22 January 2009

1st FINA World Swimming Coaches Conference

1st FINA World Swimming Coaches Conference was held from 15 to 17 January in Singapore.

Aim: To learn from the best of the best about the development of swimming and challenges and opportunities we face on a daily basis

Key points from the top coaches

Rohan Taylor (Leisel Jones's coach)
- create an environment of trust and openness
- S&C was a priority after 2006: bike, gym circuit, boxing, and olympic lifting
- 60% of training was focused on breast stroke
- recovery prescribed when adapting and cannot hold technique
- athletes' ability to switch ON and OFF

Michael Bohl (Stephanie Rice's coach)
- balance between speed and endurance
- create an environment of positive and everyone on same direction
- analyze split time

Bill Sweetenham (Former Head Coach Australia and Great Britain)
- plan = change
- 6 year plan not 4 year plan to prepare for Olympics
- take a team approach: lead to success, confidence, and positive
- winning experience not an experience
- learn from best coaches and share information
- prepare for win
- youth programme and race specific training are the keys

Norimasa Hirai (Kosuke Kitajima's coach)
- 12 years training with Kitajima
- worked on technique to minimize stroke count (from 46 strokes in 100m in 2000 to 36 strokes in 2008)
- focus on stream line, head down, timing of the kick to minimize resistance
- altitude training: 3-4 times per year (more than 20 times over 9 years)
- worked hard to go the half step ahead of the athletes


I was fortunate to be a part of a team as a Physiologist to support a Singapore swimmer Tao Li and the coach Peter Churchill. Peter also presented Tao Li's preparation to Beijing Olympics at the conference:

- created a "Team Tao Li" to have a support system with sports scientists
- used a re-breathing device to simulate altitude training
- used bright light exposure to cope with morning finals
- used daily log and RESTQ (recovery stress questionnaire) to closely monitor swimmers
- established a reference point for next major meets.

12 January 2009

YOG Olympic education programme in Singapore

Singapore 2010: education at the heart of the Youth Olympic Games@IOC

Preparations for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) gained further momentum with the launch of two new programmes: the Olympic Education Programme (OEP) and Friends@YOG.


• to build international friendship through collaboration and cultural exchanges among young people;

• to promulgate the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect;

• to cultivate among young people a global outlook, a passion for sport and good
habits that are part of a healthy lifestyle.

Olympic Education Programme (OEP)

• to have more opportunities to experience and embrace the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect.

• to better understand the diverse cultures of the world.

All schools will receive the specially designed “Living Olympism” Education Resource Package as part of the associated teaching materials. Teachers can draw on the various interesting ideas in the package to develop innovative learning activities for students to acquire knowledge about the Olympic Games and understand the Olympic spirit in a fun way.