For those interested in the Richmond BC Kigoos Summer Swim Club

Some Final Thoughts from Coach Ava

August 24th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Some Final Thoughts from Coach Ava)

That’s a wrap! I am so extremely proud of how all of you swam throughout the season. All of you improved tremendously as athletes both physically and mentally, which was wonderful to watch!

Regionals was a fantastic meet for us (we won!), so congratulations to all of you who participated that weekend. I would also like to send out a big congratulations to all of our Provincial Qualifiers, and to those who actually swam this past weekend at the provincial meet. Provincials are always exciting, but this year I saw some of the best swimming I’ve seen yet- way to go, guys! We had 5 of our relays medal on Friday, and 5 again on Saturday, with 6 of those medals being gold! There were records broken, outside snipes, and some major TSN turning points!

As you guys know, this was my last season with the Kigoos and what a season it was! While I am extremely sad about leaving, I am also bursting with happiness about how this season went, and how my time with the Kigoos has been. As a swimmer, I would look forward to May 1st every year because that is when summer began, when I would get to set foot back on deck at Steveston Pool, find out who my coach would be, and be reunited with all of the people that I would be spending the next four months with, day in and day out. As a coach, I looked forward to May 1st for different reasons; how tall did you all get? Who’s voice dropped? How did my group look? How did the team look? For over a decade my year has been clearly divided into summer (May 1st to the end of Provincials) and all those other seasons. Thinking forward to next year, I think that I will probably have some sort of crisis on May 1st when I realize that it’s not in fact summer yet, that I’m not allowed to swim at outdoor pools yet, and most importantly that I won’t get to see all of you! From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank each and every one of you from Tater Tots up to Senior for being such a hugely important part of my life. You have all had your little impacts on the way that I think, the way that I look at the world, and the way that I approach situations (and the way that I dance), and for that I cannot thank you enough!

I hope that you all have an amazing school year, and that you keep swimming for the rest of your lives! Kigoos is one of the best things that will ever happen to you regardless of how fast or slow you are, I promise. Now, there is no way that I will be able to stay fully out of the loop, so I will definitely be popping in from time to time, and you bet that I’ll be wanting to know “what’s new and cool”. Until then I will miss you all dearly! Thank you for such a great run!

Head Coach Update from Coach Ava – Getting Ready for Regionals!

August 4th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Head Coach Update from Coach Ava – Getting Ready for Regionals!)

Hello Kigoos! Can you believe that Regionals is this weekend?! I have some extremely important information that I want to share with you all:

  • Your nutrition and rest are very important elements when it comes to the outcome of your races. Make sure that throughout this week and during the meet you are hydrating with water, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and getting lots of sleep!

  • Relays will be posted at the pool on Wednesday. Please make sure that you check the relays and arrange to be at the meet to swim it. Being on a relay at Regionals is a huge privilege and should be taken seriously. The relays have been created based on times, and have been reviewed thoroughly in order to ensure the best possible combinations.
    • Please note that relays at Regionals go straight to finals, unless there is more than one heat in prelims. In other words, if you are on a relay, you must stick around until after finals to swim. 
    • If you have been placed on a relay for Regionals, you must swim this relay. No absences will be tolerated.

  • Do not “dog” heats. All swimmers should swim their best during both heats and then again in finals. You never know who could bump you out of a spot for finals and you do not want to be left wishing you would have put more effort in.

  • Let’s all wear our tie-dyed t-shirts for Saturday at Regionals. Our team spirit needs to be top notch for this meet! Get ready to cheer loud, and to support your teammates! Finals at Regionals are especially exciting. Even if you do not qualify for finals, stick around the pool deck so that you do not miss the excitement!

  • Please wear your Kigoos swim caps during your races. This helps coaches find you in the pool, and also represents the team! Think of your Kigoos cap as the equivalent of a team jersey- you wouldn’t play a game without it.

  • If you know that you will not be attending Provincials in Victoria, but you think that you will be a qualifier, please notify Coach Ava immediately.

  • We have 140 swimmers entered in close to 600 events this weekend, this is HUGE! Get pumped up!!!!!!!! Give every single race your 100%.

