March 15, 2018
For some reason, it is always at the end of a season, that parents start the age old question "how can- when will my kid get faster?"
The answer is very simple: Come to practice!
Of course, it is always not as simple as it sounds. There is a little more involved, then simply swimming laps up and down the pool, but that’s where it begins. Unfortunately, like anything worth doing well in this world, there is no magic pill. The answer is very old fashioned; hard work.. This can be done is a number of ways when it comes to swimming
1- Come to practice. How many days a week? Answer that question by asking the swimmers a different question, "How good do you want to get?" There is a direct correlation between number of days at practice and rate of progression. The more you come to practice, the more you will learn. The more you learn, the better you will become. And with different ages, there are different answers. Younger swimmers may only need 3-4 days a week, while older swimmers do need 5-6.
2- Be Coachable. This is harder than it sounds. There are some who are very stuck in their ways, and will not change no matter how many times a coach can tell them something. Change can be very scary as an adult, imagine how much harder it is for a child, young adult. But we have to be open to change, and willing to try new things. We as coaches want the best for each and every swimmer, so when we are trying to change a stroke, turn, attitude, there is a reason for it. If something is not working for you, change it.
3- Always stay positive. Swimming is a long, sometime tedious sport. We are talking about months, years of staring at a black line with your head under water. It is tough to do. Failures will happen. DQ’s will happen. Plateaus will happen. Always keep the faith that this too will pass. As a swimmer gets older, it is very possible to only do a best time once a twice a year! And that is normal. We just have to stay positive and realize that this is a process and it is all about baby steps. Celebrate the little victories in the sport.
Please remember, just because one season is coming to an end, does not mean that the hard work and practice stops there. As soon as one season ends, there is another one right around the corner. Start thinking about the next season, and what your swimmer can do now to be better then.
Just my two cents today