Article by Woosuk Kim
As ISM’s second season athletes begin the arduous journey towards IASAS in early February, the varsity swim team got a head start—a majority of the members ventured to Phuket, Thailand for a five-day swimming camp.
The swim camp is an annual event to look forward to for ISM’s swimmers, as every October break they have the opportunity to travel to the Thanyapura Sports Resort. There, the swimmers train under Olympic coaches, along with swimmers at a higher skill level. Not only did the students train in the pool, but on land as well, receiving lessons regarding nutrition, stretching, and doing various land exercises.
IASAS swimming veteran junior Jenny V. stated that highlights from this year’s trip to Thanyapura were definitely “the food and getting really good feedback from olympic coaches.” Varsity swimming Coach Hazel agreed with Jenny stating that the “opportunity to learn from other coaches and athletes, and bonding with other teammates were definitely highlights of the trip.” These professional coaches and athletes provided the swimmers with another perspective on swimming. Jenny states that “as the trainings were longer and more frequent, we mainly focused on technique but when we did have proper training it was much harder.” Coach Hazel believes that, due to the more technique-focused training, “the kids had to be more aware when they swam, something the swim team can definitely adapt to school training and will benefit the whole swim program at ISM.”
Although the trip resulted in fun memories and faster times in the water, there were definitely challenges the swimmers and coaches had to face over the five-day period. Coach Hazel states that “it was hard being able to wake up early for a day full of activities, a lot of our swimmers are not used to having two swim sessions plus land training, boot camp and stretch class in between.” Due to these continuous training sessions, Jenny found that “being consistent” was the primary challenge she had.
After reflecting upon the strenuous trip and coming back from the break as a new swimmer, Jenny highly recommends the Thanyapura experience to others as it is “very worth it, also just to spend time with the swim team.” Likewise, Coach Hazel recommends this camp to ISM swimmers as “being in Thanyapura alone makes you want to be a better athlete. The swimmers you see, all the different coaches who add more enthusiasm to training. All of us, coaches included, become better at the craft we do.”
With the valuable lessons they gathered from Thanyapura, the varsity swim team—along with the rest of the ISM community—has high hopes for the season ahead!