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”  -Dan Gable


Hell Week Details

July 16th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Hell Week Details)
As Hell Week is fast approaching, we would like to lay out some ground rules so that everyone is on the same page.
Hell Week, or peak week, is the peak of our training intensity. All season, practices have been working up to this week of training where swimmers will be put through a series of grueling practices before we begin the tapering portion of their training in preparation for Regionals. We call it Hell Week because the practices for this week are extremely demanding and will challenge swimmers to go beyond what they think they are capable of.  Swimmers should come to each practice ready to work hard! The harder you work during Hell Week, the happier you will be with your swims at Regionals.
All swimmers are required to attend 100% of their Hell Week practices in order to be awarded their group’s Hell Week Prize. There will be absolutely no make-up practices allowed for Hell Week. 
 Outlined below are the specific details regarding the requirements for each group:
Senior Red
DatesMonday, July 20- Friday, July 31
Grouse Grind & Triathlon: Both are mandatory.
Prize: All-You-Can-Eat Sushi
Senior White
Dates: Monday, July 20- Friday, July 31
Grouse Grind & Triathlon: Must attend either the Grouse Grind or the Triathlon. Does not need to attend both events but all swimmers are welcome to do so.
Prize: All-You-Can-Eat Sushi
Theme: Jurassic World
Intermediate Red
DatesMonday, July 20- Friday, July 31
Grouse Grind & Triathlon: Both are mandatory. If you cannot attend the Grouse Grind with the Kigoos, you are allowed to do it at some other point in the week and email photographic evidence and your time to Coach Emilia.
Prize: Epic water fight and BBQ at Coach Ava’s house.
Theme: Survivor
Intermediate White
DatesMonday, July 20- Wednesday, July 29
Grouse Grind & Triathlon: Must attend either the Grouse Grind or the Triathlon. Does not need to attend both events but all swimmers are welcome to do so.
Prize: Epic water fight and BBQ at Coach Ava’s house.
Theme: Survivor
Junior Red
Dates: Monday, July 20- Wednesday, July 29
Grouse Grind & Triathlon: Both are mandatory.
Prize: Scoops!
Theme: Island Escape- Traveling with Kigoo!
Junior White
Dates: Monday, July 20- Friday, July 24
Grouse Grind & Triathlon: Neither are mandatory, however attendance at either or both events affects how many “Scoops” you get!
Prize: Scoops!
Theme: Shipwreck
Junior Development (Fun Week!)*
Dates: Monday, July 27- Friday, July 31
JD Triathlon: Not mandatory however attendance at this event will be rewarded with extra “Scoops”. The JD Triathlon will be held on Friday, July 31 in lieu of morning practice.
Prize: Scoops!
Theme: The Olympic Games
Please contact Coach Ava at if you have any questions regarding Hell Week.


Update from Head Coach Ava

June 27th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Update from Head Coach Ava)
Hello Kigoos!
Since the Ice Breaker, you have all continued to swim impressive races and show dedication and increased strength in practices… Keep up the good work!
I have noticed both some positive and not-so-great club-wide trends in the past few weeks. As you read through these trends, I would like you to think about how they apply to you and your swimming. If you are thinking to yourself “That’s not about me!”… Think again, these apply toall of you!
  1. Fast underwater fly kick off the walls, in a tight streamline! This applies to all freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly races, and is not optional! Swimmers from JD all the way up to Senior are forgetting to do their underwater kick, and are getting beat off the blocks and off the walls.
  2. Underwater pullouts! These have been all over the place. Just like underwater fly kick in free, back, and fly, underwater pullouts are not optional for your breast stroke races! Here is a video of Rebecca Soni breaking a world record (start the video at 3:20)  <>… Watch her underwater pullouts!
  3. Breathing. Especially in 50m races, breathing is not entirely necessary! Many of you are breathing every 3 strokes, or every 4 strokes in a 50m freestyle. I would everyone to work on breathing 1-2 or 3 times on the first 25m (depending if you are a JD, Junior, Intermediate, or Senior), and 2-3 or 4 times on the way back.
Positive Trends:
  1. Positive attitude at both meets and practices
  2. Consistent improvement of swimming technique and speed
  3. Sportsmanship
Let’s work to improve the not-so-great things, and keep up the positive club-wide trends!
A Note About Relays:
Beginning at the North Shore Winter Club swim meet on July 4 & 5, relay teams will be selected based on speed. For the Ice Breaker, Boundary Bay, and the Super 7 I have created as many relay teams as possible in the aim of including everyone on at least one relay. From now on, all swimmers attending a meet should not take for granted that they will be put on a relay team.
I hope that you all have a great weekend off! Get lots of rest and stay hydrated so that when Monday rolls around you are ready to go!
A Friendly Reminder for All Parents:
If your swimmer is signed up for a swim meet you must attend this swim meet or else you will be fined for each individual race that they miss.
It is extremely important that you notify me (Coach Ava) immediately if your child is unable to swim on a relay. Ideally, you will indicate this in the “comments” section of the meet sign up. It is too late to tell me on Saturday morning of the swim meet as I will have already created the relays for both days of the meet.


