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Florida Water Polo Camp

The Florida International Water Polo Camp will take place in Gainesville from July 1 – 12 with the best of both European and American water polo

In the year of its 5th anniversary, Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) will organize for the first time a water polo camp in the US in conjunction with Gator Water Polo and with the support of the University of Florida, USA Water Polo and RF Learning.

BIWPA’s coaching staff will move to Gainesville, Florida, from July 1 to 12, leading a camp that will take place in two sessions, from July 1 – 5 and 8 – 12. For the athletes staying between the two sessions, the camp will offer tourist and cultural activities in the Florida area.

The work of the technique, individual tactics and decision-making will be the central aspects of a camp where athletes from all over the world will be able to share their passion for water polo while having a great time. The camp is open to players from around the world between 12 and 18 years old and will take place at the Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) 50-meter outdoor pool. Undoubtedly, a unique opportunity to upgrade your game and meet athletes from around the world in an incredible international experience.

Campers will stay at the Holiday Inn University center hotel, located next to the University of Florida and just a 5-minute drive from the pool.

The best staff

The coaches from BIWPA will be headed by its Academy’s Sports Director and current head coach of CN Sabadell, Quim Colet. Colet was assistant coach of the Spanish national team at the Beijing and London Olympics and head coach of the junior national team, winning one gold and two silver medals.

The coaching team will be completed by Ferran Pascual, current player and coach of CN Rubi and the BIWPA Academy; Sarah Lizotte, American player, captain of CE Spain’s top division team Mediterrani; and Yuri Colet, current head coach at CN Poble Nou and the BIWPA Academy. The University of Florida head men’s water polo coach., David Huelsman, will also be part of the staff.

There are already athletes signed up from seven different countries around the world- from Europe (Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic) to Australia and South Africa, as well as North America (USA and Canada). Registration is still open for both sessions.

Clinic for coaches running alongside

BIWPA will offer throughout the two weeks of camp a clinic designed for coaches, mainly aimed at coaches from the Florida area and bordering states. The clinic will offer the possibility to club coaches to attend the camp with a group of players from their team and learn the best from European water polo training methodology.

Although our Water Polo Summer Camps ended a couple of weeks ago, many parents and kids have wanted to take the end of the holiday to give us their opinion about their stay at our campus. Our Water Polo Summer Camps have been a success, and we are delighted with the beautiful words that many participants have shared with us. Among all, we have chosen some so you may know about what it’s like to train with BIWPA.

And for those who have not been able to send your impressions, we invite you to make a comment at the bottom of this page, we want to know how was your stay with us!


“You learn a lot of new things very quickly and is a great mix of fun and water polo. The only thing I would change is to spend more time on campus, it has been an unforgettable experience.” Frederik, 16, Denmark.

“Everything in the BIWPA’s Water Polo Summer Camp is high performance, even the coaches.” Rafa, 15, Brazil.

“The workouts have been impressive on a technical level. BIWPA’s Water Polo Summer Camp is pure perfection.” Alberto, 14, Spain.


“Lauren has had a wonderful time on campus. The coaches, boys and girls of the campus and the opportunity to play with older teams has been amazing. It has been a magical experience that Lauren will not forget.” Joan, father, UK.

“I want to thank BIWPA to organize such a wonderful and such a professional and caring experience. Frederik spent the best week of his life, and now only talks about BIWPA, their coaches, Barcelona and water polo. I’m sure this will not be the last time Frederik participates in a BIWPA’s program, and I will share the BIWPA experience on our water polo club as much as I can.” Christian, father, Denmark.

“I want to thank BIWPA staff for the interest and care they’ve taken with Iason and Kimon. Together they have created a friendly atmosphere that has contributed to the success of the campus. Kimon and Iason are already preparing their participation for next year.” Manolis, father, Greece.

“Miquel has come delighted with BIWPA experience, the level of training has been intense (more exercises in the water, longer and at a higher performance) and has loved to see the Spanish women’s water polo.” Antonio Martin, father Spain.

