June 18, 2019
This April, after Spring Championships, three Stingrays swimmers were selected to participate in the Swim Alberta Discover and Emerge Camps. Below are their write-ups to share their experiences and learnings with other Stingrays swimmers:
Gabe MacDonald: Discover Camp
13 years old, SPSC swimmer since age 9
This past April, I was one of few swimmers to be chosen to go to the Swim Alberta Discovery Camp. At this camp, I learned a lot. The biggest thing I took away from camp was the mental training. The main theme of the mental training was to train like a wild tiger, meaning that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone you will be rewarded greatly. We also talked about things outside of training, like: What does being prepared for a competition really mean? We went through step by step what we do currently for a competition, from a week before, until after the competition. Overall I am very glad I was one of the select few to participate in this Swim Alberta Camp and I have taken a lot away from it.
Andrew Welsh: Discover Camp
14 years old, SPSC swimmer since age 6
I was recently invited to attend a Discover Alberta swim training camp. I thought that the camp was very informative and helped me think about what I need to do in order to take my swimming to the next level. The classroom session prepared us for the training session that immediately followed. It gave me an opportunity to apply and practice what had just been talked about.
My main takeaway’s from the classroom session were:
- The pool experience—they taught us to allow ourselves to be outside of our comfort zone
- Have a positive mindset before going out to swim – we talked a lot about building a positive training culture
- What’s in our toolbox in swimming (attitude, body language, determination, good coaching/communication, teammates)
- Don’t overthink your race or training
- Track what works and doesn’t work:
- Cue words
- Three zones of performance:
- Sub-optimal zone – laid back, inactive, too relaxed (LOW)
- Optimal zone – Best performance (MODERATE – ideal)
- Stress zone – Anxiety, panic, anger, fear, suffering (HIGH)
Ian Cameron: Emerge Camp
15 years old, SPSC swimmer since age 7
The Emerge camp was an amazing experience. I learned to always stay positive using my HERO mindset strategies. HERO stands for heart, enthusiasm, resilience, ownership, and we had classroom sessions from a Mental Performance Coach to train the mental side of swimming. She gave us strategies to tough out hard practices and push past nerves when we are competing. We had four - 2 hour swim sessions with a 20 min activation and 20 min active stretch post-session. We swam over 6000 m each session. Practices were fast paced and efficient, with four high level coaches. We learned new drills and activation, and I learned areas I need to improve. After the first swim session we did a one-hour hot yoga session to stretch our muscles. I experienced what it was like to train on a bigger club (there were 40 swimmers), I made new swim friends from other clubs, and learned new perspectives from new coaches. It was cool to be responsible for myself and follow national team protocols. We stayed at the Ramada hotel in Edmonton and my roommate was also a breaststroker, from Keyano swim club. The organizers also had lots of good food and healthy snacks after every session. It was a great experience and gave me lots of new knowledge about my sport.
More information on selection criteria for Swim Alberta Camps: