Full Stroke: May 2021 Newsletter

Chris Ellul

Hello Scarborough Swim Club,

Recently, we sent home a survey in both email and online Google form format in regards to our plans for reopening for summer swimming. It is currently looking more likely that the Government of Ontario’s Step-3 may provide us our opportunity to return to in-pool training; however, only time with tell. If you have not yet completed our summer survey, please do so.


SCAR’s High Performance & Gold swimmers continue their work from home, remaining engaged and connected while focusing on their physical and mental preparation and progression ahead of returning to the pool. 

I continue to see great strides from my group, with swimmers remaining as disciplined as ever with great attention to detail. HP-Gold will begin revisiting some recent projects from this season, including our (i) Time Management (weekly scheduling), (ii) Training and (iii) Racing Goals, as well as (iv) Race Day Routines. We’ll be highlighting the latter being our Race Day Routines. In doing so we’ll be performing our own “deep dive” into confidence-building, our practice and performance mindsets, what we do well and what we can do better, and of course, whether our race day routines are setup to put us into position to be successful.  While swimmers have routines, we need to ensure they’re really working for us.  I am really looking forward to having this in-depth discussion with the group, and we’ll be following up on this project before the end of the regular season by having a second round of individual group meetings. Swimmers will be broken up into smaller groups of athletes with similar training regiments (stroke-based).

I am very proud of all of our senior swimmers, and I’m extremely excited at what we’ll be able to accomplish upon own return with everything we’ve been able to cover from physical strength to mental skills.

As you know, the Take-5 High Performance Test Event recently took place at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre as a direct rehearsal for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials.  While all of SCAR would love to be back in our home pool, it was still wonderful to see the event take place without issue, as we watched some incredibly fast racing.  This is certainly another good sign as we hope to continue seeing steps in the right direction for our sport, and our own return to the pool.

As a reminder, while scarswimming.ca and our monthly newsletters are a great source for what’s happening around the Scarborough Swim Club, our @scarswim Instagram is by far the best place to get daily and weekly updates.  Please follow us!

Swimmer of the Month:
Our HP-Gold swimmer of the month is awarded to Olivia Baldwin.  Olivia is one of our fearless leaders that embodies SCAR spirit and work ethic.  It is always ‘business as usual’ with Olivia, as she is always well-prepared and deliberate with her actions.  She understands what is set-out in front of her and the effort that it deserves.  Then, it’s about getting the work done to the best of her ability.  Olivia is a tremendous example of a coachable student-athlete that relies on her own intrinsic motivation, rather than extrinsic validation.  Congratulations, Olivia!

I would like to congratulate our Scarborough Swim Club Class of 2021 Graduates.  They are: Olivia Baldwin, Rebecca Han, and Velica Mangos.

Olivia will be heading McMaster University for their Humanities program, and we are thrilled to know she’ll be doing so as a member of the McMaster Women’s Swimming Team.

Rebecca will be studying Statistics at University of Toronto-Scarborough.  Hopefully we’ll continue to see Rebecca close to home next fall.

Velica will be making the move to Trent University, studying in the teacher education pathway (Bachelor of Arts with Honours).  Velica has also been recently named to Swim Ontario’s Para-ID Performance Pathway identification as an on-track athlete for 2022 Canada Summer Games. She will look to explore all options at continuing her swimming next season, and we’ll support her in every way we can.

Congratulations to our SCAR graduates!

As always, please continue to practice healthy hygiene, physical distancing, mask-wearing, and all safety protocols. Remember swimmers: your situation is not unique only to you. Now is where we must continue to lean on one another, and where being part of a team can make all the difference. Be patient, be safe, and we’ll talk again soon.

Chris Ellul
Head Coach / Director of Swimming
Scarborough Swim Club

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Hello Silver & Senior Select,

I hope everyone is doing well and you are all getting excited for summer. We’ve been able to get through quite a bit in the past month regarding our workouts with new exercises and new ways of getting through our strength training. I am really looking forward to when we’ll be back in the pool as I know you will all be stronger than you ever, which will help you greatly in your swimming career.

Since the start of the Kilometre Club, our swimmers have been able to run, walk, or bike over 4,200 Kilometres in the first four weeks! That’s so incredible and it is really showing the hard work and dedication from our team. If you are able to check on our Instagram, you’ll have seen that we got a visit from Rebecca Smith in Red Deer as we travel across Canada together as a team. We have also reached Finlay Knox in Okotoks and will be getting a message from him soon as well! Just a reminder when it comes to the Kilometre Club, please be sure to send in those tracking sheets no later than Fridays at the end of the week. It makes adding to our tracking easier and helps us know exactly how many kilometres we’ve done as a team by Saturdays, which is when we would like to update the team on how far we’ve gone.

