As the new year comes into full swing, we have compiled a list of resolutions for swimmers of all ages and abilities:
Stop ‘Sallying’ Sets
We all know that one swimmer. The one who is miles back from the rest of the team during sets – well, until the last one of course. Then suddenly, a switch flips in their brain and they swim the last part of the last set like someone just attached NOS speed to their feet, beating everyone along the way. Don’t be that person. Your teammates and your end of the season meet will thank you for it.
Get Them Greens
Winter season means holidays which means holiday treats – cookies, candies, and pies a plenty. But now that the calendar has hit the reset button, it is a good time to look at your diet and see where you can start eating cleaner. Your body takes a beating under the hours and miles grinded out in the pool, so show it some love by giving it the healthy foods it needs to refuel and be ready for the next training sesh.
Focus on Encouraging Instead of Complaining
It is the middle of the main set and everything hurts. You are tired, and the interval is getting harder and harder to make. All you want to do is complain to yourself about how terrible this set is. When you are at the end of yourself, instead of falling into the downward spiral of complaints and ‘woe is me’, turn to your teammate and say ‘hey, we’ve got this’. By focusing on encouraging those around you, you turn the attention off of yourself and onto those around you, making what seemed impossible a moment ago more doable now.
Sleep, Sleep, and More Sleep
Juggling training, meets, school work, and other responsibilities can be a lot, and usually the first ball dropped in the balancing act is sleep. But, sleep is possibly the most important of all. Training breaks your muscles down, and in sleep your muscles rebuild and grow stronger. It is a vital part of your training routine, so it is only right to treat it as such. Instead of staying up into the wee hours of the night on a Netflix binge when you have an evening free of homework, go to sleep. You know your body needs it.
Stop Pulling into the Wall on Kick Sets
Kick sets are for kicking. ‘Nough said.
Say “Thank You, Coach”
Our coaches do a lot for us, from writing workouts to critiquing our strokes and being there for us when we are down. Not to mention, they deal with some strong personalities. Having a good relationship with your coach can be pivotal to your swimming career, and a good relationship can start with a simple act of gratitude for all he or she does. So, even if the next practice leaves you gasping for air, don’t forget to say “thank you, Coach.”
Relax and Have Fun
With the new year comes new goals, and it can all seem very daunting. But remember to trust the process and take it one lap at a time. Finding small ways to add a little fun into your daily training routine can make all the difference. Jam out to your favorite songs before practice, have fun joking with your teammates in between sets, and above all remember that swimming is something we get to do – not something we have to do.
By Ryley Ober