11 Things Off-Season Swimmers Do

Photo Courtesy: Lola Gomez, Daytona Beach News Journal

By J.P. Mortenson, Swimming World College Intern.

Regardless of how your season went, most swimmers need to take a break after the season is over to recover and prepare for the next season, both mentally and physically. This off-season break is sacred to most swimmers, as it is the only time that they can live like “normal” people. Here are 11 aspects of the off-season that swimmers typically experience.

1. You get to go to sleep at a normal hour.


Photo Courtesy: Karelj

Meaning you can actually stay up late and not pay for it at practice the next day. Did you know that all your non-swimming friends regularly do things after 10 p.m. on weeknights?

2. You also get to wake up at a normal hour.


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

It sure is nice being able to not have to wake up when it is still dark outside. And it is really great to be able to keep your eyes open during the day. Of course, lots of swimmers will end up enjoying the temporary luxury of staying up too late and become just as under-slept.

3. You probably have to catch up on all of your assignments.


Photo Courtesy: Cecilia Zaccarelli

A lot of swimmers have to miss class to attend their championship meets. Although the missing class part is awesome, the catching up part is a lot less awesome.

4. You can go to the doctor or dentist without missing practice.

The Physio team working on the Australian Team Members inbetween training sessions. University of Auburn Aquatic Centre, Alabama USA. Australian Olympic Swimming Team are in their final training staging Camp before heading over to the Rio2016 Olympic Games. July 30 2016. Photo by Delly Carr. Pic credit mandatory for complimentary exclusive editorial usage. Thank You.

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Deferred maintenance is a thing of the past. Now, you can finally go see the doctor about all of the aches and pains you’ve been swimming through for months. 

5. You actually have free time.


Photo Courtesy: JILL CHEN

It is true that if you want to get something done, go ask a busy person. At the end of your break, you will be amazed at how little you actually did with your free time.

6. You don’t need to eat as much or as well.


Photo Courtesy: The Daily Dot

This works two ways: You can finally indulge in all of the junk food you avoided during the season, or you find loads of extra time during the day that you normally would have to spend eating.

7. You’re not in constant pain.


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Your shoulders don’t feel like they’re about to fall off, and you can actually make it up the stairs to class.

8. You miss seeing your teammates all the time.


Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

During the season, your teammates become your family. And even though you probably still see them during the break, it is not the same as hanging out at practice.

9. You rediscover your non-swimming friends.


Photo Courtesy: Pepe Pont

Swimming is so time-consuming that it can be difficult to make time for your friends who do not spend several hours every day swimming laps in a pool with you. But when you are in the off-season, you finally get a chance to reconnect with friends who probably assumed you died or transferred because you were busy swimming for the past six months.

10. You smell a little bit less like chlorine.


Photo Courtesy: royalbeautycares.blogspot.com

The chlorine smell fades, and your skin is probably less dry. But isn’t it strange that when you shower, you can still smell like chlorine even a week after staying out of the pool?

11. You end up really missing swimming.


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

For about five minutes. But then when you get in the pool for the first practice and realize how painful swimming is and how out of shape you are, you immediately miss the off-season.

What do you do when your break finally arrives?

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.


  1. Ambr Seemann

    Experiencing most of this in our house right now!

    • Janet Honeychurch Blair

      Kathryn Meinhardt that was my thought also. I don’t remember ever having a break. Sure more meets in the summer but practice was 5 days a week and twice on Tuesday and Thursday all year long.

    • Kathryn Meinhardt

      Janet Honeychurch Blair yep. We got 2 weeks off a year when we were kids and that’s what my son got growing up. College, forget about it. I saw my him a total of about 6 weeks over the 4 years he swam at Kentucky and he trained with his local coach when he was home.

  2. Annette Van Dok

    All true except for #6 being a lover of the good life and an expert in a little self indulgence

  3. John Ian Bobbitt

    Miss seeing your team mates. I’d have denied it then, but 15 years later? God i miss my team. No one gets my drowning humor anymore.

    • Ryan Drover

      Lukas Menkhoff my first summer off too, it’s a rite of passage

  4. Sarah Malott

    Aarthi Namasivayam wowwwww so unique