Meet SwimCamps coach Brian Kamstra

Brian Kamstra is a former professional cyclist who raced for UCI Pro Team Novo Nordisk and was a four-time National Champion in Cross Country Running. He's currently coaching
athletes and sharing his knowledge and experience to help them develop into better athletes. Brian's path to cycling was not a conventional one. He started out with running and was considered one of the best junior runners in the country by winning over 10 National championship medals and competing in the 2011 European Championships. However, after getting diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Brian switched to cycling and raced professionally from 2014 to 2021. In his cycling career, Kamstra's best result was 10th place at the 2017 Tour de Taiwan, but
he also competed at 2017, 2018, and 2021 editions of Milano-San Remo, Strade Bianche, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road, Herald Sun Tour, and many more. Kamstra's dedication to cycling has also led him to coach young athletes to help them reach their full potential. "It was always there in my family. I happened to be good at football because I was a fast
runner, so I started running, after running I found out I could ride a bike fast. It was all a bit coincidence.  Running was/is my true passion, cycling was fun and became my job," says
Brian. As a coach, Brian has a unique coaching style that focuses on the individual approach combined with helping the athlete to understand their own needs and process, which he believes is the only way they can develop into better athletes. "I like to make athletes understand their own strong and weak points, and make them part of their own development," he adds.

Lessons Learned and Advice for Young Athletes

Through his experience as a professional athlete, Brian learned that things go quickly. "My professional career was over really quickly due to some medical condition. Most important is to keep it fun and keep it consistent. I forget at one point why I did the sport and lost basically all pleasure and fun in it. It became more of a job. I needed time to find joy again," he says.

Brian believes that the most important thing young athletes should bear in mind at all times is to keep it fun and learn what works for them and what doesn't work for them. "Young
athletes have many years to dedicate to training, so keep the fun and remember at all times why you started the sport in the first place. Because you like/love the sport and that's why
you do it," he advises.

Hard Work Beats Talent

As a coach, Brian has worked with many athletes, and he has seen young athletes he used to coach going to the Olympics. "While they weren't the most talented ones, they were
definitely the most hard-working ones. Basically, the phrase 'Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard,'" he notes.

Brian Kamstra is born and raised in the Netherlands. After living in Girona, Spain, and Verona, Italy, he moved to the beautiful town of Mihotici in Croatia. He has Type 1 diabetes, which he considers an extra superpower, as he has used his experience to help others with diabetes find their way in sports.

Join Brian Kamstra at the Open-Water and Triathlon Camp in Lagos, Portugal

If you want to improve your competitive cycling, swimming and running skills, you can join the open-water and triathlon camp in Lagos, Portugal, from April 27th until May 1st. Running
and cycling sessions of the camp will be led by Brian Kamstra, who will offer valuable tips for optimizing your transitions and help you get in shape. The swimming portion of the camp will be led by the legend of open-water swimming – Osama Ahmed Momtaz. The camp will be
set against the stunning natural beauty of Lagos, a city with a lovely climate that's perfect for
outdoor training. And when you're not working on your athletic pursuits, you can relax and unwind in the luxurious surroundings of the Marina Rio Hotel.