Courtesy of Shannon Cowley, SwimSwam Intern
Swim season seems to last forever until you are officially a “swammer” and sometimes it doesn’t even stop there. All swimmers know the many different stages of Swim Season, and they are:
1 – Pre-Meet season
This is the period after your summer break is finally over, some lucky swimmers get up to three weeks off! The first practice back is either a mixture of drills, or a hard test set to see who’s been working and who hasn’t been. Soon you’ll fall back into your grueling sets, and hard dryland workouts. This is most likely the swimmers least favorite part of season because coaches have no reason (sadly) to let you recover.
2 – Meet Season
The beautiful time of the year when the duel meets start, the circled day on your calendar that indicates the first meet of the season is always an exciting one. Swimmers look forward to meet season because this means you can go to a meet instead of having a full practice for one day a week. This is also great team building time as meet season leads to more of the team aspect of swimming and cheering on your fellow teammates.
3 – Mid-Season Meet
The mid- season taper meet is the happy half waypoint of every swimmers season. The mini taper, the old tech suits, and prelim- finals seem to spark extra life in swimmers and it’s not odd to see a few best times. It also shouldn’t be a surprise when your dryland load decreases the few days leading to the meet. This is a great time to scope out your competition before championships.
4 – Championship Season
TAPER is a swimmers favorite word in the dictionary. This means endless energy, morning practice being a little later, longer showers, and any excuse to take the elevator. “Sorry, I’m on taper” will inevitably be said more times than it needs to. Shaving every part of our bodies will require many razors and lots of patience. When the final meet finally arrives, its full of ice baths, in-between session naps and lots of time stalking. Although a stressful experience, this is the best part of swimming. Watching all of you and your teammates hard work finally pay off and come together is a feeling uncanny to anything else.
5 – Post-Season
This is the once a year short break all swimmers get after their championship meet is over. During this break we find ourselves doing things too dangerous to try out in season that could result in a potential injury, finally hanging out with friends, sleeping in and counting down to the next time you can get in the pool. No matter how short the break, it always seems wrong to be out of the water and every swimmer normally ends up missing it.