For those interested in the Richmond BC Kigoos Summer Swim Club

Coach Leo with Some Intermediate B Updates

June 9th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Leo with Some Intermediate B Updates)

Great effort at the Icebreaker this past weekend! Swim meets, especially Icebreaker, are insightful because they allow me to see exactly how you perform under stress, fatigue, and excitment. As a result, I can create practice sets that target the skills we need to improve on so we can perform even better individually and as a whole. For the remainder of the season, each swim meet will be a learning experience for us. I will point out the things that slow us down in our previous races, and focus on them throughout the week. 

I will also be introducing the 3 categories of “Swimmers of the Meet”. I will put your name here on the website to recognize your performance and efforts. I hope everyone will strive towards this! 

Most outstanding performance: swimmer who ranks in the top 8, explosive swimming
Most improved (time): swimmer who takes off the most time with respect to the previous swim meet
Most improved (technique): swimmer who applies the skills and tips learned in practice into races consistently

Our focus of this week will be Turnover and Dives. These two skills were lacking during the Icebreaker. Our dive dictates how quick our initial speed will be upon entering the water and this greatly impacts our breakout and ultimately the outcome of our race (picture a well-drawn bow compared to a slack bow, which arrow will shoot faster and farther?), likewise, we must first set our diving position correctly so that we can dive off the block faster and farther.   

The Turnover, how quickly you are pulling each stroke, is equally important as it highlights the race in progress. Picture yourself holding a rope and attached to the end of it is your favorite food. The quicker you pull the rope, the quicker you reach your food. Swimming is pretty similar. The faster your turnover, the quicker you move through the water.

I will be demonstrating in the water to teach everyone the dive tomorrow evening, June 10, so I really hope you can be there. Please also come to photo day this Wednesday. We are the Intermediate B Group and I want everyone to attend. See you at the pool – Coach Leo.

Important Announcements:
• Ladner Meet Sign-up deadline TODAY (June 9)
• Attend Photo Day (June 11, revised pm schedule)

Coach Julia – Junior B’s Looking Ahead

June 9th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Julia – Junior B’s Looking Ahead)

Way to go for those of you who attended the Ice Breaker!! We swam well and I’m proud of you guys, although we definitely have some things to work on. We learn from experience and lots of practice, so don’t get discouraged – I am confident that over time we will continue to improve our stroke and technique. For those of you who had times registered from last year, congratulations for taking 20 seconds off from some of your races! As an incentive, every second taken off a race this season will equal a jelly bean. That means that by the end of the season in August, if you have taken a total of 42 seconds off your races, then you will get a bag of 42 jelly beans.


A few things to remember when racing (and for swimming techniques in general):

• two hand touches at the walls for breastroke and butterfly ALL the time

• no flutter kick/dolphin kick in breastroke – not even one!

• do not pull past your hips when doing breastroke arms – imagine there is a wall extending from your hips that does not let your hands pass it


We will be doing a bit more work with fins this next week in order to help us practice our butterfly, and we will be focusing on turns for all strokes as well as continuing our work on dives and turns. We will also slowly be doing more faster and shorter sets to work on our speed, so please remember to bring a water bottle to practice!


Other than that the swim meet season is in full swing, so please pay attention to sign up dates and if you have any questions feel free to ask.


See you on deck for another great week of practices!

Senior A Coach Andre Takes a Look at Kicking

June 6th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Senior A Coach Andre Takes a Look at Kicking)


There are many contentious issues in the world of swimming analysis. The truth is, there is no one perfect way to swim. As we all have different body shapes and different talents, you will find anomalies in the sport that will leave coaches scratching their heads.
Brent Hayden and Rick Say, the two greatest freestylers in Canadian history (and both BCSSA swimmers until age 17), were both “kick-challenged” when it came to kicking with the board. But both still trained kick and had “leg-days” inside their training week because they knew it was still important. The fact is, it is important within the stroke. There are no races dedicated to kicking with a kickboard.
For all intensive purposes, I leave the principles of kick to Gary Hall Sr. Below is the article I would like you all to read.
He is the owner and Head Coach of the Race Club in the Florida Keys, an elite swim team; where at one time you had to be in the top 16 in the world in the 100m to be part of the training group. He was also a three time olympic medalist in butterfly in the late 60’s/early 70’s, and his son is part of “sprint royalty” as he was either gold or silver at three olympics in the 50/100 freestyles.
On his spare time he was a Opthalmologist, so I think we can agree this guy is a pretty ambitious person.
There is also a YouTube series from Gary Hall Sr. called “Secret Tip Legs” which is fascinating as it covers all the principles of kick.
Thanks for reading! Good luck these upcoming weekends!


Coach Ian and His Golds at Ice Breaker

June 5th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Ian and His Golds at Ice Breaker)
Icebreaker is just around the corner JD Golds!
Keep focusing on our streamlines and consistent kicking throughout the practice, they will make a big difference.  Going into the meet we are going over our turns, starts, and breakouts.

