2009 Program News

10/3/09: Week 3 Recap- ICECP Apprenticeships Underway

Week 3 of ICECP represented the end of classes at Delaware and the beginning of the sport-specific apprenticeship portion of the program. Each of the 27 participants headed to one of 13 apprenticeship sites.

The apprenticeship sites are spread throughout the US, with one in Europe. All the participants arrived safely to their destinations and began working with the coaching staffs and athletes of top athletic clubs, university teams and national governing bodies in their respective sports.

Most of the participants did their traveling on Sunday and had their first day on-site on Monday. Several stayed in Delaware for a few extra days and began their apprenticeships there.

Alfredo Ortiz, the Puerto Rican national shotgun shooting team assistant coach, worked with Delaware’s strength and conditioning staff, learning how they kept track of athletes’ weights and exercises and discussing training philosophy.

“I learned how to use dynamic warm-ups for different sports and all the different workouts they use for each sport,” Ortiz said. Ortiz also discussed making workouts more fun and interesting for his athletes with the Delaware staff.

“The information I got was priceless,” Ortiz said.

On Wednesday, Ortiz shipped out to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for the remainder of his apprenticeship. There, he will take a shooting course with the US national team coaches.

Track and field national team coaches Denise Williams (Grenada), Ernesto Selva (El Salvador) and Gabrielli Qoro (Fiji) also spent some extra time at Delaware. During their extended stay, they attended classes taught by Dr. Robinson and worked with Delaware’s women’s track and field head coach, Wendy McFarlane.

“We attended an ethical theory class with Dr. Robinson and discussed major ethical theories,” Qoro said. “We were able to interact with the [UDel] students on the importance of distributing justice, especially in sports.”

The coaches observed McFarlane’s preseason track workout and were able to discuss her plan for improving some of the runners’ posture and form. They finished their time at Delaware on Friday and are headed next to Penn State University.

Patricio F. Bridgewater is temporarily joining the Blue Hens’ volleyball coaching staff. The national team head coach in Netherlands Antilles, Bridgewater is shadowing coach Bonnie Kenny’s two-time defending CAA champion squad and helping out wherever he can.

“Bonnie is wonderful to work with and so are the girls,” Bridgewater said. Bridgewater has discussed strategy and observations he made about the team with Coach Kenny throughout his three weeks at Delaware. Friday, he travelled with the team to its conference showdown with Towson University and helped coach them to a 3-0 victory. On Oct 6, he will again go along for the ride as the squad heads to Villanova for a nonconference match.

BBallThe basketball coaches began their apprenticeship in Delaware but did not stay long. After two days of working with the men’s and women’s strength and conditioning coaches and observing team workouts and practices, they headed to Philadelphia to learn from a long list of impressive programs.

They began their tour of Philly’s basketball finest with the Philadelphia 76ers training camp on Wednesday. They also attended men’s and women’s practices at Drexel University on Thursday and University of Pennsylvania men’s practice on Friday. The coaches were impressed by the level of the professional players.

“The players were definitely more skilled and talented,” said Sid Guzman, the national team coach in Guam. “The speed, athleticism and ability were at the highest level. It was up another five notches from the college players.”

They will continue working with collegiate basketball programs in the coming week, with visits scheduled to St. Joseph’s University, Villanova, Temple and La Salle. They will also get to see the 76ers in action against the New Jersey Nets in a preseason game on Oct 9.

JudoThe judo coaches were some of the first to leave Delaware. They caught an early flight down to sunny South Florida to begin their apprenticeship with the North Miami Judo Training Center. North Miami is operated by German Velasco, an assistant coach on the US national team. The ICECP judo coaches began working closely with Velasco upon arrival.

“We spoke about his coaching philosophy, his way of work and shared some experiences,” said Igor Paskoski, a national team coach from Macedonia.

The coaches also participated in some of the training sessions at North Miami and met with Jerry Navarro, the president of Florida Judo, Inc.

“Mr. Navarro will organize visits to other [sanctioned] clubs where we can see and participate in masters and junior judo training sessions,” Paskoski said.

PhelpsThe swimming coaches might have the apprenticeship site with the most star power. On Monday, they began working with head coach Bob Bowman at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), the home of Michael Phelps.

“Coach Bowman and the rest of the coaching staff have been really nice to us and very approachable,” said Isabelle Zarb, the national team coach in Malta. “We bombarded them with questions of all kinds.”

During their first week at NBAC, the ICECP coaches worked with several of the coaching staff members, watched DVD’s of practices and training and attended several of Phelps’ training sessions. They were also able to meet the Olympic swimming hero.

Regardless of location, coaches from every site agree on one thing: the apprenticeship experience is going great.

“It has been really interesting and enlightening. I can’t wait for more,” Guzman said.