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March Break Camp - Cancun, Mexico

Coach review of 2017 Cancun Training Camp:

This year, RIchmond Hill Aquatic Club took  part in a March Break training camp abroad. 
The camp lasted 7 days and was held in Cancun, Mexico.

It has long been known that training camps have a tremendous impact on an athletes performance.The success senior level athletes achieve  during championship season has largely been associated with a successful training camp abroad leading up to this period of time. 

This year, we had the opportunity to provide a training camp for the older RHAC athletes and the younger ones. Out of 23 total swimmers in attendance, 10 were of the 12 and under age category. 

Just as the swimmers are constantly learning from RHAC coaching staff, the coaching staff spends a lot of time learning from our very own athletes.

With the 12 and under swimmers in attendance at this years training camp, Richmond Hill Aquatic Club coaches were able to observe the training benefits that occurred both in younger and older RHAC athletes during this period. We also took into account the location of the camp and made a review of said location (Cancun, Mexico) as it pertained to the athletes overall performance. These were our findings.

Pros:

  • Safety: Having been an athlete and having attended many training camps around the world (countries in Europe, North America, South America), Mexico was one of the top camp locations I've experienced in terms of safety. At no point did I feel the athletes were in danger. The transportation was well organized by the sports facility that we trained at and all the staff at the facility provided a level of care and accommodation for our swimmers that I have not seen in many swim camps.
  • Performance of the practices was executed at a higher level by the swimmers at the camp than back in Richmond Hill. (Athletes not attending the camp and training back home in Richmond Hill during the same time period, performed the same practices on the same dates).
  • Team bonding between athletes 12 and under and 13 and over was occurring 90% of the time.
  • ​Food was available at all times for the athletes and was in line with the nutritional standard upheld by RHAC for peak performance.
  • RHAC swimmers were able to partake in an array of activities that are listed by Swimming Canada and Swimming Sport Science as activities that  supplement swim training and have been seen to improve swimmers coordination in the pool ex. Beach volleyball, beach soccer, tennis, open water swimming.
  • Attendance was at 100%
  • The training pool was Long-course with 10 lanes, maximizing space for swimmers to swim in water with little to no turbulence. The pool could also be converted to a short-course 20 lane pool.
  • Access to an underwater viewing gallery for coaches to film and view swimmers pulling mechanics. Parents could also view swimmers from this room.
  • The resort was in a location that allowed athletes and coaches to partake in activities away from the pool to reduce stressors produced from heavy training, allowing the athlete to mentally recover more rapidly. ex. Snorkelling and other outdoor activities. 
  • Rooms were spacious and ideal for athletes to get a full recovery from day to day.
  • 12 and under swimmers were exposed to top level swimming in RHAC, having the opportunity to share the pool with National level swimmers each training session
  • 12 and under swimmers avoided a break midseason, which can be crucial for early swimmer success and continued progress in the second half of the season.
  • ·With long Canadian winters, having the opportunity to train in an outdoor pool, not only increases the willingness of the athlete to train at a higher level but has massive health benefits due to the amount of vitamin D absorption the athlete experiences. 
  • For national level athletes, a training camp during March break is an ideal transition to have peak performance for the championship level meets held in April (Senior Nationals/ Canadian Eastern Championships) 

Cons:

  • Price point : the price point can be tough to get past, especially for 12 and under athletes that require an adult to be present with them. RHAC coaches will be looking to find a more financially feasible option to accommodate a larger group of athlete for future training camps.

 

RHAC Coach Staff