This past week was like time travel, back to previous years of running camps, a pro team, and a social program out of the idyllic island of Cozumel. Great friends were made, and from a Triathlon point of view, there where also great memories, including 'The Champ' Nicola Spirig winning an Ironman on 5 weeks training. Also the island was her 'back from retirement' race, in winning the ITU World Cup at Cozumel in her come back race in 2013.
This island is also where 'The Angry Bird', Daniela Ryf put two weeks in at a trial camp that ended with a 3rd place in the 70.3 Cozumel race in 2013. More importantly, we shook hands on 'let's see where a partnership together leads us'. Yes, the memories all came flooding back while staying again in Cozumel. Forgive me for my whimsical navel gazing but this island means so much to me. So, as I sit here on the ferry leaving after our week of camp, one asks oneself if it was a successful week? I hope it was for all our participants - a great cross section of age group athletes, coach's completing the practical component of their coaching certification, some of my private age group team, and a Trisutto pro, all mixed together for a series of lectures and training fest.
While to be honest none of the participants are going to say it was a terrible camp, I appreciated the feedback from an unbiased coach that completely disagreed with our methods in swimming on the first day, and then came to me on the last day and said 'I can't believe that they are the same group you had here on Monday, they all look like swimmers now! How do you do it?'
So I thought I would point out what I asked our budding Trisutto coaches to observe. Here are the 5 fundamentals that are supposed to be needed to improve swimming, however these are not talked on at any time during our camp or sessions:
No positive reinforcement on any of these 1) No talk on bent elbows 2) No mention of distance per stroke 3) No mention of the need to kick 4) Stop body rolling 5) No talk of get your hands under your body
Plus we will add five more, not fundamentals, but articulations of more myths. In no particular order: A) Don't put your head down and look at the bottom of pool B) We never used the 'pull' word C) Not one mention of dropped elbows to any athletes D) No mention of breathing on each side for men E) No mention of stretching out for females
But here we are leaving the camp with every athlete swimming better and more efficiently than when they arrived. Ask any that attended the camp. Swimming is not rocket science, and the way it is described to the masses is a huge disservice for 90% of age group triathletes.
We also over took the Ego Gym spin room, and after a 45 minute session it was also a pleasant surprise that one of the personal trainers said on the way out 'coach that room hasn't seen a workout like that since I been here'. How did you measure the output coach - 'we use sweatology, take a look at the floor'.
It made me incredibly proud to see people outside of our group objectively give whatever we did a thumbs up. So as we float away from this magical island I have a small smile on my face. That job done! Thank you to all that attended, it was a week that I will remember. So coach is going home happy too. Well done to you all. And best mechanical luck for the coming season. Just the way I see it. Sutto