A Swimswam Original: The Night Before Christmas (Training Camp)

Mitch Bowmile
by Mitch Bowmile 5

December 24th, 2014 News

We at Swimswam know how important the holidays are. Swimmers are thrust into holiday training yet the few-day break during Christmas is what the swimmers live for. After that it’s off to somewhere warm with the team for a training camp of grueling sets, tough dry-land, and day-long ice baths and crying fits.

In the spirit of the little break we have now before training camp or the continuation of holiday training, here’s a Swimswam original.



‘Twas the night before Christmas and not a swimmer was stirring

Their skin itchy and red from the chlorine burning


A day off was near, the pools would be closed

The swimmers all came home from practice and happily dozed


Except little Jimmy with a 1500 free Jr. Nats Cut

He had a bad feeling down deep in his gut


He remembered his coach’s words, his face as he laughed

“On the 26th we’re doing the 12 sets of Christmas to welcome y’all back”


He closed his eyes yet all he saw were numbers and brackets

400 IMs, no fins, hardly any rest, the most ridiculous practice


The pool deck turned black, the water churned and spit

10×1000 Free and I want all of them done with a negative split!


He hopped in the water with Phelps to his left and Lochte to his right

If you don’t beat these two guys you’ll be here all night


Phelps looked at him and winked, Lochte gave him a ‘Jeah’

Ready go! They started off, Jimmy was losing oh so bad


Jimmy finally finished and touched the wall in third

That wasn’t done with a negative split his coach whirled and slurred


Do the rest of them fly he said with a grin

And make sure to watch the position of your chin!


From the blocks they dove, yet Jimmy couldn’t move

His arms stopped working, his legs did too


He was flailing in the water, Lochte and Phelps were laughing and pointing

His coach just shook his head it was so disappointing


They did set after set, hour by hour

Jimmy’s mood worsened and began to grow sour


Now 10 400 IMs, he only had one left

Finish this 400 IM and move on to the next set


Jimmy finished his 400 IM, and looked at the clock

3 Hours had passed, yet he climbed up on the block


15 200s fly his coach yelled, we’ll be here all year!

He began to form a smile from ear to ear


Jimmy did the first seven, yet his coach was not impressed

Jimmy was fed-up, got out, and stood on the deck


I’m done with this practice, I can’t do this anymore

His knees buckled he wept and he fell to the floor


His coach’s face went bright red furious with the disrespect

His eyes grew wide, he laughed, and put his stopwatch around Jimmy’s neck


Suddenly Jimmy woke up! He looked at the time

It was 8 a.m Christmas Morning, Christmas bells began to chime


He ran downstairs, he sprinted to the tree

His parents were there happy as could be


Open your first gift they said, he began to unwrap

A grab box from Swimoutlet, a brand new Speedo cap


Then he saw one more gift, as thin as could be

On it said ‘from coach’ what could this mean?


He began to open it, and tore open the paper

It was a tiny letter that said, no 12 sets of Christmas, we’re going to taper

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Cute poem. The longhorns still won’t beat the Bears though these next few years, even with Schooling or Haas.


Nah. Hook em \m/


This is gold. Well done


That’s awesome.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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