For those interested in the Richmond BC Kigoos Summer Swim Club

Coach Maddie and the Week Ahead for Intermediate A’s

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:

Stay focused and see you on deck,
Coach Maddie

Intermediate B’s are Moving to Backstroke

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 tomorrowMay 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



Welcome to JD from Coach Sabrina

May 15th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to JD from Coach Sabrina)

Hello JDs!

My name is Sabrina and I am one of the JD coaches this year! It has been great seeing so many of you come to practice in the sunshine these past two weeks! As some of you may have noticed, the main goals for these first few weeks will be to strengthen your kick and perfect your streamline! Once the basics are mastered, we can move onto full strokes!!

Keep up the amazing work JDs!

See you on the deck!

Welcome to JD Silver from Coach Kaylyn

May 14th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to JD Silver from Coach Kaylyn)

I am thrilled to be your coach this 2014 season!

May Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday practices we will be swimming within our group. Mondays and Fridays we will swim with all the other coaches and JD swimmers together in stations doing group work. Jacob and Peter will also be swimming with us through out the season as assistant coaches.

This week we are going to be doing lots of freestyle and backstroke drills to review technique. We also will be doing lots of vertical kick and treading water in the deep end to get more comfortable. Please come to as many practices as possible, we only have 45 minutes in the water and our meets are creeping up fast!


Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions before or after practice or email me at

Welcome to JD Copper from Coach Alexis

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to JD Copper from Coach Alexis)

As you know, for the past two weeks we have all been together as one big JD group. Now we’re splitting up into our individual groups to better learn at our own levels. For this coming month, we’re going to be working a lot on our kick. Kick is one of the bases for body position and swimming in general. We’re going to really be putting in a lot of miles to get up our endurance. After that, we’re going to move onto some rolls, arms, and the proper way to breathe when swimming freestyle. I’m very excited for this coming month and I hope you are too. See you in the pool!

Welcome to Senior B from Coach Ava

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to Senior B from Coach Ava)
Welcome Senior Bs! I am very excited to be coaching this group again this summer. Right off the bat I am impressed with the effort that I saw in our first practice together, let’s keep it up throughout the season!
As senior swimmers, you are responsible for fulfilling the following expectations:
1. Attend minimum 4 practices per week until school ends, and 5-6 once school is over. If you are busy with other sports or activities after school, be sure to make it out to morning practice.
2. Compete in as many meets as possible throughout the season. The Ice Breaker and Regionals are mandatory.
3. Attendance at ALL Kigoos social events. No exceptions.
4. All communication with me. If you guys have any questions about meets or events, if you get sick and have to miss practice for an extended period of time, if you cannot come to a meet that you are signed up for due to an emergency, or if you have anything to say about swimming in general, please email me! I would like to hear from you guys instead of your parents when possible.
This first month is going to be all about getting you guys back into shape and focusing in on speed. As a group we have a lot of work to do technique-wise, and it is important that everyone make an effort to think of their corrections with each 25m. Our key words this week are power, forward, and reach.
Parents- I am very pleased to be working with your kids!  Feel free to email me or come talk to me on deck after practice if you have any questions.

Welcome to Intermediate B from Coach Leo

May 12th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to Intermediate B from Coach Leo)

My name is Leo and I have the privilege to be your coach this summer season. I hope you were able to get to familiarize with other coaches and swimmers within the club during these past two weeks. As you enter into Intermediate B, I hope everyone will carry a strong sense of anticipation, excitement, and eagerness because today is the official start of your summer swimming experience!

For those of you who do not yet know me, I have been swimming for the Richmond Kigoos for 11 years and this will be my fourth year coaching. It is the family-oriented and friendly atmosphere of summer swimming which draws me back to Kigoos every year. I hope you will experience the same. I have coached all group levels from Tater Tots to Seniors. Some of you may recognize me in the Tsunami Maintenance Program as well. Besides swimming, I enjoy skipping (jump-rope), play racquet sports like badminton and tennis, play the guitar, fly my RC helicopter, and listen to Japanese music.

My 4 general goals for you this season:

1. To promote an environment in which you can establish friendships within our Int B group and across groups

2. To encourage and boost your confidence and love in swimming

3. To stay fit and have a meaningful and safe season

4. To attend swim practices/social events/swim meets

My 4 technical goals for you this season:

1. To instruct you the four strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle

2. To improve on speed and endurance in your strokes during swim meets

3. To improve on flip-turns, touch-turns, and diving off blocks

4. To be analytical and appreciate the science of swimming

For the remainder of May, each week will focus on one stroke in preparation of our swim meets in June. Our stroke of this week will be freestyle, with lots of emphasis on kicking, finishing our pulls (check out Andre’s video!), head and body position, and of course our STRL and 6UWKK (you already know what those are). Take care and see you tonight!


·         You will receive your individualized Goal Sheet and a Welcome Letter for your parents tonight, May 12. Please fill out the Goal Sheet and return on Friday, May 16.

