By Katya Vakshteyn, Swimming World College Intern
With a New Year approaching quickly, the time has come to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. And no, not those resolutions that you make and forget about two days into January.
I’m talking goals, things you can improve on, namely in swimming. Resolutions don’t have to be profound or extremely challenging goals. Instead, they should be something you can work on just a little bit every day and if you do, you will see them pay off at the end of your season.
It’s not too late to start to start working on those little things that are often overlooked in swimming. Here are 4 resolutions that you can start working on even before the New Year:
1. Dolphin Kicks
Dolphin kicks are your secret weapon if you develop them. Make it a priority to work on kicking out as far as you can handle, while still keeping powerful and propulsive kicks. I’ve also found it works best to first start incorporating them in practice on those easier sets like warm up, cool down, and even when doing drills or kicking on your back. Watch your time drop at your next meet after learning to work in those underwaters.
2. Hold your breath off the wall
Going off the dolphin kicking, what good is amazing underwater work if you come up and take a breath off that first stroke? You lose all that momentum you just built up after using those underwaters.
This year, work on keeping that head down for at least one stroke after popping up from your wall and zoom past your competition. Working on this technique will help both distance swimmers and sprinters alike.
3. Work your weak stroke
Your weak stroke is obviously your weak stroke for a reason, but that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way.
Working on your weakest stroke will definitely improve your IM swims, and it can even help improve your feel for the water in other strokes.
Try to incorporate some new drills to work on the parts of your stroke that give you trouble, choose to do your weakest stroke on a choice part of the set, and make sure to pay special attention to your weak stroke in an IM set.
4. Eat Right
Although this is a cliché resolution for not just swimmers, it is very important to fuel your body with the best nutrients to keep it in tip top shape for competition.
Especially heading into Christmas training season, it is important to keep your energy levels up to help get you through those tough practices. Make sure to eat plenty of good carbs, protein, and fruits to get the most out of your meals.
Regardless of what your personal resolutions are, you should do your best to stick to them. Making a resolution is the first step to becoming a better swimmer, but they won’t be helpful if you don’t actively work on them every day. After all, you’re doing this for you.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Katya Vakshteyn is a freshman middle-distance freestyler at South Dakota State University. Prior to college, she spent 10 years training with the Kansas City Blazers and was a high school state runner-up in the 200 free in Kansas.