A few more reminders for you all, just be sure to email me letting me know if you will be missing practices before the practices happen.  As well when a swimmer does email me for any reason, please CC your parents into the email thread as well.

Swimmers of the Month:
Brandon (Silver) has really taken a step forward in the past few months in terms of his work ethic and focus when it comes to our workouts. Something I’ve really been impressed with is that Brandon continues to take each exercise as a “one rep at a time” mindset. This is really showing as he is getting not only so much stronger, but so much more controlled in each of his movements.  Congratulations Brandon!

Andrew (Senior Select) is really showing more and more dedication to our workouts and to the sport. Always asking for advice on what he can do better and implementing that advice right away. He is also really taking the time on strength exercises to make sure he can perfect them and not rush through anything. But when we are supposed to do something with higher intensity, he turns the jets on and gives it his all.  Great job Andrew!

Let’s really try and make the rest of the season the best we can make it! I know that we can finish off strong together if we continue to help support our teammates and give it our best in workouts.

Best Regards,

Patrick Garcia
Head Age Group Coach (Silver & Senior Select)

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Hello Bronze and Junior Families,

During the month of May, the Bronze and Junior swimmers have been progressing through a 4-week cycle involving circuits incorporating upper body, lower body and core exercises. We have continued to have a focus on proper posture and good form when completing all exercises. In addition, we have had a focus on controlling our breathing through all exercises, the same way we would control our breath in the pool. Our athletes have stepped up their game while performing their offline training by walking, jogging and biking to add to our SSL Kilometre Club. It is impressive to see that as a Club we have already achieved such a great distance in the matter of a few weeks.  Keep up the great work swimmers!

Going forward, we will be progressing through a new 3-week cycle during the month of June that will take us to the end of the season. We will continue to focus on posture, form and controlled movements. As always, swimmers are reminded to stay focused especially as we move into the last month of the swim season. This is a great opportunity to “finish strong”!

Swimmer of the Month:
For the month of May, the Swimmer of the Month in the Bronze group is Laureen. She has shown consistent dedication and always puts her best effort forward. Way to go Laureen!

The Swimmer of the Month in the Junior Select group is Mahsen. He brings a positive attitude to each practice and is always eager to motivate his teammates. Congratulations Mahsen!

Joanna Bott
Age Group Coach (Bronze & Junior Select)

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Hello Development Swimmers and Parents!

It has been so much fun and a joy to be able to work with the development swimmers, you all are so hard working and committed to the team and sport. Over the past few weeks, we have been working on some new exercises that you have all been able to adapt to and complete at a very high level. That is a huge kudos to you as that shows your focus and listening abilities when at practice. It is also very interesting and uplifting to see when we are going through our swimming videos and everyone participates in giving feedback on what they see. Again, this really shows the dedication that each athlete has.

Over the past month we have been tracking Kilometres for our Kilometre Club Challenge that we have been partaking in. We have been able to reach over 4,200 kilometres in four weeks!! That is a fantastic accomplishment from our whole team and it is great to see a lot of the development swimmers giving their best to these kilometres. We have already been able to make our first checkpoint which is to travel to Red Deer Alberta and see Rebecca Smith! If you want to see her encouraging video that she sent to us, you can see it on our Instagram @scarswim.  Not only have we gotten a video from Rebecca, but be on the lookout for a video from Finlay Knox next in Okotoks!  Please be sure that when you send in the kilometre tracking sheets that you send them to me on Fridays before the end of the day.

Swimmer of the Month:
Isabella (Dev 11&U) is really making the most out of each workout. She is someone who is always taking advice and trying to improve herself in every practice. Her attendance and consistency really is going to show when we get back to the pool as she will be much stronger and way more coordinated.  Congratulations Isabella!

Avery (Dev 12-13) is someone who is always at practice giving her best effort. She is really taking the learning process seriously when it comes to new exercises, being a part of our swimming video sessions, and when it comes to mental skills as well. With all this, I think we will see a great rise from her when we get back to the pool.  Great job Avery!

Let’s all finish off the season strong as we look forward to eventually getting back to the pool.

Patrick Garcia
Head Age Group Coach (Interim Development Coach)