Nitro took 20 swimmers from the National Group to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs last week for 5 days of altitude training, team building and education.Below are the day by day highlights of an amazing trip and speaking for both Coach Hans and myself—the swimmers behaved and trained like champions and represented Nitro to the highest level possible in the pool and on the OTC campus!
Weds 1/25- American Airlines has not been too friendly to us the past few trips but after some long delays all the swimmers got in to the OTC and the Staff of USA Swimming had sandwiches waiting for those that got in late. Check in, credentialing, and then to dorms for a good nights sleep! Our best trips seem to start with a bit of adversity!
Thursday 1/26- the swimmers were able to go to the incredible OTC dining hall anytime they wanted before our 9 am training session. One of the nicest parts of the trip were that the meals were with all the other sports in this great dining hall with big screen tv’s and a relaxed social setting. great meals and great conversation! All of our AM practices were 9-11 and PM’s were 5-7 and sessions were LCM. Most sessions we had the 10 lanes to ourselves and for a few we shared with either the Para-Olympians or the Pacific All Star Team which was also great fun.
USA Swimming had representatives meet us at the OTC pool which was very kind and then a highlight of the day was US National Team Director ( and star of Water to the Wood ) Frank Busch welcomed and addressed the team after AM practice.
Between training session we did an hour of circuits in an assigned gym that had a boxing ring, spin bikes, speed bags, med balls ect.Fun and mixed up dryland and best station was in the boxing ring where swimmers played 1 on 1 ring tag—great work and lots of fun!
Friday 1/27- Besides our normal training sessions today the swimmers has a USADA drug education meeting at the USA Swimming Building. Great meeting and our swimmers were very active participants in this lecture session. The PM highlight was a trip to Laserquest for a great game of Laser Tag! Boys winner was Josh Anderson and girls winner was Rachel Hobbins ( who made a living shooting the coaches! ). Worst shot was a tie between Sydney Tan who only shot coaches and Quinn Carrozza who shot 1200 times and hit about 20! Went to starbucks for some social after before heading back to OTC campus.
Friday the swimmers got filmed both above water and below water with the ORCA filming system. All swimmers received dvd copies of this filming.
Saturday 1/28- 2 great training session today. The PM session included circuits made up of power towers, med ball kicking, watching own starts on a huge bigscreen with a :30 sec delay, the cable pulleys set to world record paces and then the most fun and challenging station—25 foot rope climbs. The swimmers loved all the stations but especially the relay rope climbs where they sprinted a 25 to the rope climbed it to the top, jumped down and sprinter back in. Rope Climb champions were Matt Ellis for the boys ( 5 climbs with the first one no legs ) and Rebekah Harvey for the girls with 4 full climbs!
Weights today in the amazing OTC gym as the swimmers worked along side the Olympic Fencing team and a few US wrestlers.
In between sessions today the swimmers were able to watch a world class wrestling tournament take place with Olympians like Rulon Gardner! In the PM Coach Hans booked us in a conference room where we watched all the swimmers video’s and had an interactive feedback session. Amazing input and insight from the swimmers and a very educational 75 minutes!
Sunday 1/29- We opted to combine our last training session with the Pacific All Star Team ( 24 swimmers ) from California. We did a warm-up designed by their staff and then our patented 40 x 50 ALL Day Set with the last round on :40 LCM. Very proud of our swimmers as they led 9 of 10 lanes and were extremely spirited throughout. Afterwards the Pacific coaches organized some relays and games together ( Ro-Sham-Bo ) and it was a great way to wrap up the swimming portion of the camp. Hopefully all made a few new friends as well!
We were not done yet though as Dr. G ( Genadijus Sokolovas ) who is one of the premier stroke physiologists in the world as well as the USA Coach for Olympic Pentathlon met us at the dining hall and took the swimmers to the USA Pentathlon Center for an hour of swimming stroke analysis followed by a demonstration of fencing and shooting by US Olympians. The swimmers were then split into two groups where they were tested in Olympic Shooting with targets and timers as well as fencing with all the gear and a score clock! Amazingly fun and eye opening for all of us and just a super way to wrap up the trip! In case you were wondering the best shooters were Tiffany Sudarma and Matt Ellis and best fencers were Coach Hans and Matt again.
From the training ( all LCM at altitude ), to the weights and dryland, to the awesome food served all day long, to the fun games and activities—this was a great trip and now in our second year becoming a Nitro tradition we hope to keep up yearly! Thanks to all who made it possible and special thanks to Coach Hans for taking 5 days away from his family to coach and participate!