Championship season is the time of year when you put even more focus into swimming your fastest. As the physical demand of training lightens, how you manage the remaining hours in your day becomes more critical. Making your meets a priority doesn’t mean skirting other responsibilities—it just means planning ahead and practicing your best habits outside of the pool. Here are four ways to optimize your time as you prepare for a championship:
Be Physically Prepared.
Your coach can give you all the tools you need while at practice, but he or she cannot control how you take care of your body for the other 20 hours in the day. Get adequate, consistent sleep, take a few minutes to foam roll or stretch more than usual, and pay attention to your hydration. Keep your nutrition balanced by eating foods that make you feel your healthiest (now is not the time to be adventurous with new cuisine).
Get mentally “up” for your meets. Whether that means relaxing more, listening to music, or visualizing your plays and shots dozens of times, do it. Part of being confident is being happy, so stay loose in the days leading up to championships, and have fun with your teammates. Be engaged in your teammates’ goals and celebrate their success—you’ve pushed each other to be better all year and now is the time to be most supportive.
Take it Easy.
If you have to skip out on an event with friends because it conflicts with your training schedule and meet preparations, there will be plenty of other opportunities to catch up in the future. Avoid social outings that are too strenuous, such as walking around the city all day or standing at a sporting event. Give yourself a break from all things taxing that might take away from your performance come race day.
You’ve probably heard these gems of advice many times before, but that’s because they all work. Take good care of your body because you owe it to yourself after all the training you’ve put in. Get excited with your teammates about your upcoming events and watch that momentum carry over into great results.
BridgeAthletic works with elite professional, collegiate, and club swimming programs to provide a turnkey solution for dryland training. Led by Nick Folker, the top swimming strength and conditioning coach in the world, our team builds stroke-specific, custom-optimized dryland programs for each of our clients. The individualized workouts are delivered directly to athletes via our state of the art technology platform and mobile applications. Check Nick and BridgeAthletic out as recently featured in SwimSwam.
Nick Folker is the Co-Founder and Director of Elite Performance at BridgeAthletic. Nick’s athletes have won 22 Olympic Medals, 7 team NCAA Championships and over 170 individual and relay NCAA championships. Megan Fischer-Colbrie works as the Sports Science Editor at BridgeAthletic. Megan was a four-year varsity swimmer at Stanford, where she recently graduated with a degree in Human Biology.
The Championship Series by BridgeAthletic is designed to empower athletes with tips from the pros that will help them reach peak performance come race day. We will be covering competition-focused topics such as nutrition, recovery, stretching, and mental preparation.
Swimming Training is courtesy of BridgeAthletic, a SwimSwam ad partner.