For those interested in the Richmond BC Kigoos Summer Swim Club

Author Archives: kigooswm

Senior White Update from Coach Alexis

June 28th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Senior White Update from Coach Alexis)
Hi Senior Whites!

Amazing job at both POCO (for the few of you who went) and at the Super Seven this weekend especially. Everyone swam their hardest and did their best to think about the technique that we have been working on so meticulously since the start of the season. From here on out, as you have noticed Senior White swimmers, the practices will be getting harder and require you to stay focussed for longer with test sets put in sporadically throughout the week and regular main sets increasing in length and volume. A goal for the rest of the season is to be able to maintain your solid foundation of technique and powerful strokes even when tired at the end of a long race. Once we all build up our endurance a little more, which has already skyrocketed since May, we will be flying through the water.
This week we have been mainly focussing on kick and making sure that we are getting as much power as we can by using the full up and down motions for dolphin and flutter kick, and keeping our kicks narrow to reduce drag and make them more powerful in breaststroke. There have also been some pretty difficult test sets but you have all been doing so well and maintaining great times during best average 50s or 100s so keep up the amazing work in the coming weeks!!
The last two weeks there have been more and more people coming out to practice which is awesome to see, but two swimmers shined due to their high attendance and their willingness to implement feedback and constantly try their best. Our first swimmer of the week is Sophia N! Sophia seems to be always at the pool, only missing one practice in the week and working super hard every time she is in the water. Her stroke, as well as her times, have improved immensely this year due to her constant vigilance about technique in the water and I am so impressed with her so far keep up the amazing work Sophia!
The second swimmer of the week immediately started coming to as many practices as she could now that school is over, also only missing one practice. Even though she has an injury, she still tries her best at all times and does pull even for the hard sets that would be much easier with kick. Congratulations Aisha H!! Her hard work is clearly paying off at swim meets because Aisha came out of Super Seven with best times in almost all of her races. Keep up the awesome work Aisha!
That’s all for now and I’ll see you on the pool deck,
Coach Alexis

Intermediate Red Update from Emmy

June 26th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Intermediate Red Update from Emmy)

Hi Kigoos,

It’s hard to believe we are already at this seasons halfway point!

Great job at Super 7 everyone! I’m so happy with the performance from the Intermediate Red’s. The hard work they have been putting in, especially over the last two weeks, is clearly paying off! I was happy to see so much positivity from the swimmers who participated in longer races, as well as positive self talk from the group overall. We have been talking about seeing the connection between hard work and improvement, as well as concentrating on the present moment before racing, not focusing on the past or future. I hope to see these practices continue!

This week we are going to continue our work on breaststroke. Last week we focused on bringing the legs back to create a narrow kick and I saw many improvements in kick size. This week, we will build on this skill by working on the speed of the kick. To maximize the most power in breaststroke, the swimmer must kick their legs down and together quickly while their shoulders lunge forward in the water. In order to achieve the correct timing and maximize this motion, the swimmer must quickly bring their legs behind them to kick before the shoulders enter. This requires a very fast kick with the feet flexed outwards to generate propulsion. Rebecca Soni has mastered the quick narrow breaststroke kick- watch how she does it here.

This week, we will also be working on backstroke starts. To set up for a strong backstroke start, the swimmer must position their feet about hip width apart, with the toes just underneath the water. Next, they pull themselves straight up with their head in a neutral position and the chin up. Once elevated, the swimmer throws their arms and head back, with their back arched in an attempt to avoid contact with the water until the hands enter. From here the swimmer straightens their back, enters a tight streamline and prepares for fast underwater dolphin kick. Here is a video demonstrating a slow motion backstroke start.

Finally, congratulations to Alex Y for being our week eight swimmer of the week! Alex is one of the most consistent workers in the group. She arrives at practice everyday ready to work hard, take feedback very seriously, and be a leader and friend to all other members of the group. Alex had a very successful meet on the weekend, achieving a new PQT and posting an impressive 100 fly time of 1:20 (only 4 seconds off the div. 5 PQT which she is still three years away from.) Way to go Alex!

Head Coach Update from Coach Emmy

June 21st, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Head Coach Update from Coach Emmy)

Hi Kigoos!

I was very impressed with the level of team spirit and sportsmanship displayed by all the Kigoos who attended the Poco meet last weekend! I hope everyone is excited for the Super 7 this weekend. With over 150 Kigoos signed up, it should be a great weekend of racing!

