All posts tagged water polo barcelona

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.

What type of employee are companies currently seeking? Education and studies are obviously essential to opt for the vast majority of jobs, but they are not usually enough. Beyond a degree or a title, companies look for team players, flexible, autonomous, ambitious, and confident employees, just to name a few. Here are the 7 reasons why water polo players are the best employees.

 

1. Water polo players are detail-oriented

Endless workouts and hours and hours of pool to perfect the shooting technique, passing or other skills. The great water polo players know that success often depends on correcting the details, like egg-beater, leg positioning or faking technique. The details are key in water polo and are what will make one player superior to another. That kind of dedication to the particulars can give the competitive edge in the office as well as in the pool.

 

2. Water polo players can manage their time effectively

In order to be a student athlete in any sport you have to be able to effectively balance your work and school. Water polo players train five days a week and they have at least one game every the weekend. That’s why water polo takes time management to another level. Players have to be capable of keeping up with school, give everything in training, find time to rest and eat and, also very important, find moments for social life. These skills translated into the labor world increase employee efficiency and productivity.

 

3. Water polo players can set challenging, yet realistic, goals

National championships, being called-up for the national team, play with the older category, dream of reaching the senior team, winning MVP awards… Every water polo player trains to achieve goals like these. Working with medium and long-term objectives is always more stimulating. Water polo players understand that the most effective goals are ambitious, but reachable, and once they have a goal, they work tirelessly to achieve it.

 

4. Water polo players know how to be good teammates

Practically all the jobs require being in contact with other people, holding meetings, taking care of tasks that depend on several people, etc. In the same way, water polo is a team sport in which individual success is not contemplated without the help of teammates. In addition, in a minority sport such as water polo, everyone knows each other better and the teams end up forming a large family that goes beyond the limits of the pools. Players know how to deal with people, cheer their teammates up when it’s required and experience the feeling of collective success.

 

5. Water polo players know how to tackle a tedious task and make it interesting

After endless pre-seasons in which swimming with T-shirt and the dryland workouts are part of the daily routine, most tasks in the adult world may seem a lot more interesting. Water polo players, after getting used to hours of exhausting swimming specially in the start of the week, will know how to make from a monotonous task something entertaining and, more importantly, they will have already developed a lot of tricks to keep themselves focused.

 

6. Water polo players know how to perform under pressure

From a penalty shootout to playing the final of a national competition. The pressure is constant in the day to day of a water polo player: games against direct rivals, man-up situations in which scoring a goal is the only option etc. Applied to the workplace, all this effort under pressure is very good practice for any presentations or public speaking that may come their way, or to deal with deadlines.

 

7. Water polo players are intrinsically motivated

The most important thing that water polo players learn from their years of training is how to stay motivated at both the fun times and the hard times. The moments before a major clash or the coach speech before jumping into the water are clear examples that will make the players feel motivated and fired-up before a challenge. Water polo athletes know how to work at what may seem to be a thankless task in order to improve themselves and benefit the team as a whole.

 

Article inspired by “7 reasons why hiring a swimmer will enhance your company”, Swim Swam

Jordi Gascón

After 2 years at the BIWPA Academy, Jordi Gascón (16 years, Club Natació Catalunya) is now studying and training at the high performance center CAR de Sant Cugat. The young player, already for the senior team of CN Catalunya, talks about his experience at the Academy and how it helped him to achieve his goals, such as being called-up for the most important talent factory of water polo in Spain.

What were your goals when you chose BIWPA, both academic and sports wise?

When I started at the Academy my main goal was to qualify for the Catalan Championships, where we finished in second place. It was a complete success! And the truth is that we did not expect it at all. On the other hand, academically at that time I did not have very specific goals since at that time I didn’t really know what I wanted to study.

What memories do you have from the first classes and practices (staff, colleagues, professors…)

I remember that after finishing the first training session I was exhausted. The pace of work is very intense. There is a great water polo atmosphere, the coaches are very experienced and they pointed out our main defects and helped us to improve them. At school, in the beginning I remember that we were all very happy but a little nervous at the same time, as the colleagues, the facility and teachers were new to us.

What were the toughest moments of the season? How did you get over them and what moments / details do you remember of your time at the Academy?

