Why Swim Practice Is Everything
If you want to achieve big things in the pool, then you need to rethink your swimming practice regime. Dreaming about winning is one thing, but you need to work hard and optimize your training to give yourself the best chances.
When you practice, you might not be competing for a gold medal or performing for a crowd, but you are working for yourself and improving your ability. This means that in every swim practice you need to remember what you are there for and do your best every time.
A gold medal might be something, but practice is everything.
Set Yourself Small Goals
It is tempting to try to set a new record for yourself every time you get in the pool, but this won’t help you improve. You need to focus on achieving smaller goals first to perfect your technique and gradually get better.
Break down your swimming practice into 3 areas: your stroke, your tumble turns and your breakouts. Rather than just swimming more or trying harder, focus your attention on each area separately and take time to perfect your movements slowly before increasing your speed and power. This will help you to see where you can improve and over time, you will find that you’re faster and stronger.
The more professional swimmer may wish to adapt these key areas further, focusing on kicking, breathing and your catch/pull technique. Grab yourself a swimmers watch and track your progress, use the data gathered to set yourself realistic targets and learn how to conquer them.
Working Out In The Correct Environment
Heading to the gym is great, you can target specific muscles, it can be a nice change of scenery, and it might be easier to access than your local pool. However, the best way to improve your swimming, its to swim! You'll develop all the right muscles as you'll actually be using them. Throw in some training aids such as hand paddles and a pull buoy to focus the upper body, or a kickboard and swim fins to focus on your lower body.
Get into Good Habits
Now that you have hacked your training, you also need to get into a good lifestyle to ensure that your practice sessions don’t go to waste. This means sorting out your sleeping pattern, your diet and creating a workout pattern you can stick to.
There’s no point in practising so hard when you aren’t making sure that every practice boosts your potential and improves your swimming. Every practice counts so don’t get caught out by ‘not feeling like it today’ or hold yourself back by eating the wrong things. For your practices to work, you need to provide your body with the right kinds of fuel to give you the energy you need to succeed.
One of the best things you can do is to set yourself a workout schedule that details what you are going to work on, how far you will swim and how long you will work out for. This will force you into good habits and show you how you are progressing too.
Always Do Your Best
Yes, practice is just practice but if you treat your sessions as a competition with yourself, you will be more inclined to perform better. If there is one rule to stick by it is this: always do your best. When you do your best in every practice, even when you are under the weather and don’t really feel like it, you will learn to bring your best self to every race too.
Getting into the habit of doing your best is the best way to ensure that you do so everytime. There are no excuses, nothing to fall back on, and even if you lose, when you can honestly say that you did your best, you will feel much better about the loss and get back to your training in no time.