All posts tagged CAR

Barcelona is one of the most important cities when talking about water polo. It has been the host to the Olympic Games (1992), Worlds (2003 and 2013), European Cups (2014 and 2015 Final Six) and will host the European Championships in 2018. The city also contains very excellent facilities that allow athletes to develop into their full potential. We could highlight all of the terrific aspects of the city, but the list is endless so we will only refer to a few:
  • High Performance Center of Sant Cugat CAR 
This is the birthplace of the Spanish Olympics. Because of there facilities, they have harvested some of the most well known Olympic sport legends. With a lot of sweat and tears these prestigious athletes have reached the highest level in their respected sports.
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  • Blume
If the CAR is the cradle, Joaquin Blume of Barcelona is the residence and genesis of Spanish water polo and all of its successes. The golden generation of great deeds has brought them international success for which they are known today.
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  • Municipal pools of Montjuic
These pools are indescribable. They overlook all of Barcelona and they are the the usual venue for major events that the city hosts. With the beautiful views of Barcelona, great facilities and athletic attraction these pools have been proclaimed world champions of Europe.
But this is does not contain the facilities and in the city and its surroundings where many teams participate in friendly matches and trainings in order to improve the competitiveness of the sport.
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Therefore, for those athletes who have contacted BIWPA, Barcelona offers multiple opportunities. Since 2014, nearly 20 teams from around the world have used Barcelona International Waterpolo Academy to prepare for a major event or simply to progress as a team through competition.
And the opportunity BIWPA offers in this area is unmatched. Barcelona has seen teams from Sweden, United States, Netherlands, Australia, Portugal, France … and many have come back to enjoy this experience once more.
Of course there is a special collaboration with the many different Catalan clubs that reside in this area. This collaboration has allowed teams that have come through BIWPA to play against these remarkable clubs.
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Finally, sports aside, there are countless opportunities offered in one of the most important cities in the world. Overlooking the Mediterranean, as it has always been throughout its history, Barcelona has many things to see: jewels of Modernism and contemporary architecture, markets, treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval town …
Barcelona Gauí

Barcelona Gauí

How did you learn about BIWPA?

My mother looked for a water polo campus in Barcelona and she came across BIWPA, which was good because I could learn the language and the Spanish culture.

What skills do you want to develop in the academy?

Ball handling; we work a lot with the ball and we improve both on offesnse and defense.

Why did you choose Barcelona for your training?

My mother wanted me to learn Spanish and I believed that Barcelona would be the best place for me to improve my skills.

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And is it?

Yes, I came last year and this year I decided to repeat because it is a great experience. I learned many things during this time. I believe that it is a good way of integrating a new style of playing water polo with the style of the USA.

How important is meeting new people and learning languages during this process?

It is very important, the more relations I have the better I get along with them. The language can help you to function in other countries and have some additional resource to English.

Spending your second year in BIWPA, do you already feel as a veteran?

(Laughs) A little, but there is still much work to do.

Do you believe that training in BIWPA might help you to get a university scholarship?

I am going to try it, yes. If I obtained a scholarship I would feel that I have been successful in water polo, and this program is helped me to reach this goal.

 

How did you learn about BIWPA?

During a tournament in the USA I saw a BIWPA flyer, I took it and pretty liked what I saw.

What skills do you want to develop in the academy?

I have not set any goal in particular since I am in BIWPA. Perhaps swimming, strength, throwing … Everything has improved since I came 6 months ago to the Academy.

And some goal that you set for yourself?

I want to shoot more, sometimes I am too shy when it is about throwing, I want to be more self-confident, it is my main problem.

Why did you choose Barcelona for your training?

First of all, I think that European water polo is of a higher level. Also, there is no better place than Barcelona because it is beautiful, the best city of Spain and it is always a reference in terms of water polo quality.

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Have you been here before?

I spent here for one week when I was 7, but this is the first time when I stay for so long.

What does it mean to come to Barcelona as a young water polo player?

It is a big challenge. I would not have been achieved it without Ferran or anybody in this swimming pool (points at his teammates), because to be alone is difficult, but with friends like these one can feel comfortable.

How important is it to meet new people and learn a new language during this process?

It is important to meet people from all over the world, the more friends you have the more lucky you are. Spanish gives you more opportunities to find a job, that is why I want to use a chance to learn the language along with improving my water polo level.