Our Water Polo Summer Camps  will start in only a few weeks in Barcelona, and players from all over the world have enrolled on them! It will be an international campus, so BIWPA will offer you the opportunity to complete your water polo summer camps, with Spanish or English lessons taught by native teachers.

For this Water Polo Sumer Camps we expand our team with two great professionals: Cristina Sotés and Doina Bird. Both of them, along their extensive knowledge of the language, are closely linked to the water polo world.

Doina Bird, English teacher

doina bird

Born in Washington DC, Doina Bird works as an English teacher since 1981. She has a degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona (UB). She  has also studied at the University of Salamanca, the American College of Barcelona, Georgetown University  and George Washington University.

Since 2008 she has been the teacher of the course for Children and New Technology in the Family Law Master’s Degree at the UB. And she has been the Coordinator of the Barcelona International Audiovisual Festival from 2004 to 2013.

Her passion for the sport began when she was young, in Vermont (USA), where she was part of the Ski Team of The Putney School. A few years later, in Barcelona, ​​she participated in two premier sport events. She was the interpreter of the male teams for the 1991 Water Polo World Cup in Bernat Picornell Pools; and she also was the interpreter for water polo teams from the U.S. and USSR in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Cristina Sotés, Spanish teacher

cristina sotes

Cristina Sotés will be the Spanish teacher. She has a degree in Spanish Philology, Language and Literature, from the University of Barcelona. She has thirty years of teaching experience, most of them in Lleó XIII Barcelona School, which was ​​pioneered in combining studies with high-level sport.

Sotés practiced swimming and was also a water polo player. When water polo didn’t exist as a state sport, she was part of the first Catalan National water polo team, with which she competed internationally. She also played for Club Natació Catalunya, a team that dominated the Water Polo Spanish League during most of the early years of this sport in Spain.

She is the mother of two elite water polo players. Her daughter, Iria Esteller, was Spanish swimming champion in categories and she was third in the water polo junior European Championships. Her son, Joel Esteller, is a water polo player from CN Barcelona and he was the top scorer in the 2013 Water Polo Spanish League.  Recently he also disputed the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin with the absolute male water polo team.

Both teachers have an excellent curriculum and both of them understand the importance for young athletes to balance between their sport life, their academic rigor and their emotional development.

We will also keep this balance in our Water Polo Summer Camps. Doina and Cristina ‘s classes and are designed to make you improve your level of languages, but also to make it easier for you to make friends from all different countries and  enjoy, even more, the experience of living a summer in Barcelona with BIWPA.

If you want more information of the Water Polo Summer Camps or our English and Spanish classes, take a look at the campus program  or you can write us to  See you in Barcelona!

If you’d like to learn BIWPA´s methodology to help improve water polo players’ level, this is your chance!

Due to the high demand for an internship program at BIWPA, you’ll now be able to learn first hand the development of our methodologies through a one-week internship program during our Summer Camp at the CAR in Sant Cugat.

You’ll be able to learn the ropes in the development of methodologies used by Spanish coaches, of international recognition, that have had an immediate influence on the Spanish water polo training systems.

This methodology started at the Professional Masters in High Performance Team Sports taught by Paco Seirulo, Xesco Espar, Marcelí Massafred, and Joan Solé.

The MBA teaches the theory of integral training applied to team sports and used by Spanish coaches of a diversity of sports, like: Pep Guardiola in soccer, Xavi Pascual in handball, Ignacio Coque in basketball. In water polo, coaches like Rafa Aguilar (Technical Director of the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation), Dani Nart (CN Terrassa), Joan Colomer (BIWPA coach), Betu Fernández (CN Mataró) and Quim Colet (Tecnical Director of the Catalan Swimming Federation) that have introduced this methodology in the last 10 years and that other coaches have followed.

entrenadores internship
This particular methodology represents a different way of thinking where different decisive factors interact, such as: cooperation, oposition and decision-making, to name some, are the specific characteristics of team sports. Any coach that knows this philosophy, very well known in the Spanish water polo, will not only improve your team’s performance but it will also make you different from other coaches that have not learned this philosophy and as a result cannot apply it.