The Intermediate Red’s have spent a lot of time working on butterfly and I am so happy with the improvements the group has made! Our goal was so learn how to stay relaxed when swimming butterfly. We spent one week working on the chest press to elevate the hips, one week working on butterfly breathing (keeping the chin low and breathing quickly) and finally, we practiced pulling with the elbows high. I have seen many improvements in both technique and attitude surrounding butterfly! One of my favourite moments last week was hearing one the the intermediate swimmers say to their lane mates, “butterfly is actually really fun once you learn how to relax.” I hope to see these improvements continue as the season progresses.

This week we have been focusing on breaststroke kick. We are practicing lifting the heels and pulling the legs back behind the body to create a narrow and efficient kick. While the kick is important in all four strokes, whip kick accounts for nearly 80% of the propulsion in breaststroke, making a strong kick essential for fast breaststroke. A strong breaststroke kicker is one who can pull their legs back and keep their knees at or inside their hips. This is important to reduce drag, but also to allow the kick to be initiated with the forward lunge of the upper body. When a swimmer lacks hip flexibility, they kick with their knees too wide which limits their ability to initiate the kick fast enough to maximize propulsion. In order for breaststroke to be most efficient, the kick should be initiated prior to the shoulders entering the water, with the knees in and the feet flexed. I encourage the swimmers to always work on their flexibility and practice pulling their legs quickly behind them in breaststroke kick for faster swimming.

Finally, congratulations to last week’s swimmers of the week, Madeleine F! Maddy has shown improvements in her training, and has impressed me with her attitude and effort during longer sets. She is always encouraging to everyone around her, demonstrating great sportsmanship. Maddy showed perseverance at the Poco meet and posted a significant best time in her 50 free to win the event. Great job Maddy!

Looking forward to a great weekend!

See you at the pool,



JD Blue Update from Coach Erika

June 18th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on JD Blue Update from Coach Erika)

Hi JD blue swimmers and parents,

For the past few weeks we have been working lots on breaststroke. Remembering to kick with flexed feet, and not share our ice cream. During the next few weeks we will continue practicing breaststroke, as well as work on under waters, and dives.  It has been great seeing so many of you at meets, and I encourage everyone to come to as many meets as they can. They are a great place to practice swimming, and gain confidence in the pool. Everyone has been showing so much enthusiasm at practice, and putting in 100% effort, which I love to see.

Keep up the great work!

Coach Erika

JD Red Update from Coach Lucy

June 18th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on JD Red Update from Coach Lucy)

Hey JD Reds!

Awesome work these past two weeks! Last week we started working on fly as well as focusing on breakouts off of a dive and this week we began practicing IM turns and longer distances in preparation for racing 100 IM at meets. I am very happy with the level of effort everyone has been putting in at practice as well as the great attendance we’ve been having.

Next week we will be focusing on improving our dives, turns and underwaters which will help us get best times! I also want to mention that morning practices are really good opportunities to get more one on one time with a coach as there is usually a smaller turnout. I love seeing the energy and positive attitudes the JD Reds have been bringing the practice!

Keep up the great work!

Coach Lucy

JD Orange Update from Coach Gabe

June 14th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on JD Orange Update from Coach Gabe)

Hey JD Oranges,

This week we have been working on backstroke and some more freestyle, hopefully over the next two week we can get dolphin kick and a little breaststroke kick down. I’m really happy with the attendance at practices, but I really hope to see more of you guys at the weekend meets. Our first JD only meet is June 20th so I hope everyone is getting super excited!

“There are always going to be obstacles that come in your way, stay positive”

– Michael Phelps

Coach Gabe

JD Turquoise Update from Coach Vincent

June 13th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on JD Turquoise Update from Coach Vincent)
Hey JD Turquoise!

I’m so proud of all of you for such an excellent job over the past two weeks! You have all shown up to practice consistently and ready to work hard, which makes coaching you guys so much fun! Remember that every practice is an opportunity to improve, so keep showing up to as many practices as you can, even the morning practices.

These past few weeks, we have worked on Backstroke and on ways we can help our bodies stay afloat. It’s very important that we always remember to pop our tummies up and keep our kick nice and strong. Also, for these next few practices, we will be starting every practice with a few minutes of dives, so if you want to work on perfecting your dive, be sure to show up on time! Again, I’m very proud of how quickly you guys are learning these new skills; we will start to learn the basics of breaststroke very very soon.
Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to see you guys improve and become faster swimmers! The weather is starting to warm up, so make sure to stay hydrated and well-rested. As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Senior Red Update from Coach Michael

June 12th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Senior Red Update from Coach Michael)

Beep Beep Hello Sr. Reds!

 We have completed the first two meets of the year and we are on to a good start! Everyone showed great racing passion, grit, and determination. WAY TO GO EVERYONE! Naturally, though, there is still more work to be done.