Do you believe that BIWPA might have helped you choose a university with a scholarship?

Yes, I am sure that yes. I need to keep on training, because if I leave BIWPA and stop doing that I am not going to achieve any scholarship. But if I go on improving my skills as I am doing in BIWPA I am sure I can get it.

Marina Daroca from United States. University of San Diego State
We started practices about a month and a half ago, we have very intense swim sets every day and we are practicing hard getting ready for season even if it doesn’t starts until January. We practice 4 hours a day in the mornings from 6 to 10  trying always to get the most from those hours, the motivation that my team has to achieve good results is incredible. What shocked me the most about how they practice here in the US is their way to do weights. Here they do olympic weights like cleans, clean deadlifts, olympic squats, pull ups and sequences of abdominal exercises are the ones that we do the most. There very intense but slowly, every workout we do outside the water are making effect and creating great results inside the water.
This year I believe that we have a great team and we are all very excited to demonstrate how hard we are working. The girls on the team have been amazingly nice to me, there is a lot of respect between each other and we are always trying to make as many team bonding meetings as we possibly can going to the beach, having barbecues, hanging out…
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I am so happy that I decided to come to San Diego State University, I get to study and get the major that I really want to have, I get to practice the sport that I love the most and I also have the opportunity of being in one of the most beautiful Colleges around the US. Being able to say that I am an Aztec and that I live in San Diego is one of the most amazing experiences I will ever get to have.

Where do you come from? And how old are you?

San Diego, California and I am 22 years old.

What did you study?

Business and Communications at UC San Diego

Why did you come to Spain?

I wanted to try a different level of water polo and have a different kind of experience. I thought that Spain was a good option because there is a very good level here and the sport is very popular in Barcelona.

What kind of differences have you seen since you have been in Barcelona?

The water polo in Barcelona is completely different than what I know in the United States. The type of play is unlike that of the US. The players are much smaller here, so they are forced to be more creative. In the US players are bigger and stronger so its a different type game.

In Europe our sports system corresponds with local clubs, but in the US high level sports are more associated with the education. In your opinion, what is best for an athlete?

I don´t know what I prefer yet, but playing at University is easier because everything is centrally located. In Spain it is easy for me because I only have to play water polo, I don´t have to do both.

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Why is female team of the United States so good? They just won the World Championship…

It’s really amazing. They are one of the best teams in the world. In the US we train very hard and compete at a very high level. Just like in Europe, water polo is extremely competitive.

And what about you? What do you expect from being in Spain?

I hope to gain a lot by being here, with water polo and with the culture. Sometimes its difficult because I don’t speak the language yet, but day by day I am getting better.

What do you know about your rivals in the spanish league?

I just know about the teams in the top five.

What do you think about BIWPA?

I think its is amazing! The Academy gives athletes a unique opportunity and in America there is nothing like this. I am always telling Cristina how great I think BIWPA is for water polo athletes.

Do you recommend to american players to come to Spain?

Definitely! I think the Spanish style puts much importance on fundamental skill and I think its a great opportunity for young athletes.

Xavi, I have to tell you. You’re a classic in water polo. How did you start this love affair with water polo?

Thanks for the classic comment! Well, maybe, yes … I’ve been a player, coach, technical director and president of a club. I’ve played in all divisions of state water polo and I have also trained in all the divisions; great male and female and players. Thirty-odd years of romance with water polo.

My start was somewhat atypical. After practicing some sports, including swimming, one day at the Sabadell Swim Club I ran across veterans from a water polo team working out. They lacked goalkeeper and so I jumped in, certainly fortunately, lol … and from there I went on to train with the kids my age and in a short time started playing in the junior category and the Absolute team. It was about 1983 or ’84, and water polo snagged me for life.

Like everyone, you would have started in the water. What are your memories of that period of your life?

Well, I started swimming when I was 8 or 9 years old at the Badia facilities; newly built, but after a couple of years I fractured my arm (humerus bone), and I took a year off. After a while, I opted for football and tennis, but I had already acquired a basis to play water polo. My memories are of the mythical and now defunct “Muni” of Sabadell with his balloon. Training with Jordi Molet, Llorenç Carbo and with many players who currently are still some of my best friends, such as Pere Carrasco, Marc Alcón, Antoni Nouvilas or Joan Manel Xiberta.

When did you decide to pass from the water to the bench?