This is your chance to learn first hand how these trainings are thought out, planned and developed!

The only thing you have to do is come to our Summer Camp and sign up for our internship where you’ll work side by side with BIWPA coaches and actually apply everything you are learning as you go.

During these practices you will live the day by day of the tecnicality trainings at the CAR in Sant Cugat and you will work head to head with our coaches, making this, and incredible and unique experience!

Sign up NOW!

Our Easter Camp 2014  has finished with a great success. Athletes, children and their parents have told us their impressions after their participation in our Easter Camp 2014. Of all, we’ve chosen some to give you an idea about how was the first water polo camp at BIWPA.

Let’s start with the elite athletes who have join us. Felipe Perrone, Anni Espar and Anna Copado attended the campus and offered various water polo master classes to our guys.

‘During these days I could see how the children have learned the different concepts with ease. This proves that this campus is very positive for their sport growing. I think all parents can be sure of their children have had contact with the high level water polo, as well as they have built friendships and experiences that they will remember forever ‘- Felipe Perrone, international player with the Spanish team, and Easter Camp 2014 ambassador. –

‘Biwpa’s camp is a unique opportunity to train in the environment where the best athletes in the world train. Train at CAR makes children understand what means to have a top-level sport daily routine and life. For me it was great to join the kids in the water. I thoroughly enjoyed helping them to improve their tactics. I loved their enthusiasm. ‘ -Annie Espar, water polo world champion with the Spanish team and Easter Camp 2014 ambassador. –

‘The idea of the academy was very interesting, but see how it really works was great. Being part of the Easter Camp was a great experience, and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many female presence. I want to highlight the illusion of boys and girls, and also all the work and the passion that the organization and the coaches have had to develop the programs and training session. ‘ -Anna Copado, Olympic Games medalist in London-


Parents of the children enrolled in the Easter Camp also were very satisfied. We have received numerous calls and e-mails to congratulate us.

Our son Antxon, has completely enjoyed the campus, and it has been profitable for him. He made friends, has practiced English and now he boasts with his teammates about the trainings with the Spanish team players. He wants to apply what they learn in the next game of Waterpolo’– Iñaki, father, Basque Country. –

‘The experience had been unforgettable for Toni. Mi son has been delight with the training method, the coaches, the facilities, etc. He explained that Mr. Perrone was very friendly with the kids, something to be welcomed in someone as popular and important in the water polo world. He also told me that a sports store opened on a Saturday just for the campus guys. What a treat! -Tina, mother, Majorca. –

‘The facilities are excellent for athletes development, whatever their specialty is. All athletes would dream with them. We feel as very positive complement the conferences included in the program; especially the talks about feeding, the values ​​to be pursued and also about the idea that it is possible to combine your studies with an intensive sport routine.’ – Jose Mª, father, Canary Island. –

‘We loved the organization: the kids are all day doing activities and achieving great friends. Also, they return at home happy because they have been in contact with professional water polo players and because they have learned and improved their level of the sport that they love ‘. -Tere, mother, Valencia. –

‘Sara won the prize for Most Valuble Player this weekend at the San Diego Cup. Her team won silver, or second place. I want to thank her wonderful BIWPA coaches of CAR. Her experience shows the wonderful effect they have had on her confidence and her water polo skills.’ -Jessie, mother, California.-


And at last, but not least, the testimony of the real protagonists: our boys and girls.

‘I’ve learned a lot of technique and tactics through the three coaches: Joan Colomer, Xavi Balaguer, and Yuri Colet . The method was very interesting because in the afternoon sessions we applied what we had seen that morning in lectures and videos ‘. -Jan, Catalonia, 13 years old.-

‘The campus was great, and the CAR facilities are amazing. I enjoyed knowing and communicating with children from other countries, it was funny . If what you want is to learn more about water polo and improve your level, I would definitely recommend it .’ -Aris , Greece , 16 years old –

‘The relationship with mates was great, and we are still in touch, we have a good friendship. I especially liked the meetings with professional players. Training with Felipe Perrone was amazing. He was very friendly at all times . He taught us and we learned so much , I loved to meet him. ‘– Luis , Valencia, 17 years old-

In general, the comments, e-mails and calls are for congratulate or thank us. We also want to thank you all who have been part of the first BIWPA Easter Camp. Without you, It would not have been possible.

