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 Anne Elise Lentz:
A Tech Suit State Of Mind
They are unbelievably tight, take upwards of thirty minutes to squeeze into, make your shoulders cry out for mercy, and are synonymous with speed. That’s right, I am talking about your favorite paper-thin attire: the tech suit. It can make you the envy of your team, the best dressed at a meet, and with it on you swim outrageously fast. But where does this unbelievable speed come from? Is it really technical composition that makes elite suits so elite? Or is it the superman-like confidence they inspire?
Imagine: you’re behind the blocks, goggles on, going through your pre-race routine, all suited up. As you take your mark, is it the suit that propels you off the block with ferocity like no other? Is it the suit that drives you through that first turn? Is it the suit that moves your arms and your legs with precision and technique attained through hours of training? Of course not. After all, it wasn’t the suit that mustered the strength to finish that ridiculous main set that you thought would be the death of you, or put in the extra work during dry land. It was you. The suit simply gives you the confidence needed in yourself to demolish your seedtime.
Don’t get me wrong; the suit plays a bigger role in the race than just a confidence boost. It is an integral part of the race both technically, and mentally. After all, the modern tech suit has been developed over decades to make you more “hydrodynamic”, and was instrumental in the evolution from fast swimming to wicked fast swimming. Their association with speed isn’t because they are fun to put on (because they aren’t), or unwarranted, but that doesn’t mean the suit deserves all of the credit. No matter the brand, color, or price, it isn’t the suit. It’s the swimmer. Far too often, swimmers attribute their success to circumstantial factors (the suit, the pool, their competitors, etc.). Regardless of whether you are swimming in a team suit or the newest kneeskin, you have the same potential for fast swimming, just maybe not the same level of confidence.
So the next time you pour yourself into a suit that looks like it was made for a toddler, remember that for all the advantages the suit gives you (compression, confidence, mindless speed) your training is the true source of all of your success. And while it is easy to share credit with the suit, it is all you in the water.