All posts tagged estados unidos

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.

unnamed (1)

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…
MARINA1
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.

B14

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.

clinileioa3

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Xabi Gómez.

For those who are outside what happens in the old continent, the first impression of European dominance can be a bit skeptical. But there are data to counter the claims herein will do.

The United States has participated in almost all Olympic and World Cup competitions, but despite the undeniable potential of this country in aquatic matter, unable to climb to the top of the podium in the last decades. The beginnings were bright in the early twentieth century, also highlight two silvers in the eighties, but generally, have always been lagging behind the dominant countries in the men’s water polo.

espausa3

Perhaps the women’s national team has been in that sense, as a special case, since in 2000 (Sydney) girls can compete in the Olympics, the American have been a sure medal for the nation. In recent years, the emergence on the international scene selections other especially in the case of Spain have put into question the hitherto intractable American.

One of the factors that most affect this result is, in my opinion, the system in which the US water polo is based, as it is the “thorn vertebra everything else” in the words of Denja Udovicic current coach of USA. “There is no country on earth with more potential than the United States,” added the Serb.

europausa1

Some differences in water polo: USA vs. Europe

And the truth is it’s hard not to agree with the statements of American selection. United States has more sub-16 players anywhere in the world, but beyond competitions High School or College, nothing more.
In Europe, by contrast, the club system allows the player to ‘ascend’ rapidly to be able to play matches with the first team -if the talents- at age 16. In USA, the player would have to wait until college to excel.

The dimensions of the country are also an element against. The competitions are concentrated in two or three days and except California, where most concentrated water polo, contact with other High School, College or University is scarce.

spainusa4

In contrast, one of the European cities where most clubs proliferate is Barcelona. The relationship between them is very active and can play games and training quality in a small ratio of action. A win win within reach of few cities in the world.

The arrival of European and Dejan Udovicic structures of American water polo can also be read as a gesture of approach to a system in Europe, despite the ailing economy of clubs, works in sports. Brazil has also opted for a Croatian an unblemished reputation as Radko Rudic for the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

What if the American giant wakes from his dream? …?

Chay Lapin, born on 1987,  is an American water polo goalkeeper that set the University of California all-time saves record and played with the United States National Team at the Summer Olympics in London 2012, his best accomplishment until today. We’ve had the chance to talk with him to know a little more about his story.

Why do you started playing water polo? 

I started playing water polo in seventh grade. Originally I was not a goalkeeper, I was a fast little dude. There was one tournament our goalie got sick when I was in the eighth grade and each of us played one quarter, I ended up playing very good. From that point on I transitioned into a goalkeeper and was fortunate enough to have a fabulous goalkeeper coach who helped me become the player I am today.

Why do you love water polo?

I love water polo because everyone is like a family. It’s a small world in this sport, and everybody knows each other. I played with and against the same players for over 10 years. My best friends came from the water polo and the people I can depend on came from water polo. I would not be the person that I am today without the sport.

chaylapin1

It was easy to combine your trainings with the schoolwork?

I believe that water polo kept us disciplined in school because we learned at a young age hard work and structure. Although it was demanding at certain times, I was able to handle a high work and training load.

Did you have to  leave anything to keep playing? 

I definitely missed out on a lot of fun activities with friends because of water polo related trips. At the time it sucks here and there to miss weddings, birthday parties etc. but the things that I have been able to accomplish I would never trade for.

Did you always wanted to be a professional water polo player?

At a very young age I started playing with the national development team, from 13 years old I started in the pipeline and had a goal to be in the Olympics.

When did you realize you had reached your goals?

I reached my goal in 2012 by making that Olympic team. My original goal was to make the 2008 team but unfortunately, I got cut.

chaylapin3

How was the experience of playing at the Olympic Games?

Playing at the Olympic Games was very tough and mentally draining but I loved every moment of it. It is very surreal to walk around and see other athletes that you have admired within water polo and other professional sports.

Did you ever considered playing abroad after finishing college?

Unfortunately when I finished college,  team USA decided to stay within the United States and train full time so I did not have the opportunity to go abroad and play. I think that playing abroad is a great experience from everyone that I’ve talked to, if I had an opportunity I definitely would’ve taken it.

What do you think are the main differences between water polo in Europe and in the US?

I couldn’t differentiate all the differences in Europe because I have not played there. I’ve I believe the biggest difference is at a younger age players are exposed to a very much higher level of water polo and coaching. Also there are professional leagues in Europe where there are none in the United States. I believe the United States is growing tremendously in the sport of water pull over the last 10 years, but it starts with the youth and having a high level of coaching to implement habits that are hard to obtainat an older age.

What do you think about BIWPA? 

I support and endorse the vision of BIWPA. Not only does this provide the youth an opportunity to see a high level of water polo but also opens our youth to a culture that we cannot experience here in the United States. This also provides coaches the opportunity to learn different aspects of the game and improve their abilities back home where they’re from.

If I had the opportunity as a child or teenager to travel and learn from top coaching and experience European water polo I would 100% of done it.

By Xavi Gómez.

This weekend was played in La Jolla (San Diego, CA)  the final of the NCAA National Championship in the United States and that has resulted in the victory of UCLA by a single goal scored within 34 seconds end of the match.

In the Canyonview Aquatic Center and with full stands as usual in the US, two prestigious universities faced, which are at the same time, two of the most portentous brackets on the national scene.

The game was developed as evenly as possible in the absence of a minute to conclude the match, the light reflected a draw to eight goals. In the absence of 34 seconds, the player UCLA Gordon Marshall scored the winning goal for the joy of California stands. The great performance of Junior Danny McClintick -author of four goals-, earned the award for most valuable player of the finals.

Moreover, the defeat of the Trojans against UCLA also had the architect goalkeeper Garret Danner, who made 9 stops versus six in his counterpart at the other end.

Thus, UCLA returns to NCAA champion after his last win in 2004 and it is the ninth times are boosted to the utmost the podium. “It’s one of the best teams where I played, nobody cares who scores the goal or gets the credit. This is what we must do to achieve success, ” settled the MVP of the finals to accredited media. For his part, known USC coach Jovan Vavic admitted that his team was “a step away from victory, but we did not take our chances.”