And if you didn’t come, remember that there are many other BIWPA programs waiting for you. And also, we’ll have two  Water Polo Summer Camps this year.  We hope to see you there!

As you may already know, BIWPA‘s intensive Easter Camp will be held in the CAR Sant Cugat (Barcelona) facility during the holidays of the 2014 Easter.

In previous publications, we have spoken about the benefits that the BIWPA Easter Camp has to offer, as trainings are held in one of the most technologically advanced training facilities in the world.

Anni Espar and Felipe Perrone, icons within the international water polo community, have accepted to be our ambassadors of the Easter Camp.

The purpose behind this new post is to inform you about the content of the BIWPA training sessions, to deepen your understanding of our organisation, and have you meet the technical team directing its development.

Lets start by introducing our training systems directed by the excellent facilities, staff, and methodology.

WP Easter Camp 2014

Methodology and Philosophy

At BIWPA, we apply a methodology with real results: a renowned integrated training. The objective is to put players in the same conditions that would arise in their competition. This means exposing them to real-life game situations where they learn to respond and react in successful ways.

In essence, integrated training incorporates real game situations into a training session that not only recreates them physically but psychologically.

In fact, this methodology has already been applied by coaches and trainers of team sports in Barcelona; trainers Paco Seirul·lo, Valero Rivera, Xesco Espar, Pep Guardiola, Marcel.lí Massafret or Rafael Aguilar .

These competitive simulations – more or less complex-, allow the player to increase their response time and physical and mental fluidity in the water. Obviously, the level of difficulty in these simulations will increase depending on the different factors involved and their interaction.

In addition, training situations are varied and evolve from exercises and analytical situations, to more global situations.

This methodology will allow us to discover, improve and develop, technical, tactical, physical and psychological elements of the game so that each player can enhance their contribution to the team. At the same time, it allows the player to optimise their individual skills, while improving fitness.

To understand the overall philosophy of the BIWPA methodology you must understand that it is based on the ‘integral training’, but which also applies another crucial concept: the name ’the momentary action of a player’.

The ‘moment of the act’, is a way of understanding the collective sport through the player. The moment of action is what could be considered as reaction – technique and tactic – of a player, facing a given situation (x) in the water.

It is known that within the process of a player’s reaction, three phases are distinguished: perception and analysis; decision making; and finally, execution.

It is a combination of psychological and physical factors that generates a player’s action with more or less success.

BIWPA’s system is very aware of these three phases (individually and collectively), and develops them through different levels of difficulty, both in simulations, as in the rest of the sessions we offer.

Water polo femeni

Program and Technical Team

With regards to the daily routine, the first day will realise tests to coordinate participants and organize them into groups by playing ability, not by age.

All the athletes of BIWPA’s Easter Camp, each day will have: 2 hours specifically dedicated to water polo; 1 hour of dry land fitness and anatomical adaptation; and 1 session of video regarding their technical development.

In addition, there will be specific water polo sessions aimed at different aspects of the game: defense; positional attack; counter attack and counter attack defines; and man up and man down.

The success of this all encompassing program offered by BIWPA would not be possible without the team – capital letters – that will develop and direct it. The team is formed by: Xavi Balaguer, Technical Director of the camp; Joan Colomer, trainer; and Yuri Colet, 2nd coach. Let’s learn a little more about them!

Xavi Balaguer, our Director technical Easter Camp, grew up in the División of Honor, first playing in professional Catalan clubs. He passed through the CN Sabadell, CN Sant Feliu or Waterpolo UAB; the same teams that then would develop his technical career – since the beginning of the 1990s.

easter camp

Xavi Balaguer

As a coach with CN Sabadell, Xavi Balaguer has: 3 titles of women’s League, two cups from Copa de la Reina, a title of runner-up in the Copa del Rey and the other in the Supercopa of Spain, both with the men. In addition Balaguer has trained a multitude of international water polo players.

