Courtesy of Josh Brown
Of course, not everyone can say they are spending their summer training for the national championship meet. Some of us enjoy our summers in a more laid-back setting, focusing on the summer championship meet or even the neighborhood community leagues where our competitive side can also come out. Not everyone has the ability or access to facilities to focus on a year-round team and long course season. If that’s the case we can find ourselves with some down time in swimming. So, if we do find ourselves with some down time, one important thing to do is to make sure we keep improving and having fun in the sport. One of the best ways to spend our summers in between the high school/college season or short course club season is to improve our technique; learning new things is a great way to get ahead and have some new tricks for the upcoming winter season. What are some things we could focus on over the summer so that we can either maximize our current long course season or be ready for the upcoming winter season as a better and faster swimmer? Check out these three tips.
TIP #1: Build your underwaters:
Underwaters are becoming the staple of fast swimming in a host of events. Events are getting faster than they ever have before at the NCAA level, and the swimmers setting these new standards are some of the best when it comes to underwaters and fly kicks. So, if you are taking your summers at a slower pace use this as a time to focus on your underwaters and build them throughout the summer. Add fly kicks and focus on maintaining consistency off each wall, and increase the speed of your underwaters week by week. If you are doing less yardage and shorter set work during the summer, then it’s the perfect time to really focus on the intensity of your underwaters at those short distances, building them up through the summer weeks for the upcoming season.
TIP #2: Drag and feeling the water:
With perhaps a more laid-back training routine, examine your previous races at your respective distances. Consider things like: Where are your weaknesses? What part of your body fatigues the quickest and at which points? Do you feel that you are dragging water in certain areas? How is your catch? Do you have comfortable breathing patterns? Examine past races at your conference or state meet and see what you should work on, developing habits that improve upon those weaknesses for the upcoming season. It is important as a swimmer to develop a comfortable feel in the water while swimming at a difficult pace, so allow yourself to improve your comfort in the water. Reducing drag maximizes your body for certain lengths and will help you enter the next season with a newfound confidence.
TIP #3: Read Swimswam articles:
Maximize the use of resources available to you. Articles are posted every day on how to improve your drag or technique to be like the pros. A number of great coaches are talking about ways to improve your speed and drive in the pool. When these resources are available, use them! Swimming is still a growing sport, and both coaches and swimmers are constantly learning and emphasizing new techniques and swim hacks for what makes a faster swimmer. Articles are also posted which discuss mental strength or maintaining the fun in the sport, because that’s the most important part. Being an active part of a community dedicated to improving the sport and making it fun is a good way to stay motivated, so get on board!