All posts in Waterpolo USA

BIWPA reaffirms its presence in the United States with a camp in Florida, clinics in California, the Junior Olympics and the arrival of USA Water Polo cadet teams in Barcelona

It is nothing new that the connection between BIWPA and the United States has been very strong since the very beginning of the project. Without going any further, the first athlete who joined the Academy led by Quim Colet was from the US.

Five years later, in the 18/19 season, the Academy has had a total of 15 American athletes. Seven of them have been in Barcelona for a minimum period of one semester and have been able to compete with a club team in the local club league.

In addition, in 2018, a combined team with local and international Academy athletes participated for the first time in one of the reference tournaments in California, the KAP7 International Tournament.

However, summer 2019 clearly represents a turning point in the presence of BIWPA in the US. Here are the four major activities that BIWPA has performed on American soil this summer:

WATER POLO CAMP IN FLORIDA

California takes up a great deal of the water polo in the US. That is why BIWPA wanted to bring its methodology and training in an area that is hungry for water polo. And the result has been outstanding. A two-week camp in Gainesville (Florida) with almost 140 athletes from 12 countries and eight US states.

The objective? To provide players between 12 and 18 years old with tools to improve their individual technique, focusing on the fundamentals and decision-making. The signature of the BIWPA coaching staff, combined with the good predisposition of the Gator Water Polo club, were the key to success.

Florida International Water Polo Camp 2019

Florida International Water Polo Camp 2019

CLINICS IN CALIFORNIA

With a similar philosophy as during the Florida camp, BIWPA coaches also gave several clinics throughout the California area. The California Clinics Tour spread the BIWPA methodology across La Jolla, San Diego, Los Altos, Walnut Creek and Commerce, with more than 100 athletes among all locations.

BIWPA Clinic (NORCAL)

BIWPA Clinic (NORCAL)

FIFTH YEAR AT JO’s

For five times in a row, Barcelona Water Polo Academy attended the world’s largest water polo tournament. With a booth located in the central pool, the Woollett Aquatics Center, BIWPA promoted its team training camps, camps, tournaments and, more importantly, its core program, the Academy. A unique opportunity for high schoolers to study and play water polo in Barcelona.

A total of 860 teams of all age groups participated for eight days in the Junior Olympics organized by USAWP.

BIWPA booth at JO's 2019

BIWPA booth at JO’s 2019

THE USAWP ODP, IN BARCELONA

For the first time ever, the USAWP Olympic Development Program is coming to Barcelona. The ODP is program to identifying and developing athletes to represent USAWP in domestic and international competition.

The so-called “Futures”, the Men’s and Women’s Cadet National Teams will train and compete with two combined BIWPA teams. They will do it in an Olympic facility such as the Montjuïc Municipal Pool from August 4 to 11.

USA Water Polo ODP (Global Wave Inc)

USA Water Polo ODP (Photo credit: Global Wave Inc)

Alejandra Aznar USC

After clinching gold and the MVP trophy at the European Youth Water Polo Championships with the Spanish national team, Alejandra Aznar moved to the United States in the 2018-19 season. The young and talented leftie (2000) is one of the great hopes of the future and present of the Spain’s senior team.

In the current Academic year, Aznar has played for one of the top universities on the West Coast of the United States, USC Los Angeles. She finished runner-up in the women’s water polo national championship and also with her club team in Spain, CN Sant Andreu.

 

How has your experience been in the United States?

I have learned a lot. Living far from home and alone, with a different language and country is not easy… In terms of water polo, there are many different things in comparison to Spain.

 

Why did you decide to take your first college year in California?

The truth is that juggling academics and water polo is very easy in the US. Playing and studying in the same place makes it very convenient. Also, when I finished high school in Barcelona I wanted to start a new experience far from home, and now that I’m young I think it’s the best moment.

 

How would you rate this year in the US together with your teammate in Sant Andreu, Mireia Guiral?

She is my best friend and the truth is that things have been much easier with her, because I knew I could count on her in case there were bad moments. Even though I never had to face any tough time, it was always good to have her at home after training on when I needed a break.

