A large and energetic group of 36 swimmers from across the Lower Mainland got together in Richmond at Watermania to take part in our fifth Regional Camp of the season. Joining the swimmers for the weekend, along with CSI-P video analyst, Graham Olson, was former World Record-holder and recent BC Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, Annamay Pierse.
Annamay spoke to the swimmers about her career, the many ups and downs that she faced, from being an "average-to-good....certainly not great" age group swimmer, up through the National ranks, and then, pretty much after many (most?) had given up on her as a potential world-beater, she started making major in-roads on the international scene. In fact, she spoke to the kids about how sometimes you hit a slump or plateau...where you don't go a best time for a couple meets in a row....maybe even a few months in a row. And she made the point emphatically that she went SIX YEARS without getting a best time in her best events. But she that did not deter her from going on to be one of the best breastroke swimmers in history.
She came back from many setbacks and stated that, while breaking the world record was extremely gratifying, it was her comeback in 2010 at the Pan Pacific Championships where she won a bronze medal, after fighting months of illness, that she looks back upon with the greatest satisfaction.
In addition to Annamay's inspirational messages in the classroom and then swimming technique tips on the pool deck, the swimmers also were given a mental performance presentation from Carl Nienhuis, who has worked with swimmers at these as well as Prospects and Youth/Junior camps, and then as also been a staff member with TeamBC for Canada Games.
Cristina Sutter also came in to deliver a presentation on nutrition for the swimmers, focusing on how to eat most effectively for optimizing and recovering from training, as well as how to fuel oneself at competitions.
The focus in the pool, as usual, was technique, technique and then more technique, and the swimmers showed significant progress over the course of the four pool sessions as we went through stroke progressions in all four strokes, plus doing some work on effective (faster than swimming race-speed) underwater fish-kick and dolphin kick.
In addition to Graham providing continuous video feedback to the swimmers throughout each pool session, he also captured the 25m underwater kick test that we have been compiling across all of our Regional camps.
The results (times) for all the camps is available on this spreadsheet, with the video of the underwater kick available below.