Australian Masters Coach of the Year

Peter Johnston was announced as the 2017 Masters Swimming Australia Coach of the Year Award at the Masters Swimming Australia Presentation Dinner in Perth last night.

The award follows the announcement of Peter as the 2017 Masters Swimming NSW Coach of the Year at the State Championships in March.

Peter has been recognised for his work in the club's various adult programs, ranging from those learning to swim, through to those swimming for fitness or competing at levels right up to FINA World Masters Championships.

This is the second time that Peter has been recognised with the Masters Swimming Australia Coach of the Year Award, having won it in 2013 as well.

Congratulations Peter!

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 4

The final day of the Nationals saw Merrylands win another 2 medals, swim 2 new personal best times and 5 season best times.

Alison Johnston finished the meet with another 2 medals, starting the day with Silver in the 200m Individual Medley and then taking Gold in the 50m Freestyle.

Tricia Johnston swam a huge personal best time in her 50m Freestyle, taking 1.5 seconds off her previous best in a fantastic swim.

Ian Johnston took a massive 5 seconds off his time in the 100m Backstroke to set a new personal best time. He also swam his 2nd fastest 50m Freestyle time ever, which was also his fastest time since 2015.

Peter Johnston swam season best times in his 3 events - 200m Individual Medley, 50m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke.

Congratulations to our whole team on their performances at the meet.

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 3

Day 3 of the Nationals brought 3 more medals for Merrylands, 1 PB and 4 season best times.

Alison Johnston continued to add to her medal tally, with Silver medals in both her events on Day 3 - the 800m Freestyle and 100m Butterfly.

Peter Johnston won Bronze in the 50m Breaststroke in a season best time, and also swam season best times in the 800m Freestyle and 200m Backstroke.

Ian Johnston swam a new PB in the 200m Backstroke, taking a massive 12 seconds off his previous best time. Ian also swam a new season best time in the 800m Freestyle.

In the Mixed 4x50m Freestyle Relay, our team finished in 9th place, with some very fast splits - Tricia Johnston swimming a time only 2/10ths outside her PB.

Day 4 tomorrow will see members of our team competing in the 200m Individual Medley, 50m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 200m Breaststroke.

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 2

Day 2 of the Nationals saw another 3 medals for Merrylands, plus 1 new PB and 5 season best times.

Alison Johnston again won all our medals, with Gold in the 200m Freestyle, Silver in the 50m Butterfly and Silver in the 400m Individual Medley in a season best time.

Ian Johnston swam a new PB in the 50m Butterfly, taking over 1 second off his previous best, and also swam a season best time in the 200m Freestyle.

Peter Johnston swam season best times in all three of his events - 50m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle.

In the Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay, our team finished in 12th place.

Day 3 will see our team in action in the 800m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 50m Breaststroke and 200m Backstroke.

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 1

A fantastic start to the Australian Masters Championships with 3 medals on Day 1 at HBF Stadium in Perth.

Alison Johnston took home all 3 medals with Gold in the 400m Freestyle in a season best time, Silver in the 50m Backstroke and Gold in the 100m Freestyle.

Ian Johnston swam a new PB in the 50m Backstroke, and a season best time in the 100m Freestyle, while Peter Johnston swam season best times in all three of his events - 400m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle.

Day 2 tomorrow will see our team hit the water in the 400m Individual Medley, 50m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle.

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Australian Masters Championships

The Australian Masters Championships will be held in Perth from Wednesday 18th to Saturday 21st April, 2018.

Our club will be sending a team of 4 swimmers to the meet, competing in 36 individual events.

Good luck to our swimmers at the meet. You can follow the team's progress on the Live Results Page, Facebook and Twitter.

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Magical Masters

ENDING their 2017-18 season on a high note, a dozen swimmers from the Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club (MASC) finished the NSW State Masters Long Course Championships with a haul of 15 medals.

Bringing home 11 gold, three silver and a bronze between them, MASC president Graham Edwards said their swimmers also set 10 new personal best times at the two-day event which was held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC).

"Our club also finished second in Division 2 at the meet and won the Executive Trophy for the highest proportion of members swimming at the championships," he said.

"Our coach, Peter Johnston was also named NSW Master's Coach of the Year for the second time.

"He's a very special coach across all the levels from juniors through to the masters. He has been recognised at the highest level for the quality of his coaching."

Mr Edwards said he was extremely proud of all the Club's swimmers.

"For a small masters club competing against some of the bigger squads we do very well for ourselves," he said.

