For swimmers, this sport is a major part of our lives. It does not matter if we have been swimming 6 days a week for 9 years or a few days a week for a 2 or 3 years. Participating in swimming takes massive amounts of commitment, effort, tenacity, and many other qualities. We have put in sweat, tears, and countless hours to make the time on the clock a little faster. So to just put this all behind us and drop it, that’s a major change.

There’s nothing wrong with quitting. Some of us need to try something new, no longer enjoy the sport, or are moving on to a different phase our lives such as college. However, if you are considering the change and are unsure of what to do, here are a few tips.

  • Make a pros and cons list

Write down in one column all the reasons you should continue, and in another all the reasons to stop. The ones that are most important (pick 1-2 in each column) put stars next to.

  • Try taking a break

Sometimes, all we need is a little recovery. Is school work getting too much with swim? Take a small break, from a week to a month, and see whether you should return or quit.

  • Think about your reason for quitting, and any possible other solutions and compare them.

Are you unable to drop time? Maybe talk to your coach about technical or training changes. Are you constantly bored and practice? Consider talking to your coach about set changes or talk with your team about team changes.

  • Consider not competing and just swimming for recreation.

Often times, not performing as well as we used to can really put us down. Also, recreation swimming can be a lot less stressful and a lot more flexible. Talk to your parents and coach about different options to fit your needs.

  • Think about why you are unsure of what to do.

Are you scared to see friends less? Are you worried you might lose a piece of who you are? Sometimes, simply thinking about why you aren’t 100% sure you want to quit can give you a reason to stay. On the other hand, it also might make you realize that you really do just want to quit.

  • Remember why you ever started.

Put yourself in your 8-year-old self’s shoes, or whenever you started swimming. Why did you love it? Did you love the thrill of competition? Did you love he feel of working hard in practice? Chances are, thinking about your old motivation may reigniting some of the love for swimming and remind you of another reason to stay.

Written by Taylor Thomson