It’s been an awesome start to the season, JD Golds! Everyone is showing energy and enthusiasm to go fast! We’re only two weeks out from Icebreaker!
Our freestyle and backstroke are coming along nicely. Remember to roll your shoulders, head still, and reach with your arms. Breathing every three strokes. Keep pushing off the walls with 3 fast dolphin kicks and in tight STREAMLINE.
Coming up on Icebreaker, we will be focussing on lots of kick and our body position and stroke technique. This week we will be going over breastroke kick, turns, and starts. We will also be doing review on our Free and Back.
Make sure you come to warm up with a pair of running shoes and a bottle of water for practice.
Those of you who haven’t handed in your goal sheets yet, please get them to me as soon as possible. If you haven’t gotten one yet, I have extras on-hand.
I will be starting to take attendance next week, so try to come to as many practices as possible!
It’s been a crazy first couple of weeks, but it seems like we are settling down into our groups. I love seeing such a good turnout (how could there not be with our sunny days?), especially in the JD and Intermediate A groups. I encourage everyone to come out to morning practices as well – I know many of your are busy and have to get to school, but it’s a great time to work on technique and get some more feedback from your coach.
We are two weeks away from the first meet of our season, the Icebreaker! Make sure you’re finishing your lengths properly, working your turns, and going your hardest when your coaches ask you to go fast.
The June schedule is in effect starting next Monday. You’ll notice that you’ll have some extra dryland training incorporated (yoga with Makki and strength training with True Conditioning). I know it’s even more of a time commitment, but we are really lucky to be working with these two, and you’ll see even more improvement of your swimming if you make it out.
A couple of reminders:
Don’t forget your waterbottles and sunscreen! It’s super easy to forget how dehydrated or burnt you can get when swimming, so make sure you protect yourself from the sun and stay hydrated!
The coaches and I would like to see swimmers in running shoes and proper dryland attire for warm-up, to prevent injury and to have the proper range of motion.
Remember to sign-up for the Mock Meet and the Icebreaker – start your season off right!
May 25th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Leo and the Week Ahead for the Intermediate B’s)
Icebreaker is quickly approaching in 2 weeks and our focus will be shifting from backstroke to breaststroke and butterfly for the next two weeks. By now, I hope you understand the importance of the streamline and the underwater dolphin kick and their relevance in freestyle and backstroke. Remember that a swimmer’s velocity is fastest off the diving blocks and he or she will immediately slow down upon entering into the water after the dive. Holding a proper streamline in the water reduces drag (picture a javelin whizzing through the air compared to a parachute), and dolphin kicking serves the purpose of maintaining the speed from our dive. We often overlook these two basic skills because they seem so simple, but swimmers who are consistent at both these skills create a greater opportunity for themselves to win during races.
This answers my previous question in last week’s blog “How do you move in the water without wasting your energy?”. Transferring the momentum gained from your dive and maintaining it using your streamline and dolphin kick allows you a better start right from the beginning. Swim fast by swimming smartly.
This past week, we worked a lot on backstroke despite having a shorter week. As a group, we need to strengthen our backstroke kick a lot more. Remember to kick right underneath the water surface and DON’T EVER STOP KICKING! You might be able to rely solely on your pull in freestyle, but your legs and torso will begin to sink the moment you stop kicking in backstroke.
To recap the 3 main points of backstroke: 1) Strong kick – extremely important, establishes core balance and generates lift 2) Straight arms – for the catch, no bent elbows, keep arms always in motion 3) Neutral head position – look up to the sky, not towards your feet or the wall ahead
This week we will focus on breaststroke and butterfly. We will maximize the efficiency of our underwater pull in breaststroke and work on our timing in butterfly using fins. We will continue to review our freestyle and backstroke and further practice our turns and dives. The more practices you attend, the quicker you become used to the water! Hope to see you in the mornings too! See you this week.
Below are two videos on the breaststroke underwater pull and butterfly timing.
Announcements: • *IMPORTANT* Icebreaker Meet Sign-up deadline is TOMORROW (May 26) • Bring your runners and water bottle to all practices! I cannot bring you to play capture the flag unless everyone does this! • It was a pleasure to meet some of the parents during our meeting on Saturday.