 

The next season is prior to the Toquio Olympic Games … Will you stay in USC or home?

Next year I will continue with my club team in Barcelona, CN Sant Andreu. Next year there will be many calls-up and trainings with the national team in preparation for the Olympic Games, that’s why I think I really need to be home.

 

What is your main objective at the sports level for the season 19-20?

Being able to make it for the last calls-up with the national team and take advantage of these practices to learn and improve.

 

How do you see the Spanish team? Do you see yourself with possibilities to enter the team and maybe go to the Olympic Games?

It’s very difficult and on top of that they have reduced the number of players permitted in the squad. It is still early to draw conclusions, but what I can assure is that I will train the hardest I can to make it until the last trainings.

 

Do you plan to return to the United States at some point during your college period?

I think this is something I have in my mind. The truth is that I adjusted quite well to the California lifestyle and I like pretty much everything about living in the US.

 

How different is American water polo compared to Spain?

In the US everything is very planned and marked, all teams do a lot tactical work, specially where I’ve played (USC). Referees call kickouts very easily in the center position, so you have to be very focused in the defence. I also think there’s more contact here when playing.

 

In what aspects do you think you stand out more than other local players due to the fact that you have trained in one of the water polo capitals of the world?

I think that technique is the most important skill that I have practiced since I started playing water polo, both in my club teams in Barcelona and also in the high performance center CAR Sant Cugat. I think that’s not something in the US people focus on that much.

 

Undoubtedly, Spain is one of the top countries in women’s water polo. Still, the United States team seems unbeatable. Why do you think that happens?

I think they are physically ahead of the rest of the teams. I also think that they have very good technique, but I believe the physical aspect is what makes the difference.

 

What would you highlight the most about how to train and play in California?

As I said, teams prepare a lot every game. When I arrived, they gave me a folder to write down the plays and the planning of each game. During the week you already know what plays we will do in each quarter and how we will defend in the weekend game.

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.

KAP 7 International Tournament

BIWPA’s men’s under 18 team is off to the USA to compete in the KAP 7 International Tournament, in Southern California.

 

One of the most prestigious water polo tournaments in the USA, the KAP 7 International Tournament, will welcome for the first time a team from Spain. The event is aimed at teams from 10U to 18U and will be hosted by Irvine Water Polo Club (Kahuna). On its 9th edition, it will be held from February 10th to the 11th.

Barcelona International Water Polo Academy will travel to the USA with a team formed both by players from the Academy and other players from several Catalan and Spanish clubs, as well as some international teams. BIWPA’s presence in the USA has been usual during the previous years, but it will be the first time that BIWPA takes part with a team in a water polo event based in the USA.

The Academy has attended the Junior Olympics three times to share information about the water polo program in Barcelona, Spain. Last summer 2017 was the first time BIWPA organized an on-site activity in the USA, which consisted of two clinics in two different locations: Cathedral Catholic High School and Helix Charter High School, both in California.

Apart from the two days that the KAP 7 Tournament will last, the BIWPA team have several activities scheduled. They will have morning practices at Long Beach State University, whereas in the afternoon they will take part in scrimmages with four different clubs: Vanguard Aquatics, Socal Water Polo, SET Water Polo and Long Beach Shore Aquatics. The BIWPA Academy team, which will be coached by Quim Colet, Yuri Colet, Ferran Pascual and Dani Gómez, will spend nine days in the United States, from February 4th to the 12th.

In parallel to the KAP 7 International Tournament, the team based in Barcelona, Spain, will have the chance to experience other kind of activities outside of the water polo sphere. Since they will be in California, they will also have the chance to visit the awesome Universal Studios and attend an NBA game at the Staples Center between LA Lakers and Oklahoma.