·         Bring your runners and water bottle to all practices

·         Arrive 15 minutes early for warm-up/activation           

Welcome to Junior B from Coach Julia

May 12th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Welcome to Junior B from Coach Julia)

Hello Junior B swimmers and welcome to the first week of practices! I’m super excited for the start of our swim season to kick off, and I’m looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you. This is my fifth summer coaching with Kigoos, and my tenth year of being with the club, and I’m happy to be back at Steveston pool after spending my first year away at university. Whether you are a returning member of the club or have just joined I know we will have a great time together. This week we are going to be focusing on the basics, which means lots of kick and streamlines! By the end of the week I would love to be able to see everyone pushing off the walls in streamline without a reminder, so we’ll work on reaching that goal together. Since the weather is looking nice and hot please try your best to remember to bring a water bottle to practice, and wearing sunscreen is never a bad idea either. Also keep in mind that our dryland (the first 15 minutes of practice) might consist of running or some games in the field, so it is best to always wear running shoes and come prepared to do some physical activity. Parents, if you have any questions or would just like to chat, you can come find me on deck before or after practice, and feel free to contact me by email at I know it’s a busy time with school slowly winding down, but please try to come out to as many practices as possible this week so we can start off the season with great attendance. We had some awesome effort this morning at practice for those of you who showed up and I was really happy with how it went, so well done! That’s all for now, looking forward to seeing you on deck!

Some Technique Tips from Coach Andre

May 11th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Some Technique Tips from Coach Andre)

This past week I have introduced the “roll-over” drill into the mix for my groups’ technical work. The drill is a great way to slow down the process of the pull, helping the swimmer “draw” the proper line with their arm while still working on proper body position and a strong kick.
During last weeks BCSSA coaches conference, Ben Keast (Winskill Dolphins Head Coach) reiterated the fact that a good swimmer must be able to swim SLOWLY with good technique as well as swimming FAST with good technique. This aspect of swimming known as “stroke reliability” is the reason why a swimmer must train long hours, putting in time in order to cement the neuromuscular actions known as “technique”. Swimmers are peculiar athletes in that it is a highly specific type of fitness, unlike anything on dry land. Sure, traits such as explosiveness and general athleticism will be enhanced by doing other sports; but the fact is the only way to get better at swimming, is to actually SWIM.
 In watching the video of Alexander Popov, the idea of “swimming with grace” comes to my mind. Here is the greatest natural freestyler of all time, forget Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe. Popov set standards in the 1990’s that remained untouched until Speedo created the “supersuits”. His coaching included a focus on perfection in timing, and a focus on kick efficiency/speed. His coach (Gennadi Touretski) knew that it was not the fastest person who won the race, but the swimmer who slowed down the least. In focusing on kick fitness and timing, Touretski and Popov found a racing technique in which Alexander would be high on top of the water during the last phase of his 100m Free, allowing him to pull with more strength than those whose hips were low in the water.
For me, the main focus of this drill is to find a good body position where a swimmer can find his “sweet spot” for floating properly. The hips are high, the kick is working both directions with strong  (and supple) legs, and the hips are rotating ever so slightly.
The other part of the drill (equally important), is the rhythm of the arm pull. I have my swimmers do a 10 beat, rollover to 1/3 through the underwater pull phase, then proceed to accelerate all the way until the hand has pushed past the hips. This pattern of “soft catch ——>strong lat recruitment and tricep push” is the way I want to see people swim freestyle; with acceleration from the catch all the way to the tricep push. The “catch” is a weak position for a swimmer in that you are using the smaller muscles of the rotator cuff. The strong part of the pull (where a swimmer actually gains speed) comes from the use of big muscles such as the lattisimus dorsi and triceps in a “pull/push” phase.
I know that was a lot to read, but nothing is as good as merely watching the video and imitating the best freestyle swimmer of all time. Here is another video of one of Popov’s greatest ever races to see the technique in action.

*NOTE* Popov had exceptionally strong and flexible hamstrings so that he could make the “up-beat” of his kick as strong as it could be. He knew that many swimmers before him were focusing on the use of their quadriceps in the “down-beat”. If you want to watch a full video made of Alexander Popov and his coach, search “Alexander Popov: What’s the Limit?” on youtube.
Happy Swimming!
Coach Andre

Update on Groups and Schedules (From Danna)

May 6th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Update on Groups and Schedules (From Danna))
Welcome to week 2 of practices! There’s been some great turnouts, and with the way we’re swimming, it looks like we’re going improve our strokes and swim fast! Parents, thank you for your time, patience and understanding with practice schedules. I know many families are busy with other activities and multiple siblings, so we appreciate your efforts in getting kids to the pool.
I’m going to have to ask for you patience one more time – the coaches and I have decided to create the groups this week and have the new May schedule take in effect next Monday. This is so that the variation in skill level is not so wide in practice, and the coaches are better able to write practices that are less general and more specific to a group of swimmers that are at the same level. The coaches love working with so many swimmers, but are very keen to start their group season plans.
You can see the practice schedule under the Calendars Tab.
A note on groups: we ask that you respect the coaches’ decisions on group placement. We have many swimmers in our club, with different needs and skill levels, and we spend much time discussing and planning groups. Whatever group your child is placed in, we feel is the one that best suits your child’s ability and that provides the best environment for improvement. You can follow-up with me directly if you have any specific questions.
Please check back frequently, there will be updates to the schedule with dryland times (they will be 30 minute sessions before or after group practices on Monday/Wednesday/Friday), and some specifics on Group Meetings – this is a chance for you to meet your group coach.
Keep up the great work Kigoos!