Swim Smart not hard – be a lazy swimmer

Yes, this headline is a big misleading. No swimmer is lazy, otherwise they wouldn’t be swimmers. But, many swimmers work extremely hard and that excessively hard work does not payoff in expected gains. Instead of working harder to small gains, why not think about working smarter. With a smart swimming program, your should be able to see more improvements. Many times, young and old swimmers get burned out with excessive training sessions. With smarter swimming sessions, you will be more likely to enjoy your training and get more out of it.

Adjust Your Pool Time

The first thing to do is consider how much time clockyou need to spend at the pool. For most swimmers, working out everyday is the best option. Instead of spending several hours just a few times each week, it is smarter to spend a shorter amount of time in the pool, but to visit the pool more often. These shorter workouts are more beneficial for swimmers because they do not have as many days off in between. Muscles do not need to recover from swimming like they do from weightlifting, so it is perfectly ok to swim every day. Swimming for shorter sessions more frequently will help you see improvements in your body and your strokes. It is one sure way to work smarter.

Swim with Mindfulness

Another smart way to swim better is to swim mindfully. Too many people will swim fast, but not pay attention to the quality of their strokes. If you are swimming for exercise, it is a good idea to pay attention to every stroke, so your body can get the fullest benefits. If you are not using your body the right way, you will not better your strokes, your strength, and your flexibility. You might get a good cardio workout, but you don’t get the other benefits. It is better (read that as smarter) to swim slower while paying close attention to the technique of your strokes. Are you pulling the water with power? Are you kicking with more than just your calf muscles? Are you breathing on both sides? Make smart adjustments to get the most out of your swimming.

Drill During Your Workouts

No matter how often you swim and no matter how long you swim, it is a good idea to add some swimming drills. These can be sets of laps that should be completed in a certain amount of time, or it can be something as simple as using kickboards or paddles. It is always a good idea to try to do something intentional while you spend time in the pool. Drills can help you focus on strength, speed, stroke, or breathing. Make your workout smarter by actually swimming with a purpose.

Swim with a Purpose

Another helpful way to intelligently build up your swimming sessions is to have an occasional challenge. Runners often do this by training for a race. Swimmers can do the same. This doesn’t mean that you have to race against anyone, but you race against yourself. Every so often (once per week, twice per month, whatever works for you), you should challenge yourself in the pool. This could be timing yourself going all-out and keeping track of your speed. It could be pushing yourself to breathe on the other side. It could even be swimming a little longer than usual on occasion. Whatever you do to challenge yourself, be sure that you push as hard as you can so you can really see what you are capable of doing.

Occasionally, Take it Easy

relaxFinally, give yourself some time to recover. Even though swimming is an exercise that can be done every day, there will be times when you should give yourself some easy workouts or even a day off here and there. It is always helpful to give yourself a short cool down at the end of each swimming session. You should also know that you do not have to push yourself to the edge in every single workout. There might be a workout where you just feel like kicking – so do it.

Should you question your coach?

The relationship between a coach and an athlete is certainly unique. In the best situations, the coach and athlete are not related, but their relationship is often like that of a parent and child. But yet, the relationship is still different than that. The goal of the coach is to prepare the athlete for success, both physically and mentally. Especially in swimming. In the best-case scenario, the coach understands the game from several perspectives and can steer the swimmer in the direction that is best suited for his or her ability in the water. When this is the case, the swimmer rarely has to question the coach. But, there are moments when questioning the coach is in the best interest of both parties.

Walking a Fine Line

When it comes to questioning the coach,coach there is a fine line that the athlete should walk. Coaches feel like they know what is best for the athlete and they trust that the athlete sees this. But, there are times when it is acceptable for a swimmer or any other athlete to question a coach’s decision. Swimmers should know that there is a right and wrong way to go about questioning a coach. And an athlete should take time to consider whether or not questioning the coach is the right thing to do in any situation.

The 24-Hour Rule

A swimmer should wait to question a coach for a few reasons. The first is that many athletes get caught up in the moment and they might say something to the coach that will be regretted later. By waiting, the swimmer can also reflect on the situation to see if it is necessary to discuss it with the coach. Many coaches appreciate when their athletes wait 24 hours before questioning a situation. This 24-hour rule has helped maintain many relationships.

Talk about Goals

One of the most important questions to ask your coach is what your coach’s goals for you are. If the goals are different, then it is time to have a heart-to-heart talk. coach3The goals should be realistic and reachable through hard work and dedication. If you feel like the goals are too far-fetched, then the relationship will suffer and your swimming will, too. If the goal is too easy, then what is the point of having the coach in the first place?

Talk about Listening

Another reason to question a coach is when the coach does not listen to you. Coaching not a one-way street for the coach to deliver and you to accept. The coaching relationship needs to have good communication where the coach listens to you, too. If you feel like the coach is not doing this, then you need to speak up. Your coach needs to understand your value as an athlete who knows his own body.

Work with the Coach

You should not question your coach when he is trying to get you to swim hard or to fix an aspect of your stroke. It is never appropriate to talk back to your coach or to give your coach attitude. Unlike your parents, you coach can easily stop working with you and find someone else who is willing to work hard and get to the next level. It is never appropriate to disobey your coach during practice or at a meet. The best attitude to take with a coach during practice or a competition is to do what the coach says and work hard to be the fastest.

How to Ask as a Parent

If you are a parent of a swimmer and you noticecoach2 that your swimmer is not progressing, the best thing to do is to talk to the coach without blaming the coach. The best way to question the coach is to ask what the swimmer can do to improve or what can you do to help your child swim faster. The coach will be more than willing to offer suggestions and it might even get the coach to spend more time with your child.