The Toronto Triathlon Club hosted its annual Newbie/Development Beginner’s Camp May 27, 2018 in Milton. Club members beginning their triathlon journey were introduced to triathlon skills and built confidence for the upcoming season at the Milton Velodrome and at Kelso Conservation Area. We asked one of our group leaders and coaches about their experience at the camp working with our members, the following is what they shared.
Group Leader: Amy
How long have you been involved with the TTC? About one year.
Is this your first time at this event? No, I was a newbie at the camp last year.
What did you like best about being a group leader and helping TTC athletes at this event? I remember feeling SO nervous about attending as a newbie last year that I almost cancelled at the last minute. The camp was very helpful. I learned so much and I felt empowered with my newfound knowledge. The camp definitely prepared me for my first race! Because the camp helped me get over many fears, I wanted to share my experiences with this year’s participants and hopefully eased some of their fears.
What was one instance at the event for one or some of the athletes that made you feel good about being a group leader? I enjoyed providing assistance with bike handling. A few of the participants were nervous about holding their handlebars on the hoods and with some encouragement they were thrilled with becoming comfortable handling the bike in a safer position with quick access to their brakes.
Overall what would you say was the biggest takeaway for the athletes and for yourself from this experience? Many of the campers expressed the common fear of open water swimming. But this group was so eager and enthusiastic to get in that water they really nailed all of the drills. I was so excited to see that and to watch everyone have fun!
Can you share a fun moment from the event? The coaches, Tara and Eric, made the camp fun and interactive. I think the participants really enjoyed learning the different methods of the swim starts, especially the running from the beach into the water.
Anything else you want other TTC members to know about this event? If you are new to triathlon, this camp is perfect for getting a sense of the sport and help ease any fears you may have.
How long have you been involved with this event and the TTC? I have been a part of the Newbie camp since its inception 4 years ago.
What did you like best about coaching TTC athletes at this event? It’s always amazing to watch new athletes coming into the day, not knowing what to expect or understand different aspects of the sport and walking away at the end of the day feeling more confident and better prepared for their upcoming race season.
What was one breakthrough moment of the event for one or some of the athletes that made you feel proud as a coach? There was no particular breakthrough moment but more that everyone coming into the camp felt intimidated and “alone” and then realizing, they aren’t “alone” and that they were able to help and support one another throughout the day. Everyone of them had something to offer and be able to offer moral support to others.
Overall what would you say was the biggest takeaway for the athletes and for yourself from this experience? For the athletes, I would say their confidence and understanding of the sport and what to expect on race day or what to focus on during their training, be it skills, transitions, endurance or putting it all together. As a coach, I love watching people grow throughout the day and then speaking to them later in the season and saying how much the camp helped them on the day and with their confidence.
Can you share a fun moment from the event? The whole day is a fun time as we learn, but the open water swim session seems to be a highlight, especially on a hot day. Everyone has become comfortable with one another and then you get to splash in the water with your new friends.
Anything else you want other TTC members to know about this event? This is a great day of skills and learning for anyone just getting into or relatively new to the sport, to help improve their abilities in different areas of triathlon or duathlon.