Youth/Junior Testing Camp #2 - Report

The second testing camp for the members of SwimBC’s Youth/Junior Provincial Program took place on May 1-3, 2015, at WaterMania in Richmond.

Outgoing Provincial Coach, Rocco Meiring had this as his final direct duties with SwimBC, as SwimBC expects to have a new Provincial Performance Director to take his place in the near future.

The content of the camp revolved around the swimmers repeating the testing protocol developed by Canadian Sports Institute - Pacific for the Swimming Canada High Performance Centres.

  • Timed 2000m
  • 8x50 Best average
  • Time 400m kick

The objective with the testing is two-fold:

  1. Gaining many of our best young swimmers experience with the Swimming Canada protocol so that testing provides reliable data by the time they might make Senior National squads.
  2. Developing baseline data and benchmarks for these same swimmers to track their progress and development.

An additional component at this camp was a series of presentations from Ken and Graham Olson of RaceTek.  They reviewed the technical summaries and checklists provided by Swimming Canada’s IST Director, Dr. Allan Wrigley, and then provided video reviews from recent races, of most of the swimmers and how they measured up against some of those check markers.

The Mental Performance Consultant assigned to swimming for the Western Canada Summer Games, Danelle Kabush, came in to deliver a basic overview of the role of mental performance in training and competition, as well as providing a look at how the mental performance consultant can assist in those regards.

With many of the swimmers in this camp also members of the 2015 Western Canada Games team, this was a great fit.

Monica McKeown, the sports physiologist from Canadian Sports Institute - Pacific who works directly with the Swimming Canada Vancouver High Performance Centre, was on-hand to oversee the administration of the test sets.  She provided the swimmers with a review of where they were in January when these tests were intially completed, and compared those results against what they posted at the camp here.

We were extremely pleased to be able to have HPC-Vancouver Coach, Josef Nagy, come out early on Saturday morning to give all the swimmers an overview of his world-leading approach to breastwork.  He followed that up on the pool deck by reviewing underwater video with all of the breastroke and IM swimmers.

The icing on the cupcake for the swimmers was having two guest speakers provide their insights on making the transition between promising age grouper and senior national team members.

Brian Johns came in on Friday to talk about his experience as a swimmer, then also what he sees as being necessary to make the transition today, in his role as a coach at UBC.  The key attributes that he impressed upon the swimmers were the following:

  1. Developing a routine and practicing in low-pressure situations so there is something to fall back on in uncomfortable settings.
  2. Seeking out opportunities to expose oneself to those "uncomfortable" situations - world-class competition, being coached by different coaches, etc.
  3. Respecting for teammates (how and what they do) as well as all members of the staff

Will Brothers, who currently trains at the High Performance Centre in Vancouver after an age-group and Junior career in Victoria, addressed the camp on Saturday, speaking about his progress, overcoming setbacks, challenges, and occasionally disappointing results. It was through those setbacks, though, that he has continued to progress, learning from each challenge more about what it ultimately takes for him to be successful on the world stage.

Our thanks go out to the coaches who assisted with the camp: Rob Pettifer (RAPID), Tina Hoeben (KISU), Darryl Rudolf (CRKW), Rod Barratt (UVPCS), Jason Brockman (CONNU), Dusan Toth-Szabo (LCSC), Justin Daly (SPART) and Peter Wilkins (KAJ).   

And finally, this camp served as Rocco Meiring's final duties with SwimBC. We greatly appreciate the vision and ideas that Rocco brought to the Provincial Program and sincerely wish him all the best in his future endeavours.