6 Training Strategies to Boost Your Swimming Skills
Whether you are just getting started in the water or you are a seasoned competitor, there is always room for improvement in your swimming skills. Before you kit your next practice session, consider these tips that can help you power through and become a better swimmer, teammate, and overall athlete.
Watch videos of other people swimming. Focus on their technique, noticing what works and what doesn’t. Learn to analyze videos like this, and then have someone film you in the water. Sit down and honestly assess your skills, technique, and form. Are there glaringly obvious errors, or just little things you need to tweak to take your swimming to the next level? Be willing to admit your shortcomings, but don’t beat yourself up either. Remember that you will probably be harder on yourself than anyone else, so cut yourself some slack.
Slow It Down
No matter what time goals you have set for yourself, take the time to slow things down and work on your technique. Mistakes or bad positioning that could easily get lost in the fast pace of competition or timed practice become more evident when slowed down, so you are more likely to pick up on the little things you are doing. Your muscles will also have to work differently, and some would say harder, when movements are slowed down, so you can use this as a strength training exercise too.
Even if you choose to slow down for some of your training sessions, you still want to make sure you are challenged. Seek out some of the harder workouts or courses available to you and give it everything you’ve got. Growth comes from leaving your comfort zone behind and pushing yourself to the limit. Train harder than you think you need to so that you are ready for challenges that come up during competition. This is especially true if you plan to swim in open waters where conditions can vary and change at a moment’s notice, or as part of a larger, multi-event race where a particularly grueling cycling portion could leave you digging deeper than usual in the pool.
During competitions you wear a fitting bathing suit, cover your hair, and basically minimize anything that will cause resistance in the water. Some swimmers will work to maximize that effect by utilizing a laser hair removal course to permanently remove body hair. Permanent hair removal might not be the right choice for you, but it could be something to consider. Try waxing or shaving first if you aren’t sure about shedding your cover.
Let Yourself Laugh
Laughter is, after all, the best medicine. So, let yourself laugh at the world around you, and at yourself. Don’t be afraid to admit to the mistakes you made and see the humor in them.
While you’re at it, find the joy in swimming that likely drew you to the sport in the first place. Learn to love and be thrilled with your time in the water. Stop paying attention to, or even acknowledging, the haters who are pushing negativity at you and enjoy yourself.
Strive for Your Goals
No matter how big or small, they are your goals and you should work towards them. Practice smart, practice hard, and give it your best every time you hit the water. Share your goals with friends, teammates, or family to keep yourself accountable. Just make sure it is someone who will encourage you and offer support as you work toward those goals.
Following these strategies might not get you a win every time, but you will know that you gave it all you had, and that might very well be the best goal you can set.