For me the most difficult moments were those training sessions where we only swam, since personally I find this type of training more difficult, although in the end, as they were repeated every week, I got used to it. Also, when we had games on the weekend, thanks to those practices, I felt stronger and with more resistance. One of the good things about BIWPA is that it allows you to meet water polo stars and sometimes they come to the pool with us to do a masterclass. We learned a lot from them in a very short time.

How has working with BIWPA influenced the performances with your club?

It has helped me in several aspects. On the one hand, I learned how to do a good warm-up before a game, like the band workout to prevent injuries and, above all, I have been able to improve my technique a lot and I endure much more the pace of a game.

What are your final thoughts on your experience at the Academy?

I think the experience has been very positive and helpful, because at BIWPA I have become a better player. The short-term objectives have been met, so I’m very satisfied!

 Inés Gómez

The water polo Academy based in Barcelona and led by Quim Colet has started the new season with record-breaking numbers, more international athletes than ever, and brand new services

Water polo season 2018-19 is underway in Barcelona and many of the Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) athletes made their debuts last weekend with their respective teams. The fifth year of the Academy and the number of athletes, both international and locals, has never been so high before.

There are currently 22 water polo players at the Academy, with nearly 50% being from outside of Spain. 11 of the 13 Spanish athletes are Catalans, while two of them have come from different parts of Spain (Coruña and Madrid). On the other hand, up to nine athletes from different parts of the world have joined the Academy. Three of them are from the USA, while the rest are from Malta, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Mexico and Peru.

One of the main advantages of the Academy sports program is the flexibility. Athletes can choose how long will their stay in Barcelona last. While some stay the whole Academic year, others opt for a short program or a semester. It is the case of Clodagh Weir from New Zealand who will be in Barcelona for two months, from November until December. But most of the incoming athletes will arrive in January. It is the case of Hannah, Ethan, Wyatt, Ryder, Mikey and Easton, all from the USA.

Brand new: Nutrition, physiotherapy and mental coach

As the Academy grows, so do the services that BIWPA provides. There are three new services that the technical staff has decided to incorporate into the day-to-day routine at the Academy. All the international athletes will now have guidance on their eating habits and behaviors. They will also have available a physiotherapy service and a mental coach to help improve the athlete’s mental readiness, focus, ability to relax, energy and emotional control, as well as other mental factors involved in training and performance.

Anni Espar, our ambassador

The two-time Olympian Anni Espar, silver medal in London 2012, World Championships winner in Barcelona 2013 and three-time Champions League winner with CN Sabadell will come to the Academy to give masterclasses on a regular basis. Anni joined the first practice last week and has been collaborating with BIWPA in other activities for several years.

HaBaWaBa Spain 2018

More than 600 kids and 44 teams from 9 countries met at the Montjuïc Olympic Pool (Barcelona)

After 11 editions in Italy, three in Greece and other four in North America, it was Spain and Barcelona’s turn, with a very special first edition. The first HaBaWaBa Spain arrived in Barcelona running alongside the 33rd European Water Polo Championships.

During four days, the Montjuïc Municipal Pool became the festival’s splendid venue. The Royal Swimming Spanish Federation (RFEN) trusted Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) for the organization of the event, which gathered 44 teams -36 U12 and 8 U10- from 9 different nationalities. Among the 44 teams, 27 where Spanish. Italy, Hungary, Malta, The Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, France and Egypt were the other countries represented.

BIWPA was up to a festival that goes far beyond the competition and the results. As indicated by its acronym (Happy Baby Water Ball), the HaBaWaBa is a unique experience for all participants with water polo, fun and learning.

More than 600 young players had four amazing days of water polo and fun, with animation activities, fair play workshops and exciting matches at the Europeans. The Hungary-Italy (5-12), the Montenegro-Spain (7-7) in the men’s competition, or the Greece-Holland (7-8) and the Spain-Russia (12-11) in women’s were some of the best.

From July 18th to 21st , the stands at the Bernat Picornell pools were full of HaBaWaBa kids. Between 300 and 400 participants dropped by the Europeans venue and proved that passion for water polo is more alive than ever.