The first team I coached was the absolute feminine team the Sant Feliu Swimming Club, back in ’90. When I left the Sabadell team, I ended up in A-2 (now First) in Sant Feliu. There they proposed that I combined being the goalkeeper of the team with coaching the Women’s team and I accepted the challenge. They were two seasons in which I learned a lot and I liked being a coach. And I have never looked back. But you always feel like a player. Last season I played 1st division Catalan meetings with the absolute A from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).. against the kids who I now train!

What teams have you trained and what anecdotes could you tell us that you remember fondly?

I will recount in chronological order: Sant Feliu Swimming Club – Absolute Feminine, UAB Waterpolo – Absolute Masculine and Absolute Feminine, Sabadell Swimming Club – Absolute Masculine and Absolute Feminine and now, Poble Nou Swimming Club – Absolute Masculine and Masculine Cadet. Also, during my eight years in Sabadell I was also assistant coach with the junior teams, both masculine and feminine.

My best moments in water polo so far undoubtedly have been in the UAB Waterpolo Club. We created a club of friends with whom we came to play the First Division, playing there many seasons. I lived very intensely: as player, coach, president, managing the economy with the vice president Ermengol Llorenç … The anecdotes are endless, both in and out of the water: incredible results in relation to our structure, organized trips thinking about the after-match … and a philosophy of waterpolo that is unparalleled throughout state water polo. I should write a book!

But there is something I must tell you, that’s romantic, which is when I was coach of Sant Feliu Swim Club Feminine Team, I met a player, Olga, who I married, and she’s still is my wife. We have two children who also have become addicted to the pools. The best of water polo, haha!

Surely your great leap so far has been the Sabadell Swim Club, where you directed the absolute women’s draw …

Yes, I passed from a sensational club of friends, to accepting a professional challenge in the Club of my entire life. It was 4 years of sporting success winning 3 leagues, 2 Queen cups, reaching an F4 in the LEN Cup. We created, alongside Mateo Celma, Pere Carrasco and Toni Sánchez, all the feminine structure base of the club, and that allowed us to practically renew the entire great team we had for a very young team, which has been the basis of both Sabadell Swim Club (CNS) and the Spanish selection. They were bad times for resources and recognition of women’s water polo, but I always remember the selfless spirit and ability of work and sacrifice of that group of excellent players. Hence I took another leap at that big moment, to the Sabadell Absolute Masculine team. It was 2007.

Later you assumed the technical direction of the CNS but it did not quite jell. Why?

I collated the Technical Directorate of CNS with the post of coach of the Absolute Masculine Team for 4 years. I accepted it because it was a great dream for me. Imagine, your Club presents you the dream project. For the first time I became a full time professional. We built a project together with Pere Carrasco, who shared coaching and Technical Department duties with me, Marc Alcon as a manager responsible for the section, key managers such as Claudi Martí and a team of highly qualified coaches, basically from the Club.

The project for the masculine team was simple, but required time and patience: To provide continuity to our base-grown players to fill the absolute team with them, and for the wheel to continue rolling. In addition we would facilitate and promote their education. We wanted to create a strong Sabadell  Swim Club DNA with magnificent existing resources.

Thus, we gave meaning to our water resources, our Santa Clara School and our potential in categories (in 2008 we won all the championships of Spain of ages and we were youth champions in 2008, 09 and 10). In order to achieve that we became more flexible in technical hierarchies, we created tools and resources for our players (like the team B in 1st and 2nd Division, flexitime for studies, grants, etc.), we gave them a place in our absolute Divisón de Honor (top league in Spain) (DH), we showed them the way and instilled in them the CNS DNA. We did not want to be eternally condemned to sign up players to be up there and be proud of the fruits of labor of education of all our structures (technical, managerial and social).

In the women’s project we set a roadmap to be the best team in Europe. There was a very big “niche” there and we had to take advantage of that.

On a sporting level, the results were excellent: success in all age categories, a very competitive absolute masculine team with great recruitment of young players from the Club, a women’s team that was sweeping Spain and the European champion.

Economically we optimized and rationalized resources. In 2003, 10 persons were taking in 80% of a big budget. In 2011, redistribution had largely benefitted the feminine team, athletes and the technical base.

Everything evolved according to the objectives set, but sometimes in sport decisions are not made based on an analysis of validity of a project and of professionalism and the results of work; and unfortunately all the people who were part of this exciting project had to leave it in the middle of 2011.

