For only being around six seasons the Quesnel Waveriders have made quite a name for themselves with the caliber of swimmers they have developed.
Head coach Jeritt Brink says he’s very proud of all the swimmers at the club which is more than 60, with 30 that are competitive.
“Every single child in the program has achieved a personal best time, which is fantastic considering we have more than 60 swimmers,” Brink said.
Brink, who is in his fifth season as the head coach of the Waveriders says his philosophy when it comes to swimming is speed through endurance.
“I’m definitely a believer of speed through endurance,” Brink said.
“I don’t focus on any specific stroke because I believe they should try all of them. It’s a good foundational philosophy that a lot of the best coaches around the world tend to believe.”
He adds, although results are good it’s not the most important thing.
“We have a good range of speed and at different points in the season we have top five and 10 swimmers in the province,” Brink said.
“I don’t really like to focus on the performance of the swimmers, but I do focus on the process that results in the performance.”
Brink says when new swimmers come to the club the two most challenging strokes to grasp are the butterfly and breaststroke.
“The butterfly requires two great components which are rhythm and a really strong dolphin kick,” Brink said.
“If you don’t have a good dolphin kick it’s very hard because it becomes the most difficult strength stroke, as you don’t have any recovery in it. With the breaststroke it’s difficult to get the timing down.”
He says in five seasons they haven’t finished poorly and doesn’t think they ever will.
“My focus is not on the performance, it’s on them being happy kids,” Brink said.
“Most sports you have to fight with the kids to get them there and then they’re gone after a few years. We’ve had a solid group of 25-30 kids and now we have 60 kids, and I would say over 90 per cent still want to swim.”
Brink says one thing that stands out from the Waveriders compared to other clubs is they don’t swim on weekends, unless it’s a competition.
“So many other clubs swim more than us and on weekends, which I don’t agree with because they’re kids,” Brink said.
“They deserve to be with their friends and families and have two days of rest.”
He says his mentor Marc Tremblay was huge when he became involved in coaching.
“I had a good mentor with Marc, who told me right away that you need to balance the swimmers resting and training,” Brink said.
He adds he never imagined getting involved with coaching.
“He saw something in me that I didn’t see and encouraged me,” Brink said.
“He then got me with the best swim club in B.C., which is Island swimming in Victoria and that’s where it all started.”
After a few years in a coaching role, an opening came up in Quesnel with the Waveriders which he jumped at.
“It’s my philosophy and if I fail, I fail and if I don’t cool because I will be learning along the way,” Brink said.
“I think I’m more of a teacher than a coach.”
Brink says he is very active during swim meets compared to some other coaches, as he is always giving his swimmers advice.
“Strengths are strengths and they will always be good for you,” Brink said.
“If you focus on your weakness’ then you will make yourself better.”
He says there are a number of reasons why swimming is good, but one is the fitness aspect.
“They get a massive cardiovascular push more than any other sport and you’re against resistance the whole time,” Brink said.
Recently, the club completed their mini-meet and Brink was impressed by all his swimmers, but was very proud of three in particular.
“I am so proud of Sophie Bolton, Kaden Lister and Kayla Sulentich,” Brink said.
“They were all a bit nervous before the competition, but showed true courage and accomplished their swims.”
Brink says the atmosphere around the club is great because everyone pulls for one another.
“All the achievements the swimmers make, know matter how big or small everyone is pretty stoked for it,” Brink said.