It was a very enjoyable three days with the Spanish swim coaches at their annual convention. I read Spanish fairly well but I am very rusty on my spoken Spanish so it was very interesting attending the presentations. As long as I could read the slides I could follow along. I was able to capture bits and pieces of information that stimulated some ideas for me. Hopefully my presentations gave the Spanish coaches some food for thought. I want to thank the organizers and especially my host Pablo Terradillos Suarez for making it a great experience.
There were several presentations that stood out for me. Maria Pelaez Navarrette an Olympian several times for Spain and a European champion presented an overview of her career. It was very interesting to hear the athlete’s perspective. She was very articulate and analytic in her presentation. I would really like to see more presentations like this at coaching clinics; I think it gives the coach important insights and perspectives. There was a thought provoking presentation on the start some of which I agreed and some of which I questioned. This is an area in swimming that in my opinion has much room for improvement. I am trying to learn more about the swim start and apply what we have learned over the years in track. Jose Antonio Del Castillo Perez gave a very analytical presentation on the development of his swimmer. I really liked the way he presented the interaction of all components of training. Juan Jaime Arroyo Toledo, a Mexican coach, now at the University of Leipzig presented his research on a contemporary model of periodization sometimes called “reverse periodization.” I was able to talk extensively with Juan the night before at the banquet. I think he is right on with his concepts. I am looking forward to sharing information with him and reading his doctoral dissertation. We definitely need more investigation in this area. I really enjoyed the presentation on Dryland Training by Xavi Abalos Cuevas a young coach who is really working hard to improve his craft.
For me this was another step in my coaching journey, an opportunity to share and learn. I was honored to be able to present to such an esteemed group. I sincerely hope there is another opportunity to return some day. Muchas gracias por la oportunidad.