All posts tagged junior olympics

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)

junior olympics

Growing up as a water polo player in the United States, I was privileged to take part in one of the greatest club tournaments – USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics. Junior Olympics is the largest national tournament in the United States bringing teams and young athletes from all over to compete at a high level. These athletes train all summer for an opportunity to play on the main stage.

Junior Olympics offers 10U to 18U boys and girls the opportunity to compete in a 4 day tournament hosted in a location that USA Water Polo has designated. This 4 day tournament is jam packed with water polo games throughout the entire day and hosted in over 20 different facilities; being the best facilities that the host city has to offer.

I have been able to compete in Junior Olympics since I was 14 years old and every year offering a new and unique experience. Playing with SOCAL Water Polo Club, I was able to compete every year against the best club teams in the nation. This experience always brought me very exciting opportunities – traveling to far off destinations, bonding with my teammates, and competing in gold medal matches.

Junior Olympics is far more than just a summer water polo tournament. It is a journey. All summer you and your teammates spend hours training and playing games in preparation for an opportunity to participate in the ¨big leagues¨ of club water polo. Training 3 hours a day and playing in weekend tournaments, just to do it all again the following week. And finally, the moment arrives in late July when you and your team are having a JO´s send-off party to celebrate the end of an enduring summer and the beginning of the 4-day JO excursion with the goal in mind; to take home the gold. It was always worth it.

max-vernet-waterpolo

Hi! I’m Max Vernet Schweimer, a 19 year old Spanish water polo player. By now, I live in Barcelona. I started practicing this sport at the age of 7 and I have always been playing for Spanish clubs.

During summer 2014, my life experienced a big change. The San Diego Shores Water Polo Club was doing a Team Training Camp in Barcelona organized by BIWPA. The academy knew about my interest to travel to the USA to play water polo there and they informed me about the opportunity to contact this club. BIWPA managed for me a training with the Shores and introduced me to the coaches while they were in Barcelona. After staying in touch with the Shores’ staff to organize the whole trip, I finally could make it to San Diego in July 2014.

I was in California for three weeks, training and playing tournaments with the San Diego Shores. One of the competitions I played is called Junior Olympics (JO’s), which is one of the most important water polo events in the USA. There, all the young water polo players from the country gather and play against each other to become 1st of the Nation with their team. You also have the opportunity to talk to coaches from American colleges and universities there. Being part of that was absolutely incredible!

Traveling is a beautiful experience, but if you do it alone and with a concrete purpose, it’s even better. At the beginning it was a bit difficult for me to adapt to the lifestyle. American water polo is pretty much different to Spanish water polo and I needed some time to get used to it. But, in my opinion, seeing other water polo styles enriches you mentally and makes you a better player. I also had the chance to visit new places which I had never seen before and to meet wonderful people who I hope to see again some day. It was just amazing!

I would like to thank all the people who made this journey possible. First of all, thanks to BIWPA and the whole staff of the San Diego Shores Water Polo Club who helped me to arrange everything. A big hug for friends, players, families and coaches for what they did for me when I was there. They made me feel like home in every moment! And finally, I want to thank my parents who always support me in any decision I make and without them anything of this would have been possible.

Max Vernet Schweimer

alberto-waterpolo
From my experience in the US I can say it has been one of the best things that could have happened in my career, because of the different gameplay with the Americans in relation to European or Spanish. It has also been an awesome experience regarding my social and personal life, because I have met many people from elsewhere with different opinions and customs and that always enriches you as a person. BIWPA helped me to organize and arrange accommodations during my time in the US. I was living with a family of a fellow water polo team in which I played and I think I was very lucky to live with that family for their hospitality and kindness to welcome home a person who they did not know and treated me as a member of their family.
There are some differences in water polo in the US compared to water polo practiced in Spain, so I think my stay there helped me to grow at a sporting level thanks to the advice and technical coaching points that advise you on how they prefer you to play and eventually there comes a time when you get used to the gameplay there. During my stay in the US I was able to play at several tournaments and qualifying rounds (in a month and a half I played about 40 games), that helped me to get more experience as an athlete.
Also the time I was there helped me improve my English, especially oral expression, since I only lived with people who speak English I struggled to communicate with others. After a couple of weeks, I could understand my teammates and the coach when they spoke to me quickly and colloquially.
It was the best trip of my life so far, because I was able to visit and enjoy one of the most amazing cities in the world such as San Francisco and cities and neighborhoods around, like Berkeley.
Finally, as to my opinion and experience of JO’s, it is the most important tournament for clubs in the United States, if you were to put a score out of ten, no doubt would be a ten for the organization, because there was many teams to play in the pools in Los Angeles, where the tournament was held, and the coordination of each category by level and age. During the tournament I played approximately eight games, and although we all wanted to win, matches were raced but where they were always fair games. The opposing team was considered a rival, but never an enemy and after the game the team players together chanted the name of the opposing team and when we greeted each other after the game, we always said “well played” regardless of whether we won or lost . In short, I think it’s a very impressive category for a tournament, the number of teams involved, the level of play and sportsmanship of the participants.