May 24th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Get to Know Coach Julia and Her Junior B Expectations)
If you weren’t able to attend the Meet the Coaches session after our morning practice this Saturday, here is a summarized version of some points I covered.
A little bit about myself
This is my 10th year being part of Kigoos – I trained with the club and have fond memories of my experience, the friends, and the competition. I qualified for provincials every season and placed first two years in a row at provincials for 50 meter butterfly.
This is also my 5th year coaching – I coached JD for three years and this is now my second year coaching the Junior B group, and I am happy to be back.
I am a french immersion student who graduated from McMath high school in June 2013, and I am currently attending UBC and will be entering my second year of studies this September.
Please do your best to arrive on time to practices, and come prepared with running shoes, comfortable clothing (for stretching/running/yoga), water, and sunscreen on sunny days. Sometimes we will be doing dryland activities in the back field, which is why it is especially important to have proper footwear and clothing.
I am aware that there are many other commitments at this time, but please try to come to 4-5 practices per week. We are focusing on developing and improving our basic skills each practice, which is why it is important that your child try to attend as many practices as they can in order to keep progressing at a steady pace with the rest of the group.
Please respect the other swimmers in the water, as well as your coach. If there are any issues with this they will not be tolerated, and will be addressed by myself or directed to Danna to solve the problem.
I would like everyone to be proud of their progress and swimming by the end of the summer, no matter how fast they go. We are going to be working on lots of technique, and at this stage, even though going fast can be fun, I want to make sure we are all swimming correctly. Once we have developed the proper basic skills for each stroke, then we will focus more on speed. As of now, my focus is the little (but very important things!) such as streamlines, body and head position, lots of kick, and proper starts, turns, and finishes.
I have handed out “get to know me” sheets, and I will be continuing to hand them out next week. Please take the time to think about the goal section. Think about something you want to improve upon or accomplish this summer, and we can try to accomplish it together as a group. Once you have completed the sheet, please bring it back to practice and return it to me.
Other than that, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I am around on deck but can also be reached by email, and all of our contact information is available online. I will have a new blog post around every week on this website, so it may be handy for you and your swimmer(s) to read over it together to see what is coming up in terms of practice plans and what to expect.
Thanks for a great start to the season so far! See you on deck.
May 23rd, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Alexis Has the Coppers Kicking)
We’re off to a great start JD Copper!!
I know that we’ve been working a lot on our kick so our legs must be pretty sore, but kicking is extremely important for body position, endurance, and muscle strength. We’re going to be moving onto how to breathe when we’re swimming freestyle, and some of our arms soon. Since there aren’t that many of us in the group, there is a lot of one-on-one time with me and the swimmers. This is great because everyone will gets very specific feedback and corrections.
And yes, we will be playing lots of games but come to the pool ready to swim a lot too!
May 22nd, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Ava Wants to See More of Her Senior B’s)
I would like to begin by highlighting the lack of attendance that we have been experiencing since the season started. There has yet to be a practice where even 3/4 of the group has been in attendance, and out of 22 swimmers, I have had maximum 3 at morning practice.
I understand that you guys are busy with school and other sports, but out of respect for teammates and coaches please start to make more of an effort to come to at LEAST 4 practices per week. I have only had one swimmer email me to acknowledge her absence, which means that there should be 21 of you attending practice regularly.
As of Saturday (May 24), I will begin to take attendance. At the end of each month there will be a prize for the swimmer who attends the most practices throughout that month. Seeing as the month of May is almost over, next week’s attendance will be added on to June.
Señor B’s Spicy Swimmer of the Week will begin this Saturday as well. This Spicy Swimmer award will be given to the athlete that puts in the most effort during practice, maintains a sportsmanlike attitude, and who stands out positively in some way from the his or her teammates.
In the upcoming week we will continue to speed things up and perfect our technique. As the week comes to an end our focus will shift to turns, dives, starts, and finishes, so please make sure that you are at practice!
May 22nd, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Julia Sees Junior B’s Off to a Great Start)
Hello Junior Bs… First of all, I would like to say a big congratulations to all of you! I am very impressed and happy with the effort you guys have shown at our practices so far – we’re off to a great start and I’m eager for the season to continue. We have been spending lots of time on our kick and streamlines and I’m seeing some improvements already, which is awesome. As we move into the next week of practices, we are still going to be working on those two items, as well as continuing our freestyle and backstroke, and we are now also going to be introducing breastroke! I am aware that there are many other commitments other than swimming at this time of year, but please try your best to come to as many practices as possible. I will be handing out get to know me/goal sheets in the next week, so start thinking about some things you wish to accomplish this year in swimming and then we can work on them together! Let’s keep up the great work and see you on deck!
