Know your history
Water polo is a niche sport. Many of you and your children may be new to the sport, so allow me this opportunity to shed some light. After a recent practice, I told the group that they should be proud to be a part of one of the hardest sports in the world. Some were shocked and taken aback.
“Wait, water polo is hard? Like football?”, was one remark.
It’s a slippery slope when comparing sports — there can be no winner. But, there is no argument that water polo demands a lot from its players – the conditioning, skill and strength required to play at a high level is comparable to other taxing sports. The fact that we play in the water does add another layer of difficulty (but it also means that we can play the sport for longer as there is less wear and tear on the joints).
I went on to tell the athletes about a source of pride for all water polo athletes that is captured in bronze at the gates of the LA Memorial Stadium for the 1984 Games. When the sculptor Robert Graham was asked to recreate the perfect male and female physiques for a statue, the male physique was that of the American water polo captain, Terry Schroeder. He could have chosen an athlete from countless other Olympic sports, but(t) in the end Schroeder’s physique was the winner.
The picture above is from the rear, if you’re googling and want to see the full Monty be warned that there are no fig leaves.
We are getting better at using our mesh bags at the side of the pool. Now we just have to focus on putting equipment away after we use them to avoid confusion at the end of practice. I know that a few athletes misplaced equipment on Saturday, so parents may need to check bags for additional / misplaced items. There’s also the parent’s Facebook group to help track things down.
We started using the paddles this past week. Paddles are a great way of providing the swimmer feedback (i.e. – mild discomfort) if their stroke needs adjusting. Encourage your athlete to speak to me if they experience this and we’ll see if it’s the paddle or the stroke.
Talking about equipment, I had one coach ask me if my own children had all their equipment ready for a practice. My response was, “I don’t know, I don’t pack their bags.” As parents, we have enough to worry about, your child’s bag should not be one of them.
Shout out to the JWB group for learning how to swim in a circle in record time last week. Well done. We have some mastering to do of the pace clock, but we’ll get there. This week, we’ll start on the other stokes.
We’re looking at putting together a night of racing and fun on October 21 in place of the usual practice time. Everyone will race two or three races, we’ll have some relays, some dancing, some prizes and there’s always the possibility of some pizza. There will always be a few athletes that show up expecting a regular practice, but that’s OK, just join in the fun.
This small scale event is for the Minis and the JWs.
The reason we do this is to prepare for the real thing – official swim meets.
There is a water polo tournament this coming weekend at the University of Toronto. Some of our coaches and some of our senior athletes are competing for WAVE.
This means that you may not have your regular coaching staff. Thank you to all the coaches stepping in to continue to deliver our programming.
Life is always better in the water.