By Nick Brunelli
GEELONG, Australia, December 31. USA Swimming's National Junior Team is in Australia for 13 days. Today is the second day of the team's appearance in Australia. Everyone is going to celebrate the last days of a new year abroad and for almost everyone, including myself, this is a first. For the first three days of January, USA Team will be at a training Camp in Geelong, a suburb of Melbourne.
What am I doing on a Junior Team Trip, right? Well I am on this trip as the Men's National Team representative. Kate Ziegler is the girl's rep. We are here to show the Junior Team how we prepare and get ready for a National Team meet. It also allows them to interact with us and use us as a resource if they don't know or don't understand everything.
Here is a little insight as to what I have observed so far:
The team right now is creating an identity for itself like all teams do for the first time. The Junior Team is made up of many first time USA team travelers and it's great to see them buy into what Team USA is all about. The team's young atmosphere makes this trip unique. It has been less business and more fun mixed with some good training. I think we will see this team change a lot in the next few days leading up to the first day of a meet on Jan. 5. I am eager to see this team transform itself into the powerhouse team of the future. Some of these kids are ready for the next step and this is their first chance.
The idea behind a trip like this is for the Junior Team to have a chance to shine in the spotlight and see what it feels like to be a part of something special. While training and hanging out, the team creates a tight bond with each other that seems to last forever. It's the first and most important part for a team to have a strong future. Team bonding is what I think makes Team USA unique and #1.
Click on the SWTV button on the right to hear Brunelli talk about the trip.
Nick Brunelli is a member of USA Swimming's National Team.
In 2005, Brunelli was ranked fifth in the world in 50m free and ninth in 100m free. He broke the American record in the 50 SCM with a 21.18 just .08 off the world record at the time. In 2006, he suffered a shoulder separation and recently made strong showings at USA Nationals with a 22.01 in the 50 LCM and 19.17 yard at the University of Texas Invitational.