After Icebreaker, the intensity of practice is going to go up.  Which means expect lots of kick sets, drills, and race oriented practices.  Please remember to bring running shoes and gym strip for warm-ups.  Also, bring a waterbottle.

I still need the rest of you to submit your goal sheets; I have only gotten three so far.

For those of you who don’t know, the JD Coaches have started the Kigoo Buck Bank.  Every practice I will keep my eye out for a swimmer in our group who 1) displays good sportsmanship, 2) puts in their best effort, 3) listens to me when I am talking (so no bobbing underwater, pushing off the wall, splashing water in people’s faces, etc).  That swimmer will be given a Kigoo Buck which they can cash in at the office for prizes such as candy.  The bank will open on Fridays.  Save up your Kigoo Bucks to get bigger prizes!  Also, I might hold a few competitions during practice, the winner of which will receive a bonus Kigoo Buck.

See you at the pool, JDs!  Swim fast!

Coach Alexis and the Copper Plans for the Start of June

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Alexis and the Copper Plans for the Start of June)

And June has arrived in Steveston Pool!

All of us JD Copper’s made an appearance at the Mock Meet last Saturday and it turned out to be an awesome day! Everyone finished their races super fast using all the form and technique we have been working on in practices. Amazing job!

Last week we focused on our backs where we had all the time in the world to breath, but this week is all going to be about breath control. We need to practice breathing on our side during freestyle and not lifting our heads out of the water. Everyone who is coming to the Icebreaker will be in a freestyle event, so we are going to make sure it looks good! We will also be working a lot on dolphin kick to be ready for the coming JD meets.

Also, now that the June schedule is in effect we will be having one hour and 15 minute practices – that’s one whole hour in the pool and 15 minutes before we get in for dry land. So every afternoon practices will be longer now. The mornings (Monday and Friday) will still only be 45 minutes in the water.

We also have posters and cheers night this Friday so come ready to shout!

Coach Leo and the Plans for Intermediate B’s for the First Week of June

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Leo and the Plans for Intermediate B’s for the First Week of June)

June is here! This means that the competitions have finally arrived! As a swimmer and coach, the swim meets are what truly defines my summer swimming experience, and I think other coaches might feel the same. Swim meets are not only a place where you can apply what you’ve learned in practice into the races, but also a place to make friends with other clubs and have fun. I’ve made countless friends through swim meets and many of them are still my rivals! Since you have made the decision to join Richmond Kigoos, I highly encourage everyone to attend swim meets because your summer swimming experience will be enriched by the competitive and friendly nature of the swim meets. I hope that through attending swim meets, you will begin to appreciate your own efforts in practice, develop sportsmanship, foster team unity and a sense of confidence that extends to everything you do. Many of you have indicated that you want to achieve faster times. Let’s start our Icebreaker this weekend with your personal goals in mind!

Last week, we focused on the 2 strokes where we do touch-turns, the breaststroke and butterfly. I emphasized the importance of rhythm in both strokes where we must pair our kick and our pull together in order to maximize stroke efficiency. We learned when to do the 1 dolphin kick during our underwater pull in breaststroke, and practiced the precise timing in butterfly with drills such as 1 arm fly and 2L-2R-1F.

To recap the 4 main points of breaststroke:
1) Pull and lunge is 1 motion, no pausing where hands in front of chest but lunge immediately instead
2) Turn out feet and kick outward with bottom of feet, not the top of feet
3) Kick and lunge at the same time (KEY for rhythm)
4) Touch Turn – with 2 hands

To recap the 4 main points of butterfly:
1) Butterfly Cycle: 1 Strong Kick when hands are reached forward, 1 Strong kick when hands are just finishing the pull (KEY for rhythm)
2) Keep head low when breathing
3) Relax and reach as far forward as possible with each pull
4) Touch Turn – with 2 hands

This week will be a busy week. We will build off the drills from last week and continue to practice the full breaststroke and butterfly. We will do IM so everyone will be familiar with all 4 strokes. We will also practice our turns and sprint off from dives. I will review the race rules with you one last time. See you in the afternoon and morning practices this week! – Coach Leo

*Important Announcements:
• Boundary Bay Meet Sign-up deadline TOMORROW (June 2)
• June Schedule is in effect (see website for details)
• Cheers and Posters Night this Friday (June 6: 5:15pm-6:30pm). Revised evening practice schedule
• True Conditioning Dry-land every Friday, 5:30pm-6:00pm

Regular Announcements:
• Icebreaker Meet entries all registered
• Bring your runners and water bottle to all practices!

Coach Ava and the Week Ahead for Senior B’s

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Ava and the Week Ahead for Senior B’s)

Your attendance has improved over the past week- thank you.

Our swimmer of the week is Charlie N. Charlie has been working hard since day one in the pool and it is paying off as he is showing a large improvement since our first practice together. Way to go Charlie!

I am in Montreal until Wednesday for my graduation ceremony. Coaches Julia, Andre and Maddie are taking over for me while I am gone.

Posters and cheer night is this Friday, you guys are all expected to be there. Please email me if you cannot come.

See you all soon!

