Swimming coaches Patrick Pearson and Thijs Hagelstein jointly run the High Performance Center in Eindhoven. With a renewed group, a different structure and stimulating projects.
In this post-Olympic year, Femke Heemskerk, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Ferry Weertman said their goodbyes, leaving a void in the bath of Eindhoven. “We are now focusing on a group of swimmers that has the potential to grow,” said Pearson, who oversees the training group of swimmers who focus on short distances. Hagelstein’s group is of the longest work, including in open water. “It’s a multi-year plan.”
Ranomi didn’t think she should be the leader twelve years ago
A new dynamic is created between the athletes themselves. Marrit Steenbergen, Maaike de Waard, Stan Pijnenburg and Maarten Brzoskowski – swimmers who play regularly in Eindhoven – are progressing in the hierarchy. “Pruning makes flowers bloom,” they say. It’s time for the others to stand in the sun,” Hagelstein said. She was Marleen Veldhuis, but when she quit, Ranomi became her after all.
Explore new roads
“Our figureheads have stopped,” says Hagelstein. “They played a key role in setting things up, guided by Marcel Wouda. It gives us the space to take a critical look at what we have done in recent years and where we can chart new paths.
For example, the bodybuilding program has now been set up differently. And they approach physiology monitoring differently, now in collaboration with the InnoSportLab in Eindhoven and the VU in Amsterdam. “So there are some nice new projects that challenge us as coaches to think about it more,” says Hagelstein.
Then some things also changed in the structure. Wouda, who was ultimately responsible for the HPC program at the Pieter van den Hoogenband swimming stadium, has stepped back and now works as a project coach for KNZB. And technical director André Cats succeeded Maurits Hendriks as director of high-performance sport at the NOC*NSF.
You continue to work with top athletes that you want to improve every day
As the new Director of High Performance Swimming, Sjors Lommerts will be responsible for the high performance sports programs from May 1. National coach Mark Faber has his home at HPC in Amsterdam. Pearson and Hagelstein now run the company in Eindhoven, where Geert Janssen runs the training center. “But deep down, you continue to work with top athletes that you want to improve every day,” says Hagelstein.
World Cup limit for Giele and Steenbergen
This weekend the swimmers will be in action at the qualifying meet in Eindhoven. This summer, the Long Track World Championships will take place in Budapest in June and the European Championships in Rome in August. Marrit Steenbergen swam the first day of the EQM in the 200-meter freestyle with 1.58.30 minutes the limit for the World Cup. Kira Toussaint won the 50 backstroke on Friday in 27.84 seconds. Tessa Giele came second, she dipped 28.01 under the World Cup limit. Toussaint already had this target time in his pocket. Giele also finished second in the 100-meter butterfly (58.87), behind Maaike de Waard (58.66). Stan Pijnenburg triumphed in the 200 meter freestyle with a PR of 1.48.06. The 200 meters breaststroke fell prey to Arno Kamminga in 2.10.89.
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