"It's a great family atmosphere and we provide a pathway right through from the juniors which is unique in that respect. That is one of the strengths of our club.

"We also run learn to swim classes during summer and the diversity of those classes is great to see.
"This year for the first time we offered adults classes as well and it was really successful and enjoyable."

He said a couple of people began the classes with a real fear of the water and it was wonderful to see them begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, and to be able to enjoy swimming and to participate in such an important aspect of Australian culture.

Training Breaks

There will be no training sessions for any groups during the April School Holidays (16th to 27th April).

Novice, Junior & Development Squads

  • Last Session: Thursday, 12th April
  • Sessions Resume: Monday, 30th April

Senior, Age, Masters & Adult Squads

The Senior, Age, Masters & Adult Squads will take their annual training break from 16th April to the 6th May.

  • Last Session: Thursday, 12th April
  • Sessions Resume: Monday, 7th May

Presentation Evening

This season's Presentation Evening will be held on Saturday, 2nd June, 2018 at Club Merrylands.

The room has been booked from 6:00pm with the presentation starting at 6:30pm.

You will be able to purchase dinner either before or after the presentation from the club's facilities.

Award selection must be completed by Friday, 13th April.

For more information and to complete your award forms, see the Presentation section.

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Stepping out of your comfort zone

Every person has comfort zones within which he or she operates. Physical comfort zones are easy to identify. If your true AT* pace for Freestyle is 1:30 per hundred, any swim done at 1:40/100 would fall within your comfort zone. On the other hand swimming at 1:20/100 would quickly elevate lactic acid levels to the point of discomfort. Somewhere around 90m you would stray from your comfort zone.

Psychological comfort zones are a little harder to quantify. Most people find talking to a friend or a few friends at once to be no challenge at all. However, the thought of standing up in a room of twenty or thirty people to give a 5 minute speech, even if it is on a familiar topic, is enough to cause goose bumps and moist underarms for the majority of people. Giving a 45 minute speech in front of a live audience of 10 or 20 thousand (or a TV audience of several millions) is unthinkable for all but a tiny fraction of a percent of the human population.

The key to personal growth and increasing success in nearly every endeavour is the willingness to step outside of one's comfort zone. In swimming this might mean doing something physical like swimming a particular set all fly instead of all free, or choosing to go on faster intervals or leading the lane instead of drafting off the leader. It might mean doing something more cerebral like deciding to enter your first meet or setting a goal to swim a personal best time and then training toward it.

Virtually everyone enjoys the feeling they get when leaving their comfort zone results in success. How about asking someone out for a date? This is out of the zone for most people. Yet how wonderful it is when the other person says "Yes."

Yet, fear causes most people to hesitate to step outside of their comfort zone. Fear of failure. And we all know, but rarely admit to ourselves, that the real "consequences" of failure are truly inconsequential and usually short-lived. It just doesn't seem that way at the moment of truth - the moment where we either decide to act or decide to remain quiescent.

It is obvious that enlarging one's comfort zones pays off in many aspects of life. It is not as readily obvious that the persistent and consistent practice of "steppin' out," even a short distance, from the confines of a comfort zone can yield nearly unbelievable results over the long haul.

There is a story about an FFA live stock show where the older boys engaged in a calf lifting contest. Each boy would, in turn, select and lift off the ground a heavier calf than the previous boy. Once a boy failed he was out of the contest. When there was just one boy left and he was about to be awarded the prize one of the younger, smaller boys that had been watching called out "Wait, I can beat that!" The other boys laughed at him, told him to be quiet and ruffled his hair. Undaunted, he walked over to his entry in the stock show, a nearly mature bull that weighed fully three times what the heaviest calf lifted weighed. He proceeded to lift that bull three inches off the ground and immediately was greeted with "Ooohs!", "Ahhhhs!", applause and the prize.

When asked how he managed such a feat, the boy explained that, ever since the calf was born, he would lift the calf off the ground once a day. He never missed a day as the animal grew. The boy's calf lifting ability grew into bull lifting ability. To do this he never had to step very far outside his physical comfort zone. Yet by consistently and persistently taking small steps he managed to enlarge his comfort zone to immense proportions.

I challenge you to define both your physical and psychological comfort zones in swimming (or any other aspect of your life for that matter) and then set upon a course of persistent and consistent forays, outward bound.

*AT = Anaerobic Threshold—The point at which lactate accumulation begins to rise sharply is the Anaerobic Threshold. Swimmers should train with a heart rate 20 to 30 beats below maximum.