SwimBC's final Regional Training Camp of the season took place this past weekend at Watermania in Richmond, with 40 swimmers from across the Lower Mainland, as well as a pair of swimmers from Whitehorse who were invited to attend, participating in the two-day camp which featured lots of information and ideas on how these swimmers can reach their full potential.
Regional Coach Mike Flegel and Provincial Coach Vince Mikuska led the sessions, with the primary focus of the pool sessions being on technique, technique and technique. One of the main themes of the camp was getting the swimmers to balance at the surface of the water in all four strokes; this serves to decrease resistance (less frontal area plowing through the water) and greatly increases efficiency while swimming; for example, with the body balanced at the surface, the kick in freestyle and backstroke can be put towards propulsion, as opposed to having some of that kicking energy working just to keep the legs at the surface.
Joining the camp for the entire weekend was 2012 Olympian and 2013 World Championships team member, Alec Page of the Victoria Academy of Swimming. Alec shared the story of his career, starting off playing at the beach on tiny Cortez Island (two ferry rides from Campbell River), through being an undersized but determined age group swimmer, to making provincial and then National teams, to racing in the same heat as Michael Phelps in the 400IM at the Olympics. Alec also pitched in greatly on the pool deck, and taught the swimmers the basics of executing the back-to-breast "suicide" turn.
We were pleased to have three additional presenters at the camp.
Carl Nienhuis did a presentation on Mental performance and encouraged swimmers to notice what they “See” (visualization) and what they “Hear” (self-talk).
Meghan Grant led a session on Athlete Life Management to support one's training and competition. She covered a range of topics including tips on how to avoid getting sick while training or traveling, nutritional tips, supplements, and why and how to get proper amounts of sleep. Each of the swimmers also received a booklet from Canadian Sports Institue-Pacific which covered in greater details most of the points she covered.
Finally, we were very pleased to have 1984 Olympic Bronze medalist in the 3000m on the track, Lynn Kanuka, lead the swimmers in a running clinic. In addition to sharing some inspirational stories from her career (and letting the swimmers see and hold her Olympic medal), she led them through a series of drills and exercises, all centered around the "A's, B's, and C's" running drills.
As we've done with all of the other camps, we did a timed 25m underwater dolphin kick from a dive with the swimmers. Results are available here.
The workouts and key teaching points for each stroke, including the "Big Ideas" for the camp are viewable here.