What a week! Mallorca Training Camp 2017 - Physically the hardest week of my coaching year. No doubt. Three sessions a day – athlete feedback – group management takes its toll... loved almost every minute of it. Slept 10 and a half hours in the hotel at Gatwick (overnight stop in London).
So the camp was full of fun, a couple of lows and plenty of amazing highs.
The low point was a small crash on the bike. These things happen, as the athlete said. No one else involved, just a silly crash, that required some first aid.
I know one of my strengths as a coach is, that I worry about athletes who are in my care.
Its also can be a huge weakness. It bothers me that someone got hurt. It bothers me that they couldn't then complete some of the sessions afterwards... that is not what I wanted for them on the camp. Could I do anything more to prevent it? No. The athlete will be fine, its just skin off and bruises. Can I learn from the incident for the future? Of course.
So, to some entertaining moments:
As ever the climb up to Randa and San Salvador were awesome. The video feedback in the pool, athletes got a lot out of, some had never seen themselves swim. The run sessions were smooth this year... and the sea swim around the Illot de Sa Llova was absolutely stunning under water... anyone that got to float around the other cove near the hotel would have seen an awesome array of fish.
Massive thanks, as ever, to the BEST Swim Centre for their hospitality and use of the fantastic facilities. Special mention to Vanessa for all her help with organisational skills.
The Hotel Don Leon staff were brilliant. Their patience with teaching me Spanish and helping with anything we needed.
To the Island of Mallorca – thank you for being you, stunning, beautiful, relaxing, charming and SUNNY! I really do love the island, and I have every intention of being back next year and for many years to come.
The feedback from the athletes and guests on the camp has been so positive. But, there always things we can learn, things we can improve for the future. Would we have changed how the camp was managed, or how we dealt with incidents? After plenty of thought and discussion about such topics... probably not. Would we communicate better to everyone how that was done? Yes.
Massive thank you to Andy for being way more than assistant coach this week. He's been a rock and a sounding board. I think we altered the plan daily to enable the athletes to get the most out of the week.
My proudest achievement (other than learning a bit of Spanish) was not getting lost during the whole week on the bike. Ok, there was one left turn that I missed... not sure the athletes noticed
If you want to know my favourite moments I have so many - here are some:
- The top of Randa in the cafe or the photo with Shawn lying across everyone else
- The welcoming hugs I received from a big Mallorcan chef when I walked into his restaurant - being remembered from previous visits
- Feeling like I belonged on that pool deck
- Cruising round Cala D'Or on the bike
- Finding the missing cafe – it only took us four years!
- Watching a group of people come together and engage with each other
What a week!
So there were many moments – some will remain with me for years to come. There were many achievements, first time transition mounts and dismounts (first time coach gets run over by an athlete!), first sea swims, first time death roll with an inflatable crocodile! New friendships have been born. Some old ones have been re-kindled - good to see you again Tyler!
I know that my favourite moment was sitting at the table in a restaurant called S'Arrossaria. Which is where I got the hug! They did amazing Paellas, Tapas, Wine... and from what I heard, Cava and shots afterwards! I sat there, just looking around the room and seeing the whole group engaging with each other. 20 people from around the world, all with different strengths and ambitions, all triathletes, all talking... just because they could. I sat there thinking:
“I made this!” One of life's extraordinary moments that take your breath away.
I am going back to Australia to see my family, for a beer, to learn Spanish (intending to be fluent for 2018), and continue doing, possibly, the best job in the world... Coaching Triathlon and developing next year's camp.
Same again next year?
Absolutely! I hope you can be part of it... official announcement coming soon!