KAP 7 International Tournament

 

Below is a list of the players and coaches that are part of the expedition:

  • Eric Domínguez, CN Molins de Rei and BIWPA Academy
  • Jordi Gascón, CN Catalunya and BIWPA Academy
  • Víctor Andrade, CN Molins de Rei and BIWPA Academy
  • Álvaro Alcaide, CN Montjuic and BIWPA Academy
  • Eugeni Sales, CN Poble Nou and BIWPA Academy
  • Miquel Navarro, CN Sant Feliu and BIWPA Academy
  • Miquel Martín, CN Rubí BIWPA. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Vouliagmeni tournament
  • Miguel A. Suárez, CW Marbella. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Novaky tournament
  • Frederic Vaquer, Campusesport. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Novaky tournament
  • Joel Galindo, CN Ciudad de Alcorcón. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Turbo Cup
  • Aarón García, CN Jerez. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Turbo Cup
  • Yoshi Saito, North Harbour WP. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Turbo Cup
  • Biel Segura, CN Terrassa
  • Pol Prat, CN Molins de Rei

Technical Staff BIWPA:

  • Quim Colet
  • Ferran Pascual
  • Yuri Colet

Technical Support:

  • Dani Gómez (CN Rubí)
Thacher Scannell
Keeping up with our athletes – is a new segment we have started in order to see how our athletes go on to succeed after they have experienced their time with BIWPA. We have had the privilege to stay in touch with most of our athletes and we want others to see how they reflect back on their experience as well as apply it to their current careers. Athletes discuss how BIWPA has helped shape them into the athletes they are today and as individuals both inside and out of the water. Here is Thacher Scannell’s story!

 

Hey Thacher, how’s it going?

Pretty good and you?

 

I’m good thanks! Thank you for taking the time again to have a chat with us regarding your BIWPA experience and how you are doing. I’ll first start off by asking you basic questions just so the readers know a little bit more about you. Is that fine?

Yes, that’s fine.

 

First things first, tell me where you live and what team you currently play for?

I currently live in Stanford, Connecticut which is in the northern-eastern part of the United States. The club I currently play for is Greenwich Aquatics which is just on the next town over. My high school team is called the, “Brunswick Bruins”, which is a private school that I go to. I am currently finishing my senior year at Brunswick.

 

Thacher Scannell Team

Brunswick Bruins team

 

Taking it a step back, when did you start to play water polo? Give us a little bit of your background with water polo.

I started playing water polo around the age of 9 or 10 and I got involved with it because of my previous club that had a swim team. I had been swimming for a while when I decided to try water polo for the first time and I really enjoyed it and I went from that.

 

What position do you play?

I pretty much play anywhere around the perimeter, but I don’t play the centre forward position or the goalie of course. I am also a right-handed player. I’m a lefty in terms of writing things down, but with sports and water polo, I use my right hand. Being able to use both hands for different things, I have been able to develop my lefty game too, so I am a little bit of both to be honest.

 

What are you taking in high school or is there anything in particular that you know you want to do in college?

We don’t really have any majors in high school, at least in my private school, I know some schools do, so we take general courses. I am pretty interested in the sciences and working with money and stuff. I may want to be a banker or go into the banking industry one day. I am still unsure.

 

Have you started to apply to some colleges yet?

We are looking various schools that have water polo programs, but also with swimming, so my parents and I are looking at those. However, the deadline isn’t until a couple of weeks so we haven’t applied quite yet.

 

Do you have some specific in mind for water polo?

Although I might be going to college for swimming, for water polo, I have been talking to Pomona College in Claremont, California. It is part of their five-school system there. They also have one of the USA men’s national team coaches there as their head coach, Alex Rodriguez, so that would be a great learning experience for me.

 

Do you also swim at the same time that you play water polo?

Yeah, it depends on the season that I focus on mainly. In the fall, I usually focus on water polo and in the winter time, it is swimming. In the spring time, it is a mix of both, but summer it really depends on what is happening. The polo season only runs in the fall so it ends up working out.

 

For swimming, do you specialize in certain strokes?

Primarily long-distance freestyle and butterfly.

 

That is very cool that you are following water polo or potentially swimming all the way through your college years. You will have a great time Thacher!

Going back now to BIWPA, how did you come about finding it?

It was kind of my mom who found the program in Barcelona. She wanted me to go to Spain to play water polo, apart from learning Spanish, so we just decided to go. It was really easy to find all the necessary info that we needed and you guys were really helpful in making the process simple.