Already in developed technically, it laid the foundation of the current womens team who later became European champions, winning in 2011, constituting the first female League Champions of the Spanish water polo.

Balaguer explains his vision of the Easter Camp: ‘ the water polo Easter Camp is an innovative addition that helps fill a gap in our water polo development as a country. It has the best resources, both human and infrastructure. It is an exciting project. During the first day we will test the players abilities in order to divide them into training groups and adapt the technical tasks to be carried out on the basis of the level and not at the age. I want to bring my experience and expertise to this project’.

In addition, we have, Joan Colomer, a trainer who became the technical director of the Federació Catalana de Natació. Colomer is engraved in the CN Premia‘s history as the coach who led several lower division groups into division of honor (93-99 seasons i 2007-2012).

Joan Colomer Easter Camp

Joan Colomer

Joan Colomer is well known trainer known for spotting some of the greatest talents in water polo. He has participated in other projects as a high performance coach in the technical center of the FCN, in the residence Blume (1999-2005); and now we are fortunate to have him in at the 2014 BIWPA Easter Camp. Joan commented that: ‘ BIWPA is a way to bring innovative ideas into our sport and allows you to cultivate and develop great players. It is great to see such progress ‘.

Currently, Yuri Colet is the coach of the team of the youth women’s water polo team in A. E. Santa Eulalia. He played water polo in the categories of EC Mediterrani and has now fully dedicated his expertise to the teaching of water polo. Short over twenty years old, his responsible character and profound knowledge of the game has already lead him to a team like the the womens team of Club Natació Sant Andreu, where he was assistant coach (2010-2013 seasons). At Sant Andreu, he coached the categories Cadet and juvenile female.

Yuri Colet waterpolo

Yuri Colet

The level of demand and the Yuri’s dedication to the sport are contrasted with his youth; but with experience now accumulating, Colet represents a great and valuable technical reinforcement, for the coach and all participants.

Yuri states, ‘ I’ve been a player and I know the game. Now I am highly familiar with all aquatics training and I don’t think that there is anything that comes close to the Easter Camp. Its singular. For me, it will be a good opportunity to see other players and to reaffirm myself as a technician. I know good players when I see them and I am just excited to teach what I love more than anything: water polo.

Easter Camp 2014 has all the resources to be an exceptional camp: excellent facilities, cutting-edge methodologies and a great, great, team.

Balaguer, Colomer and Colet form a perfect equilateral triangle perfect; they are a disciplined, versatile and make up a talented technical team.

So good news for all the community, Easter Camp 2014: the participation of these professionals is a taste of the level that the camp can offer along with its strong commitment to training a new generation of water polo.

Anni Espar Llaquet (Barcelona , January 8, 1993 ) is one of the most valuable players in water polo’s world water; for that reason she was chosen as the best European player of 2012 by the LEN.

She started to play, when she was very young, at CE Mediterrani.  Then she combined swimming and water polo training, because Mediterrani makes children play both sports, until the kids grow up and choose one of them.

At that time, Anni also played basketball at school so she was playing three sports at once. But at 14 years she was in turning point:  she was offered the chance to train in the  Sant Cugat’s CAR  with a grant from the FC de Natació, so definitively she choose water polo as her sport.

In season 2009/2010 signed for the  CN Sabadell team, with sham she won all major titles : several Queen’s cups, 3  Spanish and a European Super Cup. An enviable list of triumphs which proves the high level of  this young water polo player .

Currently and since 2010, the Catalan plays with the Spanish international selection. At this category, Anni was proclaimed world champion at the 2013 Barcelona World Championships, and she also have been silver medallist in the 2012 Olympic Games, where her involvement was decisive to achieve so successful medal.

With the Spanish U-20 team, Anni won the gold medal at the 2011 Junior World Championships , and she also won the silver in 2013 , which was a new sample of  this talented athlete.

