2022 Comprehensive Starts & Backstroke Swim Camp Series!
1400 W Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067
Fitter & Faster is producing two, 2-day swim camps in Palatine, IL in June & September 2022! SAVE when you purchase a “Full Camp Bundle” for your swimmer’s age group.
COMPREHENSIVE STARTS & UNDERWATERS CAMP – June 25 & 26, 2022
DAY 1: Explosive Starts!
DAY 2: The Fifth Stroke – Underwaters
COMPREHENSIVE BACKSTROKE TECHNIQUE – September 10 & 11, 2022
DAY 1: High Performance Backstroke Technique
DAY 2: Backstroke Racing & Training Skills
Click the “Curriculum Menu” below for details on each camp! Session sizes are limited to only 24 participants to allow for the best learning experience.
Select a curriculum below
COMPREHENSIVE STARTS & UNDERWATERS CAMP! - June 25 & 26, 2022
Over 2 days, participants will work with our world-class clinicians to finesse and strengthen the fastest part of every single race: starts, underwater dolphin kicking and breakouts! This sequence is not only the fastest part of every race, but it is also the part of the race in which elite swimmers cover the most ground with the most efficiency. This camp will be led by Elite Clinician & Olympian Nick Thoman!
- DAY 1: EXPLOSIVE STARTS! (June 25): The better a swimmer’s technique is off the starting block, the more speed they will carry into the water. Day 1 of this swim camp will help your swimmer improve their start, underwater dolphin kicking and breakouts!
- Block Starts: To ensure an explosive start, a swimmer needs to set themselves up properly on the block. The elite clinicians will work with participants on the optimal positioning of your swimmer’s entire body to allow for a quick reaction time and optimal speed.
- Backstroke Starts & Water Entry: Your swimmer is going to learn and practice starting a high performance backstroke race. We’re going to work on a “clean”, fast water entry in which the athlete carries the momentum from the start into their streamline, underwater dolphin kicking and breakout.
- Relay Exchanges: In relays, reaction time is crucial! At this camp your swimmer will learn skills that the best swimmers in the world use to time the “exchange” just right! If we react too quickly, we’ll start before the other swimmer finishes - and we’ll get disqualified. If we start too slow, we can lose our positioning in a race! Learning the proper technique for a well-timed start and an explosive relay dive will make your swimmer a valuable teammate.
- Finishes: Races are won and lost by hundredths-of-a-second at every swim meet. Many races come down to the last few strokes. At this camp, your swimmer will learn techniques to set themselves up for a well-timed finish about 10 yards from the wall. A well-timed finish is also a valuable attribute for swimmers competing on relays so that the next person can time their start with precision.
- Day 2: THE FIFTH STROKE - UNDERWATER DOLPHIN KICKING (June 26): Why do elite swimmers have faster times in “short course” pools than in “long course” pools? It’s the power they’re able to generate from the walls, leading into the fastest sequence in every lap of a race: streamline -> underwater dolphin kick -> breakout!
- Streamline: The streamline - if done properly - will be the fastest a swimmer travels while in the water. Proper streamlines are even faster than underwater dolphin kicking. Even the most elite swimmers in the world are constantly working on improving their streamline. Your swimmer will get tips to improve their streamline and a better appreciation of what they need to do on every single wall in practice and in races.
- Initiating Underwater Dolphin Kicking: Elite swimmers want to maximize their streamline on every single lap. So, they don’t want to start their underwater dolphin kicking while they’re still achieving maximum speed in their streamline. They also don’t want to start the underwater dolphin kicking after their streamline has begun to slow. Your swimmer is going to learn how to time when to begin their underwater dolphin kicking.
- Powerful Underwater Dolphin Kicking: There are a few different techniques that swimmers use when underwater dolphin kicking. The common theme of these techniques is that the best swimmers kick up and down with equal power. We will show your swimmer the different techniques that elite swimmers use and teach them how to implement.
- Number of Underwater Dolphin Kicks: Figuring out the optimal number of kicks off each wall, for each race, is essential to fast swimming. Elite swimmers want to spend only the absolute necessary amount of time underwater to establish speed with each length. They want to avoid losing their breath and taking weak kicks.
- Breakouts: Many swimmers add movement within their breakout that creates drag and destroys all of the speed created during their underwaters. Participants will work on timing their breakouts to explode into each lap.
COMPREHENSIVE BACKSTROKE RACING CAMP - September 10 & 11, 2022
Over 2 days, swimmers will work with Fitter and Faster’s world-class clinicians to strengthen their backstroke technique and apply racing and training tactics that will lead to better performances in their competitions!