 

When was the first time you found out about this?

First time I went to BIWPA was when I had finished 8th grade. It was the summer of 2014.

 

How many times did you come to BIWPA and what program did you do exactly?

I came to Barcelona twice consecutively. The first time was for a summer camp I did in 2014 right in the summer of me heading into high school and the summer I also did a national training camp back in the US. The second summer was also a camp in 2015 and I got the chance to play with Club Natació Rubi. It was great to get some playing experience with them and I learned a lot.

 

Thacher Scannell

Thacher, during one of the Summer Camps in Barcelona

 

What would you say was the best thing you liked about BIWPA?

Well water polo wise, the most favourite thing I did was being able to hang out with kids from everywhere. It was cool because you didn’t know them at first, so you’d be shooting randomly with these other kids not knowing who they were, but as practices progressed and you started to know them, you would become close friends with them. You guys did a great job in the pool with team chemistry because you could see how each of us would improve and acclimated to each other’s type of play pretty quick. For the non-water polo part, I like that I still talk to people from BIWPA, and this is 3 years ago that I first met them. It was with other players that I went to the beach with, played volleyball with, and had beach soccer matches. It was the whole experience (water polo and non-water polo) parts that really made us make those connections.

 

Did you feel that some skills or other things you learned from BIWPA, you were able to apply it to your game play in the US?

Oh yes definitely! So, a couple of things that I learned was moving around the defender to steal the ball. The way I learned to steal the ball at BIWPA’s camps, the US didn’t have to teach me, they just told me to do it. I felt great knowing that I already knew how to do it from learning it at BIWPA and especially that it was something that the US told me after 3 years I had been in Barcelona. Basically, they were kind of behind the ball vs. BIWPA and a lot of the other skills I learnt from BIWPA I was also able to teach some of the other kids from around here, which they really appreciated as well.

 

Do you remember who your BIWPA coaches were and do you recall something important they said that really stuck with you?

Yes, Enric Carnella was the coach for my first year, and then my Rubi coach was Ferran. Cristina although wasn’t a coach, was very helpful with things we did around there. Yuri was also my coach at that time as well! Something that stuck with me that a coach said wasn’t necessarily a quote or anything, but more rather criticism. At Rubi, there was a coach that thought I was fooling around when I didn’t think I was. He did yell at me and having this experience really made me take the game more seriously. It bothered me in a constructive way because I knew I wasn’t fooling around even though he thought I was and It really made me work harder and pay attention more at a younger age which would help my progress as an athlete later down the road.

 

You recently played in the Junior Olympics in the US, how was that and how was your experience?

It was good, it was my down year, meaning next year I will be older for the 18U category. My Greenwich Aquatics team didn’t do so well but we have gotten bronze and gold in previous years.

 

Thacher Scannell JOs

Thacher Scannell, with his team at the 2017 Junior Olympics

 

What would you say is the main difference between Spanish water polo and American water polo?

I would say physicality. Just comparing it to scrimmaging, in Spain, the physicality is more graceful, whereas in the US, physicality is used with brute force. In Spain, it is more about fines punching people, where we go above the water in America. This also happens a fair amount.

 

Are there any water polo players that you look up to?

In the States, there are two guys that I look up to. The first played in Greenwich Aquatics when I was 10, and since I didn’t have a team, I played with the 12 and under team. His name was Thomas Dunstan whom later went on to play in the Rio Olympics and it was a pretty big deal as it was the first guy to ever do that from our club. The second guy was Charlie Allens. He was always nice to me growing up and taught me a lot of things about water polo and he now plays at Harvard.

 

What does Thacher miss the most about BIWPA?

There are a couple of things I miss. First, the place where we played was really cool. It had a beautiful pool and their installations were amazing. I miss the coaches a lot too because they were really helpful and really nice. Even if you didn’t speak Spanish, they would try their best to speak English. It was also great to learn from a wide range of people that you aren’t used to before, so learning water polo was fun!

 

Would you recommend BIWPA to other people?

