Burch takes elite approach to Games
Bermuda swimmer Roy Allen Burch has joined an intensive elite training programme in his bid to qualify for next year's Olympic Games.
Burch is working with world-renowned swim coach David Marsh at the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, alongside top US swimmers such as Cullen Jones and Josh Schneider.
The move already seems to be paying dividends after Burch finished just three tenths of a second shy of qualifying for the FINA World Championships at the Indianapolis Grand Prix this weekend.
While qualifying for the Worlds in Singapore this summer is also a goal, it is the lure of the London Games that is ultimately driving Burch to train harder and better than he has ever done before.
“As the road to the Olympics gets shorter, every moment becomes more valuable,” said Burch. “When given the opportunity to train harder and faster, one should hold on tight.
“Monday through Saturday I train between three and half to almost six hours per day. Training is very intense, yet specific to my goals of reaching the London Olympic Games. On Wednesdays, Fridays and certain Saturdays I train with the Elite group, which is one of three programmes in the whole country.”
Burch said the opportunity to work with elite athletes had opened his eyes to a different level of training that he described as a ‘very special experience.
“To train at this level means a lot to me,” said Burch. “This is what I have been looking for all along, and now that it is here, I have taken full advantage of the training.
“When looking from the outside in at the best athletes in the world, it is hard to comprehend how they are able to perform at such high levels, but to finally be a part of a programme, gives me insight about high-level training.
“Elite training has become a very special experience for me. In the sessions where I train with the elite swimmers, I am able to compete against some of the best sprinters in America.”
Burch said he could already feel the difference in his performance and said he was getting better and better with every day that passed.
“In the short period of time I've been training here I have made significant leaps in my swimming,” he said. “I have reached personal best practice swim times and found myself winning sprints in elite practices.
“Along with learning how a gold medal swim programmes develops their swimmers, I learn so much on a daily basis and it makes coming to practice and working hard an enjoyable experience. Every single lap is another lap closer to the dream of once again swimming at the Olympic Games.”