Swimmers and parents often think that attending practice fulfills a complete commitment to the team, the coaches and to the sport. Actually, “attending” practice is only the beginning of making a serious commitment. The following are aspects of participation beyond just “showing up” that are at the heart of an athlete making a true commitment. Doing most or all of these will help the swimmer develop, enhance the swimmer’s relationship with the coach and make the team better.
- Arrive on time – which means early.
- Help with lane lines.
- Get in on time, without having to be told.
- Have all required equipment every day.
- Warm up with a focus, without stopping or talking and work on technique.
- Know all the sets and do them correctly.
- Watch the pace clock, leave on time.
- Know your times – even easy swims.
- Monitor your stroke count.
- Do all turns legally and with good technique.
- Do not ask to use the restroom in the middle of a set.
- Do not stop or rest without asking a coach.
- Work hard consistently – even when you don’t feel good.
- Know the drills.
- Be healthy – swimmers shouldn’t “not feel well” too often.
- Count your laps and repeats and do them all – know when you are done with a set.
- Be a lane leader. Be positive and encouraging. Make the other swimmers in your lane better.
- Have integrity about doing EVERYTHING asked and be honest with the coaches.
- Be at dryland if it is a part of the workout.
- Wear proper clothing.
- Be quiet and focused – no social talking.
- Do the exercises correctly – always emphasize proper technique.
- Work hard, push yourself.
- Arrive on time, which means at least 20 minutes before the start of warm-ups.
- Wear the team T-shirt or apparel.
- Wear your team cap for races.
- Never decide not to swim an event without checking with a coach.
- Get in to warm-up on time and do the team warm-up (with the team).
- Before races, check with the coaches about your race focus.
- After races, check with the coaches for feedback.
- Support and cheer for teammates.
- Swim relays when asked and/or needed.
- Give 100% effort in all races, especially relays.
- Cool down after every race.