5 Simple Things You Should Start Doing to Be A Better Swimmer

Photo Courtesy: US Navy

By Jinq En Phee, Swimming World College Intern.

As a competitive swimmer myself, I understand that we’re all constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves and become a better swimmer. Some people might think you need a world-class facility or a famous coach to enhance your performance, but there are many other things that don’t require those resources that can help you improve. Here are five simple things that you could work on every day to become a better swimmer!

1. Always work on the little details.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Yes, I bet that your coach has told you to work on that streamline off each wall all the time, but there’s a reason that your coach keeps emphasizing that skill. Either you’re not doing it properly, or you’re not even doing it at all.

Working on all the little details such as keeping your head down when you swim and not breathing in and out of the walls during practice will definitely benefit you. Make them a habit, so that you don’t have to worry and think about them during a race, and you could go on and focus on something else that you’re weaker at! Those little details could help you shave a chunk of time off your personal best.

2. Know all your goal times.

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

There’s an advantage to knowing what you need to go in a certain distance of a certain stroke during practice or during a race. Know your goal times. Know exactly what a good time for a 50 meter sprint is, or what you need to go in a 25 meter dive off the blocks during practice and during race day. Know your splits, turn times, and reaction times.

It’s not just about knowing them all so you could show off to your teammates to prove that you’re Mr. Know-It-All, it’s about knowing them so you could determine which part of your race should be faster or slower, and then you could go back and work on it. It helps you determine whether you’re in a good shape or not. If you go faster than your goal time, that’s great; but if you don’t, at least you know that you need to put more work into practice.

3. Get enough sleep.


Photo Courtesy: McKenna Ehrmantraut

Almost everything that you do in and out of the pool affects your training and race performance. Even little things such as going to bed early every night so that you could get enough amount of sleep will help you feel more energized the next day. It is proven that getting sufficient amount of sleep every day will boost your performance, so get some sleep! Take naps (or if you’re a busy person, you could try taking power naps) throughout the day and don’t go to bed too late at night.

4. Watch what you eat.

Other than just getting all the nutrients that you need, you will also need to watch what you’re consuming! We all know the basic rule: avoid sugary food and alcohol. Sugar makes you tired and alcohol inhibits recovery. If you’re being serious about swimming, healthier alternatives are also an option. For example, replace white bread with whole grain bread, or diet soda with plain water. But of course, the occasional brownie after a hard practice to reward yourself is definitely okay. Don’t be too harsh on yourself!

5. Trust the training.

australian-pain-anguish-practicePhoto Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Trust the workout that your coach wrote is best for you. Your coach usually knows what is best, and that’s why he/she is your coach and you’re the swimmer! Don’t doubt what your coach tells you to do. If you do have concerns, sit down and have a talk with your coach to discuss the problem. That way would benefit both you and your coach. When it’s time to race, forget about everything you’ve done in practice and just get out there and race! Because you’ve done your work, there’s nothing to be afraid of right?

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

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Greg-Natasha Barila
7 years ago

Josh Barila

Jaden Harris
7 years ago

Ashlea Smith

Lin Tozer
7 years ago

Emily Brown

Julie Perea
7 years ago

Becky Leonard, share this with Sami.

Lindsey Kriel
7 years ago

Lily Kriel

Anita Lower
7 years ago

Sarya Lower

Dayana Hartwell
7 years ago

Lilly Hartwell

Steven Mikael
7 years ago

Naomi Woodfield

Naomi Woodfield
7 years ago
Reply to  Steven Mikael

Thanks Steven Mikael… good read.. ??

Charlie Rose
7 years ago

Mitch Brown

Marwa Elsayed
7 years ago

Khaled Hamaad

Connie Sharpe Ruohomaki

I will get on this. Embarrassing that both my daughters are Swim Coaches and can barely do a 100 at this point.

Natalie Angel
7 years ago

Seth Angel

Kris de Winter
7 years ago

Yarno De Winter

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