2013 National Junior Team Blog: Day 3


2013 National Junior Team Photo

The National Junior Team Camp is being held April 4-7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Complex in Colorado Springs. National Junior Team coaches and athletes have volunteered to blog from the camp to give you an idea of what this weekend’s all about. Here’s a look at day 3:

From Swimmer Will Licon:

Hey everyone, it's been a blast here at the OTC.

I would say that today would be considered one of those days that makes an everlasting impact on people, and definitely on me.

Today my roommate Janardan and I woke up at 7:00 a.m., changed and went down to the cafeteria for breakfast. At 8:00 a.m., the guys had a meeting at West Wing, and the girls at Dirks, which was about the safety of swimming in regards to sexual abuse by coaches and how to try and prevent it from ever starting. That meeting lasted about an hour, and at 9:00 everyone headed out to the pool for our somewhat "dreaded" three hour practice, which turned out to not be as hard as we thought it was going to be, and was a little shorter.

The last half hour, we did drills and cheers with Aaron Peirsol and Brendan Hansen, which were awesome. The guys finished a tad bit before the girls. Afterward, the guys team went into the hot tub, for which only seemed like 2 minutes, then the girls’ team came and as polite gentlemen, we gave up our spots to them in the hot tub.

After everyone left the pool, we headed to the cafeteria for a quick lunch because we had to be ready and out front in 45 minutes to head to the incline. For those of you who don't know what the incline is, it's a steep path along the base of Pikes Peak, which goes up for about 1.1 miles I believe, and is at an average incline of around 40 degrees and the steepest it gets is around 68 degrees. The hike was awesome, and after we got back, all the guys had to go get their swim gear and head over to the pool for another practice.

All I can say was we were hoping the last thing we would be doing was a kick set. Turns out there was no kick set, and to end practice, we were given a set of 10xUSA's on 50 seconds, which involves us starting from the block each 50, and yelling USA when we are in the air for our dive.

After practice was over, all of the guys went to a nutrition meeting in Dirks, then after that we headed to our long-awaited dinner.

At the conclusion of our last dinner together, everyone including the girls, (guys and girls had different schedules most of the trip), headed out to West Wing for our last meeting of the camp. We were fortunate to hear Olympians Brendan Hansen, Aaron Peirsol, Katie Hoff and Tommy Hannan. After the meeting, we all said out goodbyes, and went back to our rooms to get ready for bed.

Could not be more proud to be a part of such a wonderful team!


From Coach Jason Calanog:

The final day of the camp was the culmination of three days of sport education, team building and self-enhancement. We started the day meeting with the Safe Sport representatives and were educated on keeping the sport safe for the swimmers and coaches. It was very educational, and the coaching staff thought the swimmers interacted very well together in the group discussions.

We later moved on to the pool for the final morning practice of the camp. From the very beginning of practice the coaching staff could feel the excitement of the swimmers, and it showed throughout practice. The swimmers challenged each other by racing hard and cheering each other on throughout each set. We finished practice with Brendan Hansen and Aaron Piersol leading the men's team through a series of Team USA cheers.

After we had lunch at the athlete center, as a team we headed to the infamous Manitou Springs - The Incline. As a team, we climbed up the 1 mile mountain which took a total team effort. We were fortunate to have Brendan, Aaron, Katie and of course Jack Roach lead us to the promise land up top. The view from the mountain was breathtaking on this beautiful day, as we were able to see the natural beauties of the United States.

We came back from the Incline and headed to our final practice of the camp. Our goal of the practice was Team Building to create pride in representing our country. We had the kids watch a clip from the movie, Miracle, to emphasize the team bonding experience and then had them do a set called "USA's" (Coach Tim idea). It was a great set to finish off the practice.

Our final meetings were with the USOC dietary specialist and a question-and-answer with the National Team athletes. This was a chance for the swimmers to ask questions to the national athletes about their swimming experiences and educate us on representing the greatest team in the world, United States of America, as Coach Chuck would say. Each national athlete gave advice to the swimmers which would be invaluable to the National Junior Athletes.

I just wanted to conclude that this experience was a defining moment for the coaches, staff and swimmers. Having the ability to wear the Red, White and Blue was great honor and something I will hold with great pride and respect. I would all like to thank the USA swimming staff, Aaron, Katie, Brendan, coaching staff, Tyler Hamilton and of course the great Jack Roach for this wonderful life changing experience. The future of USA Swimming is bright and we look forward to seeing these swimmers grow as individuals to the highest level they can achieve.

Go Team USA!!!

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