This summer you are back to the bench after a period in which you have remained on the sidelines…

Well yes! The disappointment was huge in 2011 and I moved away from it a bit. I needed a “cure” from water polo and serious reflection. I studied a Master of Sports Business Administration at the UB and disconnected. But gradually I turned to engage in water polo, first W. UAB, after that with BIWPA and now coaching at Poble Nou Swim Club.

In June, a good friend and old salt in water polo, Joan Colomer, called and said that Poble Nou intended to continue with the waterpolo in a new work project with the base and with an absolute amateur and that he would be there. He asked if I felt like joining in. I was thrilled, stung by the water polo bug. I had a meeting with Jordi Homs, President, and found it a very good proposal. That left me only to get the ok from my family, but as they already know me, it seemed immediately clear to them.

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It has been a summer of rumors about Poble Nou. How have you lived?

Initially I distanced myself from the situation of the club, with the news coming about the possible resignation at DH and the possibility of water polo in general being seriously affected. I thought that situation was a shame for our waterpolo. When I agreed with Jordi I joined, and it was always clear that the part of base teams and all amateur would continue, no matter what happened with the professional team. The club has tried to find resources up to the last minute to follow the DH, but has not been successful.

What project awaits this Club with Xavi Balaguer in charge, and what technical team are you counting on to carry it out?

Well, the control is a matter of teamwork with Joan, and I will bring my expertise and experience to this exciting challenge in a historic club.

The club has undergone many changes of players in all categories. The situation of uncertainty that it has lived through for a time has made many athletes opt to go to other clubs, but we have registered 7 competing teams, covering all categories of waterpolo for this season. This shows that our commitment for the base is firm although we don’t have an excess of kids. The project moves to stabilize the various club teams in terms of number of players and provide reliability and quality to our training. We will become a training club of athletes and people which kids will not only not want to leave, but they will want to come to us.

We have 3 highly skilled technicians in a mixture of experience and youth: Joan Colomer who needs no introduction, with the little ones; Marc Martinez, a young coach looking forward to the experience; and myself with the older ones.

Moving on to BIWPA. You are a key pillar of this project. What is your role?

First, I’d like to say that I am very grateful to the trust Cristina, the authentic engine of BIWPA, and Yuri have placed in me from day one. I think I have a very BIWPA profile and because of my training and experience I am very cross-sectional and I can occupy and I do occupy different functions. In BIWPA I take care of the Technical Department, and that means training tasks and campus direction coach, and some tasks at the Academy. Lately I’m more oriented as manager of foreign teams in the Training Camps and as head of the large collaboration project with the Dutch Federation.

The arrival of foreign teams and the Academy make BIWPA pretty unique in the world.

The BIWPA concept is awesome. It has covered an essential gap in our sport. I have lived through the birth of the project from day one and I’ve always believed in it. In times of crisis and abuse at all levels to “second fiddle” waterpolo, an initiative arising  like BIWPA  is priceless. I think BIWPA complements the great work that the clubs do every day with a series of projects and high quality services such as Camp and Training Camps for teams. But I would highlight the Academy as innovative. From responsibility, professionalism and passion we offer a number of services that undoubtedly benefit our waterpolo with many synergies with federations, clubs and athletes. Other sports have had similar initiatives for years. Over time I think you will see the true importance and dimension BIWPA, here and in the world of international water polo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you learn about BIWPA?

I was looking for a program that included water polo in order to finish my high school career. I searched water polo in Europe and BIWPA was one of the first results that I had found. I have studied Spanish before, so an option to pursue my water polo career in Spain really helped me make my decision.

What skills do you want to develop in the academy?

I hope to gain experience a lot of experience at the academy. The athletes who study at the university – that is where I want to play – have much more experience than I do. It takes 5 or 6 years of playing water polo in order to gain this type of knowledge. I hope to gain this type of experience with BIWPA. Also, my position is a center, so I would like to improve my defensive play.

Why did you choose Barcelona for your training?

Like I have mentioned earlier, I am familiar with the Spanish language and it seems to be a beautiful city.

 

 

What does it mean to come to Barcelona as a young water polo player?

I am not familiar with the history of water polo that exists in Spain since it is my first time here. When I came, Yuri and Cristina explained to me the long tradition of water polo that exists in Catalonia and the area of Barcelona.

And what are your first impressions?

