A Few Thoughts From the Shiseido Canadian Open

I was fortunate this year that the Canadian Open was only a few hours away from me, so I drove up in the morning to catch the combo and team events. I highly recommend that if you get a chance to go to a competition to observe you should. You really get a different perspective.

After watching today there were some really great things that stood out to me:

  • In combo I loved that the team from Mexico started in the water in a float with their arms in the shape of a heart. They also did a float with 2 boxes connected at the corner and each duet swam in the middle of their box.
  • I saw this pattern change a few times. It is a simple yet effective pattern change on the surface. The red swimmers swap spots and the green swimmers swap spots. Depending on the direction your rocket is facing you can have a red and green swimmer swap.


  • I also found that most routines had great movement around the pool; pool pattern wise and in just the way they travelled so efficiently around the pool. It was all go, go, go.

Now for a few things I’d like to see better:

  • If your swimmers are in a pattern that faces the corner make sure you modify something so they can face the judges. This may turning your swimmers body or just adding a head check. Sometimes just turning a swimmer around so they went backwards would have solved the issue.
  • Patterns on the angle need to make sense from multiple view points. I found some of the patterns only looked accurate from one side. Remember the judges are all over.
  • In training emphasize to your swimmers that they need to stay in pattern until the pattern change happens. Too many patterns were unclear due to sneaking swimmers. Set clear move and click counts for the group.

If you did not get a chance to watch the routines go check out the replays.

Great work swimmers and coaches. Looking good out there.

Yours in Synchro,


  1. Carly Abraham on May 2, 2016 at 9:35 AM

    Good comments Vanessa.

    • Vanessa Keenan on May 2, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      Thanks Carly. It was nice to see you this weekend. Feel free to add your thoughts too.

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