Coach’s Corner – January 2014
Spring League meet season is just around the corner! As we conclude the Winter Training season and begin preparing for meet season, here are a few things to remember. Meets are the most exciting part of swimming because a swimmer can really see all their hard work pay off. Nothing compares to achieving a best time or making a cut after all the hours invested in the pool. Beyond the self- improvement, meets gather all of the swimmer’s biggest supporters; their parents, their friends, their teammates, and their coach in one place to cheer them on as they race.
YOUR FIRST MEET:
When you arrive on deck for your first swim meet, it will be a crowded and chaotic place. Don’t fret! Find a place to sit near some friends and teammates. Buy a meet program and locate your heat and lane assignments. Get your suit, cap, and goggles ready for warm ups. DON’T MISS WARM UPS! At the conclusion of warm ups, join the coaches for a team meeting. Lastly, if you have questions, find your coach and ask.
Now that you are ready to race this spring, here are a few helpful tips regarding the meets and how to mentally prepare to swim.
There’s few things worse than showing up to a swim meet expecting to swim fast and realizing you left your favorite pair of goggles on the kitchen counter. Pack your gear the night before, making sure that you have an ample of towels (read: 3 or more), backup caps, suits, and goggles, snacks for energy, and enough hydration to last you throughout the meet.
HAVE FAITH IN YOUR TRAINING:
Meets are not the place to make last-minute, dramatic changes to your stroke. The tweaking happens during practice. Your coach will work on race strategy with you; how to attack a certain race, how many breaths you can take, how many dolphin kicks to do off each wall, etc. Concentrate on details and execution and you just might surprise yourself.
KEEP A SHORT MEMORY:
Don’t dwell. If you have a poor race and you are not happy with the result, discuss with your coach what went wrong, then move on. Similarly, if you have the race of your life, discuss what went right, internalize it, and move on. All your focus and attention should be on the NEXT RACE.
You can be your own worst enemy. A relaxed swimmer is an aggressive swimmer. They are not afraid of taking a race out fast and they are not afraid of the hurt at the end. If you swim tentatively, you will hold yourself back. Smile, it’s supposed to be fun!