Coming to play with BIWPA in Barcelona was a big change. It was definitely a challenge in a new city. Also, the demand for the sport was something that I had to adjust to. I was accustomed to training 2 hours for 4 days a week. When I came to Spain I training 5 hours every day.  So yes, it has been a big change for me.

How important is it to meet new people and learn a new language during this process?

Meeting new people was not the most important during this process; rather learning a new language wasthe most important to me. Knowing a different language can help you find work in the future, now I can speak Spanish!

Could you say anything in Spanish now?

(Laughs) Ask me a question.

Do you believe that BIWPA might have helped you choose a university with a scholarship?

(In Spanish) I believe that yes, after 10 months I have the experience to play a higher level than ever before.

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

My experience at the BIWPA camp was phenomenal. My daily routine was drastically changed in the best way possible. I went to sleep and woke up at a great time, I ate balanced meals, and I drank Isostar which is a protein shake that allowed my body to work at it’s full potential. My routines for exercise in and out of the pool changed too. I wasn’t the only person going through these changes. I have teammates from Brazil, Italy, Denmark, France, and all over the world that were with me. I learned from the coaches but I also learned from the playing style of my peers. But all good things must come to an end and July 11th was that day.

Biwpa Camp

Barcelona Biwpa Camp./ Foto: Eduard Omedes

Luckily for me, my Water Polo adventures were not over yet. The day my flight landed in New Jersey I had practice for my club in Princeton. We were preparing for Junior Olympics which were scheduled in California in early August. Our training intensity increased but I felt very confident in my abilities since I had just come from BIWPA. I was in very good swimming shape when I came back, and I felt ready for JO’s. When it came time to play the first game in California I stretched a lot and used the resistance band I got at the camp. I stretched using the techniques that ……… taught us at the camp and I’ve been doing that for every game I play. When it came to actually playing in the water, since I learned drives that were effective and quick, I had way more opportunities to shoot and attack. On one of the days there I found out that my friend Lucia was playing. I hadn’t seen her since the camp, but we chose a meeting place and got to see each other again. I realized how much I missed we and everyone else from the camp, but I don’t worry too much because I’m hoping to go back next year.

From BIWPA we can only show total satisfaction with the direction our summer campus is taking. We haven’t stopped growing and receiving praise from our participants, a success in which our partner brands have played an important and indispensable role, and we believe we should justifiably remark on.

TURBO

There is nothing to comment on a brand that speaks for itself. Undoubtedly, it’s number 1 in the world in the field of water polo. With material like shirts, caps and top quality balls, they have equipped our campus with prestige, offering a total wellbeing to all our participants.

ISOSTAR

For another year its contribution has been essential in giving our players strength and proper hydration throughout the day. Above all, the energy bars! A classic to get energy back between sessions.

L’ORÉAL

A loyal brand to BIWPA from our first campus, which always takes care of our water polo players’ hair after hours in the pool. The shampoo and conditioners worked great, our players love you!

NESTLÉ

One of the best agrifood brands known in the world that formed part of our campus again. In particular, Chocapics these weeks have triumphed. We ran out! A major boon for our boys and girls’ breakfast.

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QUELY

How these snacks will be missed before dinner… Great debut among our partner brands – Quely, with their bread sticks they have been the delight of all attendees.

VERI

Another addition this season, essential to refresh all participants during the tremendous heat wave that Barcelona had these days. The Catalan company is a classic nationally, and from BIWPA we are proud to have their cooperation.

BOIRON

The leading company in distribution of homeopathic pharmaceuticals joined our campus this year too. Fundamental to take care of the eyes of our swimmers after sessions, with eyedrops. They all have appreciated its presence.

BiC

One of the most representative companies in terms of stationery, like some brands above, debuted with us this summer. With their pens participants could update in their note pads and jot down everything necessary in language classes.

LADIVAL

An important part of our campus is outdoors, so that in addition to being refreshing, it has been essential sun protection. Ladival helped us with their sunscreen, especially during training on the beach and at the outdoor pool.

Also noteworthy is the invaluable help of other collaborators throughout these weeks, of which it seems important to mention. We’re talking about the nutritionist Juana González (Alimmenta), our physiotherapist Cristian Fernández and those responsible at the CAR de Sant CugatClub Natació Barcelona and the BCN Sports Hostel.

To all of you, thanks for helping BIWPA to grow!

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