May 19th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Maddie and the Week Ahead for Intermediate A’s)
I’d like to begin by congratulating you on making it through your first week of training! It’s been a long time since some of you have been in the pool and working as hard as we are, and I am very impressed with the level of intensity that you guys are giving each practice. Let’s keep this motivation and positivity up for the rest of the summer.
Secondly, I’d like to introduce my philosophy for our training this summer: “We are training to be thoughtful swimmers. The work you put in determines the results that you will have. Swimming is a sport of process and outcome.”
Our main focus will be on the ideas of process and outcome, and how they affect each other in regards to many aspects of the sport. I have based our season plan around this statement, so expect to be hearing it quite a bit!
Some quick notes:
I am expecting that you are trying to make at least five out of the seven scheduled practices each week, that is 71% attendance for the week. This ties in heavily with our process and outcome theme for the summer. Unlike other sports where you can attend a few practices a week and still do well, swimming is not like that. Every practice you miss is taking away from your long term progress! So please try and make as many practices as possible. I do understand that you are all still in school, play other sports, and have other commitments, so if you do need to skip practice please let me know beforehand.
Please make sure that you are bringing a water bottle to practice! It is important to stay hydrated throughout practice to help maintain our bodies while training.
Please talk to me! I am here to support you through the season and would like to hear from all of you. If you have questions about what we’re doing in practice, how you’re doing individually, or anything else, please come and see me at the pool or send me an e-mail.
This week (May 19th-25th) we will be focusing on goal setting and creating our own personal mantras for the summer. I will be handing out goal sheets on Tuesday or Wednesdaynight, so please make sure you’re at practice to grab one.
In the pool, this week is a butterfly and breaststroke week. We will be focusing on body momentum through the water, and how well we are pulling and kicking in each stroke.
Parents – I am very happy to be coaching your kids this summer. Like I said if you have any questions regarding practices, meets, or anything regarding pool activities, please send me an email I will do my best to reply within 24 hours. Any emails sent after 10pm will be answered the following.
I’d like to leave you with a video from my favourite motivational speaker Tony Robbins on focus, which is something you’ll be needing for the rest of the season:
May 18th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Intermediate B’s are Moving to Backstroke)
Our stroke of the week, freestyle, is now over! I am glad to see many of you making to practice even though you have school and other extracurricular activities. This past week, I have emphasized and repeated 3 main points regarding how to increase efficiency in freestyle. Remember that swimming is all about efficiency. Whether you are in a race or whether you are trying to keep yourself afloat for survival, the key question is this: How do you move in the water without wasting your energy? This requires learning and maintaining proper technique. Having good body alignment and proper technique in the water will minimize form drag. This means less resistance and more speed.
To recap the 3 main points of freestyle:
1) Strong Kick – generates lift and establishes your core balance *a strong motor will keep a boat surfing along the surface*
2) Catch and Pull – pull past your hips (maximize the power in your pull, do not shorten strokes)
3) Head low when breathing – reduces drag
We will continue to practice freestyle so keep those 3 points in mind. Our focus of this week will be backstroke. We will pay close attention to the start of our backstroke pull (arm catch phase) and toward the end of our pull (arm push phase). We will also practice our back-to-back flip-turns. Icebreaker is in 3 weeks and it is essential that we learn the strokes properly and practice good technique prior to our competitions. Furthermore, swimming is a life skill so I want everyone to enjoy this learning process and practice with the purpose of attaining your goals you had indicated to me this season.
Check out this video of Ryan Lochte doing backstroke videotaped at different angles. He specializes in backstroke and was awarded American Swimmer of the Year in 2013.
• No swimming practice tomorrow, May 19 (Victoria Day)
• *IMPORTANT* Please return your goal sheet to me on Tuesday (May 20) if you haven’t already done so
• *IMPORTANT* I will be absent this Wednesday (May 21) due to my convocation. Danna will be running the practice instead
• Bring your runners and water bottle to all practices