Lower Mainland Regional Training Camp - November 3-4, 2012

Twenty-eight swimmers from the Lower Mainland Region converged on Chilliwack this weekend for a Regional Training Camp. Joining SwimBC's Regional Coach, Mike Flegel, and Provincial Coach, Vince Mikuska, was two-time Olympian Alexa Komarnycky.  Alexa was on hand to share her stories and expertise. Alexa also got in the water to do some demos and even some racing!

For the fourth camp in a row, the swimmers did a dive 25 of underwater dolphin kick for time. There are many skills that go into a fast 25 underwater, including streamlining, fast, small, powerful kicks, and maintaining good posture.

This was the first camp in which we had one of the swimmers go under 15 seconds, as Elena Penner (DELTA) went 14.0.  After Alexa had her go and went 14.2, she wanted to go head-to-head with Elena, so the two of them faced off in a 25m underwater kick showdown.

Both of them broke through the 14-second barrier, with Chief Timekeeper Mikuska awarding both a 13.8, while the consensus of the finish judges (the 27 swimmers watching Alexa and Elena) gave the touch to Elena.  
Kick results for all swimmers is available here

So, there it is:  The time to beat in BC for 12&U girls in 25m underwater is 13.8.  Let us know if you beat it

Veteran Chilliwack Track Coach Susan Northey did a session with the swimmers on running technique, where she stressed the importance of posture, shoulders in line over hips. She also discussed the importance of good running shoes with good support and advised that swimmers stay away from the “minimalist” types of footwear like the Nike Free or Vibram "Five Fingers"-type of shoes for running training.  While they may look good, they typically don't offer enough support and are more likely to lead to injury in younger runners.

Carl Niehuis came in and delivered a great talk on mental skills; he punctuated his talk with a few videos, including this one from the Washington Post on how Michael Phelps' greatest skill may not be in the water, but rather, in his mental preparation.

Joanna Irvine from CSC-Pacific in Vancouver came out and presented the swimmers with some great advice and tips on how to eat for optimal recovery, performance, and overall health.  The swimmers received short worksheets on which they could list their meal plans for upcoming events.

As always, the camp focuses primarily on the finer technical points of swimming.  Provincial Coach Mikuska reiterated on numerous occasions that simply "working hard" as a swimmer isn't going to carry you very far in the sport; to succeed to one's maximum ability, more effort has to go into doing things correctly and consistently.  Once again, the "BIG IDEAS" of the weekend were teh following: Fish kick, Posture, Anchor, Acceleration, Recovery. 

A list of the workouts from the weekend is available here.

And as always, I'm still waiting for a swimmer from one of these camps to explain to me how to execute the skill demonstrated by Michael Phelps below.  We've seen video evidence of a KISU swimmer doing it, but he isn't giving up the secret.