2023 Springfield, VA Swim Camp Series For Ages 10 to 12!
The St. James
6805 Industrial Rd, Springfield, VA 22151
Fitter & Faster is returning to The St. James in Springfield, VA to produce three swim camps in July and September 2023! This web page is for the camps for swimmers ages 10 to 12 years old. Click here for the swim camp page for swimmers ages 13 & older.
SPRINGFIELD, VA: 2023 SWIM CAMP SERIES (Ages 10 to 12)
-> Fast Starts, Turns & More! - July 29 & 30
-> Race Strategy & Execution: 200's & 500's - September 9 & 10
-> Essentials of Sprinting - September 16 & 17
Click the “Curriculum Menu” below for details on each swim camp
-> Availability in each session is limited to ensure the best learning experience!
-> SAVE when you purchase the “Full Camp Bundle” for your swimmer!
Select a curriculum below
Fast Starts, Turns, Underwaters & More! - July 29 & 30
The momentum generated from an explosive start and turns are the FASTEST that elite swimmers are moving in a race! The more efficient, powerful and hydrodynamic your swimmer is, directly impacts their speed and distance they travel in the water before taking their first stroke! This swim camp will be led by elite clinician and Olympic Gold Medalist: Nick Thoman!
- Day 1: EXPLOSIVE STARTS, UNDERWATERS & BREAKOUTS (July 29): 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! 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Day 2: FASTER FLIP TURNS, OPEN TURNS & FINISHES (July 30): Quick, powerful turns and finishes are crucial to fast times and winning close races. The top age group and elite swimmers aren't using walls just for turning around - they are used to generate speed and momentum going into the next lap. Elite swimmers are constantly working their turns and looking for areas to improve them. Today, we're going to work with your swimmer on taking this crucial part of every race (and practice) to the next level!
- Momentum: At the elite level of swimming, walls aren’t just used for turning around - they are used to generate speed and momentum going into the next lap. Outside of the elite ranks, most swimmers stop or slow down while going into the wall, which kills their momentum! We will work with participants on the intricacies of approaching every wall at top speed and seamlessly initiating their “turn”.
- Flip Turns: Flip turns are an opportunity for your swimmers to increase momentum in the middle of a race! Flip turns in which the athletes slow down or have “mechanical” movements negatively impact the speed at which a swimmer comes off the wall. We will work with your swimmer to produce fast flip turns so that they can explode off the walls at maximum speed.
- Open Turns: Elite butterflyers and breaststrokers utilize speed from their last lap to create momentum and even more speed at the beginning of the next lap. Their open turns are actually not “turns”, but more like high-speed pivots. Participants in this session will work on these techniques to have much faster open turns!
- Streamline, Underwater Dolphin, Breakout Progression: At this session participants will continue to work on the progression covered on Day 1.
- Finishes: Setting yourself up for a fast finish is very similar to setting yourself up for a strong turn in any race. 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 when they are still about 10 yards from the wall.
Race Strategy & Execution Camp: 200's & 500's - September 9 & 10
"HOW SHOULD I SWIM THIS RACE?" This swim camp is designed to help answer that question! Participants will learn to break down their mid-distance events so that their race plan enhances their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses.
- DAY 1: Fast 200's in Any Stroke (Sept 9)
- DAY 2: Fast 500's (Sept 10)
- Distance Per Stroke: One way to increase a swimmer's efficiency is to take fewer strokes. Counting the number of strokes and improving technique to decrease that number will save energy. However, taking more strokes per length may be faster, especially in "shorter" events. Participants will work with our elite clinicians to find the appropriate distance per stroke for their 200's & 500's.
- Tempo: A swimmer's tempo is how fast or slow a stroke is completed. Having a slower tempo allows swimmers to conserve energy by taking fewer strokes, while a faster tempo is more tiring but much faster. Altering tempo based on event distance and fatigue level will help participants swim as fast as possible in their 200 & 500 events!
- Pacing: Every swimmer strategizes their 200 & 500-yard races differently! Our clinicians will demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the main pace approaches. Our elite clinicians will present different strategies for swimming mid-distance events: some swimmers focus on each 100, balancing "front end speed" and "back end speed." Experimenting and learning new techniques will allow swimmers to improve their 200's & 500's and swim confidently!
- Utilizing Splits, Intervals & Sets: Swimmers will work with our clinicians on using splits, intervals, and sets to their advantage while training. Swimmers can take their ideal race times and break them down into splits, guiding them on what times they should be hitting in practices. As they progress, swimmers can hold those times during different intervals during their sets! If you don't do it in practice, it won't happen in a meet!
- Mental Toughness: The 200 & 500 both require mental toughness, unlike any of the other events. You have to have the ability to push through the fatigue that will inevitably hit and maintain the focus required to finish strong. The clinician will give your swimmer tools to achieve and maintain a strong mindset for 200's in any event & the 500 free.
- Video Race Reference: Before you arrive at the camp, you will receive videos of world-class swimmers racing the SAME race with VERY different strategies to visually compare different tactics!
Essentials of Sprinting - September 16 & 17
Swimmers ages 12 & under are fortunate to still have 50's to race in every stroke at just about every swim meet! Now is the time for swimmers to establish and cultivate habits to swim their shorter races as fast as possible with good technique that will position them for success as they mature.
- Day 1: ESTABLISHING SPEED (Sept 16): At this session your swimmer will practice the essential components to high performance sprinting.
- Body Position: A competitive swimmer’s body position is the key to fast swimming. Most swimmers are NOT hydrodynamic in the water - and that has a big effect on how fast they “allow” themselves to swim - especially as they get older. Let’s find the right body position for your swimmer.
- Length of Stroke: Lengthening their 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: When sprinting short races young swimmers often tend to take too many strokes (“spin their wheels”) and not “hold onto the water”. At this camp we will find the appropriate tempo to maximize their own personal speed.
- Day 2: RACING SKILLS (Sept 17): On Day 2, your swimmer will apply the skills that we practiced on the first day of this camp to important segments of every sprint race, including the moment your swimmer pushes off the wall; breakouts; finishes and all out sprinting!
- Breakouts: Many swimmers add movement within their breakout that creates drag and destroys all of the power created during their underwaters. Participants will work on timing their breakouts to accelerate to explode into each lap.
- Sprinting: On Day 1 your swimmer worked on body position, tempo and length of stroke. Today we are going to apply those skills to swimming “all out” on top of the water with efficiency and power.
- Walls, Walls, Walls!: Approaching the wall at top speed in preparation for the fastest turn is vital. Swimmers will work on techniques to get in and out of every wall faster!
- Finishes: Dropping time and even winning or moving up a few spots in the results can all come down to the last stroke! A well-timed finish at full speed, with full-arm extension and head down can make a difference of up to a full second in a race! Your swimmer is going to learn how to take advantage of the finish to drop time!
- Sprinting Application: Swimmers at this session will work on applying their newly developed skills during racing scenarios. As with all the other segments of this camp, the clinicians will provide feedback for your swimmer to take home and apply at upcoming practices and meets.
START TIMES FOR ALL THREE CAMPS: Check in 9 AM, Camp 9:15-11:45 AM Suggested Participants: Our top priority is to provide a world-class learning experience for all participants at all of our camps. This camp has sessions for swimmers ages 10 to 12. Participants will range from one-year of competitive swimming experience to AAAA times and faster. If you are the parent of a child under the age of 10 and would like for your child to be considered for the younger sessions of this camp, please complete this questionnaire. Please click here if you are looking for the 13 & over camp page!
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, get autographs, and chat with your clinicians!
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!
Inquisitive, Educated Swimmers are Faster Swimmers! Sign up today!