Full Stroke Newsletter: November 2021

Chris Ellul

Hello Scarborough Swim Club,

This month, our HP-Gold group took part in a November HP Time Trial opportunity, allowing senior-most swimmers to rehearse specialized events in a controlled environment.  Additionally, it provided our Swim Ontario Identified Athletes and Ontario Junior International swimmers another preparatory event.  While some swimmers performed at and close-to lifetime bests, others were making up some major ground with regards to big goals.  It was certainly a successful rehearsal event, and the group continues to press-on toward O.J.I., and SCAR’s December Invitational to be held over the 18-19th weekend.

Congratulation’s also goes to Mikaela and Chiok Sze who were pre-identified as eligible to represent SCAR at Swim Ontario’s October High-Performance Time Trial.  Joining Mikaela and Sze to compete at the upcoming Ontario Junior International will be Sam B, with all three women racing over the December 9-12 weekend at TPASC.  The Club wishes you all the best of luck in what is another opportunity to rehearse and compete against some of your toughest competition.

SCAR hosted in partnership with the TPASC Sport Community Council, our 2nd Annual Halloween Food Drive to benefit the Scarborough Food Security Initiative.  This is something extremely important to me, and it shows just how much Scarborough Swim Club can continue to have a lasting impression on our community, and in many ways.  Thank you to those who donated.

As we now look forward to our SCAR December meet, swimmers will continue to refine their strokes and skills directly before the Holidays.  As with typical years, HP-Gold looks to have a “mini-peak” in our December competitions and at the end of our first 15* week periodization.  I’m looking forward to seeing continued improvement, and swimmers capitalizing on all special-teams areas such as tactics, competition starts, underwaters, turns and finishes.  I’m proud to say we have many swimmers that really take to heart just how much they can accomplish when they challenge themselves.  In order to perform a lifetime best, it means training the body to reach a level not yet reached before.  This is the process of progressive overload and forced adaptation.  Simply put: if you’re not willing to put the work in, you’ll remain the same.  Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to think you will attain a new level just by showing up, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best.  It doesn’t work like that.  If you want something bad enough, you need to be willing to rehearse ALL that’s involved in reaching and maintaining a new level in swimming.  It’s about finding a way rather than finding excuses.  HP-Gold will continue to use the month of December (including their Holiday training schedule) to prepare for the short course championship season, and the National meet schedule.  Please also see my past email with regards to our holiday training schedule.

Swimmer of the Month

High-Performance & Gold:  Sam B.

I am happy to award our November swimmer of the month to Sam of our High-Performance group.  Sam continues to be Sam, meeting any and all challenges head-on with no fear and absolute determination.  Sam is an example of what can be achieved through hard work, toughness, and self-confidence in one’s own abilities.  All of our swimmers, and especially our younger next-generation swimmers can learn a lot from Sam’s direct approach to training and competing.  Congratulation’s Sam.

That’s it from me for now. See you at the pool!

Chris Ellul
Head Coach, Director of Swimming
Scarborough Swim Club
[email protected]


Hello Silver & Senior Select.

Wow! I cannot believe we are already in the last month of 2021! It feels as if this year has blown by so fast with so much going on. I am really happy that we are continuing to swim consistently throughout the year and that we have been able to make big strides as the season has progressed. 

This month was a pretty big build in our metres as the swimmers have noticed. Being able to get our fitness levels up, while also getting into the mindset of being able to do anything we put our minds to; even if that means doing quite a few 400’s.  Building up this base is a great way for us to be able to stay fit for the rest of the season, helping us be able to finish races better as the season progresses. 

Moving forward, we will be focusing a little more on consolidating a lot of what we learned, while adding in some more sprinting, stroke, and distance specifics into our training. While keeping the volume high, we will be focused a lot on the technical aspect of each stroke. Aiming for the end of short course season and end of the whole season, these next few weeks are going to be key for us to be able to hit our goals and compete at the highest level.

A few reminders for everyone to think about as well as we move on with the season. Please be sure that swimmers are arriving early enough to practice (especially morning practices). This means usually arriving about 20 minutes before we hop in the pool, this way we can complete the entire activation on the pool deck before getting in for our swim. 

As well, I have talked to the swimmers about coming to the pool with a set of extra shoes to wear for on the deck activation. Please be sure to do this as this keeps the pool deck clean and makes sure we are able to do the activation safely.

Swimmer of the Month:

Silver: Declan
Declan has been an excellent trainer and an even better teammate since the beginning of the season. He makes sure to be at every practice, and gives everything he’s got at practice. He is always cheering on his teammates and is wanting to see the best out of them at training and competition. He is on pace to do some amazing things this season, and is deserving of the swimmer of the month! Congratulations Declan!

Senior: Rodrigo
The swimmer of the month for the Senior group is Rodrigo! Rodrigo has really taken a jump forward in the past month, taking swimming more and more seriously. He has shown that he wants to improve at every stroke, and in doing so has gotten a lot stronger and well rounded as a swimmer. He is always on deck with a smile, and trying to be a positive influence on the pool deck to his teammates. Great job Rodrigo!

