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Sharing information Tuks Swimming and the HPC show the way

By Steven Ball

Posted on 27 April 2009

January to April have been busy months for Tuks Swimming and the High Performance Centre on the grounds of the University of Pretoria as teams from India, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Finland and Stockport, England were visiting and training at the world-class facilities.

“It has been interesting weeks for us at Tuks Swimming,” says Steven Ball, Operations and Performance Manager of Tuks Swimming. “We have been able to share information on an informal basis and learn a lot from the visiting teams. It came as a complete surprise to Roland (Schoeman) for example to find that Stockport Swimming had in-depth video analysis of his start. The way the different teams prepare and set out their training has been of huge interest to us.”

“Its obvious we would have footage of Roland (Schoeman). He is the best starter in the world, so we would want to learn from that and with him here, we can see first hand and speak to him about his methods,” said Sean Kelly, coach of the ten swimmers who has made the trip to the HPC every year for the past six years. Even with 3 Olympians in his squad, Kelly still looks to continuously learn.

With the various countries recently basing themselves at the HPC, it is clear that it has become a venue of choice for training for international teams in all sporting codes but especially in swimming. It is the perfect opportunity to use it as an opportunity to quiz the other countries of what is new and what they have found to work with their swimmers. No topic is sacred; everything from strategies, to new technology to rulings and calender planning will be discussed on a very informal Q & A basis amongst the coaches. This even included a coffee date for the coaches from the various countries hosted by the Tuks Swimming coaches where they discussed training philosophies, latest trends in swimming around the world, performance management trends and what is happening in their individual countries.

The visit of the Indian team was of particular interest to Steven. “India won 7 Medals at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games, 3 Gold, 3 Silver and I Bronze. So I was very interested in how they prepared. The interesting thing is, that no matter whom you speak to, it all boils down to hard work. There are no short cuts. From what we’ve picked up by chatting to the other coaches we’ve also realized that we are on the right track in how we prepare our swimmers. Bottom line though is that it all comes down to hard work and long term vision.”

At the end of the Indian Team visit Tuks Swimming had an unofficial time trial meeting them and the results were extremely satisfying. It also became the perfect taper for Tuks Swimming as they prepared for the National Championships in Durban from 14-19 April.

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