Saturday June 10th 2017

Having had more than week to reflect on my trip, and coming back to some truly depressing initial June weather here in Montreal, I can now give my full impressions on the training camp.  For starters, I don’t think that there could have been a better place to host the athletes than the Cala Rosa hotel.  Some of the training camps that I’ve attended have been held in either schools, gyms and even military complexes with the accomodations usually in the same place.  In short, pretty spartan living conditions.  Even the training camp held for the 2012 Copa Sparta in San Juan, Puerto Rico at their Olympic training center was not as nice as Sardinia.  To have the wrestling practices being done in the such a nice venue as the Communitry Sports Centre in Scintino and the accomodations in a 4 star hotel was not quite what I’m used to.

On our way to the Community Sports Centre

Nice place to train

While being in a scenic venue is not always a pre-requisite for a training camp, it doesn’t hurt either.  The hotel provided a perfect venue located centrally from the beach and to the training centre.  The distance too was manageable by walk but shuttles were provided to both locales.  For running, the gentle hills and wide sidewalks provided a great space to run.  Even the hotel pool, usually associated with a place of relaxation, was just cool enough and with enough space to provide a good area to do laps if that’s what your training required.  Finally, there was a mini soccer court on the hotel grounds, which again provides an ample distraction from being on the mats all the time.

Great view for a run!

The food provided was top notch, something that isn’t always seen at these training camps as feeding a bunch of hungry wrestlers can become costly if you don’t provide food such as the ubiquitous chicken and rice which is fairly healthy and can be obtained for much less the cost.  The hotel, had a staff of trained chefs, providing a buffet of 4 star quality with salads, pasta and various fishes and meats always there in ample quality.

Not a bad place to do some laps

A training camp of this calibre isn’t always available to the average athlete as it can be costly and only available to high-performance athletes.  Yet when we went there, we were able to bring some of our younger athletes and they were able to benefit from the experience.  Experiences like this actually can serve as motivation for athletes to progress further as they see the level of competition and the commitment of the athletes at the camp.

The soccer pitch

Finally, the training, while nothing I haven’t seen before was a change and allowed me to gain insight to what other clubs are doing.  While I don’t think that this will alter the way I run my practices, it does help for when I will start to structure match strategies in preparation for some other international opponents as I can now have a broader comparison of different athletes from other countries and what they’re doing.  In short, my experience at the camp was quite memorable and one that I hope to repeat in the future.