British Junior Squad – Portugal Training Camp
The first day and a half in camp has been a great start to our training. Settling in to the facility and the beach break on day 1 was our equivalent of getting an early wave in a heat to settle nerves and build confidence. Our first full day yesterday probably would have earned a scored of 6. Definitely a good result, but with 4 and a half days left, we are certainly looking to continue to build momentum and improve on everything we have already achieved.
Video from day 1 shot by our host here in Viana do Castelo
The squad started in the classroom for a workshop on the importance of an athlete’s body and mind in relation to surfing performance. Once the session was concluded, everyone watched the footage from the previous day on the big screen to set a mental note of what would be necessary to perform better. The group was then split into boys and girls for the beach and gym training.
After the gym introduction on the first day, which was designed to indicate the individual squad member’s personal fitness levels, today’s workout was more muscle group specific. Assistant coach Damon Beveridge concentrated on giving the junior athletes a wide variety of new exercises. He also focused on teaching a structure for a personal training session with limited use of equipment. The inclusion of a longer period of stretching at the end of the class included some positions designed to target often forgotten muscle groups during traditional stretches.
The surf training drills in the morning were concentrated on linking a combination of maneuvers together on a single wave. Head Coach Lloyd Cole put the emphasis on executing powerful bottom turns into the most critical section of the wave in the first half of the session. The second half aimed to apply this practice into a heat situation and think about scoring potential and wave selection to have the chance to be able to perform a high scoring combination.
After a short break for lunch, the whole squad returned to the beach in the afternoon to take advantage of the fun high tide wedges in front of the High Performance Surfing Centre boardwalk (www.surfingviana.com). The afternoon session introduced a slight element of fun, but focused everyone to work on a variety of different elements. Tasked with surfing heats in pairs, but with everyone in the water together, each team had to take turns to ride waves. After each wave the surfers had to paddle to each other to tag their partner before the next wave could be ridden. Points were awarded to the pair’s accumulative total over the afternoon heats.
After another long day, the squad were chomping at the bit to get warm, dry and at the dinner table for the group meal. It was with great delight that the winners of the afternoons surfing event was announced, going to the newest and smallest pairing in the squad. Sonny Perussel and Arran Strong out surfed everyone to claim victory and bragging rights over the dinner table. For the second night in a row, we finished off the day with some more birthday cake and a celebration for Bethan Lewis’s big day. With an early high tide, the squad will be up and in the water at first light tomorrow morning for another action packed schedule.
Over and Out…