I have actually recommended BIWPA to other people and two of my friends actually came. People ask me all the time about my experience with Spain and how it was and I tell them that it was really fun and I tell them to go. It will be a great learning life and water polo experience for everyone.

 

Lastly, do you see yourself coming back to Spain any time soon or after college?

Yeah, I might be coming back by Christmas time to play for Rubi again and then depending on how college search goes, I might be going for a longer period of time. I might also try and do a gap year in between my freshman year and after I graduate from high school and play in Spain.

 

Well Thacher, I wish you all the very best and I hope your search for colleges goes well. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Thank you. It was my pleasure.

Our water polo team training camp program has already started. The SK Neptun, from Sweden, has been the first team who has enjoyed this program.  Since then, we haven’t stopped of receiving new team applications, both national and international.

Today we want to introduce you five American water polo teams that have just confirmed their reservations for a stage of water polo with BIWPA in Barcelona.

These teams are: Rose Bowl Water Polo Club, San Diego Shores Water Polo Club, Agoura High School, Sacred Heart School Atherton  and San Jose State University Spartans.

horario equipos

They will train at the spectacular Montjuïc municipal pools. These pools have hosted water polo and diving competitions during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics  and the 2013 World Swimming  Championships. Furthermore, the facilities are located at the top of Montjuïc hill, so that’s the reason why these pools also offer a breathtaking view of the Barcelona skyline. Definitely they are a fantastic facilities: teams will enjoy the Spanish good weather while they are training in its spectacular outdoor pool.

They will have two daily training sessions, and we have planned for them matches against national water polo teams. Barcelona is the only city in the world with eight high performance water polo teams in its downtown, and fifteen more in the regional area, which is a good opportunity for both to share knowledge between them and test their level.

In their free time they will enjoy touristy activities like visiting Sagrada Familia, walking in Park Güell or the FC Barcelona stadium tour. Others will just prefer other relaxing activities, like enjoying the beach or have a walk around Barcelona.

Each water polo team has customized his stay, including housing conditions, intensity and training sessions, or leisure and tourism tour. We have adapted everything depending on their goals and needs.

So if you also want to do a water polo team training camp with BIWPA, we will be delighted to design a plan for you. You only have to write to info@biwpa.com, or you can visit our programs hosted on our website. See you in Barcelona!

The sports practice during the years of High School  are very important. For many students it can be the only way to enter the university across a sports scholarship. It is necessary to emphasize that, in spite of the fact that the sports offered in the High School is very varied, the sport king is the Football. Nonetheless we must mention that the waterpolo in the  west coast is a sport that in the last years it has acquired great relevancy and this way it is demonstrated by the last edition of the Junior Olympic Games celebrated in Irvine, California, last August of 2013 where near 10.000 athletes  took part in the competition.

The  High School categories are three: the beginners or “Novice” generally composed by students of the first year of High School (9th graders, also called “Freshman”), the Junior Varsity (9th  and 10th, ” Freshman and Sophomore “) and the Varsity (11th  and 12th graders, called ” Junior and Senior “). The ” Senior year ” is the moment in which the different universities contact the pupils and athletes to offer them his program. It is important to emphasize that because this fact marks even the year of beginning to the education. Many parents decide to postpone the entry of his children to Kindergarten (P-5) one year or to make them repeat this year in order that during the years of High School they are much more mature, physically speaking.

The pre-season of water polo in the High School begins in August. They are three weeks, called ” The Hell Week ” where the athletes train daily in two meetings; in the morning and evening. The pre-season serves the trainers to be able the level that his sportsmen have and be able like that to form three athletic groups appropriatly. Different friendly matches take place “scrimmage” and tilts that allow that the equipment should put in practice everything learned during the pre-season. The official season or league begins with the school course and finishes at the end of November, for Thanksgiving. After the season of High School, every player decides with what Club it wants to play. In the area of The Jolla, both most requested clubs are San Diego Shores and Del Mar.

Once finished the league the equipments face to the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) a tilt that is celebrated in California from beginning of 20th century in which there competes the High School that they have qualified. This year the CIF is celebrated in the headquarters of The Jolla High School between 13 and on November 23 marking  the end of the wàter polo school season.