In the Village area at the Europeans, before the matches, HaBaWaBa’s mascot Rock & Pop and Barcelona 2018’s mascot Wopit were waiting for the kids to make the wait more pleasant with some music and dancing. Of course, Katy Perry’s Swish Swish was the top hit.

The former centre-forward Iván Pérez and former Spain Women’s national team player Laura López were the two HaBaWaBa Spain ambassadors. The legend Ratko Rudic didn’t miss the event either. But the best surprise for all participants was the visit of Spain Men and Women’s national teams. The current silver and bronze medallists took hundreds of pictures and signed autographs for the HaBaWaBa kids.

Hegemony for CNB

Quim Colet, one of the important figures of the water polo model in Spain, led the organization of the competition, in which Club Natació Barcelona (Spain) claimed first place in both categories, U10 and U12. In the U10 tournament, CN Barcelona beat UE Horta ‘Taurons’ (Spain) at the final (6-5), while CN Poble Nou (Spain) finished in third place.

In the U12 category, teams were divided into three different divisions (Bronze, Silver and Gold) after the first stage, so nine teams won an award. CN Barcelona, Posillipo ‘Coccodrilli’ (Italy) and KSI ‘Blue Sharks’ from Budapest reached the podium in this order.

In the Silver Division, YBL Waterpolo Club (Hungary) finished in first place, followed by CN Rubí and Askartza Claret from Spain. Aquatica Torino (Italy) beat Pallanuoto Salerno (Italy) in the Bronze Division final, while CN Helios (Spain) were third.

HaBaWaBa Spain 2019

The Spanish Swimming Federation has congratulated BIWPA on the organization of the HaBaWaBa Spain and they are already in talks to decide place and dates for next year’s edition.

 

Some pictures from the festival, by Pfotoàlbums (more here):

Summer Academy Cover

Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) gives the chance to water polo players to travel to Barcelona, Spain, and participate in an intensive training water polo program. The Academy based in Barcelona welcomes all water polo athletes from 14 to 18 that wish to improve prior to the Junior Olympics -in the case of American players- or just have an extra training before summer vacation.

BIWPA has officially announced its first Summer Academy Program, an extension of the Academy’s annual program. It will take place during June in Barcelona offering athletes the opportunity to register for one, two, three weeks or even the full month.

BIWPA feels that this program ensures the importance of the Academy program and gives the opportunity for inspiring athletes to take part in this experience. Athletes will be able to experience what it is like to work in an intense high-level program directed by the Academy director, Quim Colet, former coach for the Spain men’s national team in two Olympic games.  

Barcelona, one of the epicenters of water polo

Another added value to the experience is the city where it will be held. Barcelona is one of the cities with more water polo teams in Europe. Besides this, June is one of the best months to be in the city: Sun, beach and lots of fun activities to do. The Summer Academy athletes, apart from training twice a day and living the day-to-day with the current athletes, will also take part in tourism activities.  

This opportunity is not only a chance to train in a whole new environment, but is also an opportunity to immerse one’s self in a new culture and learn a new language.

Summer Academy

Other US athletes at BIWPA

The American athletes that travel to Barcelona in June will have the chance to meet other US athletes: Mark Laurlund, Skyler Knoflick and Adam Van Uden, all from CC United, who will help them adjust to the life at the Academy. Besides these three, a former Academy athlete Gavin West, from Greenwich Aquatics, will come back in June for the full month. West made the top 20 cut for the US cadet team after spending one semester in Barcelona. And there’s still another US athlete, Alison Doherty, who is on her third year in Barcelona.

 

Check out the interviews to some of the athletes on BIWPA’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/biwpa/videos

Here is the Summer Academy PDF: http://www.biwpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/summer_academy.pdf

BIWPA Waterpolo Camp CNB

Here you have four reasons why you should encourage your children to play water polo

 

For many years now water aquatic sports like swimming have been known to be a great sport for one’s health. For those who would rather play with more teammates, water polo is the best option. Water polo has such a positive impact on kids and they learn discipline, time management, positives of a healthy lifestyle, teamwork, social skills and cultural exchange.