Some Updates from Junior B Coach Julia

May 29th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Some Updates from Junior B Coach Julia)

Some updates regarding the Kigoos Icebreaker Swim Meet happening on June 7th and 8th:


  • Although the sign up date has passed, you are still able to register in the swim meet. Since it is our meet, I have spoken to Danna and we are able to make exceptions on late entries. This will not be the case for any other meets, so please do pay attention to the other meet sign up deadlines. If you would still like to be registered in our meet, please email myself ( or Danna at I will be away from Friday the 30th until the evening of Sunday June 1st, so if you are emailing on or after Friday please direct your message to Danna instead of myself.
  • Since the past three weeks of our practices have been spent developing freestyle, backstroke, and breastroke skills, all of the Junior B swimmers should be capable of swimming those three strokes in the swim meet. This means that I will enter all swimmers (of those who are registered in the meet) in 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke, and 50 breastroke. Of course this is dependant on which days the swimmer will be attending the meet (ex: attending only Saturday, only Sunday, or both days), but if they will be around for any of those events then they will be registered in them. These races are only two lengths each and I am confident that each and every swimmer will be able to do them. We have been working on starts and turns as well as some sprinting, and we will continue to work on these aspects as we progress into next week to prepare for this upcoming swim meet. However, if there are any issues with those three events, please come talk to me tomorrow (Thursday) before or after practice, or feel free to send me an email. Please keep in mind that as of the morning of Friday the 30th I will be away and unable to answer or attend to your email, so if you are emailing on or after Friday please direct your messages to
  • There are three more events in the swim meet that the Junior Bs would be eligible to swim, and these three events are 100 freestyle, 50 butterfly, and 100 IM. Any of these events are optional, but if your swimmer(s) would be interested in swimming any, or multiple, of these events please let me know and the request will be gladly accommodated. Once again, I am available to speak to tomorrow (Thursday) on deck and can be reached by email tonight and all of tomorrow, but as of Friday the 30th please send your emails to Danna as I will be unable to answer.


Thank you, and I’m looking forward to the first swim meet of our season!

Coach Andre Has Some Video Homework for his Swimmers

May 28th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Coach Andre Has Some Video Homework for his Swimmers)

Starts and Walls:

As summer swimmers, we need to remember that our explosiveness off of walls and starts will determine the tempo we set for that length of swimming. If we start slow, we do not have enough water to regain tempo and the race will be lost (either to an opponent, or to the clock). If we swim slowly INTO the walls, we will not have enough momentum to break out properly.

You can try to swim slow into a wall, turn slowly, and rely on leg strength to push off a wall strong and regain speed, but unfortunately our bodies recognize momentum and cannot go from slow to fast very well in water. That is the nature of the sport, as opposed to baseball or football, where athletes go from a very still position to explosive and varied movements; swimming speed is about carrying momentum and accelerating beyond the tempo that has been set from the previous stroke (or dolphin kick) while maintaining identical technique.



The best strategy is to treat walls as being as important as any swimming stroke. As a coach, I am concerned with teaching the proper technique of your stroke and the dolphin kick motion. But one thing I cannot teach is the mentality needed in short course swimming to break out explosively, maintain momentum into walls, turn fast, and then go for another break out. This power needs to come from the motivation to race and compete.


These are some of my favorite races featuring great breakouts and turns. The swimmers started the race (and each length) KNOWING they would have an excellent swim. This is the proper mentality of breakouts.


Ian Crocker: World Record 100 Fly

Watch how far ahead Crocker is of Phelps after ONE stroke. This is the greatest swim of all time in my opinion.


Natalie Coughlin: World Record 100 Back

Watch how aggressive Coughlin is off the start, in to the turn, and off the wall. Once she breaks out of her streamline she becomes the definition of “easy speed”. Its unreal how fast her legs “snap” over her when she does her flip turn. There is some cool footage of her start and turn after the race.


Kosuke Kitajima: 100 Breaststroke


This is great footage of a proper breaststroke turn. He spends the least amount of time possible on the wall, letting his body cut through the water quickly so he can bring his feet to the wall and place them for a push off. Watch the timing and power of the dolphin kick in the under water pullout.


Ian Crocker 100 YARD Free, American Championships 2007

Bad footage, but this is the worlds best BUTTERFLY swimmer winning USA nationals in FREESTYLE off of the most powerful under water dolphin kicks in history. Not a great freestyler, but a great all around short course racer.


The BEST way to get better at swimming is to become a student of a sport. Thanks to the internet, the resources to study are endless (it can almost become too much). But if you are passionate about going faster and being stronger in the water, I recommend watching the world’s greatest and trying to analyze what made them so good, then implement those ideas into your own swimming.


The Coppers are Flipping Over

May 28th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on The Coppers are Flipping Over)
For the past few weeks we’ve mainly been focusing on our front and flutter kick, but now it’s time to do some work on our back. This week is going to be all about our fast kicks on our back and being able to hold our body flat on the surface of the water – without letting our hips sink. We will still be working on our streamlines and dive progressions, but just a heads up that we’ll be looking up at the sky a lot this week!!
See you on deck!