Let’s keep this momentum going and we will see some big things this season!

Patrick Garcia
Head Age Group Coach
Scarborough Swim Club
[email protected]



Hello Bronze & Junior Select,

Happy December! Let the holiday cheer begin. 


I saw some great effort from the swimmers in November! During the month we increased our training metres and challenged ourselves to maintain standards while decreasing the rest between intervals. There was more focus on our streamlines and kicks off the walls. In addition, we completed our three test sets. These test sets give the swimmers an indication on what they are capable of and where they can improve. We will complete these sets again later in the season to gauge their improvement. 


December is a busy month. We will be working on high repetition and meet prep for the December meet. Setting aside additional time to practice dives and dive sprints while working on tactics for our upcoming races.

A reminder that the December meet registration deadline is approaching (December 4th). Please ensure you have logged in to your TeamUnify account and declared your swimmers availability.

Next Friday Dec. 10th practice has been moved to 5:00am. There will be no evening practice that day. 

Head Coach Chris also sent out the holiday schedule. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. We understand that swimmers may not be able to make every practice but we encourage you to attend as many as possible. 

I would like to take the time to address a few additional topics: 

-There has been some lenience on punctuality. It is important for swimmers to arrive on time to complete activation and start practice as a team. This is the same for our Tuesday/Thursday zoom workouts. 

-With the weather changing swimmers may consider bringing a larger bag to accommodate their winter gear. I don’t want to see anyones coats get soaking wet on the deck. 

-Swimmers should be dressed appropriately for activation and zoom workouts. This means running/indoor shoes (no bare feet), Scar shirt and workout pants (no jeans, pyjamas)

Swimmer of the Month

Bronze: Jahnavi has put in a 100% effort not only in November but since the start of the season. During sets she asks to be challenged and works to improve her strokes daily. She is alway early, ready to work out and has yet to miss a practice. 

Junior: Adrija continues to impress at practice. She looks for feedback after every practice and makes sure to implement it the following practice. Because of this she has made great improvements so far this year.

Laura Watts

Age Group Coach

Scarborough Swim Club

[email protected]





Hello Development Swimmers and Families,

It has been another busy month of hard work from our Development swimmers! This month we had our first round of test sets of the season. These challenging sets require swimmers to not only maintain a maximum effort of endurance and speed but do so while holding the technical stroke standards we have been working on throughout the season for all 4 strokes. I was very impressed by the effort I saw from everyone despite the challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we progress on these sets throughout the season.

We have continued to practice and build upon the technical aspects for all strokes, turns, and starts. A big focus this month for Freestyle and Butterfly was the high elbow catch phase of the pull. Swimmers are learning how to propel themselves through the water in the most efficient way possible by using the larger muscle groups in their arms and upper bodies to drive the water backwards. For Backstroke, we have been focusing a lot on our kick while maintaining good posture and fully extending our legs up to the surface of the water on each kick. With Breaststroke, swimmers have been focusing a lot on head position and the glide phase of the stroke. We are learning how to keep our heads low on the breathing portion of the stroke, as well as keeping our heads looking down and getting into streamline on the glide. 


December is an exciting month with our next meet coming up on the 18th and 19th. I’m looking forward to seeing what our swimmers can accomplish at this meet after all our hard work since the October time trial. Swimmers will be challenged with some longer distance events and events that they may not have gotten a chance to swim before. I hope to see everyone there!


I would like to give a friendly reminder for everyone to please arrive at least 15-20 minutes earlier than the scheduled start time for each practice at TPASC. We have recently started to have a few more late arrivals than usual, particularly on Saturday mornings. Saturday mornings at TPASC have become increasingly busy with other sports and activities ramping up at the facility, leading to long line-ups at the screening area. Arriving early ensures that swimmers have enough time to prepare themselves and be fully engaged in each workout, enabling them to get the most out of each practice. Along with that, as we head into more treacherous weather in the coming months, please give yourselves enough time to arrive safely.

Swimmer of the Month :

The Swimmer of the Month for Development 11 & Under is Isaak! 

Isaak always comes to practice ready to listen and work hard. He is extremely focused and gives 110% effort on every length and rep. Every time I give him feedback, he always soaks it up like a sponge and I can already see so much growth and improvement throughout this past month and to come

throughout the season. Keep up the hard work, Isaak!


Our Swimmer of the Month for Development 12-13 is Jordan! 

Jordan has really impressed me with his dedication to improve at every single practice. He is a focused learner and a hard worker who is always listening and looking for feedback on how he can be better. He is always up for a challenge and brings very positive energy to the group. I have seen a lot of improvement this month, keep it up Jordan! 


Keep up the great work,


Christina Ramsay

Development Coach

Scarborough Swim Club

[email protected]