A pair of local swim coaches have earned world-class training.
Earlier this month, Camana Bay Aquatic Club swim coaches Dave Bott and Caleb Miller headed to New Orleans to take part in the American Swimming Coaches Association’s 45th annual World Clinic.
The World Clinic, one of the most prestigious learning events in professional swimming, provides swim coaches from around the world with more than 300 hours of educational opportunities, including lectures, workshops and classes, while covering learning to swim through Olympic training levels.
Among the impressive roster of guest speakers during this year’s clinic were Bob Bowman, coach to record-breaking American swimmer Michael Phelps and Catherine Vogt, coach to three-time Olympic medalist Oussama Mellouli.
“The World Clinic is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for coaches from around the world to get together for learning, networking and to talk swimming,” said local coach Caleb Miller. “This was our first time attending the clinic and, as coaches, a chance to catch up on the latest teaching trends and best practices, meet other swim coaches and learn from some of the leading swim professionals in the world.”
Topics covered included athlete training, research, programme administration and operation, bio-mechanics and coaching philosophy. Among the highlights for Miller was an interactive session with Bowman, who is the North Baltimore Aquatic Club head coach. It was under Bowman’s tutelage that Phelps, the 18-time Olympic gold medallist, won five World Championship gold medals and was named American Swimmer of the Year 2001 and 2003.
Bowman also saw Phelps win eight medals, including six gold medals and two bronze, at the 2004 Olympic Games, and eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics – a feat never before achieved in Olympic history.
“Bob is truly one of the best coaches in the world. It was exciting to gain insight into his training methods and philosophies, from injury prevention to nutrition to training practices,” Miller said.
Coach Dave Bott took advantage of the clinic’s diverse schedule to learn more about dry land training.
“Dry land training is just as important for swimmers as the training that takes place in the water,” Bott said. “I recognized an opportunity to learn more about a specific training area in order to better complement what we do in the pool and sea, as well as broadening my own skills and expertise as a swim coach.”
Bott enjoyed taking part in a session on open water swimming with Vogt, the University of Southern California coach.
“Catherine spoke about her experiences training Mellouli, a long-distance swimmer, which was hugely beneficial to us as we start our preparations for the aquatic club’s annual open water swim series, taking place in February next year. Hearing how she prepares a world-class athlete for such events gave us a host of new training ideas for our swimmers, who are just starting out in open water swimming.”
The talk was particularly poignant for the Cayman coaches – Mellouli visited the Cayman Islands last year to take part in the 2012 Pirates Week 5K Swim.
“The World Clinic is renowned for its amazing speakers and serves as a great learning tool for coaches,” says aquatic club president Jeffrey Wight. “At CBAC, we are committed not only to the professional and personal development of our swimmers, but also our coaches, through on-going training and education opportunities like the World Clinic.
“I’d like to thank the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association for their continuous support of the aquatic club and for helping us to send our coaches to this great event. Dave and Caleb are now putting their learnings into practice, and I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits to our club as we continue to grow and develop.”
For more information on the Camana Bay Aquatic Club, email [email protected] or call 640-2878.