While it was one of the smaller of our Regional Camps, the enthusiasm and focus of the 22 swimmers who participated in the second of SwimBC's Regional Camps for the 2013-2014 season will be hard to surpass.
As mentioned to the swimmers at the camp, we've been doing the camps in the Northeast for over half a decade now, and the group this year was by far the best in terms of who well they stayed on task and the improvement they showed in all of the skills.
This was the first Regional Camp where we made use of the activation protocol developed and promoted by the staff of the Canadian Sport Institute - Pacific, and based on the uptake by the swimmers and how well they improved, we will certainly continue with this in future camps, educating the coaches and swimmers at the same time as to both the "why" and "how" of these exercises.
Regional Coach and Interim Provincial Coach, Mike Flegel, was assisted throughout the weekend by former Canadian record-holder and international gold-medalist, Joanne Malar, who is also currently the Head Coach of the Orca Swim Club.
Joanne spoke to the swimmers about her path to international success and made a strong and heartfelt point that sure - winning the gold medal feels good, doing everything you can to get to your best performance means at least as much, if not more, to one's feeling of satisfaction with what they accomplish in the sport, or really, in any endeavor.
We also spoke to the swimmers about not being afraid of failure, but rather to seek out challenges and try things that are difficult; working and struggling and eventually overcoming obstacles similarly leads to a much greater feeling of accomplishment than sticking to "easy" wins and never learning how to succeed; in short, if you always win, you never learn how to win. Losing and failing is vitally important to learning how to win.
The content of the camp once again focused on our four big ideas:
- Fish Kick
- Body Position and balancing in the water
- Anchor before pulling
- Recovering arms (not hands)
Ann Holmes came in to talk to the swimmers about mental skills, while Elaine Paetkau engaged the swimmers in a lively and active discussion on proper nutritrion for training and racing. And Cathy Johnson, a former world-class track sprinter, came in to work with the swimmers on running skills and technique, which closed with a game of tag. It was a great activity and the swimmers enjoyed it very much, despite being outside in shorts and t-shirts on a breezy 5C day.
At this camp, as with the others, we had the swimmers do a timed 25m underwater kick; results are available here (link coming soon), and underwater video of each swimmer doing the underwater 25m, provided by Graham Olson of CSI-Pacific, who once again was able to accompany us on this camp, will be available by clicking the link below.