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Sunday, March 24, 2013

What The Mind Believes, The Body Achieves

Mohamed Marouf and the Le Club de natation Calac hosted an international conference on open water swimming at its annual distance swimming competition in Montréal, Canada.

Dr. Abou Elella Ade El Fattah of Egypt, Alain Lefebvre of Canada, Gilles Potvin of Canada, and Steven Munatones, as well as host and former professional marathon swimmer Mohamed Marouf covered a variety of areas in the sport of open water swimming.

Dr. Fatah, a professor at the University of Cairo and the top sports physiologist throughout the Middle East provided a variety of physiological data on marathon swimmers including a comparison against world-class pool swimmers specializing in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. He explained the differences in the average height, weight, BMI of those aquatic athletes focusing on pool events versus those who focus on the open water swimming events. His wide-ranging presentation included data and descriptions of the physiological effects of marathon swimming, the psychological characteristics of open water swimmers, the effects of hypothermia and hyperthermia, and the different types of chafing.

Alain Lefebvre, the Coordinator, High Performance Sports at the Université de Montréal and the former Technical Director of FNQ Fédération Natation de Quebec, presented a variety of perspectives on the psychology of age-group swimmers in development and mature elite athletes. Lefebvre discussed myriad cases that illustrated his perspectives. "We are just beginning to understand what true potential we have within us."

Gilles Potvin, an Honour Coach in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, described a number of factors impacting - both positively and negatively - age-group swimmers interested in open water swimming. His presentations of first-hand experiences in a number of international marathon swimming competitions clearly made his points. He spoke about his swims as a professional athlete and as a coach at the 24 Heures La Tuque and the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean. "Open water swimming is a sport I adore. It's one of the rare sports in which just finishing is an accomplishment."

Steven Munatones of the World Open Water Swimming Association presented a history of marathon swimming from 1875 to the present and the Pyramid of Open Water Swimming Success. "I have seen so many great achievements around the world in open water swimming. If swimmers prepare and believe in themselves, they can achieve so much. Swimmers around the world, of all ages and abilities, have taught me so much about what is possible. It is coaches like Mohamed Marouf who can help elevate the next generation of swimmers as he also ties together the great coaches of the current and past generations."

After the conference, Marouf hosted a long-distance meet where 91 swimmers from 7 teams (C.S.Q., Club Aquatique Calac Lasalle, Club aquatique Montreal, Club de Natation de Sherbrooke, Club de natation Samak, and E.N. St Lambert) entered in the 2.5 km, 5 km and 10 km events.

"This is just the beginning," explained Coach Marouf. "We have to start somewhere. 3 years ago, we started this long-distance meet with only 2 swimmers. Even with only 2 swimmers, I said 'Let's go. Let's go it.' Now, we have seen it grow to almost 100 swimmers. The coaches and parents, as well as the kids, are getting excited about stepping it and competing in longer and longer races. With this meet and other meets, we will be ready for the open water swimming season in June. It gives us a great start here in Quebec where the winters are so long."

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

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World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

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