- DAY 1: HIGH PERFORMANCE BACKSTROKE TECHNIQUE (Sept 10): Cultivating good habits to swim high level Backstroke begins as soon as you learn the stroke. Even if your swimmer is already in high school - it’s never too late to begin practicing techniques that will drastically improve their efficiency, power and times. Today, your swimmer will work on techniques to strengthen their bodyline, catch, kick, and pull - resulting in faster backstroke races.
- Bodyline: A competitive swimmer’s bodyline is the key to fast swimming. The name of the game is to eliminate all extra movement of the body including even the slightest bobbing, wiggling. Participants will learn and practice proper posture and engagement of their core to have a strong foundation for better technique - creating a full-body connection for more hydrodynamic and efficient backstroke.
- Rotation: Backstroke is fastest and most efficient when a swimmer’s body is “rotating” around their spine with each stroke. This part of swimming Backstroke has a big effect on maintaining a proper bodyline. Participants will practice activating their core muscles to form a powerful connection from head to toe with every stroke - resulting in faster backstroke!
- Kick: A swimmer’s kick is the motor behind their Backstroke! There are obviously proper and improper ways to kick which we will review at the camp. Just as important, however, is practicing the complexities of how and when swimmers need to “shift gears” in their legs to become stronger and faster racers.
- Pull: Just like in freestyle, the pull in backstroke keeps a swimmer balanced and accelerating forward. Essentially the best swimmers are creating a paddle with every stroke. The clinicians will work with participants to establish an early vertical forearm “the catch”, enabling the swimmer to put immediate pressure back on the water. Properly completing the stroke keeps the swimmer moving forward efficiently and fast.
- DAY 2: BACKSTROKE RACING AND TRAINING SKILLS (Sept 11): On Day 1, participants practiced high performance backstroke techniques. Now, let’s leverage these skills to develop strong racing and training habits. Learning to prioritize tempo and length of stroke, while maintaining efficiency has a huge impact on maximizing speed in backstroke.
- Length of Stroke: A long stroke will enable your swimmer to “catch” and hold onto more water to propel them as they swim. Whereas, a short stroke is inefficient and not sustainable for very long. The clinicians will work with participants on this important skill for fast swimming.
- Tempo: Tempo is the rate at which a swimmer is moving their arms and legs. When sprinting short races many swimmers often tend to take too many strokes (“spin their wheels”) and not “hold onto the water”. At this camp we will explore different tempos that suit your swimmer for their backstroke races.
- Pacing/Control: A swimmer’s tempo will change depending on the backstroke race that they are swimming. It may also change at different points during the same race! Your elite clinician will teach participants how to manipulate their tempo, speed and energy at different points in a race. This is called Pacing or “Control”.
- Backstroke Starts: The fastest part of every single race is the start - that’s no different for backstroke! Your swimmer is going to learn and practice starting a high performance backstroke race. We’re going to work on a “clean”, fast water entry in which the athlete carries the momentum from the start into their streamline, underwater dolphin kicking and breakout.
- Speed Set: At the end of this session your swimmer will do a short and fast swim set to practice everything they have learned over the past two days.
START TIMES FOR BOTH CAMPS
- 11 & Under: Check in 9 AM. Camp: 9:15-11:45 AM
- 12 & Over: Check in 12:30 PM. Camp: 12:45-3:45 PM
Swimmers and parents are invited to ask the clinicians questions during a Q&A session. Gain insight into their training regimen, diet and nutrition, and recovery tactics.
WATCH THE CLINICIANS
Observe clinicians swim at full speed and demonstrate a progression of perfectly executed drills to achieve powerful, efficient and fast swimming.
PUT YOUR SKILLS TO THE TEST
Swimmers will get to practice what they've learned by taking their stroke to your top speed with some of the best swimmers and coaches in the world! They'll work on holding onto their form while challenging themselves.
Take a photo with the clinicians, get autographs, and ALL PARTICIPANTS receive a FREE Fitter and Faster GIFT!
Size matters so much less when you have great technique... and your clinician is living proof of that. At one point, Nick Thoman was known as the world's greatest short course swimmer in the world. His starts and turns were a weapon - he was shorter than most of his top competition, but HE was the world record holder in the 100 short course meter backstroke AND he is an Olympic gold medalist. Learn to weaponize great technique, no matter your size or strength, to improve at this clinic with Nick Thoman!