5 Tips for Incoming Freshman Swimmers

Ryan Taylor
by Ryan Taylor 2

November 01st, 2016 College

First of all, welcome to the big time! The next four years are going to be busy, memorable, and fast. You’re about to join a new swimming family, and it’ll be a little overwhelming at first. Here are a few things I wish I had known going into my freshman swim season!

1. Everyone is excited that you’re there.

The coaches probably spent a long time watching you, calling you, emailing you and setting up recruiting visits for you. You might feel nervous or worried about making friends, don’t be! Everyone on the team has been waiting for you to officially join them, teaching the new freshman is part of the fun being an upperclassman. They want to be your friends. Just talk to them!

2. Make sure you’re on top of your classes before swim season starts

You’ll be spending more time swimming than you ever have before. You’ll have to budget your time with class, practice, and homework. Take the stress out of the academic side of being in season by starting out right! It’s about month from the start of school to the start of swim season. Use this time to set yourself up for a worry-free academic year.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

First practice felt awful? Barely keeping up with the rest of the lane? Never seen a large set with brackets like that? It’s okay! You’re diving into a whole new program with different sets, different coaches, and different schedules! You might not feel amazing right away, and you’ll probably need a little time to adjust. Before you know it, you’ll be right back on track.

4. Get enough sleep.

Believe me, morning practice will be here before you know it and there’s nothing worse than walking into the weight room or pool 15 minutes after the workout started!

5. Relax. You’ve got this.

It’s still just swimming, the same as it’s ever been. You’re here because you’re good enough to swim at the college level. You will be tested this season, but you’re going to be just fine.

This post originally appeared on Ryan Thinks.



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6 years ago

Hopefully when you went on your recruiting trip, you were able to determine the team chemistry as it related to those team members who were intent on performing well at school/swimming and those who weren’t. Usually the team will address “party/drinking” issues within the locker room, but you should ask what the team does when they aren’t in the pool. Do they go to the parties? Do they hang out together? Do they go to other sporting events together? Do they encourage studying? Do the juniors/seniors still go to study hours? The habit of others will give you a good idea as to the type of program you’re entering. Some coaches are strict when it comes to drinking/partying etc. While… Read more »

Be prepared
6 years ago

I think it’s important to bring up the idea of partying in college. The temptation and pressure to do it will be there, so ignoring that it happens doesn’t help anyone. Be prepared for what you’ll do when the team has a party or kids do drugs…these things happen at every college in America. Having a plan for when this happens is smart.

Also figuring out if you will decide to drink, how often will you do it. When will you stop before a taper meet… I know this is meant to be a fun article to get everyone excited about college, but this is practical advice that will make an impact and something kids need to think about. I… Read more »

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a native of Fairview, Pennsylvania. Over the course of his 14 year swimming career including club, YMCA, high school varsity and college varsity competition, Taylor has built a deep understanding of stroke technique and preparation for success. After his 4 years of swimming at Westminster College he …

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