The summer swim season is coming up and, no, I’m not talking about the long course season. The long course season also takes place during this time of year and, in its own, is an intense springtime and summer season. I’m actually talking about all the rec leagues out there – those backyard teams or country clubs you swim for that your county or neighboring counties have. The season where “distance” is considered swimming a 100-yard event like the IM or freestyle. The season where the only 200 yards you’ll do at one time is the few you swim for the warm up at practice. Don’t be fooled though, the summer swim season is in many ways the best time of the year.
The summer season begins as the short course season ends, and it ends right before the short course season begins again. It runs parallel with the long course season. If you are stressed about improving or where your future in the sport lies, this time on your summer rec team will help you to remember that the sport is truly around for your enjoyment. You will be refreshed when you indulge in an exciting conversation with your teammates as you complete the sets your coach instructs you to do; or as you stare up at the bright blue sky during a backstroke set instead of the ceiling rafters. Though the sport is always fun, sometimes the hard work you put into the regular season can wear you out. You may need to slow down in order to rejuvenate your swimming – that’s what the summer season is for.
The rec season is also a great time to work on strengthening your technique. Think about it! It’s a short season dedicated to relaxing sets, where your body won’t wear down nearly as much as it would during the hard training you encounter in the short course season. In the short course season, and long course practices, training hard can take a toll on your technique. During the summer rec practices you won’t push your body to exhaustion, and you will have a lot of energy in reserve during practice. USE THIS! Use your energy to work on technique and walls. Push farther off your walls, over-emphasize your underwater kicks! Work on you breastroke pull out, overwork your kicking! You will have more energy to do these things, and the more you practice them the easier they will be when the time comes for you to put them to the test on meet day!
That’s what the summer rec leagues are all about! The warm summer days outside getting your tan on, enjoying time with your friends, and learning some new techniques that you can add to the current long course season and the upcoming winter season. So put on a smile when you register for your summer rec league, because you have a lot to look forward to!