Courtesy of Swimtern Josh Brown. Follow: @joshbrownisaman
Many of us are just getting into the start of another winter swim season. For some, this may be your first real competitive winter season and for others this may be your very last. No matter whether it’s your first or tenth year swimming (or anywhere in between), whether you’re a wee guppy or a college senior here are some things you should focus on this year.
STAY ON TOP OF THINGS
Stick to your training both in and out of the water. Yes, there are a lot of “hidden” (or not so hidden) things you can miss when training begins and ends in the pool. First, stay on top of dryland! I’ve seen it happen all too often when people decide dryland and weight training just aren’t for them. Please don’t be that person – your coach is having you do this stuff for a reason. For many swimmers weight training and dryland are critical to success for their specific events. Second, stay on top of eating healthy. Yeah, one night of indulging in guilty pleasures like that triple cheeseburger won’t ruin your entire swim season, but don’t make this a nightly thing. And please swimmers get as much sleep as you can, and try to put that phone away and turn lights out thirty minutes earlier. That extra sleep adds up.
It’s a long season, I get that. But realize that with a long season comes large rewards. I know for the majority of us, the long hours of each practice, the number of practices each month, and the number of months in the swim season can be daunting. But trust me on this, that’s why you are a swimmer! You know there will be late nights and early mornings. You know you will have stiff standing brittle hair. You know chlorine fumes will permeate your car on the rides home from practice. But you also know that taste in your mouth (no, it’s not chlorine) when you reach that goal time you were doodling in your school books all season long. There’s nothing else like it!
KEEP IT FUN WITH THE TEAM
We’ve ALL had our ups and downs throughout the course of our swimming. C’mon, let’s not deny it, even the great Michael Phelps has seen his dark days on planet swim. Despite what sometimes can be an “emotional sport” as my coach would say, let’s remember to keep it fun. Spend time with your teammates, they are your family. Take on the role of bringing your team closer together. Have a team dinner every now and then, or go hang out at a local sports event. You could even start a team fantasy football league. Bring the fun off the pool deck and engage the team in a family setting.