5 Reasons Why Post-Season Breaks Are Important

Photo Courtesy: Emily Kneeter

by Mariana de Paula, Swimming World College Intern

It is the end of February, the peak of college swimming season. By now, many great swims have been swum, and there are many more to come. But those who are done with their season are facing the start of a new time: that inevitable break after championships.

We have reached a time where most conference championships are wrapped up, leaving several swimmers no choice but to take a break from the sport. And although the consequences of staying out of the pool for up to two weeks is concerning for some, the break is more than necessary.

Here are five reasons why the post-season break is a sacred time for swimmers:

1. Clear your mind.

The past six months of every college swimmer’s career were dedicated to training. Yes, school comes first, but for swimmers devote a lot of mental energy to their biggest goals. After a while, this can naturally get overwhelming, and that’s what the break is for. Before the start of a new season, it’s important to consider all the things that are valuable to you and to enjoy other hobbies. Soon, your mind will be renewed and raring to swim again.

2. Set new goals.

This past season, some goals were achieved and some were not. Whether it was a great season or a complete disaster, there is always something to improve upon. In order to accomplish more, it’s necessary to stop and analyze before starting again. Reevaluate your current objectives and start making new ones. No career is built without failure, and everything is a learning experience. For college swimmers, it’s worth the risk.


Photo Courtesy: Simone Bosotti

3. Strategize.

After setting your goals, think about what you have to do to get there. Review mistakes from the previous season, find new ways to reach the same goal and create possibilities in your mind. A good tip is to compare times from different meets and analyze the conditions you were when you swam them. Watching videos from past swims to correct technique and become more efficient. There is time to fix it and try again. These are your days to set new targets and develop fresh plans of attack.

4. Regain strength.

After a full week of swimming numerous times a day, it’s more than natural to feel destroyed, physically and mentally. And although it’s normal to stop from all the activities for a while, our body needs to come back slowly. For this reason, it is very important to stick with some kind of exercise throughout this period. It is recommended to perform any activity that you might enjoy– playing other sports, biking or taking classes like Pilates or Insanity.

5. Sleep and take care of your body!

Months and months of sleep deprivation can lead to a series of health issues. This is the time to catch up with school work and take care of your body to prevent future injuries. Focus on your current injuries and make health a priority.