We would like to give a shout out to Finlay Nelson and Jessica Sproat from Stranraer Stingrays who recently joined Dumfries ASC as their second club.
Finlay and Jessica attended the Stirling NextGen camp at the start of the summer holidays. They had a fantastic time and learned a lot from their training camp.
Finlay has kindly written a blog about the camp, so he could share his experience with everyone.
Who knows, it might appeal to some swimmers in the club to take part in the future.
Thank you Finlay for your brilliant blog.
The focus of the NextGen camp is for swimmers to experience the daily routine of High Performance Athletes at University level.
When we arrived at first nobody really knew anybody else. However, all the staff and instructors made it really easy for everyone by giving us icebreaker activities.
After getting to know each other (swimmers and coaches), we were shown to our dorm and given room keys.
We were then given a tour of the campus which meant everyone knew their way about and could do this on their own.
After the tour of campus we were given time to settle in to our rooms, unpack and get our bags ready for the swim session afterwards.
The coaches told us that the sessions weren’t going to be too hard as the camp was 3 days long and they didn’t want to tire us out to early. The first swim session was the same set for everyone and it gave the coaches a chance to rate our ability.
We were then taken to Haldanes restaurant for dinner, after that taken back to our rooms to chill out and go to bed.
Breakfast was 8:00-8:45, we then went to the temporary gym for an hour long yoga class followed up by an hour and a quarter swim session which was mainly focused on all of our main or best strokes. We then went to lunch where we had a team quiz, we had already been separated into 4 teams during the icebreaker challenge on day one. The teams were:
Titanic swim team
200 fly anyone?
After lunch and the quiz, we headed back down to the pool to have a 2 hour pool session, we started off by making our own warm-ups in our teams to have them rated by the coaches on a scale of 1-10. We then worked on transitions off the block. The coaches set up a GoPro underwater which was connected to a TV, the playback had a one minute delay so we could climb out and watch it with one of the coaches to get tips for future reference. This was really helpful.
After the pool session, some of the High Performance Athletes, Duncan Scott, Ross Murdoch, Scott McLay and Stephen Milne gave us time to ask questions, sign autographs and take photos. We then got to see the swimmers in action for their own session.
After their session finished, we headed for dinner which was then followed up by watching Toy Story 4 in Stirling University’s own cinema. When the film finished, we headed back to our rooms where we had to pack up as we were leaving the next day.
On the last day after an earlier breakfast at 7:00, we split into 2 groups. While one group did yoga, the other group did strength conditioning work. We then swapped over after an hour. It was then followed up by both groups coming together to play tennis for an hour.
To finish off, before getting picked up, we had our final swim. We worked on dives to begin with and then swam relays in our 4 teams.
Before leaving we had all the parents and swimmers in one room to look at a PowerPoint all about commitment and progress. A key point to the presentation was that everyone progresses at different rates and to be patient for success.
I have never been to a swimming camp before. I really enjoyed myself because it is so easy to make new friends if you don’t know anyone when you arrive. All coaches and staff are really friendly and supportive when you need them, facilities are all really good and clean.
NextGen is an overall great experience to help you develop your swimming for the better. I feel I learned lots and will take this forward in my training.
I really hope there will be another camp to go to next year.