SFTS: The Grind Never Stops – Summer Training At The High School Level

SwimSwam welcomes reader submissions about all topics aquatic, and if it’s well-written and well-thought, we might just post it under our “Shouts from the Stands” series. We don’t necessarily endorse the content of the Shouts from the Stands posts, and the opinions remain those of their authors. If you have thoughts to share, please send [email protected]

This “Shouts from the Stands” submission comes from Emma May, a rising senior at Club Wolverine.

School’s out…finally. There’s nothing but a sigh of relief for students across the country as the homework diminishes, and the tired, sleepless days come to a close. The difficult academic year has concluded, and for swimmers everywhere, our daily life changes drastically and becomes centered on our true passion: swim.

That school year rhythm changes to something new, something intense, something unique to our breed: summer training. Our daily 2-3 hours at the pool become 3-6. For 6-8 weeks doubles ramp up, weights get heavier, and the pool is longer. The moment summer training commences, it becomes our summer; exceptionally challenging but an absolute blast. While our friends are sleeping until noon, we are working, finding a new side to ourselves, that develops and strengthens our grit and growth mindset.

Here we are, teenagers, up at 5 am in the summertime to swim because we love it. We have dreams, ambitions, and desires that we want to make a reality. Swimmers live the average summer lifestyle in the middle of the day; whether it be going out with friends, going back to bed for a couple of hours, laying by a pool, working a job, writing SwimSwam articles, or even just watching the Netflix shows we missed during the busy school year because while our friends watched, we trained. But, there is one thing on our mind in that middle portion of the day; what will practice be tonight, and when do I need to leave to get there on time?

We are back at it again in the afternoon! We may hurt, be sore, or not be in the mood, but it doesn’t matter. We are not alone in this training, and we have competition that we need to beat. Whether our afternoon consists of swim and/or dryland, there is a team to back us up. Swim is the only thing that matters to us, and helping one another hit the goals we set becomes a daily top-tier priority. Our teammates make the swim more enjoyable; especially when swim hurts the most. Instead of the long, boring conversations about school, we learn more about the person themself, and not just the student. Interests, joys, passions, come to life during those few hours in between swim practices, and those 10 seconds of rest we gather on the wall later on bring about conversations with one-of-a-kind tangents we don’t have during the school year. Conversations spur that we wouldn’t hear if we weren’t swimming together. Practice concludes, phones are opened, and we see the snaps, and texts from the non-swimmers that exclaim “Didn’t you already swim today? why are you at the pool again?!” The answer is simple, the grind never stops.

Summer training makes our sport unique and challenging, and although we are exhausted, it is all worth it when championship season comes a short month and a half to two months later, and we see all the hard work, and 5 am wake-up calls paid off and were very well spent.


Emma is a rising senior on Club Wolverine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a breaststroke specialist. She has been a swimmer on CW for 10 years, and a coach for one as well. Emma is also committed to the University of Connecticut for the fall of 2023!

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Emma May
2 months ago

Thank you SwimSwam.

2 months ago

Rock on, kids! You’re continuing a long tradition of the grind. Enjoy it, curse it, cherish it. You’ll never have a better experience—and you will be stronger for it.

2 months ago

When a parent sees their child go after a goal a dream and does it with passion and drive it brings a smile to our faces. We love to see those three D’S!! The drive dedication and determination it takes to achieve that goal!! Enjoy your chase Emma May! Shoot for the stars if you only make it to the moon remember only a handful of people have ever stepped foot on that surface.