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Alabama Crimson Tide Swimming Camps
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We Welcome Parents: All parents are invited to observe pool practices (from the bleachers) throughout the week and we encourage parents to observe our final Friday morning presentation in the building adjacent to the pool at 8:15 AM and the pool session prior to camp check out.

Parents are also invited to two presentations on Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM in Burke Hall.

Commuter Swimmers: Commuter Campers please check in with the overnight campers on Sunday at 5:00 PM in Burke Hall. Also, plan to attend the Orientation meeting on Sunday from 5:45 PM - 6:30 PM. Please arrive at the pool at 8:00 AM each morning. A counselor will meet you on the bleachers to check in your camper. Check out each evening will be at 7:00 PM after dinner OR at 8:30 PM after the team activity in Burke Hall (Please arrive right at 7:00 PM or 8:30 PM for pickup). Commuter campers are encouraged to stay until 8:30 PM on Sunday night for team building activities.

Swimmers Departing from Birmingham Airport: Swimmers shuttle for airport will depart from the pool 10:00 AM on Friday.

Monday AM Global Concept of Brain Training Skills & Drills Working Balance
Monday PM Freestyle Skills & Drills Working on Freestyle
Tuesday AM Backstroke Skills & Drills Working on Backstroke
Wednesday AM Breaststroke Skills & Drills Working on Breaststroke
Wednesday PM Butterfly Skills & Drills Working on Butterfly
Thursday AM Turns / UW Kicking Skills & Drills Working on Long Axis Turns
Thursday PM Turns Skills & Drills Working on Short Axis Turns
Friday AM Mental Preparation Games, Contests & Prizes

Each session is designed to help each athlete understand the foundation of each element or skill.  Athletes are born with a variety of body shapes, limb lengths and sizes and strokes aren’t a one size fits all situation. Our goal is to teach each camper the foundation skills in all their strokes and skill sets so that they can then explore how their body anthropometry works for them. The Rising Tide Swim Camp is primarily a skill development camp. We endeavor to help each swimmer understand how the foundation drills work so they can in time understand how it works for them and in time reach their potential as a swimmer.   It’s my goal to know every campers name, help each camper individually, teach them what they bring to the table and to help them understand their strength’s in and out of the pool, and in doing so help them move forward with their career.

Session 1 - Global Concept of Brain Training: The brain manages everything we do, so in order to make changes, we need to understand how the brain makes adjustments and changes.  Every day in camp, I go over and over again how important focus is and illustrate on a daily basis what it takes to make the changes that will make a difference.  Step one for every camper is learning how to manage their balance in the water since their number one enemy in the pool is loss of balance.  The fraction of a section you lose balance in the water, everything you do from that point on is compromised, so the best thing is to understand how balance works, how it fits and to avoid the issue.  In a perfect world the progression in swimming should follow this path: 

  • Learn how to feel comfortable in the water.  Decrease their survival instinct
  • Learn how to balance in the water and how core based shape management aids that process
  • Learn how to propel their body using their legs
  • Learn how to move their body through water using sculling or their “wings”
  • Connecting the arms to that process
  • Begin technical endurance training
  • Begin cardiovascular endurance training
  • Begin anaerobic or race development training

We introduce them to the first 5 phases in the first session and focus on balance, line management, sculling and kicking in this session.  Granted those parents who have watched this might think it odd to see them simply working on their balance in the pool, but it’s critical that they understand how to manage their shape in the water before they can actually learn how to swim.

Session 2 - Freestyle: Foundation Drill - Kick To Swim
Paddling a Kayak and swimming freestyle follow the exact same principles. In the case of freestyle we’re teaching the swimmers how to understand that their body shape and tensile quality should be similar to a kayak, and that the leveraging process used in kayaking is almost exactly the same.  So freestyle is about propelling the body forward using the arms as leveraging tools. In camp we work on how to establish the kayak shape, how to mange their balance and then how to apply the leveraging force through their body rotation. We show them all the variations associated with how to establish an anchor or leverage position, but we don’t dictate how they do that. That’s all part of the personal exploration process.

