October 1, 2019
During the beginning of the swim
season, it is important to focus on a few key concepts in order
to have a successful year. In this first “Teaching Tuesday” post, I will focus on helpful tips for both
swimmers and coaches to focus on early in the year. These tips are ones that I’ve found to improve my
own swimming career and ones that my coaches have helped me with each new season. We all want to
be the best versions of ourselves in the sport of swimming, and I think these tools can help both coaches
and swimmers be on the same page about the season ahead.
1. Focus on technique early on
a. This tip sounds simple, but is crucial at this time of the year. When swimmers come back
from time off, the “feel” of the water if often strange for a while, and technique can
sometimes suffer if it’s not addressed. Taking time in the first few weeks to focus on
streamlines, turns, starts, and different stroke technique work, can make a huge
difference for the rest of the season.
b. This concept should always be a priority throughout the season, especially for
swimmers that are younger or are newer to the sport. Taking a short amount of time in
each practice for technique work adds up over time and can produce great results in
training and in competition.
2. Discuss goals with a coach
Setting up goal meetings with a coach at the beginning of the season is something I
always liked to do. This meeting allows swimmers and coaches to be on the same page
about what needs to be done in order to obtain the goals and times.
3. Reflect positively on
the previous season
During this time, it’s important to reflect upon the previous swim season and ways in
which the swimmer wants to improve. This doesn’t need to be thought-over for a long
time, but rather a way to analyze what specific aspects of strokes or races can be
4. Take care of yourself
Swimming will only continue to become more time intensive, so making sure swimmers
are proactive about their health and time management. Eating healthy, stretching,
getting enough sleep and keeping up with school work early on will help create good
habits for the rest of the year.
5. Have a positive
Sets at the beginning of the year can be difficult and challenging when swimmers are
getting back into shape for training. Keeping a positive outlook and attitude around
teammates and coaches will help the atmosphere of practice and set the tone for the
remainder of the season.
*For more information and
resources on this topic, check out this SwimSwam article!