As another school year comes to an end, that means in just a few months you will be entering your first college swim season. It can be really exciting, scary and overwhelming at times but it is all worth it. Some of you may not know exactly what to expect, and that’s okay! It can be helpful to know exactly what you need to do, bring, and know before coming into your first season.
When entering your first college season, it’s important to be yourself. Don’t start off on the wrong foot by being someone you think they want you to be. One of the worst things you could do it go into a new team and act like someone who you are not, just so others will like you. Being who you are is the best way to be sure people like who you are. When you pretend to be someone you aren’t, you can leave your team with the wrong impression. Be yourself, because you will be spending the next four years with these people.
2. Stock up on suits.
You are coming into a season where you will be swimming practically all the time! You practice in the morning, and then again in the evening so you want to make sure you’ll have a dry suit to put on. Whenever the swim websites have big sales or clearances I recommend you stock up so you will be set.
3. Don’t jump to any conclusions.
Obviously, you picked the school because when you went on your recruiting trip, you loved it. The first few weeks or even months can be difficult. It can be hard to adjust because so many things are changing. Let yourself settle into your new life and don’t let some things make you feel like you made a mistake. Give yourself time to adjust to the great experience. If you are homesick, give it time. Once you get into a regular routine, it will make you feel more at home and your team will feel more like a family.
4. Stock up on goggles.
If you are anything like me, you will go through goggles like crazy. With the amount of swimming you do, that “anti-fog” will only last you so long. I suggest you get a few pairs because it’s always nice to have back-ups in case they break or you can’t see out of them anymore.
5. Be physically prepared.
It’s very important to come in physically prepared. You should be in the best shape that you can possibly be in before diving into a college pool. It’s very important to stay in the water over the summer, because you don’t want to be out of shape for your first collegiate practice. There will be very little time to get used to the new intensity – and being physically underprepared has the danger of leading to injury or burnout.
6. The importance of communication.
Especially your first year, it’s important to communicate with your teammates and coaches. Communication with your team will help you ease into the college swing of things. Your teammates can help you with anything, especially the upperclassmen because they have been through it all. Your teammates are there for you to lean on.