Forty-one swimmers from clubs ranging from Kamloops, through the Okangan, and all the way out to Trail and Cranbrook, attended SwimBC's first Regional Camp of the 2013-2014 season.
The camp was led by SwimBC Regional Coach and Acting Provincial Coach, Mike Flegel, with assistance from SwimBC's Program Coordinator, Carrie Matheson. Acting as a mentor and inspirational figure to the swimmers was 2013 World Championships Bronze Medalist, Hilary Caldwell; Graham Olson of RaceTek systems provided underwater video feedback for the swimmers, while Melanie Wiebe delivered a presentation on nutrition, Scott McMillan did a running clinic with the swimmers, and Ashley Sherbino worked with the swimmers in recognizing their "mental core" and ways to develop and enhance it.
Hilary's message to the swimmers was motivational in that she pointed out to them that when she was their age, she wasn't "the best" - not within Canada, not in BC, and not even within her own club; as an age-group swimmer, she'd never won the "best 11-12 girl" or similar type of award.
She always listened well and applied herself well in workouts; the one characteristic that almost all of her coaches have said about her - the one thing that has moved her from not even getting a second swim at the 2012 Olympics, to standing on the podium in 2013, is her coachability.
And by that, it's not just that she works hard (which she does), it's more that she takes instruction well; she works hard at implementing those instructions, processes feedback on race tactics and strategies, and is willing to do what is necessary to move to the next level. For example, this past year, while she'd always swum a lot of backstroke, she switched to swimming almost ALL backstroke - like, if a workout involved 8000m of swimming, she'd swim 7700 of that backstroke.
The "Big Ideas" delivered on the pool deck centered around
(1) Body position and maintaining good posture
(2) Fish kick - every wall, every time, and fast!
(3) Anchor - anchoring at the top of every stroke gives a swimmer the ability to effectively move themselves through the water.
SwimBC thanks the City of Penticton for making the pool time available to us, as well as to the Kisu Swim Club in Penticton for helping us with all of the arrangements in making the camp a success.
Video of underwater kick test: