Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.
A swimmer’s season ends on one of three notes; a disappointing performance at the year end competition, burn out, or the best case scenario, a thorough slashing of all relevant best times and goals at the season-ending meet.
Regardless of how you complete the season, and how long your off-season is – for some it is a few months while others get what amounts to a long weekend off – this downtime is crucial in allowing you to mentally and physically recuperate and refresh from a long season of swimming.
Here are 4 things to ask yourself during the off-season so that you can go into next season with a clear mind and sense of purpose:
Why do I love this sport? Reconnecting with the reasons that we are passionate about the sport can remind us why we put up with the two-a-days, the holiday training camps, and the limited social life. No matter what your goals are as a swimmer, whether you are an age grouper or Olympian, write out a few reasons for why you swim. Over the long grind of a year these reasons often get lost or muddled, and having them in focus again can help shape and build our motivation leading into next year.
What did I learn about myself this year? Once the smell of chlorine has faded from your skin – does it really ever, though? – and you have had a chance to unwind a little bit from the flurry of training, sit down and make an honest evaluation of yourself. The biggest lessons you will pull from a year of training don’t appear on the scoreboard, they are the little moments when you realized that doing something a particular way suited you, or that if you really wanted something bad enough, that there was nothing that would stop you from achieving it. Recognizing and cherishing these moments is important, and you should drink it in before another round of training kicks off.
How can I make my swimming an even richer experience? Maybe this will be the year that you start part-time coaching. Or mentoring student-athletes. Or simply making it a habit to help the youngsters on your club. You don’t need to be an Olympic champion to have something to offer to the swimming community, as no matter where you stand in terms of swimming skill there is always someone who is striving to be where you are now.
What do I want to achieve next season? The end of the season also provides a clean break from your training from which you can sit back and figure out where you would like to go from here. What are the things that you would like to achieve next year? Having goals written out before the upcoming season gets underway will allow you to hit the ground running, with a clear focus on what you plan on achieving for the year.
YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more. Learn 8 more reasons why this tool kicks butt.
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