Intermediate White Update from Coach Ava

June 24th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Intermediate White Update from Coach Ava)
Intermediate White!
You guys continue to impress me at every meet with the minutes that you shave off your times. It is not unusual for you guys to shave anywhere from 15-30 seconds off your races- this is HUGE! While your speed has improved overall, we still have a lot of work to do with your technique, specifically your underwater work, and your turns.
As I said in my Head Coach blog post, underwater work is not optional. You must do 5 fly kicks off the wall in a tight streamline for all fly, back, and free races. For breast stroke, you must do an underwater pullout before you do your breakout. We have been working on our underwater work and our breakouts all month, yet they are still lacking, which tells me that as a group, you guys are not giving your 100% effort to practices. You have heard me say it a thousand times; all I can ask for is your 100% effort, if I see that you are trying your best then I am happy. Those of you who have been focusing at practices have seen major improvements in your races, which is awesome.
Now that school is over, I would like all of you to be attending 5 practices per week. It is very hard to make progress if your attendance is spotty. If you are struggling with one specific stroke, or with your flip turns and/or dives, make sure that you come to morning practice! Morning practices are generally a bit quieter than afternoon practices, and therefore we have lots of time for more individualized attention.
Have a very nice weekend off! :)
– Ava


Intermediate White Update from Coach Ava

June 3rd, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Intermediate White Update from Coach Ava)
You guys have improved SO much over the past month. This being said, we still have a huge amount of work to do. By now you should have perfected streamline position. I need to see your arms in streamline every single time that you push off the wall… This is a very important habit that I want ingrained in all of you!
In these next two weeks we will be working more on kick, especially butterfly kick to improve our under water work. I would like everyone to focus on doing proper turns and breakouts during all practices so that when meets come along, they come to you naturally. If you are still unsure of how to do proper flip turns or touch turns, come to practice! We will be working on these a lot in the next few weeks.
Here are some things that I want you all to remember for the Ice Breaker, and at all of the swim meets that you attend:
  1. Come ready with your swimsuits, cap, goggles, and a few towels, as well as lots of layers to keep you warm.
  2. Make healthy food choices throughout the meet! I know that we tend to gravitate towards concession food, but please keep your diet nicely balanced with fresh fruit, vegetables, and lean protein.
  3. Stay positive throughout the day. Remember that winning is fun, but you won’t do any winning if you aren’t having fun! Give 100% effort to all of your races, and you will be pleased with the results. If you are feeling nervous, please come talk to me!
  4. Remember that you are part of a team, and part of being on a team is cheering each other on! Show your support for your friends and teammates by cheering extra loud for them when they’re racing in individual events and in relays!

Club Wide Update from Head Coach Ava

June 3rd, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Club Wide Update from Head Coach Ava)
Can you guys believe that the Ice Breaker is this weekend?! I am so excited to see how you guys perform at our first meet of the season.
May was a productive month spent working on endurance and technique. The coaches have seen lots of progress in all of your strokes… But we still have a lot of work to do!!! Throughout June our focus as a club will shift towards speed, still with lots of emphasis on technique and race endurance.
As we are now into meets season, I have a few friendly reminders for all swimmers and parents:
  • If you sign-up for a swim meet and the entry deadline has passed, you are not permitted to withdraw from the meet. The penalty for scratching (missing the meet) is the meet fees of the total number of races that you would be missing.
  • If you are not able to stay for relays for either day of a swim meet, please indicate this in the “comments” section. This way, I will know not to put you on a relay.
  • Please do not use the “comments” section on the meet-sign up sheet to request specific events.
  • When you arrive at the swim meet in the morning, the first thing that you should do is check in with your coach and get ready for warm-ups. After warm-ups, you should check the relays sheet, which will be posted somewhere on the pool deck.
  • It is very important that you tell me (Coach Ava) immediately if you cannot attend the relay that you are scheduled to swim. To avoid this problem, please indicate that you are unable to swim relays in the “comments” section when you sign up for the meet.
  • I expect all swimmers to participate enthusiastically in cheers. Cheers happen after warm-ups end and take place on the pool deck.
  • Make sure that you are drinking a lot of water throughout the entire meet! This weekend especially is going to be super hot, so you will need to stay hydrated! One very hot summer the girl in the lane next to me at Ice Breaker fainted in the middle of our 200IM.. She hadn’t had any water all day! Hydrate!!!!!