Best Tips to Prepare for Swim Team
Mt Laurel YMCA swimming trainer answers the most important questions about how to prepare for a swim team.
Where to begin?
The most important thing is setting goals and objectives. After all, if a person swims just for better health, then the motivation will quickly disappear. That is why there are some requirements for goals. First, the goal should not be vague but specific. For example, swim 200 meters by the end of the season in a certain time, or swim a kilometer by a specific date. The second necessary requirement for a goal is the reality of its fulfillment. You won’t be able to swim 5 km a month after starting from scratch. Only correctly set goals will motivate, induce action, and move forward.
Where to go swimming?
Once the goals are set, you need to decide on a place for training. If a person wants to move forward in swimming, improve, perhaps participate in competitions, then he or she needs to start training. And it’s recommended to go to a swimming pool on a regular basis.
If a person sets the goal of losing weight by the summer or learning the initial swimming skills, swimming pools in various fitness clubs are ideal for this. If we talk about preparing for sports competitions, then it is advisable to practice in sports-oriented pools, preferably 50-meter ones.
What accessories are needed?
You need to buy a training kit that will be comfortable. It may be swimming shorts, ordinary swimming trunks or some other training option. Convenience begins when a person does not think about what he or she is wearing. The main thing is not to feel any discomfort. This is especially true for women who are very sensitive to their appearance. A swimsuit must not attract undue attention – this is just what you need for sports.
As for the caps, it is necessary to select it according to the length of the hair and its elasticity. If you have thick long hair, then you may even need two or even three caps. If you have a short haircut, then you can wear the simplest cloth hat.
The same goes for glasses. They should be comfortable. It’s important to choose the correct size because everyone has a different nose bridge, head volume. But it’s not necessary to buy some expensive training kit right away.
How to choose a trainer?
There are good specialists in swimming, but there are also incompetent “trainers”. Therefore, before agreeing to swim classes, read or listen to the reviews of those who worked with this trainer – there should be several sources. There are always people who are dissatisfied, those who always don’t like something, those who criticize anyone. But if the number of negative reviews is too big, then you should draw certain conclusions.
Another absolutely clear parameter that should alert you is the coach promises to teach you everything in 10 or 5 lessons. Swimming is quite a long and painstaking work. And even if you could not master any swimming style in 50 lessons, this does not mean that you are taught poorly, you just need more time for this.
Of course, you should consider such everyday things as your work schedule and the price issue.
What kind of relationship should you have with a coach?
The main thing is mutual understanding. The coach must hear and listen to the athlete, and the athlete, in turn, must listen and understand what the coach is telling. Everyone who is engaged in sport must have psychological contact and mutual respect. The coach must not enforce an ultimatum like “I said, do it”, just as an athlete cannot demand: “I need to swim in 2 weeks”.
How to choose a coach for your child?
The criteria are generally the same as for an adult athlete. The only thing is to pay special attention to is how the coach communicates with the children, whether he or she finds a common language with them, whether they obey him/her. And we are not talking about a specific child, as children are different. But if the coach cannot find a common language with any member of his/her group, then, of course, it is better to look for another specialist.
Is it better to swim in a group or individually?
Individual lessons with a trainer are good at the initial stage when a person has decided to go into swimming thoroughly and needs to get basic skills. You will get them much faster than in a group.
But it is better to improve your skills in group lessons where you can look at other people, reach for them. If you swim alone, it will not give the maximum result. Competition and rivalry are the main engines of progress and, in the end, swimming in a group is more interesting than practicing individually.
Do children need competition too?
Children’s perception is different from that of an adult. Children can be traumatized by injury, which can prevent them from going to the pool altogether. It is important that parents convey to the child the idea that competition is just a game. Today you lost, tomorrow you won. It is also necessary to support the child.
However, children should still have competition. After all, if a child does not compete with anyone, then, it becomes uninteresting for him/her to study and does not develop as an athlete. Participation in club competitions is very stimulating. But if children compete with each other every day, they forget to learn something new, which is also important. They achieve their goal at any cost, without thinking about whether it will be a qualitative leap. A coach is needed just in order to control all this.
How to warm up?
Before getting into the water, it is recommended to warm up on land. Stretching the joints and muscles is necessary in order to bring the musculoskeletal system into combat readiness. How long should a child warm-up? The question is complex enough. It all depends on the child’s pool’s capabilities. But even a 7-10 minute warm-up is a great option.
How many times a week do you practice?
Increase the load in the pool gradually. It’s not recommended to start with seven workouts a week. YBCC recommends starting with two one-hour sessions a week and then gradually increasing the load. If it’s hard, then you can start from 35-40 minutes. You need to look at how you will recover, according to your goals and your ability to combine everyday life and the training process.
How often should children train?
The situation with children is identical to that of adults. You need to swim 2-3 times a week, depending on the possibilities. Swimming less than two times is pointless because the child forgets what he or she was doing after a week. More than three times is also undesirable because the child will not have time to recover.
How to stay motivated?
You always need to set new goals, new tasks. And the competitive moment is really very important. It is best to train and compete with acquaintances, work colleagues, and friends. If you start together, you will motivate and support each other. But the main motivation depends on you and it directly depends on your physical activity.