Fullstroke Newsletter, September 2018


HP & Gold - Head Coach Chris Ellul

Welcome Swimmers to the 2018-2019 swim season!

First of all I would like to inform everyone of our newsletter process this year. In the past, newsletter entries were compiled from coaches and posted in our website’s newsfeed for all to view. This year, SCAR coaches will reach out to their individual groups as a means of more direct communication between coach and swimmer-family. Entries will be emailed out on about the first of every month. They will also be found compiled and listed online at scarswimming.ca as they were in the past. Newsletters are a great way for coaches to reach out and inform families of everything going on with their child’s group.

Thank you to everyone that was able to make it out to our introductory parent meeting last Saturday morning. I am of course available to meet with any families that were unable to attend. For anyone who may have missed the meeting, my power point agenda was as follows:

  • My Philosophy, Where We’re Going
  • Thinking Long Term (Long Term Success Over Only Short Term Gains)
  • Training Fundamentals
  • Training Guidelines – Workout and Competition
  • Activation, Dryland, and Academy
  • Equipment
  • Swimmer of the Month, Team Captain, Record Breakers
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Super Saturdays
  • Group Socials, Team Meetings
  • Nutrition, Hydration, Sleep (information references and links)

While the season is only three weeks old (two weeks of which were on a temporary and shortened schedule), we have been hard at work pressing the ‘reset button’. Our acquisition phase is extremely important, where swimmers hear everything they’ll hear from me throughout the season: What I want to see, and why I want to see it. Both good and bad habits form over time with experienced swimmers; however, we want to ensure we are building on solid fundamentals and working to correct any major technical deficiencies for the season ahead. Most swimmers at this level can be stubborn to alter habits, but it’s about trust; trust that will allow swimmers to maximize their ceiling moving forward.

“There are zero world class athletes with poor technique and poor efficiency.”

We have a lot of work to do, and there will certainly be some growing pains. It will take time to make adjustments though HP and Gold swimmers are expected to come to each workout ready to put forth their best effort. I expect exceptional attendance and do ask that swimmers inform me of their absences when they occur. I am looking for respectful swimmers who are ready to learn. They must consistently demonstrate knowledge, accountability, reliability, and coachability. My swimmers and I have also spoken of the importance of time management (workout, homework, social life, etc.), and understand what it means to not only be athlete at the pool but also away from the pool. This means eating well, drinking enough, and getting an appropriate amount of rest/sleep (8-10 hours/day for swimmers ages 13-18). I have included some links as well as some nutritional information in this article.

We have an amazing talent pool of young and developing swimmers. SCAR’s future is bright, and I am very excited to see what we can all accomplish this year.



Silver & Senior Select - Coach Phil Garcia

Welcome to the 2018-2019 season! I’m thrilled to be working with the Senior Select and Silver groups again this year and can’t wait to get everything underway! The past two years have been a great experience for me and I know this year will also be successful.

So far, getting to know the new swimmers in my groups has been nothing but positive. The swimmers are respectful of each other, and me, which always leads to a more disciplined and productive training environment. I expect to see plenty of progress from all swimmers in the groups this season, and based on what I’ve seen so far I’m confident that this will be the case.

After getting through the initial temporary schedule, we are now on track with the regular practice programming. Both Laurier and Cedarbrae are open and practices will be running there. For both pools, please drive around to the back of the schools where the soccer fields are, and enter from there.

As our first competition in Markham on October 12-14 approaches, I will be looking to see focused athletes who race hard and listen to me as their coach. I’m looking to see good habits beginning to form, as these will be necessary once training increases and pressure begins to build. I want to see honest effort in each stroke of every race, and I’m looking forward to seeing the base times that are posted as we start the season.

As a quick note, please email me if swimmers are unable to attend practice for whatever reason. If swimmers are unable to attend a certain day of a competition, please leave a note when you commit them letting me know. If any swimmers want to make a request for races, they must come to me on deck and speak with me directly. 

Since we're early in the season, it's important for swimmers to start making good habits. Time management to get their school work completed outside of practice or competition is important, as well as nutrition and sleep habits. Please let me know if there are issues with any of these so I can address them with the swimmer.

I’m looking forward to what is sure to be an exciting season with ups and downs, and I’m ready to get it underway!



Bronze & Junior Select - Coach Kristyn Steinke

September is coming to a close and with it our first month of training is now behind us. October will bring us our first swim meet with MAC fall fest on October 12th, as well as out parent meeting on October 4th.

As a first topic of this monthly letter I wanted to address ownership. As competitive athletes they hear us as coaches speaking about taking ownership over their athletics often. They hear us mention packing their own equipment, and self-motivation, effort in practice and goal setting. But what does it actually mean to take ownership of your swimming?

As parents, an understanding that swimming is your child’s sport is important. Ownership is inherently your child’s ability to love the sport and intrinsically motivate in order to be successful. At the beginning of the season each athlete considers his or her goals not just for the immediate meet, but also for the entirety of the season. For our Bronze and JR Select group many of those seasonal goals included sustained success in time drops, qualifications, and specific technical improvements. Each athlete knows what they want to achieve and as a result should be able to use that goal to be a driving factor in motivation to put forth their best efforts in practice each day.

As coaches we speak to the idea that “everything we do for our athletes that they can do for themselves sets them back.” We want to encourage this idea of ownership and we do so on deck by holding the athletes accountable for their performance in practice including preparedness. I hold my group responsible for ensuring they have everything with them that they need including their equipment, suits, water etc. I also ask they should they be absent, they let me know either before hand in person or via email. I encourage the communication of absence to allow the athlete to extend that ownership over their training to include instances where they are not on deck.

There are a number of instances where ownership over their training extends beyond the pool to home. These instances include proper nutrition, proper hydration throughout the day, proper sleep, and preparing their equipment. These instances are a collaboration with the parents the majority of the time, but athletes should remain involved. We will be speaking to this point at our parents meeting on October 4th. I do hope that everyone can attend. Thank you to those parents who have already informed me if they cannot make it.

September has been a strong beginning for our JR and Bronze athletes and I am looking forward helping them to achieved continued success throughout their season and their swimming careers.  



Development 11-12 and 10 & Under - Coach Patrick Garcia

Hello parents and swimmers!

What a great start to our swimming year and I am very excited to be coaching these groups! This past September has been amazing for our training. We are welcoming back several returning swimmers and some new members of our team. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring!

I know we mentioned these things in our parent meetings but I’d just like to remind everyone of a few things.

  1. Please make sure that you sign up your swimmers for meets as early as you can and try your best to sign up for all available days.
  2. When coming to practice, please keep in mind that we have activation on deck 15 minutes before every practice; please be on deck with dryland attire (scar shirt, shorts, indoor running shoes)
  3. Please try your best to sign up for the upcoming banquet later this month. You can do so on the scarswimming.ca website under team functions.



Development 11-12 and 10 & Under - Coach Cassia Cidro

My very first week coaching with SCAR has been an exciting experience. The 11-12 and 10 & under group had been nothing but supportive, not only for myself, as a new coach, but to each other as well. It is great to witness a group of young individuals working and motivating each other to improve on their abilities to swim. Everyone was not only open to, but was also eager to learn new techniques and push themselves to their full capacity in able finish every drill that was given.

I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming meets we are partaking in. All of which, I know they’ll continue to grow and learn from.

I would love to see each and every athlete prove not only others, but especially themselves that their hard work during practices are worth every sweat. Looking forward to a great season!!