In the 2012/13 seasons, she won a scholarship to study at the University of Southern California in the U.S., where she joined the USC Trojans water polo team, which has been proclaimed as the NCAA’s champion team in 2013.


Anni Espar, Silver medal in London 2012

Anni Espar’s successful athletic career, along with her human qualities, makes this player an exceptional ambassador for the BIWPA’s Easter Camp, the water polo campus which will be held during the Easter holidays in the CAR . Nobody like her to explain, convey and support the essential role that these type of initiatives,  such as the Easter Camp’s program or the  CAR, play on many of the best water polo players’ careers .

Anni told us: ” One of the best times of my life was certainly my unforgettable stay in Sant Cugat’s CAR. It was a unique experience and highly recommended. The environment around you is nice, both the treatment of coaches, teachers, like other colleagues or athletes. The values ​​I learned during that time have helped me to grow as a better player and person. The possibility to combine studies with sport is great, but it’s even better when you learn from it and enjoy it.

I want to thank BIWPA for this great initiative, which will not only promote our sport, but also to provide an opportunity for many people to live this good experience, that I’ve lived. ”

Anni Espar

Anni, Gold medal in BCN 2013

Definitely, at BIWPA’s we are all proud and honored to have the support of one of the greatest water polo players, not only in Spain also in the world. Thanks Anni, we cannot imagine a better ambassador for our Easter Camp than you.

There isn’t an exact formula to achieve athletic success. However, many of the great water polo champions share a common denominator: the High Performance Centre of Sant Cugat (Centro de Alto Rendimiento de Sant Cugat, CAR).

The CAR was established in 1987, shortly before of the arrival of the Olympics in Barcelona, in the year 92. ¿And which is CAR’s goal? To be a specialized training center for Spanish athletes who play Sports -considered- minority.

With this leitmotif, and 25 years later, the CAR has become a benchmark as high performance centre internationally. More specifically it has been, and it is currently, essential to promote water sports, especially synchronized swimming and water polo.

Much of the CAR Sant Cugat’s prestige comes from its modern and customized training methodologies. It also has the most advanced facilities and a 360º staff for the athletes. All the staff members work with a single goal: enhancing the natural talent of each player to achieve the excellence, and simultaneously, to optimize his contribution to the team which he or she belongs.

For this reason, the CAR has recently opened a new module which include, among other facilities, 3 pools that cover all the needs for a High Performance training. This pools also incorporate the latest audiovisual and sound technology systems (also underwater systems), to analyze the specific technical and tactical training aspects of each player.

Now BIWPA (Barcelona International Water Polo Academy) gives you the opportunity to live the experience of training in the same resort where Anni Espar or Felipe Perrone has trained.


Anni Espar

Biwpa hosts the first Easter Camp designed by and for water polo players. Easter Camp is a golden opportunity for those who want to enjoy a different vacation during the Easter period, participating in a unique water polo camp, with players from different countries and adding the infinite attractions that just a city as Barcelona can offer.

There are different dates for Easter holidays, depending on the country or the region that you’re from, so BIWPA offers 2 different options:

• April, from the 14th till 20th

• April, from the 21st till 27th

BIWPA uses a cutting-edge training method that improves water polo player skills (individual technique and tactics), and it also includes emotional development and mental strength training.

These methods will be conducted by professionals with proven experience at national and international level; the camp will take place in one of the best European facilities, and our two ambassadors will also visit the Easter Camp, Anni Espar and Felipe Perrone .


Felipe Perrone

Registration is now open and the feedback has been very positive. As soon as preparations for the campus advance, we will tell you everything that happens in this blog, on our Facebook and on Twitter.

Until then, and if you want to know more details, we invite you to take a look at the BIWPA’s web, particularly at Easter Camp program .

This way you will understand that Easter Camp is not another campus over water polo, it’s the opportunity to develop the technical skills of water polo for a week, and in the best environment that you can imagine.

Pep Marí, psicólogo deportivo

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.