Becoming a successful competitive swimmer takes years of practice and dedication at the very least. It isn’t the type of sport where a semi-athletic person can just come in, jump in the pool, and win a bunch of swim meets. In reality, it takes a person who has been swimming for quite a long time to place well in these competitions. Even current swimmers need to work on their abilities and skill regularly to stay competitive, so here are some tips for such swimmers.
Always work to improve your swimming techniques.
Swimming is mostly about technique. Sure, you can have power, but it means nothing with a poor technique. Improper form while swimming different strokes will result in added seconds onto your time and slowed performance. Obviously, you shouldn’t want either of those situations to occur. You must ensure that you swim each stroke properly and without and hindrances. Many swimmers get frustrated when they are told that their technique is off, but it’s important always work toward being better.
Work with a coach or another swimmer regularly.
Swimming might be done alone for the most part during competitions (aside from the other competitors), but that doesn’t mean you should train by yourself. Without a doubt, you will want to work with a swimming partner that can be a coach or another swimmer. A coach can help you improve just about everything when it comes to your swimming abilities. On the other hand, a swimming partner can help you push yourself further during practice. Either way, you will end up a much better swimmer.
Switch between pool training and land training.
Of course, all swimming competitions are carried out in a pool, but that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to the water. Training should be done on land too. You can hit the gym or take a jog around the track to improve your strength and endurance. Right away, that will translate into improvements when you are in the water. If you limit yourself to a pool, then you are severely limiting the effectiveness of your training. Don’t make that mistake!
Never attempt to swim through any kind of injury.
A lot of athletes in all different sports attempt to work and train through injuries, which can be a gigantic mistake. Obviously, your body isn’t going to grow as much as it could if you swim while injured. The only thing you will accomplish is slowing down your progress and improvements. In the end, you could end up injuring yourself further – the absolute last thing you should want to happen.
Get into the pool every day!
Unless you are injured or fatigued, then you should be in the water almost every day. You can switch the water out for a gym workout or a run if you want. Still, you should be swimming 90% of all your workouts. Quick decreases in performance will occur regularly when you fail to train in your element. During competitions, you will definitely start to notice how non-daily training can affect your skills.
Don’t worry about the occasional loss or two.
You absolutely can’t win every competition you enter, so don’t expect to start some huge meet winning streak. At times, you’ll win a lot of swim meets, but other times will result in some losses. That should be expected in any sport or endeavor that involves winning or losing. In the end, you should just be happy with placing first, second, or third. The occasions when you end up in fourth place or worse should just serve as a reminder to keep training.
For more information, visit USA Swimming.