Amy Campbell blog from USA Duet Camp 2014
20 February 2014
British Gas GBR synchronised swimmer Amy Campbell reports back from her recent duet training camp with teammate Hannah Randall in San Francisco.
Hannah and I have just got back from our first two-week duet camp in California. It was the first time I had gone outside of Europe so I was a bit apprehensive about the daunting 12 hour flight but it flew by (literally) and we were there in no time!
Our coach Lolli [Montico] had hired a beautiful white convertible jeep for the two weeks to drive us around in style. We stayed with a lovely host family with a huge house and two lovely dogs - Rocky and a husky named Radar.
We swam in some lovely outdoor pools which were great when the sun was shining, but a bit chilly on poolside when jumping in at 7am so we had to put our hats and goggles on first to keep warm!
We got to experience lots of new coaching techniques from the American coaches Tammy [McGregor] and Gail and did lots of detail work on our duet routines, improving our execution and synchronisation.
We also did a wide variety of land work, ranging from our usual strength and conditioning to circus skills. I was amazed at the range of land work the local club did and enjoyed joining in with the circus coach in doing tricks such as handstands. We also learnt how he applies his circus experience into developing lifts for the clubs and national teams.
As well as this, we had two very intense land drill sessions and I could see the difference in sharpness instantly! Hannah and I also joined in with sessions run by the USA team’s flexibility coach, a Ukranian rhythmic gymnastics coach called Lucy.
This proved to be a very similar routine each week but incredibly difficult and really pushed us but it was really helpful to learn exercises that we can take back to training to improve our flexibility.
Luckily, we also got a tour from Tammy around San Francisco which I really enjoyed as we got to see sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge as well as do some shopping!
We also saw the San Francisco Bush Man - a man who walks around carrying branches, hides behind them then jumps out at people! During our recovery days, we were also lucky enough to be in California to watch the Superbowl and make a few trips to the movies!
It was a shame it started raining during the last week as the weather the first week had been beautiful, but everyone in Walnut Creek was happy as it marked the end of their drought!
Hannah and I both really enjoyed this camp and think our duet has improved considerably. We can’t wait to get the opportunity to show all the new skills we learnt!