NorthWest Regional Camp Report - Apr. 26-27, 2014

The final Regional Camp of the 2013-2014 season took place on the April 26-27, in Terrace, BC, with 21 swimmers in attendance from the clubs in Prince Rupert and Kitimat, as well as the host Terrace Bluebacks Swim Club.

We were joined once again by Graham Olson, from Canadian Sport Institute, who set up an underwater video system that was on a delay so that the swimmers could monitor their execution of the drills as prescribed by SwimBC Regional Coach, Mike Flegel.

Scott Dickens, Canadian record holder in 100 Breast, was also on-hand, and did a great job in sharing his story of working through adversity and setbacks to achieve his own ultimate potential in the sport.  It was inspiring to hear Scott talk about how, even with all of the challenges and disappointments along the way, he wouldn't want it to have played out any other way, because he recognizes now the value inherent in overcoming obstacles.  And even though he didn't win a gold medal at the Olympics, the fact that he was able to leave the sport feeling like he gave it the absolute best he had, gives him a massive sense of accomplishment that he carries every day. 

As usual, the focus of the camp centered around working on improving technique, and pointing out to the swimmers what a huge impact better technique has, and that in fact, it will have a bigger impact that simply getting stronger.  The technique in all four strokes was looked at through the lens of five "BIG IDEAS":

  • BODY POSITION / balance in the water
  • FISH KICK / dolphin kick off every wall
  • Establishing a firm ANCHOR at the start of every pull
  • RECOVERing the arm (not worrying about where the hands go)
  • FINISH the pull 

Each session in the pool was led off spending a fair amount of time working on the activation protocol developed by the Canadian Sport Institute biomechanists, trainers, and physiologists.  The focus of that was establishing a solid core, being able to use the core muscles to achieve a streamlined position from the chest DOWN (most streamlining work spends too much time concerned with the head/neck/arms, and not nearly enough on the lower part of the body which is often too loose and creates unnecessary resistance).

Our one test set, as at the other camps through the year, has been the 25m underwater fish/dolphin kick from a dive.  Results are here.

The overall results from the 25m underwater kick are here.

And we are very fortunate to also have the underwater video of that same 25m underwater kick for the swimmers and coaches to review their performance below.