was done until 9 PM.  That is when we had a massage therapist come in for an hour and 15 minutes.  And once that was complete we had a Yoga instructor come in also for an hour and 15 minutes.  Both activities were much appreciated by the athletes and a great deal of fun.

A little Nap

Then the long haul of eating, swimming, watching movies, and sleeping began.  By this time the office had already been finished being painted, so some time was taken to reload only necessary items back into the pool office.  If you are in the area you should see the new and improved office.

The last group jumped in at 8 AM.  And the last swimmer in the water as time ran out was Allie Smith.

Then around 9 AM the Alumni started arriving and then kept coming and coming and coming.  23 in total arrived spanning the past 15 plus years.  6 Alumni Divers started the meet off, and then we had a modified swimming portion.  The meet concluded around 11:45.

Our final meal of the day was brought in by Alumni Parents.  Mr. and Mrs Bubolz cooked hamburgers and pulled pork, while Alumni Jessica Massman made a spectacular cake for us.

Alumni Meet Cake

Final Notes:  Swam over 74,000 meters.  During the stroke clinics we did not really count laps.  And the divers received 25 meters for every entry into the water during their hour….We raised over $5400 towards our capital improvement project….The parent support for this was OUTSTANDING especially Julie and Wendy.  Without them this would not have been even close to possible….North Booster Club came to the Alumni Meet to sell spirit wear….No one that was in attendance could have claimed to not have enough to eat

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