This past weekend the outdoor pool at UBC hosted the last of the 2011-2012 Regional Camps. This Lower Mainland camp featured twenty-three 12 year olds who had been a finalist at the short course AAA Championships in March. The camp was a hybrid between the more technical focus of the Regional camps and the applied skills of the Prospects camps. After learning some new drills, swimmers spent the weekend counting strokes, controlling speed and learning race tactics.
Jake Tapp, of the Vancouver National Center, was the featured National team swimmer and he shared his story of qualifying for the 2008 Olympic team. It was an interesting and exciting tale, as he had to go through a swim-off to make the team! He talked about the commitment required to be on the National team and some of the ups and downs he experienced as an age group swimmer with the Langley Olympians. Jake also had some very good tips on backstroke starts for the group.
Mental performance consultant Renee Hock led two sessions for the swimmers. The first was based on a self-assessment of their current mental skills. Swimmers did a questionnaire that looked at “reboundability”, the ability to handle pressure, concentration, confidence and motivation. She was very clear that swimmers needed to know where they are now in terms of skills and performance before they could have a clear path to where they want to go.
Renee also told swimmers that they need to pay attention to their G-I-F-T-S to be mentally prepared for high performance, GOALS-IMAGERY-FOCUS-THOUGHTS-SUPPORT.