Session 3 - Backstroke: Foundation Drill - Kick To Swim
Where freestyle is like paddling a kayak, backstroke is more like paddling a canoe. There is no rotational leveraging force in backstroke and the action is similar to canoeing in that it becomes more of a side crunching action. We teach them how to manage their canoe shape and how that differs from the freestyle kayak shape. We teach them how to kick effectively and how to connect everything together. There are less leveraging options associated with backstroke, so the foundation is fairly close to the finished product.

Session 4 - Breaststroke: Foundation Drill - Rhythm Scull
Both breaststroke and butterfly involve body harmonics and although there are subtle differences in how the harmonic is applied, the concept is the same. Everything flows out of the rhythm scull drill and we don’t move forward until every camper understands how to do it.  The key element is understanding how to use the chest press below the surface of the water to create the rhythm, and then to use the chest’s rise back (bounce) to the surface as an added power option. There are a lot of hidden sources of energy in breaststroke that very few coaches understand, so we show all of these to the campers and give them a chance to absorb them. Although breaststroke is the hardest of all strokes to command, we take our time when teaching it and find that campers usually make a huge leap forward during camp.

Session 5 - Butterfly: Foundation Drill - Rhythm Scull
Both breaststroke and butterfly involve body harmonics and although there are subtle difference in how the harmonic is applied, the concept is the same. As in breaststroke, the key element is how the chest bounce is used to establish the anchor position.The major difference is how the swimmer establishes that anchor position. From there we weave the timing of the legs and arms into the foundation drill and allow campers to establish their own unique way of managing the anchor position.

Session 6 - Long Axis Turns & Underwater Dolphin Kicking: Every camper will learn that turns are “weapons” in racing. The key is knowing how to use turns to defeat your opponents. We break the turn down into its separate parts and teach each section individually before putting it together. Main thing they will learn is that a turn involves connective tissue and doesn’t really involve the muscles. Those who know how to “pop” off the wall will always defeat those who don’t.

Underwater kicking is an element that makes or breaks performances.  There are amazing underwater kickers who are blessed with spinal flexibility, and there are swimmers who are fast underwater.  There are however no weak underwater kickers.  Everyone can learn how to do this, so we break it down into movements, and then teach it to them in a way that helps them understand how to articulate the spine in a way that creates the foundation of the movement.

Session 7 - Short Axis Turns: We isolate this turn and break it down into parts in the middle of the pool before they learn how to turn on a wall. We teach them how to be effective at turning the body without using your hands. To that end, we spend a lot of time teaching them how to turn without their hands at the surface of the water, and underwater without touching a wall.  When they can execute a spin in under .8 seconds without using their hands, short axis turns become a way to make a difference in races.

Session 8 - Race Preparation: Race preparation is divided into 3 areas. 

  • Fuel Prep - What to eat
  • Physical Prep - How to warm up
  • Mental Prep - How to get on the blocks with a prepared mindset.

We cover all these areas and provide tips that make a difference when getting ready for race day.  We also make it relative to age group swimmers and the environments they race in.  This session is one of the most important since it not only deals with racing, it deals with the athletes self-image and how to work on improving that.  We invite parents into this session so they can hear the lecture.  I make it a point to weave life skills into this section of the camp, and in many ways reinforce messages that all parents hope they get from outside experts.

5:00 PM  Camp Check-In
5:45 PM - 6:30 PM  Welcome & Orientation
6:30 PM - 7:00 PM  Dinner
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM  Team Activities
9:30 PM  Room Check-In & Curfew
10:00 PM  Lights Out
7:15 AM - 8:00 AM  Breakfast
8:15 AM - 9:00 AM  Presentation
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM  Games / Relays
10:00 AM  Check-Out
6:00 AM  Elite Workout Opportunity
7:15 AM - 8:00 AM  Breakfast
8:15 AM - 9:00 AM  Practice Preview
9:00 AM - 10:45 AM  Skills & Drills
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM  Recap
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM  Lunch & Rest
12:30 PM - 1:15 PM  Video / Practice Review
1:15 PM - 2:45 PM  Skills & Drills
2:45 PM - 3:15 PM  Review
3:15 PM - 5:00 PM  Rest / Supervised Downtime
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM  Dorm Activity / Presentation
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM  Dinner
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM  Team Activity
9:30 PM  Room Check-In & Curfew
10:00 PM  Lights Out

Rising Tide Swim Camp is open to any and all entrants (limited only by number, age, grade level, and/or gender).