 Just a reminder as we are all passionate athletes and evidently want to improve in every event, which is a great attitude to have, we must not forget to trust the process. It is important that we reflect and learn crucial lessons from our mistakes to improve. Like having better underwaters, breakouts, and working on technical aspects each swimmer knows they need to work on. It is more than ok to have these little mistakes now, so we don’t make these little mistakes when it will really count the most – at Regionals and Provincials.

 Moreover, I want to give a couple of academic and athletic shout outs to the following swimmers. I want to congratulate Elizabeth L. and Ashely M. for making Team B.C for the Canada Summer Games! Academically, I want to congratulate Dakota and the JD coaches: Hailey, Sophia, Lucy, and Erika for graduating this year. Furthermore, I want to congratulate Lucas Y. and Nic K. on their academic awards this year at school. This shows how the Kigoos kick butt in and out of the pool!

I wish everyone senior the best of luck with their upcoming exams. Let’s keep up the great work!



Update from Head Coach Emmy

June 12th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Update from Head Coach Emmy)

Hi Kigoos!

Great work in Boundary Bay everyone!

Last week the Intermediate Red’s worked on butterfly breathing. We practiced keeping the shoulders on the surface and tilting the chin forward to breathe, rather than lifting up with the chest and shoulders. Keeping the head low creates a much more efficient stroke as the hips stay high and the momentum is carried forward rather than up and down.

We are going to spend some more time this week working on butterfly-this time we will be focusing on the pull. As in freestyle, one of the biggest mistakes made is dropping the elbows during the pull and therefore missing a large percentage of the power of the stroke and increasing drag. We are going to practice keeping the elbows elevated during the pull phase and pulling the water straight back in the opposite direction we want to move.

We have spent a lot of time working on technique over the last six weeks and I have seen many improvements! We will continue to always concentrate on technique as it is absolutely essential for long term development and fast swimming, but the emphasis will shift to more race specifics as we enter the next phase of our training. This week we will be focusing on freestyle breakouts. A good freestyle breakout consists of the following elements:

  • A minimum of three fast, explosive dolphin kicks (but preferably more!)
  • An immediate transition to fast flutter kick
  • An explosive stroke which breaks the head out of the water while the chest stays down
  • The lead arm remains streamlined and pointed straight ahead during the breakout stroke
  • The first three strokes are explosive and as many strokes as possible follow before lifting the head to breathe

Here is a video describing an effective breakout.

Finally, I would like to congratulate this week’s swimmer of the week, Yasmine F! Yasmine lifts up her teammates and consistently demonstrates a great attitude no matter the circumstances.  Yasmine works hard and smart in practice; she demonstrates awareness in the water and because she remains concentrated on the focus, she almost always reaches the goal of the set. Way to go Yas!

Here is one more reminder about relays:

The relays are made on Monday before the meet, so please let the coaches know before the deadline to change if you are unable to stay. The coaches work really hard to ensure as many swimmers as possible get to participate in relays, so please let us know in advance so we don’t have to scratch any teams, and everyone gets to participate!

See you at the pool,


Senior White Update from Coach Alexis

June 12th, 2018 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Senior White Update from Coach Alexis)

Hello Senior Whites!

Awesome job at the Boundary Bay meet this weekend! Everyone swam super hard and tried their best to focus on the things that we have been working on in the previous weeks. Even though technique and the ‘little things’ were our main focus, it was amazing to see everyone break personal bests and push themselves with their speed and stroke rate.
In the coming weeks, we will be focussed primarily on two things:
1) making our breakouts more smooth and powerful — the transition from underwater to on top of the water as the main focus for this so we can maintain our speed from the push off and underwater dolphin kicks
2) stamina/endurance: our practices will be starting to include longer sets where you will have to push yourself to maintain the good technique that you work on so thoughtfully in the shorter sets
Now that school is wrapping up I’m hoping to see more of you at practices, particularly morning practices because those who have been coming to the morning practices have been able to choose specific things that they want to work on for the last 10 minutes to get in depth feedback on their strokes. I really hope to see more people at the pool so we can all build up our endurance and be ready to swim the 200 free fast at Super Seven.
Swimmer of the Week
This new swimmer has improved tremendously in the past 5 weeks and even completed his first ever 200IM with all the proper turns and no DQ which rarely ever happens on the first IM since there is so much to think about for new swimmers! Although he can be goofy at times and miss some pace-times, he is always ready to learn and implement feedback to his strokes so he can improve. Congratulations Davit S! Keep up the hard work in practice and more best times will come throughout the season!
Great job everyone and let’s keep up the hard work for the rest of the season,
Coach Alexis