SSA's camp to help youngsters grasp fundamentals
SSA hopes affiliates will embrace outreach efforts to help young swimmers grasp the basics
The aim is to instil sound fundamentals in young swimmers in areas like technique - starts and turns - nutrition and biomechanics.
With that goal in mind, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) and the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) collaborated to hold a four-day residential camp for National Training Centre (NTC) swimmers, and 10 promising youngsters who are not part of the set-up.
The junior development camp at the OCBC Aquatic Centre started on Wednesday and ends today and also saw 10 club coaches and officials in attendance.
The camp, which featured seminars on areas like nutrition and sports psychology, also marks the start of SSA's plan to increase outreach with affiliate clubs and the Singapore Sports School, some 18 months after the NTC was set up.
Acting national coach Gary Tan said: "When Sergio (Lopez, outgoing national coach) came on board, the plan was to set up the NTC and run it well, and then get him to reach out to the clubs.
"But, due to his situation, that he had to leave, we will be carrying on what he planned to implement... a plan for sustainable success to continue even after a person leaves, as long as it's good for Singapore swimming."
Both Gary and new NYSI head swim coach Leonard Tan hope to reach out to clubs and the Sports School to share best practices in the hope that the affiliates will adopt at least some of them.
Acting national coach Gary said: "We hope to create an army of young swimmers who think and do things the same way in aspects like nutrition and sports psychology, and in fundamentals like starts, turns and finishes.
"One of the key factors of the NYSI is to bridge the gap, to create opportunities for clubs to get better, so that when the swimmers come to the national squad, we can pretty much focus on the high-performance aspect of training."
In the coming months, NYSI head swim coach Leonard will visit various clubs and the Sports School to better understand them and their operations, as well as to try to convince the affiliates to buy into the national philosophy.
He said: "The clubs are independent, so we cannot impose our methods on them.
"We will be trying to share what our top swimmers are doing, and maybe use some data to explain why we do things the way we do.
"In the end, we just want to do something good for Singapore swimming."
Phelps, Schooling in the mix
Singapore's Olympic-bound swimmer Joseph Schooling clocked 53.40sec to finish third in the heats of the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite meet in Texas early this morning.
David Nolan (53.24) and Michael Phelps (53.25) went faster than the 20-year-old Singaporean, with the final scheduled for this morning (Singapore time).
The men's 100m butterfly event will be closely watched as it pits Olympic medal hopeful Schooling against his idol Phelps, who will ake his final bow at the Rio Games in August.
Schooling's time in the heats was a distance away from his own national record of 50.96, which he clocked en route to clinching a bronze at the Fina World Championships last year.
- LIM SAY HENG