RIO Pre-Competitive Coach’s Corner – January 2013
Welcome to the New Year! As we take time to reflect on all we’ve accomplished this past year, we are also slowly looking forward to what this next year has in store for us. Many of our pre-comp swimmers have set goals for the winter season already (if you haven’t, now is a great time to start!) Continue to communicate with your coach about how your goals are coming along and if you need to make any adjustments. Already accomplished most of your goals? Set new and more challenging ones. Having a hard time committing to the goals you’ve set? Reevaluate and tone it down. Parents can be a huge help too. Talk with your parents everyday about what you did during practice. Make sure everything you do in the pool is making you better. There’s nothing worse in swimming than “garbage yardage.” If you’re serious about making your swimming a priority, start treating it as more than an exercise you do for an hour a day.
– Take Care of Your Body –
We have many swimmers who experience skeletal muscle cramps during practice, often in the calf or arch of the foot. Once a cramp happens, it is extremely painful. The best way is to prevent it from happening by being regularly hydrated not just at practice but throughout the day. Stretching also helps. Swimming is a low-impact sport but injuries can still occur, primarily in joints like the shoulder and knee. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY AND YOUR BODY WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU when it’s time to perform.
– Take Care of Your Mind –
Come to practice ready to swim. Don’t worry about that huge test you have tomorrow or that fight between your friends at school yesterday. The pool, your team, and your coach should be your escape from everything else. Enjoy your time amongst your friends during practice and enjoy working your butt off knowing that you are IMPROVING EVERY SINGLE LAP.
– Practice Making It Easy –
Swimming is an incredibly demanding sport mentally. Being present and attentive as you swim is the only way to improve; not surprisingly it requires a tremendous amount of focus and energy. Make your improvement easier and more consistent by focusing on ONE aspect of your swimming to work on at a time. Maybe it’s hitting all your dolphin kicks of your walls. Or it could be making sure you don’t breathe into and out of a turn. Pretty soon, it becomes SECOND NATURE AND YOUR MIND IS FREE to focus on another area of improvement. Remember when you couldn’t breathe every 3 strokes? Now look at you!
– Love What You Do –
No one swims because they hate it. We swim because we love the water and we love the sport. It’s great exercise and the feeling of dropping time in your race is EXHILARATING. Look forward to coming to practice, look forward to working hard, and then look forward to all those best times that will be coming next season!
– Coach Bob