All posts tagged summer camps

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.

xavi garcia

We´ve talked with Xavi García from VK Jug CO. Good read to know more about one of the best seasons in the history of croatian team.

What an incredible season of JUG. The League, the Cup and now the Champions League. A triplet within reach of very few in the world

It is something so difficult. It has been the best season in JUG history. To reach something like this in a big club like JUG has to be something difficult.

JUG has invested heavily this season. Did you expect this success at the beginning of the season?

Definitely not. They had two years without winning a title and the goal was to win a title but we could not imagine what was about to happen.

About the Final Six. You were not between the favorites. First Eger, then Recco and finally Olympiakos. Three top level matches, and really physically demanding, in a short period of time. What were the keys to win the title?

We were not favorites at all. Our main goal was to get into the semi-final match. Once we achieved that, our objective was to face Recco as well as we could, we got the match where we wanted and in the penalty shooting we reached the final. Against Olympiakos, it was our third match. We were exhausted. They had played only one match and that was a benefit for the greek team. Our dfense and our goalie was spectacular and they only scored 4 goals. That way is difficult to lose…!!!

“Xavi Garcia, Felipe Perrone and Maro Jokovic are my mind in the water”, said your coach. With no doubt, words that show the good relationship with the coach…

Yes! The truth is that we get on well, not only me but also every player in the team. I think it is the key to achieve all the success.

In a personal ambit, it is your first Champions League. What means to you this achievement? Is it the perfect end to a foreign trip that began years ago?

It is one of the best things for a waterpolo player. Not only because it is the first champions league, but also because it is the best title in Europe. It is not the end of nothing, I hope that I can still be playing waterpolo for more years although there are some people that want to retire me. There are a lot of players that ended their sportive career without winning any Champions League but their career has been great…

When did you start playing water polo?

I started when I was just 6 years old, in the ancient municipal swimming pool in Sabadell, where, at the time, the teams of CN Sabadell were training. I did a test for swimming, but I was told that I only could join water polo, I said yes, but I have to confess that I had no idea of was water polo was.

I got hooked immediately, and a few years later I entered “Escola Santa Clara” of the CNS and little by little I went crazy for this sport.

Your career began in CN Sabadell. What do you remember of this first stage of training?

The truth is that I keep very good memories, I spent many years playing there and every time I play there as a visitor it feels very strange. With Sabadell I had the luck to coincide with good coaches and, above all, great people like Rupert Navarro, Pere Carrasco, Xavi Balaguer, David Palma, and Jordi Millán; from each of them I learned things and they helped me a lot at any time, after all, these are things that we take for ourselves from the sport.

It was a pity that at the same time as I, some of them were forced to leave the club, but life goes on and we all have found our place!

You played in that team B of the CNS that competed in both First and Second National Division. What did those games give to you personally for your growth as a player?

I think those were the years that I enjoyed playing the most. We were a very young team and we wanted to show that we deserved a place in the first team or in the Honorary Division. I believe that playing in that team helped us to train very much, there played people as José Motos, Marc Soler, Carlos Sánchez, Jordi Mardones, Borja Fenoy, and someone else that I forgot, and finally they proved to have the sufficient skill to play on the top level.

The change from youth to senior team is very big and I think that this intermediate step was the key step for the adaptation. Those are leagues where the weekly games are a struggle to the death, you play against players who have already built their careers in the Honorary Division, and this gives you a priceless experience at this age.

It is a pity that due to the current economic situation, no team is capable of supporting a team B with its budget. But even so, every year players from youth squads raise to the first teams, which is the most important thing, after all. In the absence of the possibility to have youth teams, it is vital that the clubs have patience and trust their people.

 

In the 2012-2013 season, you were signed by CN Catalunya to play in the Honorary Division. What changes did you notice having played in the highest level competition?

The truth is that at first this change was not easy, you change the city, game philosophy, your teammates… this makes you a bit nervous, but from the first day in CN Catalunya they treated me as if I was at home, so it was very easy to adapt.

In Sabadell I used to train with the first team, and with that I did not notice any big difference in terms of training level. The big difference was to have the opportunity to play every week at the top level, and to have the power to assume the responsibilities.

This was a complicated step for me, but as it is usually said, when when one door closes, another opens, and this was indeed the case!

How is going to be this season for CN Catalunya?

Well, we have a team with a potential, there are many new faces and this requires some time to adapt. We have learn how to be a little more stable than the last season and in this way we will be able to consolidate our team in the positions that we want.

Little by little, we get to know each other better, we begin understanding each other at a glance and now when our league starts I am sure that good results will appear.

The important thing is to work hard at all the training sessions, and there is no secret, you play as you train!

Entering the BIWPA team, what attracted your attention to this project?

When it appeared, I immediately thought that it was a fantastic idea, and having become involved, I could make sure that it was indeed.

Very interesting projects that have never been created before are developed here. It is fantastic to see many and many teams from all over the world coming every year to Barcelona to visit us.

Apart from the Camps, that have been successful so far, we also managed to work with the best professionals. For kids it is a luxury to be able to participate in a camp with authentic champions like Dani Pinedo, Anni Espar, Felipe Perrone, Ana Copado, coaches like Nani Guiu, and sports professionals like Xesco Espar. With names like these words only get in the way!

This year you play a vital role for BIWPA guiding the water polo camps. What are you preparing for the players who want to come to the camps?

BIWPA Camps are a quality guarantee; there the players will be able to meet great coaches and to make friends from all over the world. Also, they are always organized in fantastic facilities, like those of CAR and CNB, in case of the camps that take place in Barcelona.

The day program of camps is very interesting. Besides the two training sessions where the participants will work thoroughly on all the technical aspects, and besides individual and collective tactics, we also have sessions of video analysis to be able to internalize the technical gestures that they will work on every day. Without forgetting the interesting workshops, like the one of interpretation of the rules or the one led by professional physiotherapists who show the exercises that help to prevent injuries.

I am crazy for water polo and I would have liked if there had been a Camp like that when I was a kid. When I see the kids’ happy faces during Masterclasses with the international players who come to our camps, I die of envy.

What is the role that the coaches play in training athletes?

They play a fundamental role; apart from having knowledge, it is very important to know how to transmit it. Apart from “what”, “how” is even more important. Every player takes something of each and every coach they have. Therefore, without realizing this, the coach becomes a fundamental part of the water polo skills of the player.

We have the big luck that all BIWPA coaches are top professionals, and are capable of transmitting perfectly our philosophy.

Original interview in Enfermos del Balón Amarillo.

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.

marcas

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!