 

Discipline

Water polo has an emphasis on discipline and time management. At a young age kids who play water polo have to devote many hours practicing and each week requires players to stay focused and learn how to compromise and manage time properly. Most of our players are still in school and the discipline taught while playing water polo helps them manage their time an helps them learn time management skills and discipline that will used for the rest of their lives.

Waterpolo Discipline

In shape

Like swimming, water polo helps kids stay in shape and most water polo players develop very healthy eating habits. Swimming has been known to be one of the best sports to practice due to its positive impact on swimmers health. Very few sports in the world requires full body motion that promotes a healthy body and a upright posture. Not only will the kids improve their posture and stay fit they will also develop better lungs after training and swimming. Water polo players will also learn about the importance of nutrition and how a healthy diet will benefit them in the pool.

 

Team work

While playing water polo, players learn the importance of team work and fair play. Team work is a very important factor of water polo and water polo focuses on working with others. Fair play is another fundamental concept learned while playing water polo. Just like most sports water polo players are taught to never be malicious or harm anyone on purpose, it’s a sport that is meant to be completive, but not dangerous, and be fun. No matter where you play water polo or how old the players are, water polo has a very positive impact on kids social skills and communication skills. Team sports are great ways of making new friends and working with others. In a team kids will learn to trust and work alongside other teammates. Learning these skills at a young age will go a long way in the future. Kids will learn discipline, fair play, dedication and resilience by playing water polo.

Since its not one of the mainstream sports, players create strong bonds with the sport, their teammates, rivals and team. Players will meet everyone in the league and make so many friends and water polo makes a very friendly rivalries.

Waterpolo Team Work

Multiculturality with BIWPA

Playing water polo internationally is a great way of meeting other players from all over the world. In today’s world cultures are so intertwined and having very important intercultural skills and accepting other customs is so important. At BIWPA kids from all over the world come together to play water polo. The mix of cultures is so important for kids and learning about other cultures and accepting differences is so important at a young age. We have an international water polo academy where American athletes can improve their skills in order to apply for college. We also organize team training camps for teams from different parts of the world, so they can experience water polo in Spain. And we have water polo camps where kids can share their passion for the sport and meet people from other countries.

 

At BIWPA, we believe that the skills learned while playing water polo isn’t only applied at the pools or while playing, but in so many other situations. Kids will not forget what they learned while playing water polo.

Can you imagine that you can spend a long stay in Barcelona water polo training, playing in Spain and also discover one of the best cities in the world? Well, that’s what BIWPA can offer through its intensive program of water polo at the Academy. An unforgettable experience that you will have for the rest of your life and you will always remember with affection and, why not, nostalgia over the years.

More than 20 boys and girls around the world have used this tool to continue progressing in their favorite sport and grow as athletes. From the US to New Zealand via Scotland and Singapore. This is a unique opportunity that will help not only athletically, but also to mature and grow as a person.
Hand in hand with our coach, Ferran Pascual, the player will train in the morning and then go to school. The intensive program includes 25 hours a week of daily training exercises from Monday to Friday, divided into water and improving physical strength in the gym. In the evenings, the player can learn Castilian or English and play at a local club to compete and keep improving.

All it combines with Spanish high school (3rd and 4th ESO, 1st and 2nd of Baccalaureate) in the Joaquin Blume Institute, where the player will also live in the residence located in front of the school and whose facilities have been used by great Spanish sportspeople. The golden generation of Spanish waterpolo led by Manel Estiarte began to forge its legend in these walls.

Foto: Eduard Omedes

Foto: Eduard Omedes

All that said, you will be supervised at all times by technicians and tutors of BIWPA, whose reputation and experience is highly regarded. It is also the same training system of High Performance water polo that the majority of players of female and male selection of the senior team in Spain have followed and has been so successful worldwide.

In addition, thanks to an agreement with AGM Sports, specializing in college scholarships in the United States, the chances of a scholarship may be increased by an extensive exhibition and dissemination of the water polo game. This is because college coaches and scouts are always in contact with our technical staff to find out the evolution of the students who pass through our Academy.

In short, the Intensive BIWPA Program or Academy can offer you an unforgettable experience and a unique opportunity to take a leap of quality in your game. Besides, you will have the possibility of combining studies and sports in one of the best cities in the world and compete in the Spanish clubs.

More information in our website